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Thursday, December 05, 2013

A Tip for Painting Color Studies

'Sanibel is Calling'          8x10       pastel         ©Karen Margulis
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 Sometimes it is the simple things that elude us.  We can get so caught up in the process of painting that we overlook the most important things.  Take color studies.  I love to do color studies before a painting.  It makes so much sense to me to try out my color palette on a small piece of paper before committing to a larger 'good' piece of paper.

value study and small color study 2.5 x 3.5 

I am a big fan of limited palettes with pastels.  I find it so easy to get lost in a big box of pastels. There are so many choices, so many wonderful colors all wanting to be used.  If I am not careful I just might use too many and end up with color chaos.  So my solution is to pre-select the pastels I THINK I will use for a painting.

Often I take this preselection a step further and do a small color study with my choices. I usually do a quick study on a 2.5 x 3.5 piece of paper. That way I am not wasting paper and if the study is decent it goes in my petite pastel collection.   If you like to do color studies, I have a tip....it is something we often overlook:

It is important to do the color study on the exact same type and color paper that you will be using for your painting. 

Simple. Yes I know but I don't always remember and just grab a random paper scrap. The problem with this is that your  colors will not look the same on different types or color papers. To get an accurate idea of what your choices will look like the papers need to be the same!


reference photo

painting with studies

1 comment:

pattisjarrett said...

This is a great tip. I usually have a ton of white scrap paper, but don't think I've ever actually used pastels on white. Thanks!