Alzofon Art Institute
Design Two Pastel Sets of Eight Colors Each
The owner of my local art supply store asked me to recommend
two sets of eight Unison pastel colors for portrait and landscape painting.
Well, that's a challenge!
The first lesson is, you can never have too many pastel colors. While
a limited palette in oil painting can produce extraordinary results, pastel
becomes lush with lots and lots of discrete colors laid side by side.
The second lesson is, if tons o' colors are not available, what few will
suffice, and why? Read on for the answers, according to me.
I created a few criteria to make the job more clear:
- The sets should be "complete."
- The colors should not repeat between sets.
- Omit frills such as rare colors in landscape and ready-made skin colors
- The artist will blend colors to get desired result: To use sets, artists
must have some color mixing skill.
- The choices should address the difficult decisions, not the obvious
- Sets should carry different attributes: Landscape should be oriented
toward atmospheric perspective, day lighting, and most commonly painted
subject matter. The portrait set should be for close range views, diverse
coloring, and both artificial and natural lighting conditions.
The next three pages explain my thinking in creating
the two small pastel palettes:
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This page last updated: May 28, 1996