|'Under the Desert Sun' 18x24 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
painting available for purchase $250
I just returned home from a fantastic visit to Phoenix, Arizona. I was there to do a demo and teach a workshop for the Arizona Pastel Painters Association. I loved every minute of my visit. What a fantastic group of artists! It was a pleasure to share with them.
The theme for the workshop was 'How to Loosen Up and Add Spice to Your Paintings'. It was all about simplifying our subjects and learning ways to interpret our reference photos rather than copy them. It was so exciting to see everyone (21 artists) go outside of their comfort zones and try new techniques and exercises. Their work was impressive. We could have easily held a nice show of the finished work!
It is always wonderful to share but so often teachers receive back even more from their students. And so was the case in Phoenix. Not only did I pick up so great tips from my conversations with the group... I learned a valuable lesson about paper.
Know your Paper!
|Getting set up for my demo|
Get to know your preferred paper before you try another type or brand. It is great to experiment but jumping around from paper to paper doesn't allow you the chance to know how each paper really performs. You need to use a paper over and over until you know what to expect. You want to know without a doubt how your pastels will work and how to get the effects you want.
When you are familiar and comfortable with a paper then you will better understand how the paper choice influences the outcome of your painting. The same way of working doesn't always get the expected results on an unfamiliar paper. Paper really does matter!
I know my paper. My go-to paper is Uart 500 and I know how it performs for me. I am comfortable with it and know what to expect when I use it. It never surprises me. Except for at my demo in Phoenix!
I decided to buy Uart Board for the demos thinking it would be easier to carry and put up on the easel. Not such a good idea. I rarely use mounted Uart and I didn't expect that the mounted Uart acts differently than unmounted Uart paper. Somehow the texture of the conservation board comes through and creates a totally different feel to the paper. My pastels didn't go on smoothly and there was a lot of texture peeking through. You can enlarge these photos to see the texture.
|'Along the Chama' 18x24 pastel $250|
So often we don't give much thought to the paper we use. Maybe we choose the paper on the top of the pile or use a paper because we don't like it and have lots of it and we want to use it up! But paper does matter. It will effect how the painting looks. Make it a priority to get to know your paper. I know I will!
I'd love to come teach a workshop in your area! Let me know if you are interested in learning more! click here to send me an email.