|'Cliff Edge' 5x7 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
Block in a painting with just a few big shapes for a stronger painting.
Squinting is a very good way to simplify a scene whether you are painting on location or from a photo. Squinting removes a lot of the detail and color allowing you to see the masses of light and dark. Another good way to see big shapes is to use a scrap piece of glassine or tracing paper.
Glassine is just right for obscuring details. It isn't clear yet it isn't quite opaque either. Place a piece of glassine over your reference photo and it is like looking at the photo with really dirty glasses. Like squinting it allows you to only see the big shapes of light and dark.
For today's painting my concept was the contrast and drama of the setting sun illuminating the flowers at the edge of the cliff leaving much of the hillside in shadow. I used a piece of glassine to create a black and white notan thumbnail. The glassine was helpful in allowing me to decide what needed to be left in the shadows and what areas should be light.
So don't throw out those scraps of glassine paper. Save them for help with shape finding! Glassine paper is useful to cover finished pastel paintings. I keep a roll handy and cut pieces as I need them.
|My daily 30in30 oil painting ' field study' 5x7 oil|