Tag Archives: values

Vianna Szabo, "Blue," pastel, 14 x 11 in

Vianna Szabo On Making Your Pastel Palette Work for You

I first met Vianna Szabo at the 2013 International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) Convention. I was doing short interviews and I asked her what got her into her studio everyday. (You can see her answer at the end of this post!) Since then I have been an admirer of her work and featured “Pause” in last May’s monthly round-up. I realized it was high time I asked Vianna if she’d consider guest blogging and when I did, Yay!! she said Yes.

First, a wee introduction.

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High Key Painting – What IS That??

I’ve just uploaded a video about high key painting and what it means. Have a look and let me know what you think.

 

 

Here’s the set up I was painting. You can see the beige paper behind the daisies that I reference in the video.

Daisies in a Vase - the set-up

Daisies in a Vase – the set-up

If you squint, you can see that the shadow at the centre of the right hand daisy is pretty dark. I decided to take license and make it lighter than it shows in the photo. In this way, I kept the painting high key.

Here is my thumbnail of the set-up. It’s not the clearest job dividing the work into three values (parts of the background look too dark) but doing a thumbnail allows me a chance to become familiar with the subject so when I come to paint it, I have a better understanding both of it and how I want to portray it.

 

Thumbnail of two daisies in a vase

Pencil thumbnail of two daisies in a vase – remember, it’s only about 1.5 x 1.5 inches!

 

And here is the set of Schminke pastels I chose from:

Schminke pastels - all the pastels I didn't use - the darks and the ones in mid-value and light value

Schminke pastels – all the pastels I DIDN’T use – the darks and the ones in mid-value and light value

(I have sorted this box of Schminke pastels into values. For help sorting a box of pastels into values, click here to see my video.)

 

And the final painting:

Gail Sibley, "Two Daisies in a Vase," pastel, 5.5 x 5.5 in. An example of a high key painting

Gail Sibley, “Two Daisies in a Vase,” pastel, 5.5 x 5.5 in. An example of a high key painting

Gail Sibley, "Two Daisies in a Vase," pastel, 5.5 x 5.5 inches - in black and white

Gail Sibley, “Two Daisies in a Vase,” pastel, 5.5 x 5.5 inches – in black and white

 

High key paintings are ones that feel airy and light. Often the light source washes out the scene and there are very few deep shadows. The subjects can be white or light-coloured themselves – eggs, a snow-covered landscape (with no dark trees), puffy white clouds, a white-sand beach for example.

The main thing is that the values are in the lighter part of the scale.

 

Value Scale from 1-10. I've circled the values that can be used in a high key painting.

Value Scale from 1-10. I’ve circled the values that can be used in a high key painting. (I have linked the image to the blog where I found the scale. I’ve added my own annotation regarding high key values.)

 

How are you feeling about your understanding of a high key painting? Have you made a high key painting? If so, why not send it in and I will post it on a future blog showing various high key paintings!

 

All for now 🙂

~ Gail

 

How to sort a new box of soft pastels into values

 

It’s about time I published a new video with a pastel painting tip. So here it is! I talk about how to sort a new box of pastels (a small starter kit) into values. The main thing you need to do this is SQUINT!!

So without further ado, here’s the video:

Gail Sibley's video shows you how to quickly sort your new box of pastels into values, something that's sooooo worth doing!

Please give me some feedback. Was the video helpful? Was it clear? And what other videos would you like to see? My goal is to make a whole heap of short videos on all aspects of doing pastels.

 

Have a great weekend! I am off to Salt Spring Island for an overnight with my good friend Sandy. It’ll be dinner, some single malt whisky with dark chocolate, then a movie. Perfect!

Talk soon,

Gail

 

PS. Remember that since there is no comment button in your email, if you would like to share a comment (which I hope you do!), please reply to this email and I’ll attach it for you OR click on the title of the blog which will take you to the website. Once there, click on Leave a reply, and post your reply. Thanks!!