10 Reasons to Love Pastel: Lights and Shadows

"Bitter Harvest" 6 x 9 inch Pastel on Paper
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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.
"Bitter Harvest II"
6 x 9 inch pastel on paper
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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 usually end up painting one or two in the little bit of spare time I get between mommy duties. 

Here are a few more of my fall-inspired pieces:


"Herbst" 9 x 12 Pastel on Paper
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"Harvest Time" 9 x 12 Pastel on Paper
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"Fallbrook Pumpkins" 9 x 12 China Pencil on Paper
Email nicolehilsabeck@yahoo.com if interested in purchasing
Buy a card! Postcards start at $2
Click here to visit my fine art website and read more about painting fall colors, or to see links to free art lessons featuring fall inspiration!

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