Pastel Tutorial: #2

#2 Monochromatic: A hue plus its tint, tone and shade.

Working with lemons, choose yellow. Yellow has a warm aspect and a cool aspect, so add a little yellow-orange and/or yellow-green into the mix.


Pick your sticks before you begin. You can always add more later. Choose the most value contrast possible. Yellow happens to have the least contrast so you really have to push it to sepia to get dark.


Make that measured line drawing. Make it so you can see it (don’t use yellow for your drawing). I used sepia and then erased it leaving a hint of “map”.


Pick a mid value yellow. Cover the page with it. Don’t leave any area blank. Press down where you want rich color/more saturation and scumble lightly where you are unsure or know you want less saturation. Use the side of the stick.


Now, for some blending. Here are some common blenders: q-tips, tortillion, and brush. Use sandpaper to clean your tortillion.


Blend. This is your “base coat” so really work it in.  Q-tips are more accurate than brushes. Tortillion is most versatile.

DSC_0507 DSC_0508 DSC_0509


Now, go for darks.


Blend areas with shadow and where texture isn’t.


Begin to pay attention to edges and “burn out” (soft glow). Edge quality; crisp, soft and indiscriminate is very important to convey a sense of space/depth.

DSC_0515Now, place some highlights. You can use lighter sticks to blend and cool down strong areas. Continue to layer, comparing value and saturation (rich color or diluted color). Try not to blend if you are unsure. It’s better to return to earlier steps;  finding the form, measuring and placing lights and darks, when you feel lost.

Give the work a spray of fixative. Spray more in areas to darken, less in areas with highlights. You may need to go back in to retouch light areas.


Now, try this with the rest of the rainbow! Red, Orange, Green, Blue, Violet. Pick objects with obvious local color (local color refers to the color the object appears to be at high noon). Set them up in light that approximates sunlight or actual sunlight.

Notice how you can convey distinct mood and lighting condition with monochromatic application.


  • Monochromatic
  • Local Color
  • Saturation

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