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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Favorite Use for Dull Colors

'City Sidewalks II'          8x10         pastel            ©Karen Margulis
available $95
I was looking for a certain red pastel today. I pulled out my box of spare pastels. That is always fun to do. It's like going shopping in my own studio! I didn't find the red I wanted but I did find a few interesting dull colors. Dull colors are interesting? Sometimes they are. And sometimes they are just what a painting needs.

I love color so I tend to avoid the duller colors in my box. I have discussed this before. I love to wear brown but don't like painting with it! For some reason today a few pristine brown pastels looked appealing. I pulled them out of the box of spares and set about finding a subject to paint.

Flipping through my photos I found the perfect choice....a nocturne. And even better it was a cityscape at night. At night we don't see as much color. The colors we do see are dull. Think browns, olives, grayed violets, ochres.  I love finding just the right dull, dark and grayed down color for a night time scene. Night time isn't gray and black! There is color, it is just duller.

Dull colors also allow those bright spots of light found in a cityscape to come alive. The lights will appear to be lit when surrounded by the darker duller colors.


LauraGee said...

Hi Karen, appreciated this latest blog on dull colors and seeing your Cityscape. I wondered if you could comment on whether you used the analogous color wheel for this one, or how it could be used in this particular type of "dull" painting. Thanks.

Karen said...

Thanks Laura! I didn't use a color wheel for this painting. I usually only use the analogous wheel when I need to figure out my spice colors. Good question and I will have to take another look at the wheel and see how I might use it for nocturnes!