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Monday, May 26, 2014

Pastel Demo on Canson Paper...New England Summer

'New England Summer'          16x20         pastel        ©Karen Margulis
purchase painting $225 on Etsy
I thought the painting was finished. I took the final photo and uploaded it to the blog. It wasn't done.  It happens quite often actually. There is nothing like looking at your painting on the big screen to show  all of the issues. So it was back to the easel.  In fact today it was back to the easel 3 more times until I finally was satisfied.

The painting just wasn't capturing the emotion I wanted. It was a beautiful afternoon on Nantucket Island. We came up to the beach and had a view of the distant ocean through a sea of wildflowers. The heady scent of the beach roses filled the air. It was magical.

I decided to remove the beach umbrellas and add more flowers. I softened the sky as well.  These changes helped create the mood I was after. Thank goodness for digital photos! They are so helpful for evaluating a painting. Enjoy today's mini demo.

I began the painting on a piece of 16x20 Canson MiTeintes paper Moonstone color. I blocked in the big shapes with 4 values of pink and rubbed it into the paper with a piece of pipe foam insulation.

Next I block in the dark areas underneath the foliage and then moved to the sky. I layer several blue pastels both warm and cool and dark to light. I tried to get a nice transition from top to bottom.

I work on the clouds layers using pale peach and yellow. I don't use pure white at all. I also put in the band of distant ocean.

I begin putting in the darker greens in the foliage areas and I indicate where the fence is. I end up removing the fence. I also layer some very light value yellows in the sand.

I build up several layers of greens in the foliage area. Because Canson doesn't have a lot of tooth I decide to spray some workable fixative so I could build up more layers and get some texture in the foliage.

I add the beach umbrellas and more greens. I also start to put in a few of the beach roses.

This is where I thought I was finished. I didn't like the texture in the clouds and the cloud shapes were too similar. I also didn't like the umbrellas. They were too small for where they were in the composition. If I kept them they would need to be larger and the painting wasn't about the umbrellas.....so I brushed them out.  I added more flowers and was much happier. (see top photo)


Donna T said...

Nice changes, Karen! It's always nice to find a beautiful spot at the beach and have it to yourself, even if it's only for a little while.

Elizabeth said...

I love this painting but then I love all your paintings. I've been working with pastels for many years but I'm learning to relax and not overdo my work thanks to you. It is hard to get out of old habits. Thanks, thanks,thanks.

Anonymous said...

Love the dreamy look of this--perfect place for a daydream.