My preference, when working in a large size, is to use a toned paper such as the Belgian Mist paper, which has a mid-value, warm grey color. The little flecks of grey showing through at the end pull the painting into a gentle harmony. When I do use the white, I apply a wash of alcohol or Gamsol to my block-in, and that eliminates the white totally.
Not so this time. Poor planning? Maybe, but I did have a roll of paper towels. I decided to try a "dry wash" instead. I pulled off a couple of sheets and balled them up very loosely, and then, making a light, sweeping motion as if using a feather duster, I managed to move the pastel around enough to cover the white. I liked the effect very much. One problem with using a liquid to wash in the block-in is that it makes the darks almost too dark, and I sometimes struggle with bringing them into harmony with the lights and mid-tones. This "dry wash" technique, though, actually lightens the darks and gives you a mid-tone. It gives you a chance to hit the darks a little harder later if you need to.
Here is the "dry wash" stage, and below, the finished painting, which I also posted the last time.
"Templeton Trail" 12x18 pastel, $700 (unframed) - contact Michael