Foto: Astrid Volquardsen 2017
Ahhh, I can hear a sigh of relief from my pastel lovers: finally.
Tomorrow I will be heading towards one of the most beautiful islands Germany has to offer: the islands of Rügen in the far North East. I will be giving a plein air workshop in pastel and I thought this might be the opportunity to share some tips for painting with pastel en plein air.
How to choose a pallet
As pastel artist we need a certain collection of sticks to paint from. I usually advice not to buy the sets offered by different manufacturers but to choose from the open stock. In the end it’s cheaper.
- Google for some photos of your painting location. Look at the colors at the different seasons. They can vary a lot so choose the colors of the season you’re travelling.
- I work on the softer end of pastel range, because I like to blend a lot in my first layers. So I have to make sure that I have a supply of Sennelier. On top of that I use Unison or Terry Ludwig .There are artist who prefer the harder range. Just make sure it fits to your paper and painting style.
- Be aware that you need really dark and light colors.
- Almost more important are the neutrals colors, with low intensity. Here lies the secret of a good landscape painting. A special blog post on this follows.
- I don’t take any black/ white colors with me. The sticks I use for the sky are light greens, or yellows or blues. This makes a sky luminance.
Then there is a point where you just have to close your pastel box and hope that you have the right color. And if not? Don’t whine but make the best out of it and find a solution that works.
In the photograph you can see the Heilmann Back pack Box from Heilmann design.
A much cheaper alternative in Europe is offered by Jackson Art supplies: Empty Wooden Pastel Cases.
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