Pastel Tutorial: #3

#3 Analogous: Colors next to each other on the color wheel. Use three to four colors next to each other on the wheel.

Still working with yellow. I’m going to push it here and look at hues of highlights and shadows to choose my palette. I detect a cool green in the highlight and a blue green in the shadows.


My pick: Yellow, yellow-green, green, blue -green.  As long as they are next to each other it’s fine.  They will be harmonious.


Pick your sticks; tints, tones, shades. Add more later if necessary. ( I pulled in a little yellow-orange for the edges on the lemon, because that’s what appeared after staring at lemons for an hour).


Pastel is a layering process. This means you don’t necessarily start out with the colors you end up with. Colors become much more interesting when they are layered over and under other colors. You are “growing” the image layer by layer. Color is relational (and relative).

Lemons are not usually blue but I begin with cooler green and blue-green because these darker hues have more value range. I can place the lemons in space  with more value.


Now, add a little yellow, but keep the value range.


If you start to loose the range take a risk and lay those darks back in. Then decide: blend, erase, and/or fix and layer over top.


This particular analogous palette has a lot of temperature contrast.

DSC_0528 Try one with less temperature contrast, such as yellow, yellow-orange, red-orange and red for an “expressive” delivery. This will give you “Lemons on Fire” or, the other direction; blue, blue-violet, violet for “Lemons in the Moonlight” ( especially if you are looking at lemons in the moonlight).


  • Analogous
  • Value Range
  • Palette
  • Color Wheel

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