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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Don't Just Use One Dark Pastel!

'Late Summer Marsh II'         8x10        pastel      ©Karen Margulis      sold
 It's all about the layering. That is my favorite part of painting with pastels. It is so easy to layer colors to create rich and interesting passages. There is no smudging of wet paint and you don't have to wait for paint to dry.  As long as you use a light enough touch and paper with some tooth you can easily layer many layers of pastel.

I never use just one pastel stick to paint anything. I alway see how I can get more interest and complexity through layering multiple pastel sticks. The trick is using a light touch but also using pastel colors that are very close in value in each section.

My selected pastels for today's painting

In the photo below you can see how I developed the dark areas of the trees shapes in my painting. I could have easily used a dark green pastel to paint the shadowed areas of the trees but that would be boring. Instead I selected several dark colors that are all very close in value. I am using two dark purples, a dark blue and two dark greens. You can see that they all optically blend together to make a more interesting dark.

A nice selection of rich darks
You can use this same idea to build up the layers in all areas of your painting. I do the same thing when painting the sky for example. Take full advantage of this wonderful quality of the pastel medium!

What's on Patreon today? If you liked this tip you can see the full step by step photo demo of this painting on my patreon page. www.patreon.com/karenmargulis

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