|'Winter Woods' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
A bad photo on the other hand can give me just enough information to get my imagination going. It might have a piece of something that inspires me to get me started. My goal is to make the painting that is better than the photo. If someone tells me my painting looks just like the photo...then I have failed.
Take today's painting. The photo shown above was my reference photo. My son took it on a walk in a Chicago park. To be fair his photo was actually good. But my crummy printer cropped it and did a terrible job reproducing the colors. I could have painted from my iPad where the photo looked good. But then I wouldn't feel the same freedom I have when I looked at the bad photo.
It was the warm light peeking through the trees that initially attracted me to the scene so that is what I started with. I decided that a warm red textured surface would be just right for my vision. Since I am experimenting with homemade surfaces I decided to use Susan Ogilvie's recipe. Visit Susan's website at www.susanogilvie.com
|Making a homemade surface using the Susan Ogilvie recipe|
- I prepared a batch by mixing some of the Fine Pumice Gel with water and stirring until the pumice separates. Then I add pumice powder and stir. I start with a teaspoon and adjust until the mixture is the consistency of heavy cream.
- I use a piece of Gatorfoam for my support that I have already primed with a coat of regular acrylic gesso.
- I tone this board by squirting some Golden liquid acrylic paint and spreading it around with a brush.
- Once dry I apply the pumice mixture with a wide stiff brush using random brushstrokes.
I loved using this surface. It gave me an exciting surface to work on and didn't let me get bogged down with too many details.
Tomorrow I will share another recipe as well as my next Friday Feature You Tube video!