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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Painting the Greens of the Southeast

'Down by the Marsh'        11x14        pastel      ©Karen Margulis
click here to purchase $145

'Down in the Meadow'         11x14          pastel
click here to purchase $145

Today I tackled the box of Albert Handell's landscape pastel set by Unison.  I am devoting this week to organizing the sets of pastels I purchased from an artist who was downsizing.  It was not an easy task to break up this beautiful set of pastels.

But if I was going to use them it needed to be done. I found a cigar box and lined it with foam. Then I  removed the wrappers and broke each pastel in half.  I just snapped them in half but if you want to be more precise you can score them with a blade first.  An hour later I was ready to paint!

I was excited to get this set for a couple of reasons. I had attended one of Albert's workshops 6 years ago as a beginner and lusted over his set then but chose to get a Heilman box instead. (I believe at the time the set was Schminke)  I also knew that this set would be perfect for our VERY  GREEN Southeastern landscape.

I took out my notes from the workshop. I use a new notebook for every workshop and keep them all together on a shelf.  I had written down several of Albert's pearls of wisdom and this set of pastels will really be helpful for painting the greens. Here are a couple of 'pearls'

  •  The trick to greens is balancing them with Mauves (purples)
  • Modify your greens with mauves
  • If you want to soften a green and make it go away....then use a mauve.
  • "Whenever I think Green...I think Mauve"
See a pattern here?  If you have a look at the set you can see there is a great selection of greens and purples. I had just the paintings to try out the green/mauve idea.  They were unfinished demos of Southeastern Landscapes. Both were very green.  They needed more mauve! I enjoyed working with this set although the Unisons are a bit harder than I usually like.  I will work with them some more and will do a more thorough review.
Here is a link to Albert Handell's website with information about purchasing this set 


Beena said...

It really is VERY green here in the southeast. I was trying to qualify that once to someone who lives in a very brown arid area of California, and they didn't believe me when I described spring in Florida. @@

Loving your southeast paintings from this post an the previous one. :)

Christina Aiton said...

I am a watercolor painter who began to paint with pastels this year so your information about new pastels is very valuable to my learning process. Thanks for such a great blog and now I know to balance my greens with mauves!

Anonymous said...

That's good to know about green and mauve.
A new box of pastels is more appealing than a box of chocolates. :)

Karen said...

Thanks Beena! I know it is hard to imagine all of our green when you live in an arid part of the country. Actually I love painting arid though!

Karen said...

Thank you Christina~ So glad you found my blog!

Karen said...

I agree Patti....give me pastels any day!