Jewel Colors

An interesting thing about pastel:  depending on the light, the colors in a pastel painting can change dramatically.  I sat out in my side yard to paint.  I sat in the shade looking into the dappled light on this cluster of trees and bushes and our bird bath.  When I took the painting inside, I was aghast at how the image appeared much darker.  I made a few very minor adjustments (some darks were just too dark!) and took it back outside to photograph it, which is how I photograph almost everything.

I’ve walked around my house holding the painting…in rooms that receive a lot of light from the windows, the colors dance and sparkle (like a jewel held in the light), but in rooms where the light doesn’t come in much, the colors are flatter and lose some of their sparkle.  I’m not sure how one can compensate for this as one paints outdoors.  I was responding to what I was seeing and picking up sticks of color accordingly.  Even those yummy sticks of color must look different in outdoor light than they do indoors.  Yet knowing that most paintings will be hung indoors, perhaps in poor lighting, I must be aware of this.  A good thing to learn…

Now to go back out there for another view in my yard!

0 thoughts on “Jewel Colors

  1. E J Mordasky says:

    in an on location painting group for several months, we attached umbrellas (they sell them just for this and they screw on ) to our French type standing easels that kept the light off the palette and painting=—this made the colors “right”..

    • jenpedwards says:

      I am familiar with the umbrella idea…I was sitting in the shade, therefore not needing an umbrella (or so I thought:). I just think there is a quality to outdoor light that, even in shade, is much brighter than indoor lighting.

    • jenpedwards says:

      I don’t think I will use fixative…my paper is pretty toothy and therefore holds the pastel well. Fixative tends to darken the colors a bit. I do “fix” pastels sometimes though…it just depends.

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