Monday, September 03, 2012

Pastel Demo Monday: New Mexico Landscape

'The View from Arroyo Hondo'        8x10     pastel      ©Karen Margulis
Available by Daily Paintworks auction $50 opening bid
I am headed to New Mexico.  Not until June but it is something to look forward to . I love new Mexico so I am happy that the IAPS convention is held there every two years. IAPS stands for International Association of Pastel Societies. IAPS holds several exhibitions for artists who are members of a pastel society. But for me the highlight is the convention.

For several days in early June, Pastel artists gather to attend workshops and demos by the rock stars of the pastel world. They visit the 'candy shop' and have the chance to purchase the latest pastel supplies and talk to the vendors. The artists mingle and share their passion for all things pastel.

Registration for the next convention is now open and classes are filling fast. You don't need to be an advanced artist to attend, It is a great learning experience for artists of any level! Visit the IAPS website HERE to learn more about the convention. Hope to see you there!


Today's demo is the monthly challenge from Let's Paint New Mexico, a site devoted to art from New Mexico. This is my entry. Visit the website to see more wonderful art from New Mexico.


  1. (from top left)  I am using my own home made surface. I used white Somerset Velvet paper with an application of Liquitex clear gesso for tooth.  I begin the painting by blocking in the big shapes with hard pastels.
  2. I am using Nupastels in oranges, reds and blues to block in the big simple shapes. I decide to blend in the pastel to cover the white of the paper. I use a piece of pipe foam insulation.
  3. Next I block in the dark shapes using softer pastels. I layered a few colors that are the same value . I did add some lighter green to star shaping the trees.
  4. Next I painted the sky with several blue pastels. I used a light peach at the horizon. I also put the same sky colors into the water.
  5. Next I go back to the landmass and start at the mountains and continue down. This helps me remember to choose colors and values that will help with aerial perspective.
  6. My goal for this painting was to do an impression of this particular landscape. I am not interested in details. The roughness of the paper helped me stay loose and painterly. To finish I added a few punctuation marks...sparkles on the water and brighter greens spots in the tree. Finished!

2 comments:

Peg said...

Beautiful! I love New Mexico and try to go from time to time. Sometimes I go for iconography workshops.

One of my favorite artists is Mary Silverwood, whose New Mexico work is among her best.

Good luck at your conference.

Adriana Guidi said...

Wow-it's lovely Karen! I like how you show the progression of each piece