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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

V is for Variation in a Painting

'Apple for the Teacher'            11x14           pastel         ©Karen Margulis
click here to purchase $145

Variation is an artist's best friend. It can mean the existence of differences in shape, form, amount, number etc.  or it can also mean something that is slightly different from similar things.  I try to use both types of variation in my paintings.  It keeps things interesting!  Today's class demo paintings illustrate both types of variation....a variation in the type of mark making and a variation on a theme (apples)

In class this week we are focusing on how we make marks with pastels. There are two basic ways to apply pastel. One is by using the tip of the pastel to create linear marks. The second is to apply the pastel with the side of the stick to create side strokes.  We all have our own way of making marks and this is our own personal calligraphy.  I tend to use the side of my pastels with the occasional linear mark such as in the painting below.

'Apple Delight'             8x10        pastel  purchase $95
No matter what our natural tendencies for mark making are it is fun and informative to try other types of marks. We might just discover a technique of applying pastels that we really love and that we can incorporate into our regular painting style.  The apple painting at the top of the page is a demo showing a painting using only linear strokes.  It was fun to do even though I had to concentrate to keep from making side strokes!

Here are a few types of linear marks that you might like to experiment with.  Choose a simple subject and do a series varying the type of marks you use in each painting. It is a fun way to become more confident in your mark making!


Michelle Wells Grant said...

Karen, you inspire me SO! I just launched my art blog after threatening to do so for a year! I'm hoping this will motivate me to develope my work and show progress. Will you take a look? And of course, I would love to have you as a follower! Thanks for all your teacking and inspiration! Can't wait to track you down at the IAPS conference in June!


Shawn Yankey said...

Really cool. What a great talent.
Shawn at Laughing at Life 2 & Reading Practice

Judith Williams said...

I am absolutely new to pastel painting having done watercolor for many years. I am quite frustrated at the moment trying so hard to make things look the way I want them to. Have watched dozens of hours of videos and read some. This is what I have been missing! I love what you say about each person having a style similar to the way handwriting is. Just think how difficult it is to forge someone else's handwriting. I have been working along with your tutorial on painting clouds. I bought the PDF (thanks it's great) but getting terrible results. Just a tiny suggestion, you might mention his you are applying the pastel. Right now I am going to get one of my favorite reference photos and keep working at making it my own style.