Thursday, February 6, 2014


Here's the set up......
basic line work for composition......
gouache underpainting to establish light to dark values.......
~Click picture to enlarge~
Finished 6"x6" Pastel on board

I like the title for this one....simply put as ...."Friends"!  The composition is  interesting because of the placement of the fruit and overlapping of shadows.  The challenge for me was finding the right "Reds" to match the right values(tones).   I start out thinking of colors for three basics...highlight, middle tone, and  darkest value.  Most the reds I have fall in the first range .....highlights. 

Then there is temperature....warms and cools.  Ah, the art of problem solving :D  I love a simple still life.

After painting this picture, I decided I needed to change my pastel box. I have an Easyl tripod and box made by Artwork Essentials.  I had divided the inside into 12 compartments.  
 As you can see from this photo,my pastels are aligned showing lights to darks and warm to cool.  This set up is something I constantly repeat in my pastel classes.  If your set up of color remains consistent and organized like this, it saves time in figuring out what color will work where.
I emptied my traveling box and put all the pastel pieces  into the  wood box my very first set of Rembrandt's came in. (1995).  I didn't realize I had so many sticks.  I've not been using all these luscious colors  when giving demos and plein air painting.   I tend to use the box of colors you see here at the top of the photo.  After careful measuring (before I emptied the easyl box) I discovered the Sennelier Pastel set I'm favoring these days will fit nicely in the easyl box.  Yea!!!!!!!!!!! it's lighter too :D

My dream has been to own a large set of expensive pastels.  One of those sets of 550 sticks or more.  I'm finding I don't think I really need all those lovely colors.  It's easier working with a limited palette.

Story time...............................
This reminds me of a road trip many years ago where we stopped to pick up a snack while filling the car with gas.  My son stood in front of the candy bar rack looking so perplexed.  He couldn't decide which candy bar he wanted.  We had to finally choose one for him.  Just too many choices.    Looking at the pastels at the bottom half of this picture gives me the same feeling....too many beautiful colors to choose from.  So, they're packed away for now.  I'll remember to look through these boxes before running to the store when I think I'm out of a favorite color.