Mixing Your Media

I’ve worked in oils for many years, and I love their fluidity. But I also have a long-standing love for the rich color and immediacy of pastels. So, I decided to combine the two media. The result was a hybrid approach that gives me a greater variety of color and more luminosity than I could achieve with either oils or pastels individually.

The secret to my approach lies in the initial layer of color. I begin each piece by covering a white painting surface with a thin oil wash to establish large areas of local color. This oil underpainting helps me establish my value range and gives me a constant reference point for color and value throughout the painting process. It also provides the solid backdrop over which I build color with lush, broad strokes of pastel. Along with the judicious use of complementary colors, this painting approach lets me create vibrant paintings that feature the positive attributes of both media.

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