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JEFrantz
11-06-2013, 05:24 AM
Is there a specific "formula" that's applied in deciding what color sheet you use in your pastel paintings? :confused: I've just started expanding my inventory some, and am baffled by what color works best for what type of painting. Would appreciate hearing what things you take into account in making this choice!

Thanks!

Jean

jackiesimmonds
11-06-2013, 05:55 AM
I tend to advise my students to stick with neutrals, it's much easier!

As soon as you get into strong colours for the sheets you use, you will find that if you do not cover the colour completely, it will impact on your image.

So, a painting done on a black ground, will show hints of the black sometimes, and this can make the stronger and lighter pastel colours stand out.

The same painting, done on a red, or green ground, will look somewhat different IF you allow the paper colour to show at all.

I suggest you take some small pieces of each of the colours you have bought, and try out something simple, using the same colours, on each piece. See the difference in "atmosphere" you get.

Sometimes, using the warmth of a coloured paper can be useful....an orange or pink paper can constrast with and "warm up" a cool scene; a cool blue or green paper can add variety and contrast to a hot scene. But you really do need to understand colour theory to make it work well, and you do not want to be fighting with your paper colour......which is why pearly greys or soft taupe colours are safe to use for everything!!!

One word of warning about coloured ppers. The colour is a dye, and is often prone to fading if allowed to show a lot. It is always best to cover the colour of the paper as much as possible.

DAK723
11-06-2013, 01:43 PM
Is there a specific "formula" that's applied in deciding what color sheet you use in your pastel paintings? :confused:

Nope!:wave:

There are probably as many different answers as pastel painters. Plus, some of the most popular papers (sanded papers such as Uart or Wallis) come in only one color or have a very limited color range.

For a beginner, I would agree with Jackie and stick to "low-key" neutrals such as grays or light browns if you are using a paper with a range of colors such as Canson Mi-teintes. It also depends on how much of the paper you want to show through and what the subject is. I have occasionally used light blue paper for landscapes (to blend in with the sky or water colors) and light browns for portraits and figures. I've also use fairly neutral greens and blues for figures in which case the paper color blends in nicely with some of the shadow colors. But most often I have no formula whatsoever.

Don

Colorix
11-06-2013, 02:03 PM
I tend to think of coloured papers as either "sunlight" for the warm colours, and "shadow" for the cool colours -- but I rarely use them, as I prefer white or light beige papers and do an underpainting witht he colours I want for each area.

Many use a complementary colour. If you paint a green forest, you could do it on red or orange paper, that'll temper the greens. Or a seascape which is very blue may look nice on top of an orange paper.

*Deirdre*
11-06-2013, 05:13 PM
I see you have some great answers, but as this is a Talk subject, I will move it there for you...leaving a redirect just in case.:)

sketchZ1ol
11-06-2013, 05:28 PM
hello
- good advice coming in !

several brands of substrate ( paper or texture ) offer ' gray '
which can be a warm or cool when compared .
-> it relates to the concept of Value ( white to black , and everything in between with no colour to , in part , visualizes an illusion of a sense of shape/volume/depth )

there are ' palette ' books which have been published
( check the book sales these days ... )
which present colour and value combinations based in part on the most consistant lithograghic inks , by agreement , for multi-layer and high volume reproductions ( prints ) .

if there are Masters you admire , look again and again at their paintings
and the sticks you have and use .

> a separate piece of paper/whatever gives you a ' mixing board ' with the sticks , in any case .

Ed

ps. an interesting question ;
best results , every time ...

Davkin
11-06-2013, 07:24 PM
You can think of using colored paper as being the same thing as an oil or acrylic painter starting with toning their canvas. Some oil painters always tone their paintings a certain color before starting, it's just their thing. The more subdued landscape paintings often use yellow ochre or burnt sienna, but some landscape painters use cadmium red and intentionally leave many spots of it untouched, not really my cup 'o tea but it does make for an energetic painting.

