Saturday, October 16, 2021
Sunday, October 10, 2021
It has been in the back of my mind. I have not acted on it. There is so much I want to do and there never seems to be enough time but this time I am going to follow through! Over the last few years I have wanted to expand my art knowledge and get more comfortable working with oil painting. I have tried occasionally to start an oil painting habit but it never lasted more than a few weeks. This time I am committed to following through. I know that being fluent on more than one medium is helpful. I want to feel as comfortable with oils as I do with pastel and I know this will take work!
Here is what I am doing to help me be more successful this time around!
- I am taking an online course with Scott Christensen. He has created a wonderful and comprehensive online course. You can work on at your own pace. The video lesson are broken into small chunks form 5-30 minutes each. These are easy to fit into a busy schedule. Spending money on a course is definitely worth it and it is very motivating! www.adventureofpainting.com
- I have invested in better supplies. I know from my experience with pastels that materials do make a difference. I splurged and purchased the Vasari paints and Rosemary brushes that Scott recommends. If anything I am motivated to use them because they were not cheap! (they are wonderful though)
- I set up a dedicated space in my studio for oils. In the past I didn't have a dedicated space so I needed to clean up after each painting session. I know that supplies need to be available and easy to access and clean up or they will not be used....excuses will be made! I am fortunate to have a big studio space so there was no excuse not to set up an easel and table dedicated to oils.
- I am keeping it simple. I am starting with a limited palette of blue, red, yellow and white. Scott uses a warm and cool of each and I have them but I will work with just the three for now. I have to ease into mixing paint!
- I am using pastel studies to help me ease into oils. My plan is to paint a small 6x8 study at least three times a week. More is better but three is doable. I am preparing value thumbnails and plans for paintings during my non studio time so I will have a stockpile of ideas. I am taking the extra step of doing a small pastel study. This is helpful because it allows me to work out my colors. All I have to do is figure out how to mix them!
I will share my progress from time to time here and on my social media. @karenmargulis. What do you do to help you stick to a painting goal?
Sunday, October 03, 2021
Painting mist, fog and haze is fun! It is an illusion and you have the tools to make it happen! I love to paint the moody landscape. There is nothing like a beautiful sunny day but I am drawn to the quiet of a misty moody landscape. But how do we create this feeling of mist or fog or haze in a painting? Do we need special pastels? Certain colors? The answer is no. We just need to use the tools we have for any landscape.....we need to master the creation of depth and understand value keys. There is also a certain mark making technique that works well for creating these weather conditions. In this previous Patron Insider only video I share my techniques for making a landscape misty and moody! Follow the link below to watch the demo!
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Do you prefer to throw away your duds or do you recycle them? How do you like to recycle you papers?
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Friday, September 17, 2021
This month I am exploring unusual underpaintings. One of my challenges is to take the same scene and paint it each week using a different underpainting technique. I had fun with this variation! Here is what I tried:
- I repurposed an older painting done on LuxArchival paper by brushing on some Liquitex Clear gesso. This turned the pastel into a muddy gray brown. I left the original light blue sky and used my brush to push the mud color into the shape of my mountains.
- I liked the effect of the muddy color and the random brushstrokes but I have done this technique before and wanted to add something extra!
- I did a scan of my art supply shelves and found a bottle of gold powder by Schmincke. The powder is meant to be wet with water and brushed into watercolor paintings but I wanted to see how I could use it for my underpainting.
- I sprinkled some of the powder on top of my still wet gessoed paper. The powder stuck to the gesso and was so shimmery and interesting!
- Everything dried and the gold powder remained secure and stayed shiny. I was ready to paint on it.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
- Rubbing alcohol dries a bit faster than water. Since it quickly evaporates it doesn't sit on the paper leading to less chance of buckling.
- Rubbing alcohol can create some interesting spider web-like drips. Click on the photos below to see them closer. The results are unpredictable so I am always excited when I get some good runs like I did here. When I get some interesting drips it becomes my goal to allow as much of this underpainting as possible to show in the finished painting.
Sunday, September 05, 2021
Friday, September 03, 2021
Join my Patreon group to see the full step by step demo of this painting! You can join for just $4 a month which gives you access to almost four years of content! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Recently I dd an online mini workshop for the Arkansas Pastel Society. The topic was How to Paint Wildflowers. I did two full demos and started on a third. I did a wet underpainting with Derwent Inktense sticks and water. I finished the demo and made a Youtube video of the process. It is available for all to watch on my YouTube channel! Click on the link below to watch.
Can I ask a favor? I would love to grow my YouTube channel and expand my reach! I would like to offer more videos on YouTube that compliment what I am doing on Patreon. Your engagement with me on YouTube is so helpful. If you have not already done so I invite you to subscribe to the channel and click on the notification bell so that you can get alerts when I release a new video. Your comments on each video are also very helpful! Thank you very much for your support!
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
- I started by painting the dark rain cloud with a few dark value blue pastels.
- Next I painted the lighter value dull gray violet and light blue in the sky area under the dark cloud.
- The rain is a middle dark value. I want to suggest the look of dark rain bands falling from the cloud so I use a middle dark blue gray pastel moon its side and make a wide vertical mark from the cloud base to the ground.
- I use a very light touch on the first pass so I get a whisper of rain. I go back for another pass but vary the pressure on the stick so that some areas of the rain band are a bit darker.
- To finish the illusion I use the sharp edge of a light blue Nupastel to make a few linear 'rain' marks.
- I do go back into the rain with more of the sky color. I want to make sure the rain looks like a thin veil. I need to be able to see through the rain.
I'd love for you to join us over on Patreon! It is just $4 a month for access to almost 4 years of content! Your support helps me create more online demos and lessons! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
I have a suggestion for a more successful studio painting. Don't try to copy your plein air painting. Don't make it a goal to recreate the same exact painting. Instead use it for inspiration. Choose something you like about the study and expand on that idea. Then choose a completely different technique/paper/underpainting for your studio painting.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
- Choose the largest set you can afford. You need to have a good range of values from dark to light as well as a range of intensities....you need some of the duller neutrals as well as the pure intense colors. You can modify colors by layering but it is nice to have a larger variety to begin with.
- Plan to remove any labels and break bigger sticks in half. You want to be able to use the pastels both on the side as well as the tips. Removing labels will allow you to paint and draw! Also Nupastels are too long for me so I like to break them in half so I can have more control.
- Choose the right paper. Hard pastels have more binder and less pigment so they tend to be more successful on sanded paper which grabs onto the pastel better. I do use them on all paper types but sanded papers will be less frustrating especially for beginners.
- I like to keep my hard pastels separate from the softer ones. I have a box of assorted hard pastels that I will use for underpaintings and finishing detail marks. I don't keep them in any kind of order. It is nice to have this little box available!
If you have any hard pastels, challenge yourself to use ONLY the hard pastels for an entire painting. If you can't make note of what you were missing. Perhaps you can fill in your hard pastel collection for future paintings!
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Have you considered joining my Patreon group or returning to us? This month we are focused on foregrounds, transitions and depth. The low $4 monthly pledge gives you access to almost 4 years of content! I appreciate your support! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis