Working with pastels

1 Decide what colour ground you are going to use and block in the shapes


2. Put in some of your more dominant colours, trying to work on the whole picture at once

3. If you’re working on a dark ground, try to establish some of the lighter tones. If you’re working on a light ground, put in some of the mid and darker tones.          

4. As I’m working on a dark ground, I need to establish where my focus will be and use lighter colours to put in the midtones and black or darker colours to get my dark tones

Final picture. There was a lot going on in this picture so I simplified the background and knocked back the group on the left so the focus was on the group of three in the foreground. I started with aubergine coloured paper as there was a lot of this colour in the shadows but I think I have lost the freshness of the fruit colours and would probably have been better to start with a lighter ground.


About angela brittain

Each work I create has a search for “rightness” – an attempt to solve complex and often self-imposed compositional problems. They often have a tension below the surface. I work mainly in acrylics on board. People fascinate me but I’m not sure that I made a conscious decision to make people central to my work or if this subject chose me. I have a Diploma in Art and Design and worked for several years as a graphic designer and illustrator before finally returning to my first love of drawing & painting in 2008. I have taught art to children and adults and currently offer one-to-one workshops from my home studio in West Sussex. I have recently been elected as an Associate Member of the Society of Women Artists (SWA) and exhibit in London and the South.

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