Thursday, November 8, 2012

Using Your "Ugly" Pastels

A Welcome Change, pastel, 12x9
Mountaintop Trees, pastel, 9x12
How do you get the most our of a vibrant color? Place it next to a very dull color. So when you're painting a colorful landscape such as an autumn scene, and have trouble getting those "brights" as vivid as you know they should appear, the problem usually isn't that you don't have bright enough pastels, you simply may not have dull enough pastels.

This week in my classes, we continued with autumn landscapes and focusing on balancing the brights with the greyed/muted colors.

I've noticed that most new pastel artists who are just getting started collecting their supply of pastels are usually lacking those all important dull, ugly pastels. They're the colors we usually overlook because  we think those colors will make the whole painting appear dull. In reality, they'll help get more mileage out of those gorgeous, saturated colors we love to use.

When deciding what colors to use for a painting that has bright colors, start by scribbling little color patches next to each other, finding one or two dull sidekicks for each bright color you need. These dull colors are greyed versions of each color family or very muted neutrals...they're usually those nondescript colors that are difficult to give a color name. The dull color you actually need is usually duller (and uglier) than you think.

No comments:

Post a Comment