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Thursday, March 01, 2012

What does Painting Have in Common With Dessert?

'Decadence' 8x8 pastel ©Karen Margulis
Sometimes too much of a good thing isn't always good. Take dessert for example...a table full of delicious desserts is tempting but it can also be overwhelming. It's hard to know where to look or what to choose. No single dessert can stand out when they all look so good! It's the same way in a painting. Too much of any one thing isn't always the best approach. That goes for value, shapes and color to name a few. As artists we need to strike a balance. It is usually a good idea to plan your painting to have unequal amounts of any one thing. Color for example....Too much bright, intense pure colors can be overwhelming in a painting. No one color has a chance to be the star. But an intense color used in a smaller amount and surrounded by some duller more neutral colors or grayed color, will allow the bright color to seem even brighter. The color can now be the star. It's like the dessert table....Surround the beautiful cake with a few plates of boring store bought cookies and the cake looks even better!
So the lesson for today is to be aware of overdoing any one thing in your painting and to embrace the use of grayed colors or neutrals in your palette to help enhance the colors in your paintings. Richard McKinley has a great post on why you should have a section for neutrals in your pastel palette.

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