A: I like to get my hands right into my work. In other words, I don’t like brushes or anything else to intervene between my hands and what I’m working on. I work with fine 500 grit sandpaper so the downside is that I rub my fingertips raw from blending layers of soft pastel onto the sandpaper. I’ve tried using rubber gloves (they make my fingers sweat and wear out fast), cotton gloves (they leave bits of lint on the paper), using a blending stump (it leaves lint on the paper), etc., but nothing works as well as my own fingers. So sore fingertips are an unavoidable occupational hazard. I sometimes take days off from the studio just so that my hands can heal.