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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Limiting Pastels for More Intuitive Painting

'Where the Lupine Grow'              12x15            pastel            ©Karen Margulis
purchase painting here $150
 It was organized and well thought out. When I started the paint-a-thon I was methodical. I chose my papers and subjects. I wrote notes about my concept for each painting. I picked out a limited palette of pastels for my first painting and lined them up neatly on my usual butcher tray. I had everything under control.

Then the music got turned up and began to paint. All of my neat organized lines of pastels became a jumble.  I hadn't given much thought to what I would do with the pastels once I finished a painting. Would I put them back in my big studio box and start over for each painting? Would I try to stay neat and organized?

I decided not to clean up and just keep going! I was caught up in the moment. The plan was made, colors selected. Now it was time to just paint! After the ten paintings were done,  I ended up with four trays of pastels.  This is actually quite limited if you consider the hundreds of pastels I could choose from!

The 4 trays of pastels used for my paint-a-thon

 I ended up using many of the same colors in each painting only adding a few different colors as the subject required. I didn't decide in advance to keep using the same core group of pastels, but the end result was  nice color harmony among all of the paintings. They all work on their own but look like they go together in a group. 

TIP: I used to work from a very messy box of pastels. I changed to a more organized master box of pastels arranged by color and value. I choose a limited palette before each painting and put them on a butcher tray. I find I can be more intuitive and painterly when I don't have to pause and search for the 'right' pastel. 

The original unfinished demo that I finished during
the paint-a-thon. Can you spot the changes?

1 comment:

Sandi G said...

First , congrats on such a successful paintathon.
So yes the finished painting is differing because you changed the sky and vista , no rolling hills ,bluer sky . Shrubs , then what could be water or more land . I love it.
Here's some questions ..what is your concept in this painting ? I would guess to reveal these Lupines and the mass of land ,! In your concept , have decided how to lead through the painting and a center of interest ..I noticed a light mark back by the shrubs towards the right of the painting. Can you you elaborate on your concept .
Thank you so much , Karen.