|'Distant Light' 11x14 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
Keeping it Simple. That was my goal for this painting. I loved the quiet mood and the intense colors in this scene. I remember it well. It was a 'drive-by' photo that I took on our way back to our motel after a day of painting. Sunset and dusk can be tricky to paint. It is a challenge to capture the colors of sunset without them looking artificial. I chose a very limited palette for this painting.
|pastels used for 'Distant Light'|
I used a total of 22 pastels for the painting. I usually choose my pastels in advance but this time I chose pastels from my regular studio box as I painted. I kept out the colors I used so I could reuse them if needed. You can see I ended up with mostly middle dark values with just a few lights. For the tiny lights I used a pale green and pale yellow girault pastels. My reference photo was very dark and grey except for the orange light but I wanted my clouds to have more color. I chose blues and purples for the clouds. I chose very soft buttery Great American pastels for the oranges in the sky. I used a more intense orange than I thought I would need thinking I could always tone it down. I kept it intense! In case you are wondering I have a variety of pastel brands in this tray including Terry Ludwigs, Great Americans and Diane Townsends.
Lesson from today's painting:
- I was surprised at how few pastels were need to create the mood I wanted. I love working with limited palettes!
- We don't need hundreds and hundreds of pastels (we can dream!) We can make a painting work with a few pastels. We just have to make sure our working set has a range of values and temperatures for each color.....80 to 100 pastels will work for just about anything.