Introduction: PanPastel Portable Tools
Standard PanPastel tools include Sofft Tool Art Sponges and Sofft Tool knives with Sofft Sponge covers.
These tools work great in the studio where there is lots of room for storage. They don't work as well when we want to travel with or PanPastels and have limited room.
This Instructable shows you how I made customized, portable tools for use in my PortablePalette.
Here are links to my other two PanPastel Instructables:
Note: PanPastel and Sofft Tools are registered trademarks of Colorfin LLC of Kutztown, PA USA. I am not affiliated with Colorfin in any way and the ideas and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
Step 1: Pieces of Sofft Art Sponges
The Sofft Tool Art Sponges are easy to cut with a knife or scissors. Cutting the into smaller pieces so they fit in the Pocket Palette also gives them additional hard edges. This is handy when we paint with PanPastels.
I include one or two Art Sponge pieces in my travel kit.
Step 2: Credit Card Paddles
"Paddles" are my invention. They are compact substitutes for the "knives" sold with Sofftb Tools.
A paddle has a flat blade that holds a Sofft Sponge Tip (like the knife does) and a handle that is at right angles to the blade. My first paddles were made from strips cut from old credit cards (Picture 1). These worked fine and I still use them.
To make a credit card paddle I cut credit cards into strips that are 10mm wide and about 55mm long (Pictures 1 and 2). Then I use two holding tools like pliers to put a 90 degree twist near the middle of the strip (Pictures 3 and 4). That forms the "blade" (to hold the Sofft Songe Tip) and the "handle" that lets me control the tip movement (Picture 5).
Each old credit card can make eight paddles.
Step 3: 3D Printed Paddles
After a time I decided to use my 3D printer to make some fancier paddles. These work the same as the credit card paddles but are a bit thicker and a little more flexible.
I have used TPA (harder, stiffer) and TPU (softer, more flexible) filament to make paddles. I prefer the more flexible TPU ones.
Step 4: Credit Card Squibs
I invented what I call a "squib" to make it easier to paint and draw fine lines with PanPastels. A squib is just a flat piece of plastic with a cloth covering on it. The covering I use is a flexible fabric bandage piece cut to wrap over the end of the squib.
My first squibs were cut from pieces of old credit card. They were 10mm wide and 55mm long. One end had a cut at about 90 degrees from the axis to give a working surface.
The cloth bandage material picks up PanPastel pigments easily and can the be used to draw/paint fine lines in the picture.
Step 5: 3D Printed Squibs
After a while I decided to 3D print my squibs. These are a little thicker than credit card squibs (2 mm) and make a stronger mark on the paper.
Step 6: Waterbrush
The Sakura waterbrush (Sakura Waterbrush on Amazon) is an optional item in the Pocket Palette. It will add about US $10 to your Pocket Palette cost but I think it is worth it. When I need really fine details this is the way I do it.
I fill the waterbrush with 90% isopropyl alcohol. I squeeze a drop or two on one of the color pans and lift up some liquid pigment with the brush. Then I move to my mixing pad and make a small puddle of liquid paint. With the waterbrush I can get those details that add some sparkle to a painting. I got the idea for this from this video: PanPastel Brush Details
Step 7: Erasers
One of the great features of PanPastels is the ability to erase them all the way back to the "white" of the paper.
I am a very amateurish painter and enjoy being able to undo my mistakes with an eraser. I also like to do negative painting of features like clouds and highlights on objects. I cut a piece of a hard eraser (Picture 1) or break off a piece of a kneaded eraser (Picture 2) to fit in the Pocket Palette.