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Sunday, November 01, 2015

Painting the Colors of Fall....RED part one

'Forever Fall'                 8x10              pastel               ©Karen Margulis
available $145
I love Autumn. Cinnamon brooms, pumpkin everything, Chilly air and fleece. Autumn gives my senses a much needed spark.  One of the best things about Fall is color.  We finally get a break from green in the Fall. Every year around this time I get the urge to paint the fall colors. I've been through my yellow kick with my aspen series. Now It is all about red.

This week I want to focus on the color red. I love painting red trees. I have a trick to help make red foliage glow with light. I will share it in another post this week. It helps to have some good red pastels though.

A set of 5 red pastels by Mount Vision
To paint red effectively you need to have a good selection of reds from cool to warm and dark to light. Many introductory set just have one or two reds and that isn't always enough. I don't have just one brand of pastel in my collection. I have a little bit of everything with the majority of them being Terry Ludwigs and Great Americans. Both of these brands have wonderful reds.

I'd like to share another option for great pastels that won't break the bank. Mount Vision Pastels. The handmade pastels are a great value. They are nice and big. I can easily cut them into thirds to distribute among my pastel boxes.  The are richly pigmented and a medium soft. They really are great workhorse pastels.  You can get a box of 25 reds and pinks or you can order your reds open stock. A few years ago I got this sampler set of reds which I didn't see available. Visit the Mount Vision website here.

TIP: Are you ready to paint red? It's time to pull out all of the red pastels you have. Clean them and make a color chart. Do you have a good range of reds? Dark to light? Dull to intense pure reds? Warm orangey reds and cooler red violets? Take note of what you are missing. More on painting red to come.


Bruce Housey said...

The red leaves came out really nice... Red is so difficult because everything red looks bright, even if it's in the shadow.

robertsloan2art said...

Oh, this is so beautiful! One thing I loved in Terry Ludwigs was the dark reds - deep dark black-reds sometimes warm leaning brownish, sometimes cool leaning violet. They're useful in fall foliage and sometimes great for underlayers on green foliage, giving a complementary pop to the greens.

Agree with you on both Mount Vision and Great Americans. Mount Visions are enormous value for the money. I don't like their packaging, the clamshell boxes tend to flip shut and take up more space on the table than boxes with lids that can be slipped under them when open. That does keep the price down though and the foam padding can easily transfer into other boxes. I've considered getting three sets and consolidating the boxes so I'm looking at 75 colors per clamshell box in the slotted foam.

Great Americans were better than I thought. Now that I've used them, I love the texture and like their assortment in my half sticks set. Best of all they're tempting me with the sensible idea of a half sticks full range set. Not all colors get used as fast as others, replace the ones that get used most and have others for spice or just-right when they're needed. I find with big ranges I use them all up slower because I gradate more, choose nuances rather than always settling for the one I have and get a little more creative in combinations and values.

Any excuse to buy more pastels! And perhaps a new, larger pastels box if I get more Mount Visions, you made a great point about adding pieces of the same stick into more than one collection! That totally makes sense! When they wear down to smaller pieces they can wind up in plein air kits.

Enid Goyers said...

Flamboyant as it is in fall! So much energy, life and dynamics! Love this one, great!

Anonymous said...

How would you do a color chart with Pastels? Wouldn't they be hard to keep nice in a chart? How would you find the colors, once you made the chart?