Thursday, June 28, 2012

Underpaintings for a Plein Air Iris

'Joy in the Garden'             5x7         pastel            ©Karen Margulis
I remember this day clearly. I was painting at the Smith Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw Georgia. I had set up near the perennial bed and didn't feel like moving my gear around all day so I sat in a chair and did many studies of the flowers right in front of me.  It was one of those days that I didn't feel rushed or pressured in any way so I took my time with my paintings.
I decided to work on my watercolor underpaintings. I usually would rush through them anxious to get to the pastels. This time I took it very slow. I would let layers dry and build them up. I ended up with watercolor underpaintings that were much more cohesive and vibrant. I actually ended up adding very little pastel to some of them including this Iris.   I really have to remember this day and how in this case slow and steady worked well.

Have you tried watercolor with pastel? It is a wonderful combination and you can read more about watercolor underpaintings in my post here.