Chamois cloth: Very useful in soft Pastels
by Doug Smith
(Ceredo, WV USA)
I have found a number of wonderful uses for ordinary chamios cloth, from any auto store. First, rubbed rather briskly, it will effectively remove pastel from your surface for correcting mistakes or lightening an over zealous application. It is soft enough that it does not affect the surface as much even as a gum eraser, however.
Secondly, using the cloth on the tip of a finger, you can get some amazing soft blending; softer, and different altogether from tortillons, stumps, or fingers. And you dont get finger oils on the pastels. When the cloth is filled with pastel you have removed and blended, reverse course and you can now paint with the smudges on the chamios for some cool soft fluffy clouds, or Degas like backgrounds.
Finally, you don t have to through it away like paper stumps. Too nasty to use any more? Looking like mud? Rinse it out in the sink, or toss it in the washer, and let it dry. As good as new. I cut it into a number of various size pieces and always have some ready to use as I paint, while others may be drying.