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Thursday, March 08, 2018

Five Tips for Painting with Yellow

'The Golden Hour'           8x10          pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available $145
 As if you needed another reason to add to your pastel collection!  How about painting some golden trees? Terry Ludwig pastels are hard to resist and I love this set of yellows.  I have always enjoyed using yellow. I like a lot of yellow subjects....flowers, sand, sky, sunlight!  But I always found yellow a challenging color to work with in pastel. I found it difficult to get it bright and sunny enough! I have some tips below but I have to say that this set of pastels is making the job easier!

Terry Ludwig pastels - Stunning Yellows click here to see details

  • Start with orange. When building up a mass of yellow begin with darker values if possible. I like to start with the orange family then gradually build to the lightest and brightest yellows.
  • Use violets. Using the complement of yellow which is violet will help the yellows be more visually exciting. Surround yellows with violets (all kinds) or place them side by side for more interesting yellows.
  • Go darker. If your yellows don't seem bright enough try surrounding them with a darker value color. It will be like turning the lights on in a dark room!
  • Warm and cool. It helps to have a variety of warm orangey yellows and cooler lemon yellows in a mass of yellow.
  • Use Shouting marks. When you really want your yellow to stand out....press harder. A few hard edged marks will contrast nicely with softer marks. These shouting marks will stand out!

NOTE: The painting in this post was done only with yellow pastels as a challenge to create a monochromatic painting. I used the Terry Ludwig Stunning Yellows set and the 5 additional pastels shown below.

"For most people, yellow is a happy color. It generally energizes, relieves depression, improves memory and stimulates appetite."  Shirley Williams

You can see the step by step photo demo of this painting over on my Patreon page. Join our challenge to paint a monochromatic painting!