Pastel Tutorial: #6

Rectangular Tetrad: Four choices for a more complex color composition.  We are looking at a still life with several potential key color choices. Your “key” will determine the harmony. Often, the key is subjective, or just very obvious.  Usually, the key is what attracts you first. In this case, the red might be most attractive. I decide on yellow because I am entranced by the yellow flesh of the red potato…subjective.

DSC_0003

A tetrad refers to four. On the back of the wheel see two potential tetradic harmonies; square and rectangular. We’ll go with the rectangular: yellow (key), green, violet and red. I picked this one because it has the colors I see: yellow, red, and violet but not much green. The green will come in handy though. You won’t use all of the colors equally in a tetradic harmony.

DSC_0002

DSC_0001

Pick sticks before commencing.  This ensures a good value range and hue selection. Eventually you won’t need to be so analytical.  After practice and familiarization, color will become intuitive/internalized. I am working on Arches 160 lb. watercolor paper.

DSC_0005

Tone the paper. Yellow is my key but there is not a lot of local yellow in the potatoes so it won’t overpower the piece. Mix tones and tints to find just the right ground color.

DSC_0006

Draw in the contours of the objects. Start with a mid value, mid tone of a contrasting temperature to the yellow ground hue.

DSC_0007

From this go darker. Because the mid-tones are already somewhat placed, it’s easier to gauge darkness.

DSC_0008

Now, on to the next color, red.  Here see spectral red and a tone of red.

DSC_0009

At this point stop and blend a little. There is still a lot more layering to be done and I know I don’t want yellow showing through everywhere. Close it out with a q-tip where necessary.

DSC_0010

Looking at the still life I SEE NO GREEN…but I know green is the complement of red so I’ll use it to dull the red…Into it a bit and green becomes apparent in other areas like the yellow potato and the mirror top. Green is cool in this harmony so its’ tints and tones act to cool and dull.

DSC_0011

Shade of green and spectral green.

DSC_0013

At last, time to add tints! Yellow, tint of yellow, tint of green, tint of violet.

DSC_0014

DSC_0015

After tints, check value relationships. Some areas need to be darkened. I return to a shade of violet and red.

Goal accomplished, I spray the piece to fix it and loose some of the light pastel delicacy.  Let it sit for a bit before continuing.

DSC_0016

Vocabulary:

  • Tetrad
  • Rectangular Tetrad
  • Key Color
  • Ground

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s