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Pastel ColorPlay Project #3 & #4

Hello dear art lovers and creators! 

In today’s post I have combined my third and fourth Pastel ColorPlay paintings because they share the same type of color scheme: ANALOGOUS

Analogous simply refers to 3-5 adjacent hues on the color wheel (like red, orange, yellow).

Now, even though these paintings used the same type of color scheme, the hues (colors) chosen to execute these paintings were very different. 

Funnily enough, even though both paintings used analogous hues, I struggled much more with one painting than the other; in fact, it took me twice as much time on one as the other!  

Still trying to figure out exactly why that was the case, but I have a sneaking suspicion it has to do with my being more comfortable with certain hues and not others……

This possibility is not really surprising to me. One of the benefits of doing this type of concentrated work on color is that it teaches me where my weaknesses are!


Before I continue with today’s ColorPlays, I would like to touch on a new tool I am using.

I am trying out a different color wheel than the one I used in my last two ColorPlays.  
It is called the Original Hal Reid Analogous Color Wheel and is available from

In my opinion, this color wheel has certain advantages and disadvantages.  One advantage is that it helps you find what it terms “discord” colors (colors which add that extra little bit of color zing to your painting when used in very small amounts, especially near the center of interest.)

One disadvantage I found while using this wheel is that you have to visualize your own tints and shades; whereas, they are printed right on the Creative Color Wheel I used in my previous posts.  Having the tints and shades right in front of your eyes can be very helpful, especially for pastelists unsure of color choices!

The other thing I noticed when comparing these wheels is that they are not based on the same color theory!

For example, the Hal Reid wheel is based on the Munsell hue circuit which has 5 primary colors: red – yellow – green – blue – purple.  
While the Creative Color Wheel is based on 3 primaries: red – yellow – blue.

(More information is included on the back of the Hal Reid wheel.)

The Bottom Line?  

Well, depending on which wheel you use, it will determine slightly different complements!  

For example, the Reid wheel shows blue-purple as the complement to yellow, while the Creative wheel displays violet (a true purple, not reddish purple or blueish purple) as yellow’s complement.


Well, I suppose not much of this matters if you simply choose the colors you like and that work for your painting, but it can be confusing to new artists.  




As you can see in the photo above, I chose Red-Orange-Yellow for my analogous hues.


I chose an orangey piece of Canson Mi-Teintes (smooth side).



 Here is the preselected analagous palette for ColorPlay #4.  You can see I chose hues of yellow, yellow-green, and cooler greens (with a hint of zing from a blue-green Terry Ludwig!)


I let myself work on more familiar paper – Canson Touch (cream color).





As you can see from the photos above, using analogous schemes for each painting produced very different results because of the HUES I preselected for the paintings.  

~Which do you prefer?

~Can you tell which I struggled more with?


Thanks for taking the time to read about my latest ColorPlays.

I have to say I am having loads of fun learning about color and pushing myself to try new things! 

I look forward to your comments, observations, and questions, so feel free to chat!


(Up next time: a tiny break from ColorPlay to show you a snow scene I recently finished.) 

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Watercolor Pencil: Deer’s Eye Study


Here is a study I did of an eye of a white-tailed deer following Cathy Johnson’s tutorial in her book, “Watercolor Pencil Magic” which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

This study was done on a 5 1/2 x 8 Strathmore Visual Watercolor Journal, 140lb cold press, using Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils in the following shades:

  • black 199
  • venetian red 190
  • raw umber 180
  • burnt ochre 187
  • Van Dyck brown 176

I used a water brush to activate the colors, letting each layer dry thoroughly (or using a hair dryer to speed things along) before adding in more layers.