Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Secret to Painting a Believable Meadow

'Meadow Walk'               9x12                pastel                 ©Karen Margulis
purchase painting here $145
I dream of running through a beautiful meadow filled with wildflowers. I think it goes back to my childhood and a trip to the North Carolina mountains. We hiked to the top of the mountain and picnicked in a picture perfect meadow. I carry this vision in my head. When I began painting I was drawn to landscapes with wildflowers. But when I tried to paint them they fell flat.

My wildflower meadows looked as if a child came in with a box of crayons and added dots of flowers. This wasn't the romantic vision in my head!

I was determined to paint a meadow, field, prairie, marsh [insert your favorite landscape] that looked authentic. I wanted my grassy areas to look believable. If I chose to add flowers I didn't  want them to look like a child added them.  After painting many, many meadows I have a much better understanding of the things that make a meadow work.  I have techniques and tips that I use to help me create the meadows in my dreams.

I will be sharing these tips and techniques next June in my 3 hour Demonstration at the IAPS Convention. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the faculty at the convention and to be able to share with my fellow artists.  I am planning a fast paced session packed full of demo paintings, tips and fun!  You don't want to miss it!


Here is one of my favorite tips for painting a wildflower meadows:

It is all about MASSING. The best way to approach a field filled with wildflowers is to treat the flowers as one big mass or collection of masses rather than painting lots of tiny dots. SQUINT and see the big simple shapes of the flower groupings. Paint these shapes. Then come back and add just a few individual flowers at the edges of the masses. Let the viewer fill in the rest. 



Registration for IAPS is MONDAY November 17th at noon ET  Visit the website here to look at the schedule and plan your classes. 


1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

That really works. One of the things I noticed just looking at the painting is that in the front of the painting, we see the sides of the flowers and height of the plants, all about even. Individual flowers are visible and clump in masses, but the sense of a plane - a meadow that's more or less got the same depth of plants - gets established in seeing the sides of the plants at the edge. it makes a three dimensional form with a beautiful flat receding top.

Gorgeous!