|'Fleeting Light' 18x24 pastel ©Karen Margulis $450 purchase here|
Let me set the stage for you. It was a very cold and crisp Autumn day at the Jersey Shore. My friends and I had just finished a day of painting at a Stan Sperlak workshop (highly recommended by the way) We wanted to see the ocean so we drove to the beach. We ended up somewhere in Wildwood New Jersey. The sun was setting rapidly and we wanted to get that nice afternoon light 'glow' but we couldn't find a place to park. We finally found a spot, jumped out of the car and ran to the beach.
I will never forget the sight of that last bit of warm sunlight as it quickly disappeared to be replaced by the cool blue shadows on the sand. The beach in the sunlight just glowed orange. The cool blue shadows were in stark contrast. I knew I would paint that scene....the trick would be how would I get that glow? Here is what I learned:
- If I wanted something to appear warmer then I should surround it with cool. I really wanted the distant sand to glow with warmth so I took the blues I saw in the shadows and exaggerated them even more than they appeared.
- I remembered that it is a good practice to choose a dominant temperature....Have a lot of one thing and a smaller amount of another thing. So I decided to give this painting an overall cool temperature with a lot of blues and purples. Then I added a smaller amount of the warm which makes it stand out even more.
- I took what I really saw and took out my artistic license to really push the colors and play up the blues and oranges. I was working from a photo that really didn't capture that magic I felt in person. My exaggerated colors brings it all right back to me.