When you paint in pastel, there is nothing like having a good range of quality pastels to work with. It has taken me years to amass a collection of varying brands with different properties in a large colour range. This is because they are not cheap. But I’ve come to realise that quality not only lasts better, it makes the whole process easier and more enjoyable when the materials do what you want them to!
Unison Soft Colour Pastels are the main pastels I use in my work. I love their texture. They’re soft but not so soft they crumble. When I lean lightly I can create thin masks of colour. When I lean heavily I can get such a strength of colour like no other medium. I really think Unison’s ‘Portrait’ set helped me introduce more colour to my people portraits, and sometimes just having a palette to get started with is what you need. After a while I found alternatives to the set and I get braver playing with other colours the more adventurous I get.
Unison have asked me to put together a set of colours perfect for painting animals. I created an 18 and a 36 set based on my most used colours when painting a wide range of animals. The following images will hopefully explain how I put the different colour sections to use.
|The full 36 set. Yum!|
|A good selection of cold and warm brown tones
is essential for animal painting. The whole bottom row
of the set supplies a selection which should cover the most
unusual brown coats.
|The top right row has a few great additions to the 18 set. I find
fleshy purple tones come in so useful. Animals tend to have
fleshy inner ears, pink around thinner areas of fur, and of course
pink wet tongues! Flesh tones are definitely useful!
|The Middle Right row has many uses.
Sometimes a black animal can shine with warm tones. A really
vibrant orange like A7 can add real warmth to a sunlit dark animal.
|Similarly this row of yellows through to rich reds is useful
for red toned animals.
|The colours in the mid section of the set can add
a real bit of vibrance to the fur.
Here is the colour code list for both sets:
No doubt you might find shades you prefer yourself and I warn you that pastel collecting becomes an addiction! I don’t stick to these alone given the rainbow of choice available but I know if I had to complete an animal portrait with a limited number in my palette, I could work comfortably with either of these boxes.
I hope you’ve found this helpful and consider giving my palette a try. Unison have also kindly offered me a free Animal 36 set of pastels to hold a competition on my Facebook page at EmmaColbertArt. I will post details of this there on Sunday evening 19th October. There will be pastels and my own 2015 calendars for the winners!