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Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Pastel Demo....Spring Landscape on Textured Board

'Forsythia Woods'             8x10           pastel              ©Karen Margulis
Forsythia is pure joy. There is not an ounce, not a glimmer of sadness or even knowledge in forsythia. Pure, undiluted, untouched joy.  Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Painting has something in common with forsythia. It is pure joy. I enjoyed painting today's demo. I hope you enjoy seeing  my process. I am working today on a textured board. It is an 8x10 piece of gatorboard that I applied a pumice and gesso mix in random brushstrokes. The mixture was tone with yellow liquid acrylic paint. I love working on this surface and I need to make some more soon!

I begin by choosing the pastels I will use for the painting and lining them up in my working tray. I then do a loose drawing with compresses charcoal.

For the next step I block in the dark shapes using dark purples and greens. I then block in the distant foliage and trees with some muted pinks and greens.

Next I block in the shadow shapes on the path and grass. I reinforce the shapes of the tree trunks with the charcoal. I want to make sure they are interesting shapes and have a varied spacing between them.

Time to block in the sky. I choose a pale warm blue and use this sky color to break up the tree shapes.

 In these two photos I am working on the grasses and path. I have also put in some of the thinner branches.

Now I am working on the last layers.  I add some bright green to the sunlit areas in the grass. I also start to develop the big forsythia bush in the foreground.  I want it to appear unruly and textured.  The texture of the prepared surface helps. I want more though. I spray it a couple of times with fixative and add more layers of yellow pastel.

Finally I add some highlights to the trees and some more branches. I then took a very soft Schminke pastel and added the brightest yellows to the forsythia bush. Click on the photo to enlarge it so you can see the texture of the board up close.


Anonymous said...

Karen, i just have to tell you how helpful your blogs are! i struggle so much with the difference between 'reality' and 'painting'.....your progressive images of the painting helps so much in assisting me in identifying the steps you take. thanks so much for doing such a lot of work!

cheers, linda

Unknown said...

Love the new "progress" shoots all grouped together. Very cool!

Gloria said...

Your work is just beautiful. I love this painting, Karen. Your process is so interesting. I have been watching your progress since last July after the IAPS convention.

Carole Scureman said...

I love your blogs. They are so helpful. This was particularly interesting. I like all the information you include like the textured board and which brand of pastel you use as your highlight. Thanks for taking your time to share on your blog.. Carole

Karen said...

Thanks everyone! I didn't know the photos displayed in a group. That's very cool!!

Thanks Gloria! I will be presenting two programs at the next IAPS. A demo on wildflowers and a seminar on art blogging so be sure to pass it on to your pastel friends!


This turned out so beautifully. Following your progress is fun and informative. I have something so similar to paint this week: a road leaving an antebellum mansion in Natchez, MS. I hope it turns out nearly as well as yours.