Marty has sent us this painting and asked if I could give him any tips to as to how this could be improved. This is Marty’s first pastel pencil painting and deserves gold star for his effort.
The sky and water are a tricky area to get right with either too much base colour or not enough, getting them just right takes experience.
Lets deal with the sky first for a blue sky like the one above you need a really good layer of white as a base. Then the blues are added around the clouds leaving this white base showing through. What Marty has done is tainted the white with the blue sky colour leaving them dull. The way out of this is to rub out the cloud area completely then reapply the white, this would brighten up the sky and give the picture a lift. The water again need to have a good base of light grey before adding the stronger colours. For instance there should be greater contrast between the water and the harbour wall as seen in the black circle above.
One of the problems is the choice of colour of the pastel paper, it is a bit dark and therefore the colour shows through and affects the overall tone. I always recommend sand coloured ingres pastel paper by fabriano for all my pastel pencil work.
For a first landscape Marty’s painting this is good but with the tips I have given the next one will be much better.