Monday, March 16, 2015

The Power Of Mark Making in Pastel

'Made with Care'               8x10              pastel            ©Karen Margulis
purchase painting on Etsy $145
I don't know what I love the most about pastels. Is it the vibrancy and the huge and tempting array of colors? Or is it their immediacy and very tactile nature?  Holding a stick of pure pigment in my hand is the ultimate way to paint. Once I got past the learning curve I was able to make a wide variety of marks with the fattest stick of pastel.

That's what I really love. The ability to paint and draw with color. I love the control I can get from a pastel.....from a wide bold swath of color to a delicate painterly line. It's very satisfying. The more I paint, the easier it is to get the marks I want. There is a lot to be said for practice! Not only do we improve our ability to make marks we also develop our own unique calligraphy!

TRY THIS: Paint a bird nest!  The bird nest is the perfect subject for exploring the mark-making possibilities of pastels. Try to paint a nest with a variety of marks....wide side strokes, delicate linear marks, blended marks.....How else can you paint a nest?  What happens when you use hard pastels vs soft ones? Round vs square? Have fun exploring!

My next mini workshop will be held on March 25 in my Marietta studio. We will be exploring the topic of mark making. It will be a lot of fun. Contact me if you are interested kemstudios@yahoo.com

4 comments:

Anna Lisa Leal said...

What a great painting! I just happened to find a bird's nest on the ground this morning! I look forward to giving this a try!

Hope Thompson said...

I definitely need to do this exercise, as I seem to have a blending problem. I always think it stems from being a watercolorist! I think those of us that do watercolor are used to that smooth look on paper, and that translates over to my pastels. I get frustrated with myself when I "blend" out the pastel marks. Does anyone else have this issue? Sometimes I just wonder if it is my "style" as a pastel artist?

Tammy said...

Not just you, Hope Thompson. I tend to do the same thing much of the time!

Susan Vaughn said...

Hope - I only blend the underpainting. Love your post Karen! Beautiful painting!!