Showing posts from October, 2013

10 Reasons to Love Pastel: Lights and Shadows

One of the things I tend to mess up when using pastel is that I often lose my lights.  When I remember to be careful and maintain contrast, the outcome is usually much better.

It took me a few years of working with pastel to realize that soft pastels layer in better dark to light.  I now know that it's important to save those lights for the end, and make sure they have plenty of room in my paintings.  Adding lights too early contributes to "mud," when colors blend together in a way that makes them look dull.  I still use up my lighter colored pastels much quicker than my dark ones-- a little dark pastel goes a long way, whereas the lighter colors need a few layers to really stand out.  Using a toothy pastel paper gives the light pastel something to grip, making it stand out even more.

Fall is my favorite season, and the contrast between light and shadow is always an inspiration in October.  Every year I hope to spend time creating a series of fall paintings, but I usual…