Monday, June 29, 2009


Lately, I've come to love the use of grey, whether it's in oil or pastel. I've started using neutral greys to moderate strong color, rather than that color's complement. We've always been taught how a complement can neutralize a color. In my experience, the complement doesn't quite "kill" the color and, in fact, can often lead to an unintended color that doesn't quite fit the painting. Using a neutral grey, however, does the trick. It dulls the color perfectly. I suppose this is obvious to anyone who's academy-trained, but for me, this was a discovery and a real eye-opener!

For my pastel greys, I've been using the greys from the full Polychromos set and the set of 12 greys in the NuPastels. For oil greys, try the Gamblin "Portland" greys, which come in three values.

Here are a couple of pieces I did at the Acadia Workshop Center workshop I taught last week. Each one of these uses greys to dull color.

"Two Boats"
5x7 pastel -

"Bernard Harbor"
9x12 oil -

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