Pastel Technique: Many Shades of Grey


I decided that the underpainting will be a warm orange. This will contrast nicely with the blues of the snow I plan to pay down shortly! Notice how the grey values remained intact depite the watercolor wash.


As I was strolling in the woods with my eager dog Cosmo, I came across this winter scene that inspired me for a future painting.


I created a greyscale version of this scene to complete an initial value sketch using willow charcoal. Here is the grey scale photo, created simply by the software on my laptop:


Here is the greyscale sketch of this scene, created with a stick of willow charcoal on sanded pastel paper:


The greyscale version lays out the values replicated from the photo. I sprayed the charcoal sketch with fixative, as there was a fair amount of charcoal applied that will smudge without being fixed.

My next step will be an underpainting, which I will do in watercolor. I chose watercolor over a pastel and alcohol underpainting, as the largely translucent watercolor will do a better job maintaining the values of the charcoal sketch. In this example, I felt that a pastel and alcohol underpainting can muddy the values and reduce their variations.

More updates to follow.......