Pastel Technique: Seeing Spots


One of the joys of painting landscapes in pastels is the ability to quickly add dashes and spots of different color to express density and light impacts within the same value.

Here's an example of a work-in-progress painting from a sunny autumn day at Marsh View Meadow Park in Pittsfield Township.


First, I decided to let color rule in this painting, using just about all of the colors in my palette (except black and white). focusing in on details, here are some examples of applying a variety of hues with the same value range:



The brilliance of pastel shines, and it becomes quite fun to experiment with a variety of color.



It is easy to simply pick up a stick of pastel and apply a spot or dash to enhance the drama of your landscape. Stand back, and the painting has a feeling of great depth and detail, even though you are seeing just a bunch of spots. Not quite like the Pointillist style popularized in the 19th century Impressionist genre, more of a "dashing" approach to interpreting the landscape.

Time is running out to sign up for my upcoming Landscape in Pastel class at the Michigan Art Center, where we will apply this dashing technique among many others.

#foliage