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The Pastel Hangout Newsletter

Welcome to the Pastel Hangout Newsletter!


Inspirations for painting comes in waves! My inspiration for this pastel painting and course came after my visit to Isle of Palms beaches in SC near my home.  The tide was going out and I waded through deep pools along the shoreline to reach the distant breaking waves. The sun was overhead in the early afternoon as the surf rolled in. I captured several photos of waves and noticed they had a dark green and brownish cast. I’ve heard that the Atlantic coastline watercolor was more greenish in color compared to the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean. So, why does the ocean come in so many shades? Of course, the ocean water is really clear, but the ocean surface reflects what is above it, what is in it, and what is below it. Ocean water containing phytoplankton will be a shade of green, and near the shore, wave colors are influenced by tide movements of fine particles stirred up from the bottom and sand casting a brownish color.

So, as soon as I returned home from the beach, I was intrigued to start painting with my pastels. Here is the photo reference I used:


I began this lesson by drawing out the outlines of my wave onto a Uart sanded paper.


The next step was choosing my color palette and laying down colors for the base of an underpainting.


Next, using some rubbing alcohol, blend it to dissolve the color pigments into the paper.


Once the alcohol has dried, pastels can be applied over it and blended with an applicator or fingers to create layers of rich colors. I began with small ocean swells in the background.


Next step was the appearance of breaking whitewater details, and water reflections casting in front of the wave.


Adding water spray to the breaking wave.


Final painting completed.

20200706_110714 final.jpg

I hope this short lesson will inspire you to learn and observe the movement of waves. With careful observation, you will notice how water is affected by depth, clarity and sky reflections on the surface.

Thank you and stay safe and healthy!


Archives coming soon!

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