|'Summer in Iceland' 14.5 x 19.5 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
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It's Paint Along Monday. Today I am introducing a new feature for the blog. I will be dedicating Monday's blog post to a step by step pastel demo. I am calling it 'Paint Along Monday'. I will show my reference photo in case you would like to paint along with me. I will also share some of the things that go through my head while I am painting.
Today I decided to paint from one of my Iceland photos. I am doing a presentation about my trip to Iceland for the Southeastern Pastel Society in February so I was in an Iceland mood. My photo was taken on a bus tour in Southern Iceland. This was one of several waterfalls on the tour. It was spectacular and I didn't write down the name of it so if anyone knows please share!
|My reference photo|
Step two: Using several sticks of dark pastels, I block in all of the dark areas of the painting. I lightly layer them to get a nice rich dark. I used burgundy, blue and purple.
Step three: I move onto blocking in all of the lightest areas. That would be the sky and the water. I decided to finish the sky while I was at it. I really didn't like the feel of this paper and I didn't like the rough look to the sky so I blended it it lightly with my fingers. I rarely do this but this paper called for it.
Step four: Next I begin adding some 'dirt' colors such as rusts and purples. These will be underneath the greens and in the exposed rocky areas of the hills.
Step five: I continue adding dirt and then begin putting down the darker greens. I am not enjoying this paper today. It doesn't seem that rough yet it is eating up my pastels. I wanted to use my new set of Terry Ludwig greens but decide to use some harder Mount Visions to fill in some of the roughness. I also decide that it would be a good idea to use some workable fixative to set these first layers before taking out my Ludwigs. In the photo you can see that wet spots of fixative. I wait a few minutes for it to dry.
Step six: Now the softer greens glide nicely over the darks. It feels better but I still have a way to go. I use a few brighter and warmer greens and more purples. The greens of Iceland in the summer are amazing. It is a lush wonderland perfect for elves and fairies.
Step seven: I move towards the foreground and add some darker grasses. I also block in the dark yellows of the dandelions.
Step eight: I finished with the addition of some warm and cool yellows to the dandelions and add a few blades of grass. I think I am done......I take a break and return to the studio with fresh eyes. I see some things I need to change. I decide the waterfall is too wide and so I cut into it with the colors of the hills. I also decide to be bolder with my marks on both the hillside and the sky. I also take out my Diane Townsend green terraces. I used the full arsenal of greens on this painting!
I also cover up some of the flowers which had gotten too fussy. Now I am finished!