Ignoring Colors in a Reference Photo!

Playing with Pastels!

Beginning to Draw & Paint with Pastels

New series begins March 14th at the Northlight Art Center in Sharon, CT

Last week in class we spent time discussing analogous color palettes My students tried their hand at finding a simple composition to paint in an analogous color scheme of their choice.

I think this was a rewarding exercise for us all. We learned that it is OK to deviate from the colors in a reference photo.
All you need to understand are the values!

This is Jennifer's analogous tree painting!

With that in mind, and continuing to explore color, I went into my studio this week interested in playing with color relationships.

A yummy breakfast at the Metro Cafe prompted me to take a refer-ence photo for a painting...

I loved the chair legs and variety of angles. Americana at its best!

I then did a value under painting in charcoal and white pastel on grey toned Ampersand board.

I chose a limited palette of compliments (blue and orange) and varying values of the compliments.

These pastel colors do not represent what was in the photo. Look closely and you will see that I didn't use green in the floor, for example.

Next, I began to add
my color.

I didn't even look at the photo... I just followed the values indicated in the under painting.
Morning @ the Metro, pastel, 18x24"

The red place-mats are the POP in the painting's color harmony.

Homework Challenge!
  • Take a reference photo of any subject. It can be a single object or a more complicated subject. If you have never done an interior, you might want to give it a try. I find that early morning or late afternoon light in my house is very beautiful.
  • After doing a thumbnail value sketch, try a value under painting in charcoal with white pastel on a toned surface.
  • Bring this to class and after our next color lesson you can add color to the painting! 


First photo by Judith Schwerin


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