If all you have is a limited palette, a lack of colour choices can stop you from painting some subjects. I’m here to persuade you to take up the creativity challenge with the pastels you have available – you may be surprised!
Take today’s demo – a box of tissues as its subject. It’s a lot of off-whites on off-whites. But say my palette only has a few colours to choose from, what do I do? Well let’s check it out.
First, the subject – a box of tissues against a light neutral background. (I worked from life but this photograph gives you an idea of what I was facing.)
The thumbnail sketch to determine values:
And here are the colours I used – you can see the lack of colour choices for this subject!
So let’s get started on the pastel.
You can see that the end pastel painting is very colourful compared to the subject in real life!
It was my initial intention to go further towards the reality of what I saw but as I worked, I began to enjoy the colourful statement and kept with that, just making sure the values were working.
You can see that the lack of colour choices lead the way to a more creative (and colourful) outcome. I could have chosen to stick with my idea of ‘copying’ reality in a more dedicated way but I didn’t. As artists, we are completely free to render what we see with our own perceptions and our own choices of colour, value, drawing, and design.
So I hope now a lack of colour choices won’t hold you back! I’d love to hear if this post has inspired you to try your own simple set up with a small selection of pastels. Let me know how it goes!
Also a reminder that I will be teaching an absolute beginner in pastel workshop locally on the last two Sundays of April. For more info and to register, click here. It’s taking place at the Peninsula Gallery and for the price, they will include all the materials you will need – it’s a BARGAIN!! If you have questions about whether it’s right for you, email me or better yet, set up a 15-min call with me here.
Until next time,
PS. I recorded the progression of this pastel so hope to have a YouTube video of it in the near future. Keep your eyes open! If you’re a subscriber to my YouTube Channel, you’ll be notified when it’s uploaded.
PPS. Next week we have another guest blog – I know you’re gonna love it!!