View Full Version : Lights over Darks

01-15-2003, 04:38 PM
I think this is a beginner's question, but maybe not. I'm coming from a strictly pencil / charcoal background where I work on the lights first, then build up form and darken.

When I do darks first in pastel (as I've heard a lot of people do) I always get the point of the lighter pastel 'dirty' with the dark color. So when I start the next line, the dirty part of the pastel appears in the area that's supposed to be light.

So I wind up drawing a line, wiping the pastel clean, then drawing another line, and so on. I know this shoudn't be this complicated.

Short of fixing the picture first, what can I do to make this process less annoying?

Mikki Petersen
01-15-2003, 04:52 PM
First of all, there is no rule that you have to work dark to light. It is more preference, I think. I tend to start with the mid-range values to block in the colors. Then I lightly fix the piece. Then I begin working highlights and shadows to build depth. A also keep a rag in my lap and often drag the tips of my sticks and blenders over that to true up the colors. At the same time, you can achieve some interesting effects with that residue of color so it is not always a bad thing.