|'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.