Introduction to Pastel #2: Markmaking: Broken Color


I’ve chosen objects with texture so the marks to make are obvious.  Looking at the scene I decide on orange as my dominant color. The split complement of orange is blue-violet and blue-green, good for reflections and shadows.

intp2Pure orange, tint of orange, shade of orange, blue-violet and tint of blue-violet, and a tint, tone and shade of blue-green plus light, med and dark gray. I may not end up using all if these variations but most hues will be mixed on the pastel surface.


Tone your paper a hue from your palette. I’m using orange plus gray to dull the orange. You can use factory tinted paper also.


Take a good look at the still life. Very lightly map in a few proportional measurements-to stay on track though the drawing.


In this exercise we use only the pastel stick to make marks; blend, drag, scumble, shade, stipple, hatch. We are not smearing, smudging or blending with fingers, rags or brushes.

Our examples include the drawings, sketches and prints of Da Vinci, Manet and Degas:


intp17Da Vinci






intp8Work up the drawing with bits of each color as they become apparent. Pay attention to reflected light and shadow.


Don’t forget to fix.  This will darken the work a little so spray more at the beginning of your work, less as you near completion.  Make changes to the composition as necessary throughout the process.


intp12Tap on the image for a close up look at Degas’ varied mark making.

One thought on “Introduction to Pastel #2: Markmaking: Broken Color

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s