Initial Layers of Color
After the drawing and the under painting steps are complete, it’s time for the initial step of the color portion of the “Pastel Palette Method”.
When you start the color portion of the painting you want to find the local colors of your subject. This would be the “flesh color” for example of your portrait or figure. I am not asking you to find that color in a pastel stick as done traditional with pastel painting. In the “Pastel Palette Method”, just as an oil painter does, I want you to mix the colors on your palette.
With your hardest pastels, such as, Cretacolor, or Rembrandt brand, I want you find two to three sticks of pastels and rub them next to one another on the sand paper of your “Pastel Palette”. Next, you will take one of your foam core triangles and mix the rubbed pastel colors together on the sand paper to mix the desired “flesh color”. This is how you will mix any two or more pastel pigments on the “Pastel Palette”. You may now go ahead and apply the mixture of the local color on the under painting. I gentle scumble the color onto the surface until there is a light glaze over the desired area of the painting.
Repeat this process throughout your painting. For example, find the local colors of the hair, the clothing and background. Mixing the colors on the “Pastel Palette” and applying them with the foam core triangles is a more exact way to apply these initial layers of color. Here is an example of what the initial layer of color over the under painting should look like:
“Study of Vermeer” (work in progress)
Pastel on Masonite Board
Timothy John-Luke Smith
It is the very thin application of transparent color that allows the under painting to show through. This is the perfect base to gradually and slowly apply more color. Remember pastel is best when used in glazes as opposed to thick applications of powdered pigment. Tomorrow we will go further with application of color.