|'Bluebonnet Spring Study' 5x7 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
available for purchase $50
My goal is to interpret the landscapes I paint. It is always something on my mind when starting a new painting. I know that I have to take things out, put things in and even move things around to have the best design. But how?
Seeing potential compositions is part intuition and part study and part practice. I knew nothing at all about composition when I started painting. I made it a point to study and read about what makes good designs. It has taken many many paintings for this knowledge to become more intuitive. In addition we all have a sense of 'rightness' about design....what looks and feels right to us. I began to trust this sense and not freeze when it came to making changes to the design of my paintings.
How do you know if you have a good composition? Test your ideas with small studies.
|The study board I made for a recent demo painting|
It is a lot easier to try out potential compositions on a small and simple scale. I like to do very simple black and white thumbnail sketches using just four values. I look for the big simple shapes in my scene. I decide what is the darkest and lightest shapes and what shapes are middle value. It is easy to see the underlying abstract design in the thumbnail. I can move shapes around or add and subtract before I even pick up a pastel. It really works!
|'Bluebonnet Spring' 11x14 pastel $150|