Chalk Pastels 2: Color Theory For Dry Media
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1 set
Chalk Pastels And Paper
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Safety Supplies (gloves, Mask)
This is the color wheel, a continuous circular rainbow. The different colors are called “Hues”.
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A single Hue, such as pink, can be light or dark. This is the “Value” of a color.
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“Saturation” is how vibrant a Hue is. High Saturation is vivid, low is dull or neutral.
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Complimentary colors are opposites on the color wheel. Mixed together they make neutrals.
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Yellow/purple, blue/orange and all opposites on the color wheel are complimentary colors.
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Neutral means brownish or grayish. The most neutral color is gray. All colors mixed make a neutral.
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Red, yellow and blue are considered the “Primary Colors” because you can mix them to get the others.
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You get “Secondary Colors” when you mix two Primaries together. They are green, purple and orange.
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“Tertiary Colors” are those in between each Primary and Secondary color, such as yellow-green.
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Your pastel set likely has the primary and secondary colors. We can make most colors we don’t have.
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When you mix two colors of paint together, you can blend the pigments thoroughly.
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A pointillist painter like Seurat puts different colored dots of paint next to each other instead.
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This is part of his most famous painting, made entirely of dots.
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“Optical Color Mixing” is when your eyes “mix” together dots of different colors next to eachother.
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That’s what happens when you layer pastels. You see the distinct colors, they are not fully blended.
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Here I’ve layered yellow and blue. We definitely see the effect as green...
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...but we also can see the separate specks of blue and yellow. This makes the colors vibrate.
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If you have a small set, you can make the in-between colors. The layered colors look more exciting!
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You can even make browns and neutrals from bright colors.
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A purple pastel compared with two different combinations of magenta and blue. I like the mixes best!
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The color of the paper showing through also contributes to the optical color mix...
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...like in this gorgeous pastel by Margaret Evans. (From Instagram @margaretevansart)
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In 1 & 2 we understood materials, safety, and optical color mixing. Now let’s create pastel art! (3)
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