2018 Workshop Schedule. New workshops added! click here for details.
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Behind the Scenes ...Heron and Egret Painting

'The Wild Side'        9x12      pastel      ©Karen Margulis      available $160
(enjoy this post from the archives. I am working on a brand new pdf demo to be released soon!)

I'm nosy. I like to be an observer of everything. Sometimes I get so involved with my people watching and observations that I forget that I am not really invisible. I am just very curious. It's not just people watching that intrigues me...I love watching art come to life. I enjoy seeing artists post their progress shots and even better when they give a commentary. I love learning how other artists approach a painting. 

So today I will take you behind the scenes of my egret and heron painting. I took some progress shots and I have added my thoughts below each photo. I hope you enjoy a peek behind the scenes.

I am using a 9x12 piece of Uart 500 sanded paper. I begin with a drawing done with compressed charcoal. I just dive right in with the charcoal and make any corrections without erasing. This is a totally different technique from my landscapes. It just illustrates that there is no right or wrong way to start a pastel painting!

I decide to start with the heron. I began by blocking in the darkest darks and then the middle values and finally the lightest areas. I usually work on the entire painting at one time including the background but for some reason the heron went quickly and I decided to finish him. Sometimes you just go with the flow!

Next I painted the egret. There is not strong dark so I began by using a middle value blue and purple before add ing the lighter value whites. I have left the dark charcoal lines on both birds. I love lines and I liked how they gave the birds a looser more expressive feeling. They are my interpretation of these wonderful birds....not a photorealistic representation.

I also added some of the dried marsh grasses with a few different yellow and orange pastels. Now the hard part, the background ....I never wait until the end to put in a background!

I wanted the birds to have a backdrop of water so I used several different blue pastels to sneak the water behind them. I was careful to pull the blue all the way into the birds. I didn't want to leave a halo of paper color around the birds.  I used blue to negatively paint in between the grasses. That was fun!  I love painting animals this way! Directly, fast with no underpainting!

4x4 study
Here is another favorite painting os a snowy egret. I enjoy the square format for these birds!

'My Snowy Friend'        12x12     pastel      available $175

1 comment:

lartiste said...

Gorgeous! Love the painting in progress feature. Thanks!