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Saturday, February 22, 2014

An Idea for Keeping Paintings Simple

'Up in the Blue Ridge'            6x6           pastel           ©Karen Margulis
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I don't want to paint every flower in the meadow.  I see them in my photo. I could take my time and painstakingly copy what I see but that doesn't fit my personality.  I want instant gratification. So I like to do quick timed paintings as warm up exercises. It forces me to respond intuitively to my photo. 10-15 minutes tops is all I need to get down the essence of the scene.

Another thing that helps is to limit my strokes. I don't count them (you can if you need to ) but I try to put down a mark and leave it alone.

Smooth paper helps!  Working on paper with little or no tooth forces you to be more selective about the marks you make. You don't have too many chances to get it right....resulting in less mud and overworked paintings.

Try some 10 minute limited stroke paintings and see how it helps!

I just got home from a wonderfully relaxing cruise. I need to unpack and get caught up but I was very productive and can't wait to share what I painted!


Anonymous said...

Hello Karen...i've been reading your blog now for sometime and have to tell you i've learned a lot! i've been using pastels for about a year now (i'm a full time potter) and absolutely love this medium. your fresh and direct approach really appeals to me and i'm trying to embrace that approach! this latest post is a great reminder to be more direct, i certainly have a tendency to overwork a piece! so thanks for taking the time and for being so willing to offer your wisdom!

cheers, Linda

Karen said...

Hi Linda,
Thanks for your kind words. I am so glad that you find my blog helpful! I appreciate you letting me know.

Gary said...

I agree with Linda. I tend to overwork my sculptures too. And this is a good reminder as I try to make a transition to painting. I really appreciate your insights. (And I'm anxious to finish framing the painting I got from you a few weeks ago. the simplicity and spontaneity are what drew me to it.)

Gary Alsum

robertsloan2art said...

That's an interesting thought. I tend to like a little more detail than the example but it might be good to try it sometimes.

I know that timed sketching did wonders to help my rendering, till my sketches come out as or more useful than photos. I can see how timed painting may have the same effects! A great idea!