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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Pastel and Watercolor with a Twist....demo photos

'Summer in Sweden'          8x10        pastel           ©Karen Margulis
available $145

It was great to get back to the easel today. I was so excited that I didn't know what to try first. Since I am preparing for my Uart sponsored underpainting workshop in Chicago I thought it would be fun to do a watercolor underpainting. But I added a fun little twist. I love discovering new ways to create underpaintings.

Cretacolor Aqua Brique Watercolors and Derwent Watercolor Pencils

I started with a simple underpainting using my Cretacolor Aqua Briques. I love how bold and vibrant they are. Then I had an idea. Why not use my watercolor pencils on the paper while it was still wet. I took out my Derwent watercolor pencils (I have been using them for my sketchbook) and started putting in some small branches with the black and dark blue pencil. I loved how the lines started to gently spread creating a wonderful painterly effect. I continued by adding some green grasses and leaves. They went on like butter and spread just enough to make it interesting. 
I will be using watercolor pencils again! 

The finished watercolor and watercolor pencil underpainting

I began by blocking in the dark leaves with Terry Ludwig pastels and developed the tree trunks with pale values of peach and blue and yellow. I am careful to let the watercolor underpainting show!

Next I blocked in the sky and distant grass. Big simple strokes.

I continue painting the grass matching the underpainting color with the same color and value in my soft Terry Ludwig pastels. I am still careful to let some of the drips of watercolor show!

I add the finishing touches...some blue and peach in the trunks and hints of flowers in the grass. Finished!

My reference photo
Question for my readers: Are you active on Instagram? Do you like it and how do you use it? Your answers will help my upcoming article on Instagram. You can follow me @karenmargulis


Tim Moore said...

like the effect of the w/c pencils..do the pencils "glob" up when using while wet?..do you need to clean them much when using wet?..also, i think i notice in a few posts ,if not a lot, you do nt paint your sky area first, somewhere in the middle of the painting..i usually start out with sky, farthest back , then work forward..do you find an advantage that way or does it sometimes just happen that way?..i can paint sky holes and such later, but any advantage to painting it later?..

robertsloan2art said...

Wow! Sometimes your underpaintings could stand on their own as paintings. This is one of your best. It's gorgeous, and the final painting is so dramatic.

It's interesting how often you use dark blue in your underpaiintings. It works, the results are always striking, it just startles me. Is that a personal preference or do you have an artistic reason for choosing blue in the deepest values?

Nini and the Sea said...

I love instagram! I like keeping track of all my friends and and gathering inspiration. It is a very visual media, perfect for artists!! I use it for sharing my progress in my art studies, sharing is hard for me so I'm using it to grow my bravery.


Karen said...

Thanks Nini, Tim and Robert!

Great observation about the dark blue.....I guess it is a personal choice but it works so well I don't think to change it!!

Francesca Droll said...

I'm always amazed at the simplicity of your strokes and how they represent the subject so well. Something I continue to strive for. I have not used Instagram. Maybe it's time I learned more about it!

Anonymous said...

I love getting your posts. I rarely comment or paint in pastels but your blog is so informative. Thank you for sharing all your talents and tips.
I am a recent convert to instagram and love it. James Gurney reckons it's a bit like a billboard, advertising your blog or website as it just gives users a taste, in an instant, then it's gone. Users can go back and troll through your site though. A bit like Facebook but more instant 😊