Color certainly defines the mood and adds to the vibrancy and life of pastel paintings. To ensure that I use color to its fullest potential, I plan my color palette before I ever pick up a stick. First, I make multiple copies of my thumbnail sketches, and mount them on sheets of 8-1/2×11 paper. Then I use watercolor to explore different color schemes and patterns of light and shadow. I enlarge the most successful color scheme and use it as a reference during the rest of my painting process.