pastels and pencils
240 x 255 mm. May 2018

Have you ever waited at traffic signals after dark and observed how surrounding colours change depending on whether the signal is red or green?  In “Wait” the colours of île de la Cité are also made bright by a boat’s high beam illuminating the arches under Pont d’Arcole.  (We can’t see the boat but we know it is there.)

Here is a deep dark “Walk” (partner of “Wait”).  Notice how light from the signal casts a different glow on the sky in each of the two drawings.

A much lower key “Walk” than “Wait” as the green walking man gives off lower light than the red standing man.

In recent posts I have been showing the oil pastel under-painting (before coloured pencil is layered on top).  In  comparing the under-painting stages of these two drawings (drawn several months apart) I see that this primary stage is now richer and more consolidated than it was in mid 2017.   It is fascinating to chart the evolution of a new idea.

oil pastel undercoat of “Wait” (May 2018)

oil pastel undercoat of “Walk” (August 2017)

Next time you are sitting in your car waiting for the lights to change, or standing at a pedestrian crossing after dark, observe the colours as the lights go through their paces.   (Trust me, it is more entertaining than merely being impatient.)

2 thoughts on “Wait

  1. anna warren portfolio

    This is fascinating! I feel as though I already knew about the different effects of different lights, but I hadn’t processed it and now you point it out I wonder how I could have missed it. But it comes back to the deep understanding you have of colour, I think it must be somewhere embedded deep inside your consciousness. Its also interesting to see how much bolder you have become using the pastel undercoat. These are a really beautiful pair.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Anna, last night I WAS impatiently sitting at traffic lights in my car. I decided to take my own advice and study them. I realised that when you look into the centre of a red or green light it really is WHITE because it is burning your (I dunno – iris? pupil? retina?) and the halo around it is red or green. Fascinating really as you don’t think about it until you observe it. Thanks for your neat comment!


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