|'Blue Sky on a Summer Day' 5x7 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
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 !)
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|