Materials · Pastel painting · Uncategorized

Broken Shell


I have a number of odd scraps of pastel paper hanging around the studio. I also have loads of odd things to paint: like broken seashells.

I mounted this bit of UArt 500 paper onto an odd scrap of mat board then hit it with a layer of metal gold acrylic paint.

It is a small thing, only something like 4.25 inches tall. I have another odd shaped pastel I want to frame, so I’ll order a little frame for this from FrankenFrames and once I have it in hand, will order glass for both from C4 Contemporary Art.


3 thoughts on “Broken Shell

  1. Wonderful little pastel, I like the idea of your gold underpainting in spots. I need to start learning to frame my own pastels at some point. My framer is in his late 70’s and I am thinking that one of these days, he’ll want to stop framing. I am hoping to find frames out there that are already prepped for pastels (with the spacer to keep away from the glass). Do you have any tips for me? I also have heard of some pastelists framing their work in a mattless frame (plein air frames).


    1. Thanks, Margaret. I discovered that having pastels framed often cost more than I was willing to price the painting unframed and this just didn’t make sense to me. So I looked into framing with spacers instead of using mats (Mom left me a wonderful mat cutter, but I’m horrible with math and was wasting more mat than I was saving. So, I went to mounting the pastel paper on the mat board with spray on adhesive. If I get that right or close to right, I can then cut the mat board an pastel paper together to make it straight. I have been ordering from FrankenFrames and just look at the stuff in clearance. Then, once I have the frame and I’m sure the pastel fits into it correctly, I order the glass from AR. I use the museum glass because it cuts way down on glare and has some UV protection built in. I got the spacers in 9 foot lengths from Dakota Art Pastels, but you should be able to find an even cheaper source. The assemblage is very easy. Put the glass into the frame (the wrapper the glass comes in tells you which side goes outward. Then I cut the spacer strips. They are pre-glued, you have to pull the little protective strip. You stick the spacer to the glass all the way around. Then you put in your pastel painting, resting it on the spacers. It should be mounted on something fairly stable like mat board or foam core so it doesn’t sag while hanging and you should use archival stuff if you can. Then I put in a piece of acid free foam core if I need to fill space and use linen tape to seal all four edges. Finally, I back it with brown paper using the spray adhesive again, drill holes for the hangers (I bought some somewhere… maybe Dick Blick?, but you can also use those round eyehook things from the hardware store. Last thing is the wire. I like a coated picture wire because I don’t poke myself with it as much. On the brown paper I stick the glass cleaning instructions that come with the glass and my own sticker with my marketing information on it. I will normally save up three to five paintings to frame and do them all in one day completing each step in turn while they are lined up on the table and I have my electric drill handy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your comments! I will come back and study them more thoroughly, in the middle of celebrating the 4th of July. 🙂 My framer is so inexpensive, I am very spoiled. He does such a wonderful job and I have never paid more than $125 over the past 14 years and that includes large size paintings! over 18 x 24….I need to figure all this out before he decides to call it quits. Thank you once again….I might be back if I have more questions. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.