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Monday, May 07, 2018

Save Time and Reuse Your Pastel Palette

'Summer Dance'         8x10       pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available $145
I was lazy today. I wanted to paint something but I didn't want to go through my usual steps of planning my palette. If you have followed this blog then you know I like to preselect the pastels I will use for each painting BEFORE I start painting. It allows me to paint more efficiently and with passion. I don't have to continually stop to choose colors and values.

But today I was lazy. I looked at the mess in my working pastel tray. The remnants of a recently finished commission. I love this color palette.  Why not use these colors again for another painting? It would save me a step and allow me to get painting right away. I looked through my reference photos and found a daisy photo that would be perfect for the colors in my tray.

The pile of pastels used on a previous painting
 I decided to do a wet underpainting using Derwent Inktense sticks. I love using these sticks for underpainting. When they are wet with water or alcohol they explode with rich color.

Derwent Inktense sticks are great for underpainting
Here is the application of the Derwent Inktense sticks. I knew there would be a lot of green in the painting so I used the compliment of red violet to help the green come alive. I used a pale pink Nupasel for the sky since I didn't have this color in my Derwent set.

Before wetting with rubbing alcohol
I used a stiff bristle brush and some rubbing alcohol to liquify the Inktense. Look at the cool drips! I love doing a wet underpainting because it not only gives me a head start on the painting, it helps me paint with expression.

The pastels in my tray were just what I needed for the daisies and the foliage. It was a good day to reuse a palette. Now I am looking to see what else I can paint with these pastels before I clean them and put them away!

The finished underpainting...ready for the pastel!

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