|'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 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!