Saturday, January 16, 2021
Thursday, January 14, 2021
I used the Notanizer app on my iPhone to create the black and white thumbnail. I was able to adjust my reference photo to show black and white, notan as well as 3 and 4 values. It was fun to use! I review the app today on my Patreon Page. www.patreon.com/karenmargulis
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
A thumbnail a day makes it easier to play!
That's right. Doing a thumbnail makes it easier to let go and paint with passion and still have success. But the thumbnail has to be effective. It really isn't enough to scribble some lines and call it a thumbnail. Nor is it necessary to spend a lot of time on a painstaking mini sketch full of details. There is a happy medium and it really will help. Below I share some tips for a more effective thumbnail. One you can actually use to start your painting.
- A value thumbnail is best when the subject is simplified into 4-6 big simple shapes. The shapes should be connected or massed and assigned a value. The value should be what is MOST prevalent in the shape....example: a group of trees may have several values but has more darks than anything else so this mass of trees would be assigned a dark value. The trees will be modified as the painting develops.
- A value thumbnail is more effective when it is small (between business card and post card size) and when you can see the borders of the sketch.
- A value thumbnail works best when the shapes are massed in with solid flat marks. Scribbly loose marks make it difficult to see the values.
It is Value Bootcamp month over in my Patreon group! You can see the video demo for this painting. Consider joining us. It is just a $4 monthly. pledge! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis
Saturday, January 09, 2021
- Look at the overall shape of the tree. Is it oval? Square? Round? Triangular? Does it have lots of little section of foliage? Block in this big simple shape.
- Pay attention to the silhouette of the tree....If it was just a big flat shape what would the outer edges look like?
- Make sure the shape you block in for the tree is an interesting shape. You want an interesting positive shape as well as have the shape around the tree (negative space) be interesting.
- Don't let the symbol your brain has for a tree cause you to make a plain, boring and orderly shape.
- Observe carefully. Be a good observer of trees. Pay attention to how they grow, what kind of foliage do they have? Where do their branches come from?
- Practice, Practice and practice some more. Don't avoid what frustrates you. (but don't obsess about it either, balance practice with difficult subjects with subjects you have success with.)
Thursday, January 07, 2021
Tuesday, January 05, 2021
Another new year and another annual painting! Every year for the last three years I have painted the same march view for my first painitng of the year. I challenge myself to do something different. Last year my annual painitng was in oil! This year there was a double challenge. I wanted to totally change the mood and color palette of the marsh AND I had to paint with my non dominant left hand. I had a shoulder strain so I was giving my right arm a rest. I loved this double challenge to start the year! It is also great fun to compare the new painting to the previous versions. (Scroll down to see them)
I encourage you to start this New Year exercise if you haven't already. It is a great way to see your progress form year to year and it is fun to revisit an old friend every year. What a wonderful way to start the year. ....without fear! If you want to start, it isn't too late. Choose a favorite subject and paint. Make sure you take a photo so you have a reference should your original be sold or lost!
Here are the pastels I used for the painting. They are a combination of Terry Ludwig and Diane Townsend Soft form pastels. I am also working on a piece of Mingart sanded paper in a dark charcoal color. I made swatches of the pastels I used so you can see them more clearly. This is something new I am doing for all of my Patreon demos!
Join us on Patreon this year! We are sharing our annual paintings on the community page. $4 a month gives you access to a wonderful community of artists and so much more! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis
Saturday, January 02, 2021
available on Etsy $195
Sunday, December 27, 2020
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
a selection of Nupastels that I used for this painting
Join us over on Patreon for more on using hard pastels! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis
Friday, December 18, 2020
'Winter Sun' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis sold
When I am faced with painting something white I reach for my favorite light pastels...Diane Townsend Soft pastels. These lights are almost white but lean towards a pale color. I call them 'Almost Whites'. I love love Terry Ludwig, Sennelier and Schminke Almost Whites but I seem to reach most often for the Diane Townsends. I like the ever so slight gritty texture and how it they sound scratchy when using them.
The next time you are painting something white and reach for the pure white....stop and look for the color. Choose a pale light instead of the white. Reserve that pure white for the highlight if it is even necessary.
Monday, December 14, 2020
Head over to my Patreon group for a step by step demo of this painting. It is only a $4 monthly pledge that you can cancel at anytime! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Terry Ludwig is having a sale! All sets are 20% off until December 30th. Now is a great time to add to your pastel collection with my favorite pastels! www.terryludwig.com
Monday, December 07, 2020
La Carte is a sanded surface made by hand application of vegetable flake and cork to a 200lb card stock. It comes in 14 colors. The surface is very uniform and is able to accept many layers of pastel. I got 50 layers on my test. I would never even come close to applying that many layers.
The paper does have some drawbacks but for me the benefits outweigh these issues. It is important to know that the binder will dissolve in water so this paper cannot get wet. That means no wet underpaintings and you even need to be careful not to blow or even sneeze on the paper. Make sure your hands are dry! The vegetable sanded surface can be rubbed off if you brush it or rub too hard so I prefer not to hand blend and let my pastels do the blending. It can also be easily dented so if you press too hard with your drawing tool then you may have indented lines. I use a Nupastel for my drawing and I use a light touch. I find that I prefer to use my softest pastels for this paper and I never do an underpainting.
I don't want to scare anyone away from this paper because I actually really love it. Give it a try and see what you think!
Individual sheets measure 19" × 25" (48 cm × 63 cm). Use of wet media not recommended.
Please consider joining my Patreon group for a $4 monthly pledge. Today I am sharing a demo of the chickadee painting! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis
Friday, December 04, 2020
This is one of my favorite winter paintings. I painted it last year for my Patreon group. I am now releasing it to my YouTube channel! It is a 9x12 pastel painting on Uart Dark sanded pastel paper. I used a variety of pastels including the Blue Earth Nomad set which has wonderful moody neutral colors. Click on the link to see the video. Be sure to give it a thumbs up or make a comment and I would love for you to subscribe to my channel!
Below is a photo of my demo board. I had done a small study before painting the demo.