View Full Version : Balance

04-19-2013, 02:20 AM

just playing around with my PanPastels and Polychromos crayons, on Canson drawing paper (about 8x10")... Had some fruit on the table and noticed the pear looks quite like kiwi bird. So I made a small still life and painted it :cat:


Critics welcome. Oh yes, what I wanted to ask: the lime looks a bit pale, yet this drawing paper (not made specific for pastels) does not take any more color. What's the best way to make the color look more intense - Brushing the existing colors, or using fixative and then add more intense green? Do you find the lime disturbingly pale?
It's only paper, I know, yet I am eager to learn...

04-19-2013, 08:29 AM
Great idea, I love still life with some whimsy!

You definitely could try to spray the lime with some fixative. Just be sure to mask off the rest of the painting. Fixative does darken, and if you like the rest of the painting it will get dark. Because you are planning to paint over it, it doesn't matter if the lime gets dark. That will actually help to make it look brighter when you add the intense green. I would suggest you get yourself some Canson Mi Teintes paper. It comes in nice colors, it's not expensive, and it takes the pastel very well. You could still fill the tooth, but not as easily as regular drawing paper.

04-20-2013, 01:58 AM
Fun painting nicely done. Yes not the best paper for pastels. It might bubble when you spray it but as long as it is taped down it will probably dry flat.

04-20-2013, 05:09 AM
Raxu, good job. Now, if you have a form shadow where the pear curves under, then you need one such form shadow on the lime too. The whole of the lime looks like it is in frontal light, or expressed differently, the colours and values of the lime belong in the light-realm. You could spray, or you could wipe it off and restate it. I think it is often better to wipe off, as that helps to teach oneself that what is put down on the paper isn't precious -- it can all be wiped off and changed if it doesn't work.

The pear is really nice and rounded, and it is great you do small studies like this, as it is much better to work out problems in paintings that don't matter much. As you now have proper (if a bit hard) pastels, keep in mind that in pastels you can work lighter over darker.

You know, I have a suggestion for you. Get some fine (as for finishing sanding) sandpaper (a pale sandy colour if you can find it) from the hardware store and see how your Polychromos work on that. I think you'll be surprised at what those sticks can do. (

04-21-2013, 02:54 AM
Thank you so much for your help

Chris - I do have Canson MiTeintes yet have not opened the package yet, and don't have it with me, nor have I my Fixative, as I am currently in our holiday cabin in the finnish Lapland (north of the arctic circle). As soon as I get back home again, I will try the new papers.

Jen - I did not tape this on any surface... how ignorant one can be :)!

Charlie - lots of good advice, tack så mycket! You are right about the lighting. I did paint this study using real fruit, yet there was no clear source of light. So I made up the shadows, and did not notice the lime needs some cast shadow as well... ABout the sandpaper, I will join my husband next time he goes to a hardware store (he seems to love them!) and buy some testing material. This is so exiting!