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Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Pastel Demo...Spring Landscape

'Awaiting Spring'             8x10            pastel    ©Karen Margulis
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 So we have a windchill of 20 and it is snowing in the North Georgia Mountains. Spring where are you?  I guess I'll just have to paint my own Spring!  I enjoy the colors of our Georgia Spring landscape but it can be a challenge to paint.  It is best to simplify rather than try to paint every flowering tree.

Doing a black and white thumbnail sketch will help me break down this busy scene into big simple shapes. Then I will add as much detail as I want.



My thumbnail next to the 4 color/value block in.

This painting is on Canson Moonstone paper with Diane Townsend and Terry Ludwig (greens) . I begin by choosing four pastels to match the values in my thumbnail. I block in the big shapes as I have them in the thumbnail I am not looking at the reference photo yet.


  • After the block-in I rub it all in to get a nice soft even coverage.  I take out the reference photo and put the thumbnail away.  
  • I start this next layer of pastel by reinforcing the dark areas. I put in some tree trunks knowing I will cover some with foliage.
  • Next I put in the lightest lights....the sky. I also add some cool gray greens for distant trees.
  • Now It is just a matter of choosing the right greens and gradually and very lightly build layer them over the trees and grassy area. I choose lighter and cooler for the distant greens.
  • The last thing I do is add a light veil of pink for the redbud blooms. I also add a few bolder marks of pink and green for my punctuation marks.







I hope you have enjoyed today's demo. Maybe Spring will show up soon!  If you would like to learn more about doing thumbnails with value markers have a look at my post HERE.

1 comment:

pattisjarrett said...

I think we may have to paint our own spring, too! Thanks for sharing the workflow to create such a pretty piece.