|'Fall Fantasy' 5x7 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
It happens every couple of weeks. I start out with a clean slate....or clean butcher trays! I like to begin a new painting by choosing the pastels I will use and putting them in a tray. Having a limited palette forces me to have some control over my color harmony. It helps me approach a painting with a plan of sorts. And for me having the plan is like having a map.....I have directions in case I get lost....but I am always open to taking detours!
I know many artists don't care for this way of working. It seems confining or maybe too involved. There are many valid reasons for not preselecting a palette and wonderful paintings are created from what seems to be an overwhelming choice of pastels. I believe it takes a lot of experience to be able to confidently choose the right colors without any advanced planning.
Until we have the many miles of canvas that is required for true intuitive color confidence....an organized palette is the key to success!
|A Beautiful Mess!|
The day I began to choose my pastel palette before a painting was the day I finally felt in control. It has made all the difference in the world in how I paint. But after a couple of weeks of daily painting and filling all my butcher trays....I am faced with color chaos. Trays filled with pastels used for the past week's paintings are now mixed up and dirty. I spend a few days working with them like this as a challenge. It makes me work to find the right colors and values. It keeps me on my toes. It is good for a change of pace.
But I don't care to work this way for long periods of time. I like to make sense of a messy palette so I take time to clean each pastel by wiping it off on a soft towel and putting it back in my big box. It is definitely time after the frenzy of the 30 painting challenge!
|Messy trays from a month of painting. Time to clean them and put them away!|
|I used an older unfinished underpainting for today's pastel|