|'A Chance of Snow' 11x14 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
What happens when we are alone in our studios? How can we tell if the painting is finished? First, is is very important to step back frequently (see yesterday's post for tips) But what do we look for when we step back? How will that help us determine when the painting is done?
Everyone needs a simple and inexpensive tool that I like to call The Magic Mat.
|Time to step back and evaluate the painting|
The Magic Mat is simply a plain black mat. I had my framer friend cut them to fit the standard sizes from 5x7 up to 16x20. I use the mats when I am in the end stages of my painting. The black mat allows me to evaluate the painting. It eliminates the clutter on my board and draws my eye into the painting. Richard McKinley uses black tape around a painting which does the same thing and is much more portable. The mats are great to have on hand in the studio.
The mats are magic because very often they allow us to see that a painting is closer to being finished than we thought. They prevent us from fiddling and overworking. Viewing a painting with a magic mat makes easier to see what needs to be done or changed. Sometimes it is nothing at all!
|The Magic Mat at work|
|close up detail of trees|
Painting notes: Today's painting was done on a warm gray piece of canon mi-teintes paper with a variety of Nupastels, Ludwigs and Townsends.