Monday, July 20, 2015
Fingers, pastels and bridging
Fingers and pastel
I am asked many times about how often my fingers are in the pastel. This is a tricky subject for pastelist. Many abhor all finger use. Some use fingers and tools to smooth the pastel. No absolutes for me, I simply do whatever works.
Smooshing the pastel around with your fingers can create beauty. Or sometimes you can unintentionally make dead passages- places that have lost the crystalline vibrancy of pastel. I use my fingers mostly in the bottom layers of my paintings. It is how I will move the pastel. And sometimes I "bridge."
What is bridging? When a large change in color temperature is needed your paintings can benefit from a more gradual transition. To do so you need to select colors that move the eye along the color wheel to the desired next stop. It makes a more appealing transition. For example, in this field painting, the bridge from the warmer grasses to the cool tree shadows travel from a melon color, to more pink and purple then going over to blue and green. Some colors are in the layers and some are more present.