I recently came across a thoroughly dusty pastel situation after whacking the back of a pastel painting to shake off the loose particles. This action reminded me of a post I published last June about fixing pastel painting errors, and the need to be careful about the potential dust..
I also recently came across an assessment of pastel safety from a RN. That link is posted at the bottom of this blog, and I advise any pastel artists to review this detailed document.
Here is a repeat of that blog posting:
After viewing a recent (very small) painting-in-progress (update below), I decided I did not want the yellow/orange tree on the right to be as full as the deep green tree on the left.
I start with a stiff brush to remove the pastel.
Next I take a kneaded eraser and rub out the remaining layer of pastel. It returns the clean sanded paper back to its original state.
Finally, I return to the stiff brush and remove the particles of eraser from the paper.
Now I am ready to redo this portion of the painting. One important point: lifting the pastel with a brush will let pastel particles become airborne. Don't forget your mask. Also refrain from blowing at your painting, as the pastel dust will bounce from the paper to your face. Here are a few safety tips from the Society of Canadian Artists.
For additional safety precautions, click here for the article on health and safety considerations related to handling pastels.
Reach out to me if you have any questions.