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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

D is for Demo Day...Pastel Beach Painting

'The Beach is Calling'          12x12       pastel     ©Karen Margulis
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I am a planner. I love planning things...trips, projects, get togethers, more trips.  To me it is part of the fun.  I have been planning my upcoming Southwest trip for two years. It is just fun to plan and anticipate the fun.  So it makes sense that I don't mind planning my paintings.

Doing thumbnails and color studies and choosing my palette is actually part of the fun of doing a painting.  It is a good thing I enjoy the planning process because it definitely helps me enjoy the actual painting time more.  Today I share my process.

Take the time to plan your painting so you can enjoy the actual painting time.

 I start by evaluating my reference photo. I decide I like the square format so I fold it into a square.

 Next I do a small black and white thumbnail sketch with Prismacolor grayscale markers. You can read more about this step in my thumbnail post here.  I use big simple shapes in 4 values.

Next I plan my color.  I use a scrap of the same paper as my painting to test colors and to do a quick color thumbnail....again with big simple shapes.  I choose colors in 4 values for the block-in (first layer of pastel)  For this painting I chose to do a cool value block in with 4 values of blue.

Next I decide what colors I will use for each area of the painting.  I test the colors on top of my block-in colors to see how they might look. (see the small squares in the above photo) If I like the colors I try them on top of the block-in.  I make sure to keep this color study vey loose and simple....no details!  I am just trying color choices.

If I am happy with my color choices I keep them out in a butcher tray. This way I can keep track of how many colors I am using and keep my palette limited.

Now I am ready to paint the larger painting. I use my color block-in study to block in the big painting and then I refer to my reference photo and color study as I continue to develop the painting.  This part of the painting is enjoyable because I already did most of the work in the planning stage. Now I can just paint!


Twinkle Nelson said...

YES! That worked! I love planning also, especially travels. Many times I thought if the trip falls thru, no matter, I feel like I've been there already anyway. I know the frustration of getting into a painting and not knowing where to go next. So why not apply that same enthusiasm to painting and enjoy the process of planning. Thanks for rattling my cage!

Daniel B. (@publiusdb) said...

I'm very impressed. It looks great.

Chris said...

Your pastel painting is spectactular. I am learning to paint and I am struggling so much that I am constantly looking for inspiration.