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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Every Artist Should Try This..Variation on a Theme

'Blue Sky on a Summer Day'        5x7      pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $75
If you do this you will never be at a loss for painting material. If you do this you will stretch and grow as an artist. If you do this you may just surprise yourself at how much you have in your head to draw on.  I love to do it.....I love to put on my 'what if' hat and see how many ways I can interpret the same subject. It is the perfect way to get milage out of a favorite reference and venture off into new territory.

I forgot how much I love this exercise but was reminded the other day when I decided to listen to the Artists Helping Artists radio interview with Quang Ho. (If you haven't had a chance to check out Leslies Saeta's show on Blog Talk Radio put it on your list! click here  Start with this interview and go through the archives. There are so many wonderful shows. I love listening to them when I putter around the studio. I will be the guest this Thursday at 1:00 so be sure to tune in here !)

12x24  pastel

 But back to the interview with Quang Ho. It was a wonderful and inspiring interview. Not only is he an amazing artist he is a great teacher and had many pearls of wisdom sprinkled throughout the interview. One that really resonated with me was his advice to explore a theme when painting....to take a subject and find ways to interpret it. For example, take a painting and do it again in high key or low key or with thick paint or thin.....you get the idea. I know that when I do this exercise I learn more than if I painted several different subjects.

Why? Because I have already worked out composition and value and gotten familiar with the subject....now I am free to play and explore. And with play comes learning.

my reference photo

So for today's painting I decided to use the same reference photo from my recent Nantucket painting. I decided to change the mood of the painting by putting in a blue sky. I will continue to explore this scene.  I am making a list of the different ways I can change it. This will be an ongoing series and I will add to it whenever I get a new idea for a variation. Yes. Every artist should try this. Are you game?

the underpainting is soft pastel rubbed into uart paper


carol edan said...

Thanks for this splendid idea..been thinking about on this since I saw #30edits on Instagram. if its good for photography it's good for painting..well maybe not 30 LOL

robertsloan2art said...

This is a great concept! I've seen it done and I've tried things like it in the past, this one rose I must have drawn and painted 30 or 40 times in different mediums before and after it faded. I was working from previous sketches and paintings at the end and still had fun with it. The cool thing is that occasionally I feel like going back to it when I find those sketches. You ever find your own old sketches an inspiration?