|'Into the Marsh' 15x21 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
available for purchase $150
The challenge of Green! How to make a very green landscape interesting? If we stick with only the local colors of green it can be overwhelming. Green needs relief. The day I learned Richard McKinley's 'Secret of Green' was an eye opener. My green landscapes would never be the same! One of the ways I like to add interest and relief to my green masses is through the underpainting or block-in stage.
Today I'd like to share the seven step marsh demo that I did with my Tuesday Pastel class. Enjoy!
STEP 1: I do a simple line drawing with charcoal to indicate my horizon line and a few big simple shapes. I then block in each shape with a warm color. I chose red (the compliment of green) I used four values of red choosing a different value for each shape depending on it's location in the landscape. I rub in this first block in layer with a piece of pipe insulation. I am using gray Canson Mi-Teintes Touch paper.
STEP 2: Next I take out my softer pastels and reinforce all of the dark areas. I use three different colors that are all the same value and layer them. This creates a more interesting dark area. Notice how I expand my darks so that they are connected and Not spotty.
STEP 3: I add some cooler greens to the distant treeline to establish the tops of the trees. Now I can put in the sky. I use about 4 colors that are close in value and layer them until they blend to create a luminous sky. I chose pale peaches, pinks and yellows for my sky. I then add these same colors to the water using horizontal strokes.
STEP 4: I finish the distant trees adding some skyholes. Now it is time to work on the grasses. Before starting on the greens I decide to put down some more reds and salmon pinks. I consider this the 'dirt' and it will help make the greens more interesting.
STEP 5: Starting at the back I put down the green grasses being careful to vary the colors and vary my strokes to help create the illusion of depth.
STEP 7: The final step is to complete the grass. I spray the foreground with rubbing alcohol to fix the darks before adding big strokes for the grass. The final touches are a few thinner blades of grass in a few key spots. Every mark has a purpose at this finishing stage.
|close up detail of the buildings|