Two New Mixed-Media Art Supplies to Try

File this under “Who knew?” Or maybe “What will they think of next?”

mixed media paint and collage by donna downey
Detail of mixed-media painting and collage
by Donna Downey.

I have been hearing about PanPastel Colors® for a while, usually in reference to mixed-media painting. I was curious about how PanPastels differed from art pastels in stick form, but I kind of filed the term away in my brain for further exploring. You know, when I have time. Seeing as how I tend to be a deal-with-what’s-in-front-of-me kind of gal, I hadn’t gotten around to finding out more about these little gems.

Until today, when something was put in front of me: Art Lessons Vol. 4, Painting with Pastels & Paper by Donna Downey.

As part of her art lesson, Donna explains that PanPastels are basically highly pigmented dry paint that provides a smooth, creamy, bold coverage of color. Furthermore, PanPastels are erasable. With a simple, inexpensive white eraser you can change your mind or clean up areas as you work.

After seeing the magic Donna worked with PanPastels on her mixed-media collages, I decided I definitely need to get my hands on some of these treasures.

That’s the “Who knew?” part of this post.

Donna’s suggestion for the best way to apply the pastels brings me to “What will they think of next?” revelation.

Donna recommends using SofftTM sponges. What are Sofft sponges,  you may ask? Flexible and reusable tools that come in all shapes and sizes for use with most water-based art and craft materials. Depending on the shape you choose, you can spread paint, make marks, and create effects.

Sofft sponges don’t leave brush marks, and the different shapes available help you apply the paint (etc.) in hard-to-reach places. Perfect for the mixed-media artist.

The mixed-media art techniques Donna shares in Painting with Pastels & Paper don’t require PanPastels and Sofft sponges; the techniques are a jumping-off point for exploration. But I really enjoyed learning about these new-to-me tools and supplies, and can’t wait to start experimenting with them and Donna’s lessons.

P.S. Have you tried PanPastels or Sofft sponges? Do you have advice on how to use them? Leave a comment below.


Blog, Mixed-Media Supplies


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