Sunday, January 25, 2009

Painting the colourful way - Using soft pastels

I have been participating in a workshop on the artists' site on how to explore colour. The workshop is using still lifes as subjects and aims to make painting them fun, which I am definitely having.

The workshop is being run by Charlotte Herczfeld [Colorix is her wetcanvas name] and is as entertaining as it is instructional. Starting with how to see blocks, it quickly progresses to how to look at round objects and then still lifes. Here is a link to her web site which shows her wonderful art and will give you some idea of what can be achieved with this method (obviously after years of practice!)

The process involves 4 steps, and some of the stages look pretty weird and strange and definitely ugly! but I guarantee you will never look at colour the same way.
To give you some idea of how this works here are the steps with my block study showing the stages. It will show you how the painting develops from something looking quite out of this world to something recognisable and full of light and colour:

In step 1 you look for the large shapes of light and dark and colour them with pure pigments but not local colours using warm colours for the lights and cool colours for the shadows.

In step 2 your attempt to 'make it look real' using local colour if necessary.

Definitely still looking ugly.

In step 3 you look for the different areas of colours within the masses.

Ugliness diminishing somewhat and some of the light coming through.
In step 4 You look for more areas of light/darks within the smaller masses and add details where needed.

Two block study,
soft pastel on A4 Ingres paper

This is, of course a condensed version, but take a look at the workshop posts for more information


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