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Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Mini Pastel Demo...Old Florida Fishing Shack

'Days Gone By'            16x20          pastel             ©Karen Margulis
I started this painting a few years ago. I wasn't sure how to finish it and then lost interest in it. So on the shelf it went. I have a stack of unfinished paintings on a shelf still attached to foam core. Every once in awhile I pull one out and revisit it.  This is probably my oldest unfinished painting... started during my first year with pastels.  I was in my Florida phase. I only painted beaches, shells and shore birds. 

Since we are working on water in class this week I decided to revisit this Florida scene.  This old fishing shack was quite rustic and rickety but the view was amazing. I had started the painting with an alcohol wash. (see below) The reference photo had faded but I still remembered the vibrant colors of this wonderful place. The painting is 16x20 on white Wallis paper.

Where I left off 8 years ago.

I began by reinforcing all of the dark shapes with a deep blue, dark red and dark green. I put in my most intense color which was a bright coral.  Next I worked on the sky. I started at the top of the paper and put down some cool deep blue and gradually used warmer and lighter blues and yellows. I let the pastels blend themselves...no finger blending.

I continue with a cool green for the distant land and put in the first layer of water. I use a rich middle dark value blue. I will layer more blues in the water but I put in my darkest color first.

 I begin the reflections.  I pull the colors of the dock and pilings down into the water. I used vertical strokes and blend them downward with my fingers.  Next I add lighter bands of blue in the water. When I get to the area of reflection I choose a rich bright blue and make some current marks in horizontal strokes over my reflections. (see the finished painting for this)

 Before I finished the water though I worked on the palm trees. I added some brighter warmer greens and some oranges in the palm fronds. I used the sky color to create the fronds by negative painting.

The last thing I did was to paint the shadow and dock. It was an old uneven concrete dock.  I then finished the shack with some blues and peaches.  I stood back and decided that I needed a warmer color at the horizon so I scumbled some pastel peach over the yellow sky. 

I sure is fun to revist an old unfinished painting. It is the perfect opportunity to play without worrying about the results! 


robertsloan2art said...

I love this one! The water is so sparkling and the light so fantastic in it. I feel the warmth of the scene and that tree is amazing, everything in it is. It just makes me want to go there. AWESOME demo! Thank you!

Vanessa Turner said...

WOW, you did an amazing job with this piece Karen. I always admire how you depart from the reference photo and just know where and when to make changes. Beautiful every time!