|'Reach for the Sky' 2.5 x 3.5 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
Sometimes I start a painting with a small study. Sometimes I paint small studies for the sake of painting small. I find that painting minis is a relaxing change of pace. I sit at a table and allow myself to be playful and experiment. (2.5 x 3.5 is a standard size for my tiny paintings) Often in this state of relaxed playfulness I am able to truly let go. Some of my most favorite paintings have been the result of these small studies.
I had completed 7 aspen paintings in my series and was running out of ideas and excitement for the subject. I could have stopped and moved on to a new subject but instead I decided to paint a few minis. After I was finished I was inspired all over again and could not wait to get back to bigger paper armed with new ideas for my series.
|In the middle of the madness!|
The point of doing the small studies for me is to encourage simplification and playfulness . Here are some tips:
- Start with a few supplies. Keep it simple with a limited selection of pastels. I decided to use the same tray of colors that I have been working with for my aspen series. I did add another small box of some unused Unison pastels because the colors looked similar to the palette I was using. Make a limited palette work!
- Gather all of your supplies and get set up before beginning. You'll need pastels, precut papers,small piece of foamcore,tape or clips,reference photos, a towel or tablecloth to protect your table, baby wipes.
- Paint minis with distractions. Sometimes I find I am more painterly when I am not totally involved in the painting. I make more intuitive choices (don't overthink) when I am half tuned into TV or a radio show. Painting minis with a group of friends while chatting works the same way.
- Use your big and soft pastels. It is a great exercise in fine motor coordination. You can make very tiny and precise marks with a fat pastel with practice! If you want to keep things loose and simple then avoid using pastel pencils for your minis. Make the fat sticks work!
|Six minis for my aspen series|