Posted in ColorPlay, pastel painting

Pastel ColorPlay Project # 5 & #6

Hello creative friends!

Today I am posting a little experiment I did recently with my latest Pastel ColorPlays.

(For more about how the Pastel ColorPlay Project started, see this post!)



I wanted to see what the differences would be if I used the SAME color scheme on DIFFERENT paper colors.

I have posted the progress shots and results below, but here is the summation of what I found:

First, the VALUE of the paper’s color, not just the hue, makes a pretty big difference!  I was surprised at how different the exact same pastels looked on light-valued paper compared to mid-valued paper.

Here are shots of the paper scraps I used to test my preselected pastels.  See how different some of the pastels look on the mid-value gray paper compared to the lighter paper?  Some actually look like different colors!


(Both papers are Canson Mi-Teintes, one in gray and one a light yellow.)

The other thing I found was that while my intention was to apply the same hues and values in approximately the same locations for both paintings, working on different valued papers forced me to work in slightly different ways.  

For example, on the mid-toned paper, it felt much easier to establish the darkest and lightest-valued areas; whereas, on the lighter-toned paper it felt like I was constantly having to go back and reestablish the darks and really work at having my lights “pop”.  That was unexpected!

Now onto the ColorPlays….



I chose to use an Analogous Complementary color scheme using the main hues of Orange, Yellow, and Yellow-Green with the complement of Red-Violet.



















What do you think?  I am partial to the painting done on the mid-toned paper.  It is a little more somber, moodier, if you will.  The painting done on the light-valued paper is brighter, sunnier.  Different moods.


Thanks for stopping by to read about my latest play-time with color.  I hope you enjoyed this post  and look forward to your comments and hearing about how you might be exploring color!

Till next time!



Rhonda is an artist, violinist, mountain dulcimer player, composer/arranger, homeschool mom, and chicken/goat farmer. To purchase her fine art, visit

12 thoughts on “Pastel ColorPlay Project # 5 & #6

  1. This is such a neat experiment! I think I like number five best as well, partly because I like its more blended look. 😊 It is really interesting how the paper color makes one scene look like twilight and the other look like morning.


  2. although there are clear differences in both pictures, and i prefer the light paper version, i am not sure you are giving both papers equal coverage, the light one seems more gappy to me, are you blending the pastels or leaving as is..


    1. That’s fair. I let a week go by between paintings, so I don’t recall the exact differences in treatment; however, for comparison’s sake look at the sky areas in both paintings. I often will fingerblend skies even when I might not blend other areas. I remember as I worked on the lighter paper, that even after fingerblending, it didn’t feel or look the same as the mid-toned paper. BOTH SKIES ARE FINGERBLENDED!

      The obvious difference, then, is that even though the paper “gaps” are present in both skies, the gaps are different VALUES, and therefore, much more noticeable on the lighter paper.

      In truth, when working on lighter paper, I usually do some sort of underpainting or tonal block-in (the latter I blend with foam pipe insulation to avoid paper pits.) Since this experiment was more about the color/value of the paper influencing the painting, I dove right in without too much blending.

      Thanks for looking and commenting!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s