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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Back to Basics with Pastels

'A Cool Respite'           9x12          pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available here by paypal  $125
Sometimes I like  to go back to basics.  It is fun and exciting to try new techniques and processes but it is always nice to know I can return to tried and true method of making a painting come to life.

I call it my B2B Method ....Back to Basics.  It allows me to take a busy landscape reference (photo or plein air) and simplify it.  It allows me to paint quickly and efficiently.  It allows me to thoroughly enjoy the painting process without stressing over 'getting it wrong'.

reference photo and value thumbnail
I use the B2B method to teach artists new to pastels but it works for anyone wishing to simplify their paintings. The keys to success are to do a 4 value black and white thumbnail and to choose a working palette of pastels before starting to paint.  I have posted information on doing value thumbnails and you can read more here:
Five Steps to a Good Thumbnail
Tips for Avoiding Spotty Paintings

I am currently working on a digital lesson/demo on the B2B method so stay tuned and practice your thumbnails!!

TIP:  If you find you don't have as much time to paint as you'd like try keeping a small sketchbook with you to be used for doing simple value thumbnails. The more you do the easier it will be to see things in big simple masses of dark and light. These thumbnails count towards the much needed 'miles of canvas'!


bighillpottery said...

Hi Karen, your posts are always such a delight and so informative. i've got a favor to ask....i'm about to purchase a few more Schminke pastels, i only have a few in the lighter shades, and i have to order everything on line....can you suggest 4-5 greens and maybe 1-2 other essentials, say in the ochre hue, that would be essential for landscapes! hope this isn't asking too much! thank you so much in advance !

cheers, Linda

Karen said...

Thanks Linda I would love to offer suggestions. I don't have many scmhminkes so I don't have any particular colors to recommend. When I did get some I got the brightest most intense colors because I only intended to use them for 'spices' at the end of a painting. I need to order some so when I do I will write about my choices. I have to get to my taxes first! :(

bighillpottery said...

Oh yeah, taxes....that's fun eh! maybe an easier thing to do is tell me what greens you use in other makes, like Terry Ludwig (i have some of his) and i can transfer that info myself over to the schminkes. no rush - good luck with the taxes!

cheers, linda