Working on coloured paper

 
 

Working on a dark paper allows me to easily judge mid-tone values and true colours. I use the pastels in a variety of ways —
scribbling, crosshatching, scumbling and feathering. Variety adds interest and energy to the paper surface.

 

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  Going to extremes
  Working on a dark-toned, sanded pastel paper, I loosely
  sketched in the main shapes with vine charcoal. I filled in
  the darkest areas with the charcoal and the lightest areas
  with a white conté crayon. Before moving on, I knocked
  off the excess charcoal dust and sprayed the work with a
  light coat of fixative.

  

   



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  Starting at the top
  I began with the cloud formation. Using the sides of my
  pastel sticks, I lightly applied broad strokes of burnt
  sienna, ochre light and grey for the clouds and horizon,
  then gradated into greenish and prussian blue and cobalt
  blue, finally working into the warm horizon using
  ultramarine pale. I was careful not to overload the
  paper so I could make adjustments later. I then added
  a few of the same colours to the field.

 

 

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  Moving to middle ground
  Next, I developed the cooler shadows within the focal point
  of trees using blue indigo tone, ultramarine and cold green
  deep in the foreground grasses. I added more light ochre,
  moss green and bohemian green for variations, with burnt
  light ochre and ochre light for the highlights.
 

 

 

 

 

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  Unifying with colour
  To finish the middle ground field, I filled in with cobalt
  blue, then highlighted with moss green. I repeated
  these same colours, as well as a variety of reds,
  oranges and greens, in the stand of trees. For the
  foreground grasses, I used cobalt blue, moss green,
  pinks and ochres. Finally, it was time to blend and
  push back the sky by lightly tapping it with my fingertip,
  then layering on more pastel to keep the
  ‘bloom' or freshness of the colour.

 

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  Finishing with flair
  Still working top to bottom, I continue to blend and
  soften the colours through the middle ground and
  foreground.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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  Finished — "Moment in Time" (14 x 30" or 35.5 x 76 cm)
  I also added bright highlights to the fenceposts, and
  finished with some lively strokes of colour in the
  foreground grasses.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 


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