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I’m on vacation for a few days to visit my brother and his lovely (and pregnant!) wife. While I’m away some of my favourite local artists and bloggers have agreed to do posts for you! Today, Tanya shares her love and amazing use of PanPastels. Enjoy!


I’m excited to guest blog for Sara and share my new favorite thing – pan pastels! I’ve been eyeing them for ages, but resisted buying until I took a class at The Paperie by Cathie Reed. After that, I had no choice but to buy them, I was hooked. I love to make backgrounds for projects with pan pastels.

You can read more about pan pastels here.

The first project is so simple and fast to make and you just need one pan pastel – that’s right – just one, so if you are interested in experimenting with them, you don’t need to spend a lot to try it out.


Gather your supplies. Here is a list of what I used:

  • Ultramarine blue pan pastel and sofft sponge
  • Spectra fix
  • Bristol paper (You can use whatever you have on hand, this was the closest for me to grab)
  • Stamps
  • Versa mark
  • tape
  • Some embellishments (of course!)

Cut your paper to the size of the card you want to make. Gently swipe the sponge over the pan pastel two to three times and color in the paper with swiping motions, like using a paint brush. If you have loose pastel powder on the surface of the pan pastel, then you are using too much pressure when swiping up the color.


Once you have it all colored in and at the shade you like, ink up your stamp with versa mark and stamp. It won’t be very visible. Add some more pan pastel. Ta da – the magic happens!


You then have to spray it with a fixative so it will set. I like the spray spectra fix, safe and no odor. It takes about 1-2 minutes for it to evaporate and dry.

Add your sentiment stamp, embellishments and adhere it to a card base. Easy peasy, you are done.


This technique would work fabulously on a 12x 12 layout or canvas.

The next background I want to show you is on a canvas. For this project I used:

  • Canvas
  • Tissue paper
  • Cheese cloth
  • Matte multi-medium
  • Various papers ( I used cut up gift wrap that looked like tickets)
  • Gesso
  • Pan pastels and sofft sponges
  • Fixative spray


I crumpled up some plain white tissue paper and adhered it on the canvas with the multi medium. I did the same with the cheese cloth and paper. Remember to put the multi medium under and over what you are putting on the canvas.


Once that was dry, I put a thin coat of gesso over the whole canvas with a paint brush. The gesso helps the pan pastels go on so smooth and tones down your paper colors a little.


That layer dries much more quickly than the multi medium. Now you are ready to add the color goodness of pan pastels.


I used ultramarine blue shade all over the canvas the same way I did the paper for the card.

I love how the texture of the tissue paper:


and cheese cloth:


picks up the color.

I then sprayed with the fixative and once it was dry, I added more color. This time I used phthalo blue to shade and paynes grey for the edges. Of course, I sprayed with the fixative again.


Now you have a great background complete. I will admit, I did have a lot of backgrounds done on canvas, but I used them all up at the retreat. It seems so much faster to work on a canvas without having to do the background prep.

This is what I did with this background:


That’s all folks, and thanks for letting me share my new love, Sara!