What Took You So Long? (pastel, 19×25)
The world around us is visible because of contrast. Even the most beautiful sky can become boring if it?s a constant expanse of unchanging color. Likewise, a beautiful piece of wood derives its appeal from the wonderful grain patterns and color variations. Because of this, I seldom use a solid block of color in my work. Instead, I break up my colors either by using a pattern or by using three or more related colors in a random mix. This keeps the eye moving and gives the color passage greater depth
I work in both pastels and watermedia, and my approach is similar with both. (My watermedia work is principally in watercolor, but I sometimes use goauche or acrylics as well.) I make only a few concessions to the differences of the media. For example, when I use pastels, I create large expanses of color by applying related hues in a kind of random, abstract pattern–you can see where one color ends and the another begins, but the viewer?s eye does the blending. Conversely, in watercolor I don?t leave hard edges between the color changes, and I work wet-into-wet, moving from one hue to another.
Tina Tammaro is an artist and instructor based in Covington, Kentucky.