|'First Snow IV' 2.5 x 3.5 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
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What I usually do is pick a theme or place that I want to paint. I find that folder on my computer and only choose about 12-20 photos. I print them out on regular printer paper fitting 9 photos to a page. They are about 2x3 inches each. I cut them apart and use only this small stack of photos to paint from.
|working on some studies using mostly Terry Ludwig pastels....Richard McKinley set|
This method of limiting my choices works well for me. I am not overwhelmed and it is easier to slip into the mood and feeling of a single place rather than jumping all around to different subjects. I will often paint several paintings in a row based on one set of photos. Then I feel ready to move on. I file the photos in small plastic envelopes labeled with the place/theme . I know at some point I will want to return to them.
Sometimes even with this limited selection of photos I still want to paint them all and I don't know where to begin! This is when it helps to do small studies. This is a good time to sit down with some small papers (2.5 x 3.5) and a limited selection of pastels and paint several studies. This allows me to work out composition and colors. It helps me get into the mood of the place. I will then often use these studies as reference and not the original photos.
For the mini paintings in today's post I couldn't decide on just one scene to paint so I painted several. I was drawn to the idea of capturing a first snow....I experienced this last November in Chicago. It was a beautiful light snow which was made even more special because the colors of fall were still in place. It was the changing of seasons and I was privileged to witness it.
All of these small paintings are available in my etsy shop. Click here for details.