Saturday, April 18, 2020

Developing your own colour palette in pastel

The recent crisis
 has kept me away from the studio
 and social media
 so unfortunately my blog, 
Instagram etc.has been neglected.

I did write an article for the UnisonColour
 pastel blog back in January
 which has been recently published.
Here it is ...hope you enjoy! 


For the beginning pastellist 
the amazing array of available colours and tones
 can be both exciting and overwhelming.

In paint you can start with the three primaries
 (red,yellow, blue), plus white 
and begin mixing to create tones and colour variations.

But where to begin in pastel when there is so much on offer!

As a teacher I recommend a basic set
 which includes those primaries plus a whitish light and a blackish dark.
I then encourage students to get to know the qualities of that set…
play and mix, smudge and layer… even make mud!

In my first example, “Twilight”, you see what a limited range of colour can do.
 The monochromatic colour scheme
 allowed me to freely overlap and blend
 without fear of creating mud.

(Unison blue greens -  light to dark- BG 1 through 6 plus Add 49).

This palette also creates the opportunity to explore the expressive quality of soft pastel…. from the most illusive of edges to the sharp contrasts of light against dark.

As your confidence grows try
 (and this is only a suggestion!)
  a half stick set  (e.g.starter 18 or more). 
This has a good variety
 and you can begin to explore colour relationships.

 In this next example 
you can see what happens
 when opposing colours are placed beside each other.
With experience you will find yourself saying,
 ” I wish I had a warmer green, a pinker blue, etc”….

Then it’s time to consider expanding your palette…
.and that’s when the fun really begins…
start studying the colour charts.

What a pleasure it is to find that favourite illusive colour
 that makes your picture pop or ties a whole composition together.

Two more examples for you …the same simple scene - two ways  -
one an overcast day and then an evening sunset.

My daytime study is dependent on the subtle contrast of Unison blue violets (e.g. BV1,2,9) against warm greens (e.g green 15,13, ADD 37 ) while  the sunset has a more vibrant palette. (pink, Y10-orange, BG9-blue green set off with ADD 49 and Grey 36).

So be free to experiment…You will soon be saying I can’t live without a certain shade and know that it can always be at your fingertips (remember with pastel there will be no desperate mixing to recapture that illusive tone you used last week!

Leslie Snider January 2020

Over the years I've had many opportunities:
teaching art in high school, college and in my own studio....
As a student I've studied the arts in Canada and abroad...
As a professional I've experienced the joys and frustrations of selling my own work...
The most important thing that I've learned along the way…

There is always a new challenge...
always a new adventure....


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Monday, February 10, 2020

January Reflections

Disparate ideas
 for the first month of the year
connected by the themes
 of water/ reflections
and a certain moodiness.

This first, an icy stream
made gloomy by the lack of snow.

Icy Stream  - Leslie Snider

Feeling nostalgic for the warmth of summer,
this second pastel echoes
 the view from a canoe
 as you drift along the shoreline 
on a summer's day.

Summer Shoreline - Leslie Snider

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Back to Basics

Feeling the need
 to take a break from colour 
and get back to some drawing.

It encourages (forces) me 
to concentrate on composition.

These charcoal sketches 
are based on some
photos I took last summer. 

The Old Stream  - charcoal - Leslie Snider
K&P trail - Kingston  - charcoal - Leslie Snider

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Last of the Year

As celebrations are escalating
there will be little time
 for quiet reflection
and painting.

Here is a scene 
to which I can't resist returning.
The constant changing light
 never fails to be a surprise.

Across the Lake in Winter

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

October Landscape Studies

Out my studio window
there is one of those
light and fluffy
Christmas card snowfalls.

So here's a little nostalgia
 for that change of season
just past.

Two pastels
describing the beginning
 of winter.

First Snow
Our first snow was early and arrived 
before the autumn colour had faded. 

The contrast
gave me a chance 
to highlight the juxtaposition
of warm/cool colours.

A wind storm then stripped the trees
 of their warm hues
 and the whole atmosphere
cooled my color palette.

Early Snow

Finally a couple of field sketches
on black drawing paper (Canson).

It was an experiment
 to see if the black /white contrast 
captured that quality of a dusting of first snow.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Catching Up

Falling behind in my posts....
I've been seduced by Instagram!

(copy and paste above link)

It's been a quick and easy way to test new ideas
and enjoy other artists at work.

Here is a selection of popular posts.

But there is no opportunity to expand
 on technique or inspiration so........

My New Year's resolution
 will be to remedy that oversight! 

It has also been a successful year saleswise....
a selection appears above.

It's been a busy year with travel, 
photography and sketching....
 all a great incentive 
to get back into the studio.

Developing your own colour palette in pastel

The recent crisis  has kept me away from the studio  and social media  so unfortunately my blog,  Instagram etc.has bee...