2018 Workshop Schedule. New workshops added! click here for details.
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Benefits of Painting Without Glasses...and when it's time to put them back on!

'Here Comes the Sun'           8.5 x 11.5            pastel             ©Karen Margulis
Painting this tree gave me fits!  I was very close to throwing it on the pile. I don't give up easily but I was not enjoying this painting at all. I looked like a big orange blob and no matter what I did it didn't want to cooperate.  Fortunately I had a dentist appointment giving me a break from the tree.

A break from a frustrating painting is always a good thing. I came back with a clear head and with less emotion. I stood back and looked at the sad tree. Why was it a blob? Well, it had no air or sky holes. But I didn't see many skyholes in my reference. I assumed it just had a lot of foliage.

Then I had a brainstorm!  I decided to put on my glasses and have a closer look. Ahhhh there were sky holes! Quite a few of them actually. I just didn't see them without my glasses.  I only need readers so I never put them on to paint. I enjoy how I see things as pleasantly soft. I see the big shapes and the important stuff. But I obviously didn't see the tiny skyholes in my very small reference photo.

I put the glasses back on and took my time to develop the tree. It was enjoyable finding the holes and negative spaces in the foliage and trunks. Having the glasses on help me give the tree a better shape. I was able to be more precise where it was important to be precise!

It was literally an eye-opener!  I guess I didn't realize how much I could see with the glasses!  And that's important to know. I don't always want to see everything!  I love that I don't get caught up in details and can see simply. I will keep my glasses off when painting unless there is an area that needs more refinement. I now have a new tool in my painting toolbox!

Block-in done without glasses

Sky holes done with my glasses on!


robertsloan2art said...

Oh wow! Love the results and you're so right. I need magnifying glasses to read now, they're not prescription but they were cheap. I have been loosening up a lot lately and some of it is just that I'm not wearing those glasses unless I'm reading or doing the fine details on something.

It makes it a lot easier to see the whole painting without glasses. Someone with good eyesight would have to squint and learn to walk away more, but there's at least an upside to my lousy vision!

Anonymous said...

I love the way your colors seem radiate from the base of the tree and the sky movement. Absolutely lyrical!