|'Beauty by the Sea' 18x24 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
I was also told I should take the wrappers off but I was a bit reluctant. What if I ran out of the color and I didn't know what it was called?
Only after my making my careful charts would I tentatively take off the wrappers. Even then if I could break the pastel in half I would save the piece with the wrapper. A backup of my chart!
You know what happened? I NEVER consulted a chart to replace a color. Oh sure, in the beginning I had a few favorite colors. I used them all of the time and I panicked when they got down to tiny nubs. I remember having a favorite dusty mauve pastel. I used it in EVERY painting. It got so small that I didn't even remember what brand it was. Right around the same time I attended a workshop and got some advice that changed the way I looked at replacing pastel colors. NO MORE CHARTS!
|'South Carolina Dreaming' 8x10 pastel|
All blue skies don't have to be the same!
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Evidently all of my paintings looked the same....after all I was using all of my favorite colors in each one. The instructor advised me to be careful of this tendency. It is good to have a style but not so good if every painting had the exact same colors. That is boring! I learned to experiment with other colors and to explore changing my color palettes from time to time.
|A collection of Blue pastels. These are all warm blues of a similar value. The blues at the top are a bit cooler but not by much in real life. I could easily substitute one for another in a painting and it would work.|
No longer do I worry about running out of a favorite color. Instead I try to find a similar replacement color. This allows me to make slight changes to my palette and keep my work fresh. Here is what I do:
- When low on a color I look to replace it with something of a similar value and temperature. I don't worry about brands but I do try to find a pastel of a similar softness. Example: I am low on my favorite blue for skies. Instead of stressing about what the number or brand of the color, I ask myself if is warm or cool, how dark it is and how soft it is.....then I shop for something to fit those criteria.
Throwing out the charts and not making them for new pastel sets had been very Liberating! I don't worry about what color number that little nub is. I am free to explore new colors and brands which makes painting more fun!