|'Winter Delight' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis Purchase here $145|
I love this method of starting a painting for any subject that has strong contrasts such as snow and sand. Here is what you need if you'd like to give it a try:
- sanded paper. I am using Uart
- dark blue/purple Nupastel. Any dark will work but I like the rich blue-purple #
- rubbing alcohol and a cheap stiff bristle brush.
Step 1 After doing a thumbnail/value study (not shown) Block in the darks shapes with the side of the Nupastel. Squint to see the big shapes. Avoid putting down spots of dark. Connect the dark shapes when possible. You don't want a 'spotty' painting!
Next, dip your brush in the alcohol and brush it onto the Nupastel. Take time and care with this step and try to have your brush strokes describe what you are painting. Let dry.
Step 2 I begin by reinforcing the dark with a couple of layers of softer pastels. I used a dark blue and dark burgundy.After all the darks are in place I work on the sky. I used a few blues in the sky getting lighter and warmer closest to the horizon. I put in sky holes to break up the tree trunks and branches.
Next I introduce some color to the distant treeline and the scrubby brush with some reds and greens. Now it is time to put in the shadows in the snow. I make the shadows in the foreground warmer blues (turquoises) getting more lavender then pale blue as they go back into space.
I also draw in a few branches with the sharp edge of the Nupastel.
Time to warm up the tree trunks with a dark peach. I also warm up the scrubby brush with some warm greens and oranges and reds. Finally....my favorite part...putting in the Light snow!
Up until this point I have avoided the light snow. I want everything else to be in place so I can go boldly in with my strokes of light pastel. The key is to go bold and fearless ! I use the a pale yellow for the foreground snow progressing to a dull rosy pinkish grey for the distant snow.