Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pastel Girl

After starting to work on this piece again, I realized that I really should try to work with some of the softer stick pastels if I wanted to get closer to the vibrant, lush look of the pastels I admire so much.

I have a starter collection of various soft and medium pastel sticks. I figured that to start it would be wise to organize and catalog what I had. This was easy with the two sets of Rembrant and the Schmincke pastels, it was a lot harder with the Sennelier A L'Ecu set.

The Senneliers are 80 very soft half sticks with no labels! I had to figure out which color was which using the little numbered color swatches on the side of the box. I did find and download the Sennelier color chart from their website, but the colors on the side of the box were slightly truer. I finally ended up making a chart where I marked down all the names and numbers and then tried to match the actual pastels to the right spot. These were my best guesses for the different colors.

Two pastels are certainly wrongly matched. I'm sure that #710 called Steel Blue is not the pinky colored stick I put in that spot. The same goes for #400 called Mouse Grey, this light purple stick was the only one I had left. Later, I also switched the pastels I had sitting at #37- Orange Lead (pure color) and #512, a light tint of Raw Sienna, thinking it was a better match.

Based on all this, I made myself a color chart. Now when I use up a stick I'll have a better chance of reordering a correct color.

Aside from the practical value of cataloging my colors and making the color charts, I think it was a useful exercise just to familiarize myself with all the colors I have and how they relate to their color names and the color families that the different manufacturers produce. Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to dump all the pastels out of their boxes and organize them into color groups regardless of brand, just like the real pastel artists do.

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