The pastel painting demonstration which follows was written by Margot Schulzke, the author of A Painter's Guide to Design and Composition.
Stage One:  
I've already done a well-developed black and white study. I choose a sienna toned surface to complement the cool domes, expanding the study by hand--I never project--onto La Carte Pastel board, using vine charcoal. The perspective in doing such buildings can be tricky, so I correct the drawing a fair amount, using canned air only, to protect the delicate La Carte surface. Once drawing is in place, I begin laying color in, first deep purples into shadow areas to build depth, then pale pinks into the sky to establish the value range. A bit of the greens here and there.
Stage Two:  
Continue laying in color. With a delicate touch, so as not to fill the tooth too soon. Also to allow the warm tone of the surface to "breathe". (Surface is a top priority in pastel: choose one that enhances your subject, not one that has to be buried.) La Carte cannot be toned with water or solvents, so this is strictly pastel. I move dark browns into shadow areas over the purples. Sky: Apply a pale cobalt blue, dragging it vertically into the pinks. Layer over it with a cerulean. Keep details as loose as I can with the architecture.
Stage Three:  
Begin to develop areas, working first with the focal point, layering color into the sky, going warm at the horizon line to balance the cool domes. Use canned air to pull back when application seems too heavy or remove a portion on left tower where perspective appears to be off. Bring deep mauves into shadow areas, using Great American Artworks for the subtle tones, Schminke for the brights in the sunlit areas of the domes. I warm the greens on nearer portions of the domes, bringing them forward, letting strokes indicate structure. Create a sky with drifting clouds, with fairly heavy application to allow for blending--in the sky only. Use pastel pencils and Faber-Castell Polychromos to drag over edges to soften them. Keep far distance (at extreme left) very loose.
Stage Four:  
All delicate glazing touches here. Lots of hard pastel in use--Faber Castell or NuPastel, or Rembrandt. Warm the blue greens further with a yellow-green Schmincke. Deepen the shadows with darkest brown soft pastels, under eaves and in windows. Add rose to the half-tones on the turret. Hatch the sky with a near-white pale cerulean blue (Rembrandt). Add a deep-red glaze to the shadows on the stone walls. Rosy-up the skyline, just above the domes. Quit!
© 1999, Margot Schulzke

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