Thursday, March 31, 2016

An Interesting Technique for Creating Texture in Clouds

'Drama on the High Plains'          11x14          pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available $165
My focus for the month of April will be Skies and Clouds. I will be crossing Texas on the way to Tucson for the Plein Air Convention (more on this soon) and I hope to experience some beautiful skies! I will also be teaching a mini workshop in June for the First Coast Pastel Society and our focus will be on the sky.

I thought I'd get a head start and paint some clouds today. I selected a stormy sky reference photo and decided to do an underpainting with some new supplies. I have had this set of Cretacolor hard pastels for awhile and haven't had a chance to use them. I selected a piece of white pastel premier and got to work.

I layered some blues and purples in the sky and some dirt colors on the ground. I had limited colors in my started set.  Next I did an alcohol wash to liquify the pastel with the hopes of getting some interesting cloud shapes. Then my underpainting took an interesting turn.

I had a baby wipe in my hand and I used it to dab a big drip. It removed a bit of the pastel as well. It got me thinking. What if I used the baby wipe as a tool? What would happen? So a bunched up the wipe and pressed it into the paper. It removed pastel and left some interesting textural marks.  I dabbed some more...the alcohol in the baby wipes was having an effect on the surface of the paper. Parts of the sanded surface were moving around.

This might have been a problem but I embraced the movement. It might create interesting effects when the pastel is applied! The underpainting was quite interesting!

The alcohol wash with baby wipe texture
 The result.....It was interesting and I love when things get interesting. There was definitely a feeling of irregular texture when I applied my pastel layers. The paper took on a different feel and my marks looked rougher than usual. But I enjoyed the change. And the Cretacolor hard pastels were very nice!
I think I will continue exploring this technique!


A Fit Life said...

I just love the way you experiment!!

robertsloan2art said...

Wow this is cool! Thanks for a good demonstration of using a limited palette too. Have you ever started and finished a small painting with Cretacolor Pastels Carre' or any hard pastels?

Even if something alters the texture of the paper, that's not necessarily a bad thing! Gorgeous sky and I love this month's theme. Texas is a great place to see beautiful skies.

I have to work quick in Arkansas though because the weather changes so fast!