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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Painting with the Terry Ludwig Southeastern Pastels...the Marsha Savage Set

'Duke's Hideaway'       8x10         pastel         ©Karen Margulis
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Of all of the treasures in my recent pastel acquisition this set was a special treat ... The Marsha Savage Southeast Landscape set.  My journey with pastels began when I starting taking classes from Marsha.  I remember when she was working with Terry Ludwig to have him create the perfect colors for our Southeast Landscape. And I was one of the first to purchase the set.  

It's been several years and the set was long since incorporated into my studio box and used up.  What a wonderful treat to have the set again. It even has Marsha's signature on the box!  I was thrilled to use them and to reminisce about the days when Marsha would demo her wonderful landscapes for the class. I would sit and soak it all in. She is a fantastic artist and teacher and studying with her has been the best thing I could have ever done to further my art!

For this painting I decided to go back in time and paint the way I learned from Marsha....back when she painted on burgundy Canson paper.  I went through the steps of starting with a 305 NuPastel.  Enjoy this mini demo and then read on for my review of this set.

I began the painting with a layer of NuPastels. I blocked in all of the dark shapes first with a Blue Spruce #305 Nupastel. (that's the only pastel number I know!)  Then I blocked in the light shapes which in this painting was the sky. I went on to block in the area of intense color which is the bright green grasses.  I made sure I had pastel on the entire painting.

Next I move onto the softer pastels....the Terry Ludwigs.  I reestablish the darks with a few dark values. Then I finish the sky before moving to the distant trees. I use a cooler green and some blues for the distant trees.  I also put in some lights in the creek. At this point the painting just needs refining. I like to start at the back and work my way forward.

I am keeping things soft at this point and at the end I will sharpen up the edges in my focal area. I add some rocks and refine the water. I add some greens for the grasses. Then I finish by adding a few 'punctuation marks' near the back trees.  See the top photo for the finish.

Terry Ludwig Pastels....Marsha Savage's Southeast Landscape set
I Love this set!  It is perfect for painting a very green landscape. There is a wide selection of warm to cool greens as well as the reds and purples to balance all of the greens.  There are intense pure colors and some nice grayed colors as well. Marsha knows the Southeastern Landscape and this set shows it.

 As far as the pastels themselves....Terry Ludwig pastels are wonderful. They are the perfect size for a painterly mark yet have sharp edges to make fine marks. They are soft but not greasy and don't crumble. And of course the colors can't be beat.  Love these pastels!

If you'd like to see more of Marsha Savage's work you can visit her website www.marshasavage.com


Peggy said...

LOVE your painting! You make that look so easy LOL :)

Veronique BEC said...

Thank you for this article Karen. I go very often on your blog and on Marsha's blog also... Your landscapes are very very beautiful!!!
Perhaps, a day, in another life, can I do something like them...
Thank you for all your shares, they are very interesting!!
(I hope that you understand my english!!! lol!!!)

Karen said...

Thank you Veronique! I appreciate you visiting my blog and I am glad you enjoy it! Thank you for commenting!

angela j simpson said...

Very helpful demo and lovely painting. I had torn myself away from pastels thinking they were impossible to post - but I see that you even do ACEO in pastels in your Etsy shop. I will get them out again, thankyou!

pattisjarrett said...

These are lovely colors, especially as displayed in your painting. I agree with Peggy, you make this look so easy.
I broke my pastels and organized them by value and color in their new drawers today. Now I'm really excited about them! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

Wendy W. said...

This is beautiful Karen! Did you break your pastels before using them? If you did how did you do it? I am waiting for a new set that I can hardly wait to get into. Your colors are really pretty in this, just enough "spice"!

Karen said...

Thanks Wendy! I don't break terry Ludwig pastels. They seem to be just the right size!