|'Magical Winter Nights' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
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I wanted to paint my memory. My photo gave me some information but I would need to edit. I needed more snow. I didn't want to include the workers. That's the beauty of painting...the ability to edit! But how would I paint the lights? How would I use sticks of color to create the glow of electric lights? How would I suggest the illusion of a forest dressed in holiday lights without painting every single bulb? Here is what I did:
|a collection of pastels used for the lights|
- I worked on a dark toned paper. In this painting I used a piece of Multimedia Artboard that I toned with dark purple tinted clear gesso. This allowed the bright colored lights to pop.
- I massed in the larger areas of branches and lights using DULL colors of a middle to middle dark value. I used a light touch allowing the pastel to skip over the textured board. I used grayed, dull purples and oranges and reds. These bigger masses on the textured surface appear as lacy masses of branches and lights.
- On the edges of these dull masses of color I began to put in pinpoints of brighter more intense colors. The lights in this scene were red and orange so I used the most intense bright orange and yellow-oranges that I had. I used soft pastels to paint the tiny dots of color.
- It is the relationship between the dull and dark colors and the bright intense ones that make the lights appear to glow so I tried to balance both for the best effect.
- For the white light of the streetlights I began with a dull red, layered yellow ochre and finally added a dot of pale yellow (almost white) The darker colors against the pale yellow caused it to appear lit.
It was a lot of fun to paint the lights and Now I want to try more! This same scene was also the inspiration into my first mixed media adventure which I will share tomorrow!