One of the exercises suggested by my pastel instructor was to take a black and white photo reference and create my own color scheme. So the project this week was doing just that. I ended up playing and having a great time.
In the 3rd photo you can see the beginning where I started out with some intense colors in the background, then I sort of lost my "nerve" on the tree and foreground. After looking at some art magazines, especially Pastel Journal, I decided to play with "smooshing" pastel dust into the foreground. OK.....I admit.....then I went crazy!! But I had oh so much fun.
One thing I learned was that NuPastels are to hard to "smoosh" into the paper and they don't create the best dust when scraped with a craft knife. Softer pastels like Ludwigs work beautifully. I scraped a bit of the dust into a paper towel and then sprinkled it on the painting. I used wax paper to lay over the dust on the painting and push it in with the palm of my hand.
The photo doesn't really show it off well so I've included a detail photo. But in person the whole thing sort of jumps off the paper which may or may not be a good thing ;-)
Tonight at pastel class and tomorrow in the studio it's back to my classic style and design...but it was fun to explore a bit.
Detail of "Fanciful Trees" soft pastel applied as dust
The beginning of "Fanciful Trees"