Gene has sent me two photographs of his German short-haired Pointer that he wants to turn into a pastel pencil painting and has asked for help with colour selection. This raises several interesting points and I am sure you will find my tips and suggestions helpful.
First of all the colours in the two photos are very different so which one would you choose to do? Gene obviously knows which is the nearest colour to his dog so should be able to work from that. However the choice of pencils would be different in both cases, but I am opting for the lower photo as this photograph was taken outside in natural light.
As we there is a violet tint to the photograph, note the grass has violet tints and makes the colour choice difficult. I would start by using white as a base for the lightest areas of the hair and light grey 230 as a base for the medium tones and 233 as a base for the dark tones. This would tone down the harsher colours that would be applied on top. If I was following the lower picture exactly then the 169 and 160 combined with 233 and 181 would probably work quite well. However even with my own work I never categorically choose beyond the base colours preferring instead to choose the pastel pencils one at a time to see how the pencils reacts when mixed with the base colours.
I know that this disappoints students when I say this because they expect me to be able to see exactly the colour and number of pencils I will need. If I were to do this students would then go ahead and blindly follow the pencils I have listed and that could end up ruining the picture.
It is very different when you follow my projects and the pencil list I have suggested because I have already completed the work, but I never pre-empt beyond the first few base colours. What I would do when starting a new picture is select a number of pastel pencils that I might wish to use following what I see in the reference picture. On average I would about two thirds of those I started out with but invariably I need to reach for others that I did not originally select.
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