Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Pastel Process

In teaching my Continuing Pastel Class, I like to break down the composition planning into steps, or a process to follow.  When working from photos, the composition starts with the original photo.

Here's my original photo of a creek in the woods behind my street, Creekwood.
I then put it in photoshop elements and push the color by increasing the saturation and levels.

I also put it into grayscale mode, artistic cutout into 5 values.

This gives me a simpler way of looking for values and planning my painting's composition.  I simplified the image into several large different shapes, values and colors and laid them onto my 9 x 12 Wallis board in dry pastel.

Then I applied regular, drug-store isopropyl alcohol to each color, careful to clean the brush between colors. This will cover my board with an under painting....laying in the large shapes in dark colors.  Additional colors will be applied on top that won't pick up the underlayer and make mud :)

It looks like paint as pastel really is pure pigment with a clay binder....the same pigment found in oil or acrylic paint.  Some people do an under painting in liquid acrylics or inks.  As long as the paper has enough tooth after this step to accept more pastel you're fine.

"Creekwood Light", pastel, 9x12" ©KimWerfel

I kept the background light and edited a few trees.  This is primarily an orange/blue complementary composition. I love the shaft of light crossing over the creek.  Thus the title "Creekwood Light", pastel, 9x12" ©KimWerfel.

I hope to get this in a frame before my show at Liquidamber Gallery in Pittsboro in April and May!  I'll blog more about that next time :)

Thanks for following my blog.

Kim Werfel

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