Friday, July 23, 2010

Adding Color With Portfolio Pastels

I'd like to thank everyone who has left comments either here or through one of my yahoo groups.  I do enjoy posting these techniques and am happy so many of you are enjoying them as well.
This week my posting is not a specific to altered books technique so much as an enthusiastic endorsement of a favorite you might not be aware of....and one I think you'll love to have.
The full name:  Portfolio Water Soluble Oil Pastels.
I was first introduced to these wonderful colors when I took a collage workshop with Lynne Perrella, and have been devoted to them ever since,  They are widely available (I bought mine at Staples), relatively inexpensive (a set of 24 is about $10), versatile, and very easy to use.
This page (from the post on cutting doors and windows) was done with my Portfolios:
You can create a rich background by applying a thick layer of color directly to the paper:
Then blend it in with a paper towel.  You'll get a different effect if you use a dry towel or a slightly damp towel.  Try both.
You can blend two colors together right on the page.  You can even paint with the Portfolios.  Just rub some color onto your palette or palette paper, and pick it up with a wet paint brush.  There are so many great techniques to try.....and the directions for all are right on the box!
One of my favorites, involves dipping the pastel directly into water.
This produces a very intense color on the page.
You can leave it as is, or soften and blend it in somewhat with your fingers or a paper towel.  You can also add water by spraying it right onto the colored area and then blending.
Before blending you can add texture by scratching some of the color away with a texture tool, wire brush, or any pointy tool.
I know you already have a lot of ways to add color to your pages.....paint, glazes, inks, various sprays, papers, mica you may be wondering, do I really need these?  Well, need is a strong word, so I suppose the answer is no.  But will you love and use them if you have them?  Oh, I think so, and I wouldn't be suggesting you spend some money on something unless I thought it was something you'd really enjoy.


  1. Cool, I'm going to order them right now! I can see me using these quite often. Thanks Eileen!

  2. LOVE that technique Eileen.......I've been working on my AB this week and am loving it!!! GREAT job as always ma'am!!!

  3. So, would these be similar to the Neo D'Arche water solubles? I assume it's just a different brand name. Interesting tip about dipping in directly in water, that would be awesome for vibrant color. Will have to try this!

  4. Geez Louise--I mean Eileen--:) Forgot all about these. Have a very very old box in a drawer. Guess they now have a new found life. Thanks,

  5. BEAUTIFUL, Eileen!! I love my pastels...but don't take them out nearly often enough!!

  6. Thanks for sharing this technique! I have been wanting to try this for a while. Now I need to get some of those Portfolio pastels and have some fun.