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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A Magic Trick for Painting Reflections with Pastels

'Evening Song'              18x24              pastel              ©Karen Margulis
A little magic makes painting fun!  Painting really is magic if you think about it. I am always amazed at how we can create a three dimensional reality on a flat pieces of paper with a handful of chalks.  Everything we do to create this reality is an illusion....creating depth, making water look wet, making something look hot or cold....it goes on and on.  Any little tool I can use to help me create this illusion is always welcome.  Here is one you might like to try:

It's an eraser.  But not just any eraser....it's a Magic Rub eraser by Sanford.   Just what we need ......a little magic!

The Magic Rub erase in action

To create believable reflections in the water I want to make them softer than the object that is being reflected.  I also want to make them look like they are in the water and not just shapes on the ground.  To do this I take the colors I am using to block in the shapes ABOVE the water and paint them IN the water using vertical strokes. (the water will be painted with horizontal strokes)

I often use my fingers to drag the color down into the water, pulling them vertically.  For larger areas of reflections such as in today's BIG 18x24 demo, I used the Magic Rub eraser to drag the reflections into the water and softening them. I press down hard on the eraser allowing it to pick up pastel and pulling it into the water.  It works great!  Next I put in the water using very light horizontal strokes.

I love magic!


Carolyn Hancock said...

Neat idea, Karen, and beautiful orange on the treetops.

Hélène said...

This autumn painting is one of my favorite. I recentley bkoke one of my kitchen tools. A pankake spatula made of silicone. I cut the beveled edge and use it for blending reflections on water in my painting. Works' great !

Jo Castillo said...

Thanks again for sharing your tips. All your paintings are filled with magic!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is gorgeous!!!

:D Riley

Jackie said...

I'm struggling with some reflections right now-will give it a try. Thanks