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Pastel Technique: Adding a "Misty" look to the Landscape

Creating distance in a landscape is often achieved by muting the color as you near the horizon. You can also create a misty look to convey the impact of rain or (in the case of the painting below), snow.

Here is the current version of "Wind Chill," inspired by a scene on Lake Huron in the upper peninsula of Michigan, near DeTour Village. We will focus on the right portion of the treeline, where you see the hazy impact of a falling snow.

To create the misty look of light snow, I added some light blue pastel, applying vertically, blotched over the greenery.

My next step is to take a grey pastel pencil and blend in the blue snow. First I applied the pencil in a downward fashion, then continued to blend horizontally. The goal is to convey a snow squall that is blowing to the right.

Pushing the pastel pencil now horizontally:

Here is the final version of this snowy potion of "Wind Chill." This blending technique using a neutral pastel pencil can be used in a variety of situations when distance and atmospheric effects are to be captured in the pastel landscape.

Shifting subjects, when working up fluffy cloud details, especially a light-value pastel color, it is best to use gloves to avoid darkening the pastel color with the oils of your skin (as well as to protect your fingers from becoming parched)!

Use a different finger of your gloved-hand when blending different values, such as this dark blue being blended beneath the clouds.

In case you missed it, click here for my tutorial on blending and creating atmospheric impacts, recently published on the Uart Sanded Pastel Paper website.

For paintings available for purchase, click here. Occasionally you can find a painting of mine on auction at Daily Paintworks. Click here for Daily Paintworks, go to Auctions and plug in my name. There is a variety of wonderful (and inexpensive) art at Daily Paintworks!

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