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Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Importance of Mystery in a Painting

'Emergence'          12x16          pastel over watercolor       ©Karen Margulis
available for purchase $165

"A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people." Edgar Degas

I love a good mystery story. Something that pulls me in and makes me think. I like it when a writer can give me just enough information to keep me hooked. I want to keep reading.  I'd like to be a mystery painter!  I'd like to tell a good mystery story with my painting.  It is my goal to put in just enough detail to tell the story but not to give away the ending right away!  I want the viewer to linger and to discover the bits and pieces that tell the story of the painting.

This quote from Edgar Degas speaks to me. It is something I have been working on in my paintings. How do I  introduce mystery into my work?  Wet underpaintings help.

Today's painting was done with a watercolor underpainting and tried to leave some areas to the imagination. Here are some close-ups:

Not every petal is painted and I only used a thin veil of pastel over the watercolor

Very soft edges hint at a flower. Soft edges add mystery

I tried to be  loose and free with my strokes. Bolder more opaque pastel contrasts with the thin pastel over watercolor

1 comment:

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

I've never seen pastel over watercolor quite like this - I love it! The flowers are rendered JUST enough~