|'Its the Simple Things That Matter' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
available for purchase $125
More pastels mean more choices. That is good but it can also lead to color chaos in a painting. It is sometimes hard to hold back. We want to use them all.....but the truth is Less is More.
|The 38 pastels I used for this painting|
But we can take a cue from mixing paint....the idea that a limited palette leads to better color harmony and more unified color. It works for pastels as well. Try limiting the number of pastels you use in a painting. Choose a possible palette in advance. Make sure you have colors that match the values in your painting. (some darks, lights and middle values) When painting, try to reuse colors rather than reach for a new color. It may feel limiting at first but it is truly liberating.
|Too many pastels to choose from|
TIPS FOR SELECTING A LIMITED PALETTE
- The underpainting colors are important. Choose them first. They will peek through and help unify a painting.
- Select the darks. Look for colors to represent that darkest areas of your painting.
- Choose colors for each element of the painting....sky colors, distant trees, mountain colors and so on. Visualize the colors and values you will need for each element.
- Keep track. Try not to exceed 40 or so pastels in your initial selection.
- If you add colors as you paint keep them out and add them to your tray or pile of pastels.
Read more about using a limited palette in this blog article by James Gurney. click here to read.