Drawing With Color Part 2: #3

Begin by determining the local color of a subject and then finding its complement.


This lesson is in pastel, revisiting a previous lesson in mixing complements. With pastel we have new types of mixing including; blending, scumbling, hatching and stippling.

Begin the grid by using the side of the pastel to lay in a gradient.


Blend with a soft cloth:2

Fix with a light mist of spray-fix.3

  Tone your paper using the same technique for the grid:5

Blend to soften, lighten and eliminate texture:6


Work up the grid with the complement, same as before, with the side of your pastel first then softened with a clean cloth.9

Still life subject:10

Make a light line drawing mapping proportions and value shifts:11

Begin with the local color, shading in all areas where you think to put it. Don’t forget back and foreground:12

Blend areas where you don’t want texture, leave some areas of texture to vary the quality of mark-making:13

Add white or lighter tints to the grid to see and feel how they look:14

And now to the drawing:15



Adding the complement:18

Adding shades:19

Blend and fix again:20

Continue building up the surface with tints, tones and shades, blending where appropriate and fixing in between layers and when colors become muddy.21

Tennis ball study with complements only.22

Now choose another simple form. Determine its dominant local color. Locate its complement and go through the steps.

A simpler exercise is to make a monochromatic drawing.  In this case choose a white object and assign it any color. Augment the color by adding black, white and gray to it. This way you can practice using pastel with less color complexity.

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