I don't believe all makers of color pastel papers use dyes to color their paper, I'm betting Colourfix in particular uses pigment.

David

Studio-1-F
11-06-2013, 08:15 PM
I tend to think of coloured papers as either "sunlight" for the warm colours, and "shadow" for the cool colours -- but I rarely use them, as I prefer white or light beige papers and do an underpainting with the colours I want for each area.

Many use a complementary colour. If you paint a green forest, you could do it on red or orange paper, that'll temper the greens. Or a seascape which is very blue may look nice on top of an orange paper.
I am one of those who experiment with underpainting various areas with the complement of what I envision will be the general color of that area. If you begin with a light neutral or a white paper, you have the freedom to pick and choose what direction you want to go. You're not constrained by the color of the paper.

Jan

JEFrantz
11-06-2013, 08:45 PM
I see you have some great answers, but as this is a Talk subject, I will move it there for you...leaving a redirect just in case.:)

Sorry! :( Wasn't even thinking about that! Just threw it where I normally go! What a twit! :rolleyes: :)

Thanks, Deirdre.

JEFrantz
11-06-2013, 08:53 PM
Thanks for all of the great feed-back! Lately, I've been doing an underpainting, using watered down acrylics, but some of the pastel pads come in assorted colors; so was just wondering.

robertsloan2
11-07-2013, 12:37 PM
I love having a variety of colored surfaces to work on. I choose on whim. Seriously, I decide at the moment I'm going to do the painting whether I want white, black, neutral cool or warm, or a bright color.

I discovered Canson Mi-Tientes back in New Orleans when I started doing pastel sketches of tourists. I got multiple colors so I wouldn't get bored, found that I could work on almost anything but liked the challenge of handling different background colors. I thought of colored paper mainly as a cheat to avoid having to paint the backgrounds at all.

Some colors like bright red or bright deep royal blue were gorgeous to me but I didn't have any idea how to make them work until I did. I remember doing a sunset on the bright red paper and made that work as the predominant color in the painting, everything else relating to it. Then used the brilliant royal blue for a nocturne working just with black and white in a French Quarter scene that sold as soon as I did it - it was only about a ten minute sketch too, blew me away for how undetailed and simple it was, but it got snapped up the very same day.

So that's what paper or surface color means to me. I played with complementary surface colors, rust color under green landscapes sort of thing after I came to WetCanvas and got more sophisticated with colors. Back in the day I mostly used paper color as a predominant color so I could skip painting the background or reduce it to a few squiggles.

Net result, it's still an impulse thing. I tone white paper deliberately sometimes except for reserving light and white areas because I got too used to doing that in watercolor. I love the way black flecks come through working on black paper, light and bright colors become very intense. It has a stained glass impact, working with opaque media on black paper. It feels like a shortcut using it.

Most of my sketches are on brown paper because I bought a pad of brown paper for sketching and like being able to work both directions from mid tone on it. That's my lazy default surface color, warm neutral and sometimes cold neutral if I happen to have gray paper around.

Sketchy on white usually happens in my art journals, which do accumulate some pastel and Conte sketching in addition to other mediums. I just have to remember to give the page a couple of layers of SpectraFix when I do. But it's also fun using wet underpaintings on white and light surfaces.

Jean, I love the pastel pads with multiple colors in them. Inevitably there are some really useful colors that get used up fast, then there's some scratch my head weird color like orange that I can't figure out anything to do with it - until I do. Go ahead and try one for a challenge. Then challenge yourself to use everything in it, do at least one sketch or painting on each of the colors. White pages can get "dry underpainting" by scumbling hard pastels over surface areas and then blending with your finger so it doesn't fill the tooth.

sketchZ1ol
11-07-2013, 04:43 PM
hello
ditto on what Jan ( Studio 1-F ) wrote .

along with that , this site popped up while i was looking thru a cooking site (?!?) .

http://letschipit.com/

it's the same idea as the palette books i have
and goes further to assess a ref photo for dominant colours .
> how you go from there is where the fun begins . :D

Ed