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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Three Reasons to Paint a Series

'Sapphire Beach Dreaming'         8x10       pastel     ©Karen Margulis  sold
A collective groan came from my students when I told them we would be painting from the same reference photo for the next four weeks.  "We will be working on a series"  I told them.  "It will be fun and exciting and you will learn a lot! "

I do understand the groans though. Some artists don't like to work from the same reference or even subject. Once it has been painted it has been done.  But I intend to have them look at painting a series in a different light and I invite you to join us.

A painting series can be many things but the paintings in the series all need to have some common thread among them.  It can be a common technique or color palette or maybe the same subject done on different mediums. For our series, we will choose a subject or reference photo and build our series around this subject.  I  recommend completing  a minimum of 5 paintings for the series.

So what are the benefits of doing a series?  I will share three reasons below. I'd love for you to comment and add to the discussion!

Painting number 1 of my Sapphire Beach Series
1. Painting a series helps you understand your subject.  When you work with the same subject over and over you become intimate or friends with it.  By studying your subject and painting it more than once you are better able to interpret it on a higher level. You move beyond copying what you see as you become more familiar with the subject.

 2. Painting a series pushes you out of your comfort zone without it being scary! When you paint a subject many times you have to work hard at making each new painting unique yet still retain the connection to the series. You have to try new ideas, techniques, colors, etc.  It isn't as intimidating though because you are so comfortable with the subject. You have already figured out the issues with the subject now you are free to play!

3. Painting a series makes you a more confident artist. This is because you are painting more. You are painting more because you have a direction. You have a goal. You don't have to fear the blank paper because you already know how to paint your subject. You've done it already!  The more you paint the more confident you will feel. It is a wonderful feeling!

If you wish to join us choose a subject or reference photo that you would like to build a series around. For the first painting just paint your subject as you normally would...use familiar technique in your usual style.  We started our painting by doing small studies in which we blocked in the big simple shapes. More on this in tomorrow's post.

1 comment:

Sherry Schmidt said...

Beautiful piece Karen! And I know I should try a series as well...