Different Base Colours for Darker Pastel Papers

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One of our members Sue sent a really interesting question regarding using base colours for darker papers. Here’s Sue’s email:

Could you please let me know, when you are demonstrating the base colours you use are they specific for that particular colour paper or would it apply regardless of the pastel paper colour. In other words, if you are using a dark coloured paper would you change the colour range or would you stick to the same colours no matter what paper you would be working with.

I hope this make sense.

Many thank and best wishes.

Dark Blue PastelMat PaperIn a nutshell, no. The same base colours that you see me using for the Sand Coloured Ingres Paper are different to those that I would use for darker paper.

Recently I’ve found, which is a good example is with using Black. Now usually I would never say to put black on first. In my pictures it’s used as a darkening agent and always added additional to other colours. But with dark paper it works in reverse.

I’ve been working on a new course coming to members and have been using a dark PastelMat paper. I ended up using Black to start with! This is because it’s the only colour that would show up on the paper. What I then did is put the other colours on top like 157 Dark Indigo to give the colour.

With darker paper it seems that working with darker colours is best such as 181 Payne’s grey and then influencing the dark with coloured tones. You can do that with dark PastelMat paper but couldn’t with the lighter colours. It’s like a completely new set of rules to learn, which is exciting. I’ve found that the PastelMat holds the colours very well but also because of this, found it hard to get off if a mistake is made. I’ve found you can’t get the subtlety than you can with building up the colours on the sand coloured paper. The colour has to go on as that colour because it won’t allow you to build up as much.

So to summarise, when you see me using the base colours I use it’s for light coloured paper. But for dark pastelmat paper you have to have a new set of rules. Very soon we’ll be able to tell you more about what those rules are as I continue to experiment.

I hope that helps.

By | 2018-03-15T15:12:58+00:00 March 7th, 2018|Materials & Pencils, Tips & Techniques|0 Comments