Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Painting Demos in my Studio

'Oh to Be at the Beach'              11x14          pastel          ©Karen Margulis
purchase here $150

 'We can dance in here now!"  was the reaction from students when I rearranged my studio over the summer.  All I did was shift my storage shelves to my outer studio. This gave me so much more space. I bought all new easels, tables and stools and spread them around the edges of the room. Now we have a dance floor!

Actually I make use of the extra space for lessons and demos.  We now have a nice roomy area to pull up chairs for the demo. I open each class with a lesson and demo and now we don't have to cram into a tiny area.  Also the flow is better in the room so it is easy for students to get around and see all the work. I love these sharing breaks that we can have now.

An overview of my studio/classroom
 Here are a couple of photos of the demo area. You can see the easels and tables in the top photo. I use the large table in front to display paintings and books that represent our weekly lesson.  Below is the easel and table I use for demos. Notice the tray of pastels. I always preselect my pastel palette for each painting.

Having this extra room is great for private classes as well. I often do paint- alongs and this set up allows the student to see what I am doing as they follow along.  Today I painted a beach/dune scene with a student. We each had a different photo but the lesson was focused on using a step by step method of completing a pastel painting. Join me as I explain what we did:  
My Demo easel with my cat Jennifur
The reference photo for my demo
We began by evaluating our reference photo and deciding what changes to make. We then did value studies with greyscale markers. I decided to change the steep shape of the dune and grasses.

Thumbnail and Block-in
Next we talked about color choices and what to choose for block-in and final colors. I decided to use warm colors for my block-in.  We worked on yellow Canson paper.  We rubbed in the first layer using pipe foam insulation. We then continued with softer pastels layering color. We stayed with bog simple shapes for as long as we could then we put in the final details.

My student did a great job and I am looking forward to seeing what she paints next!  I love sharing and doing pastel demos in my studio!  I can't think of a better way to spend a morning!

I have posted my Winter Class schedule and classes are filling fast. I do have a few openings so please contact me to register or for more information. Email

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

Oh wow! For a moment I thought Jennifur was your student! She seems so interested in the palette. Gorgeous tabby. All art is improved by a studio cat.

Great layout and you have such a magnificent big space. Thanks for showing the reference for the demo and everything. It rocks!