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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Workshop Report: The Mystery and Magic of the Underpainting on Uart Paper

'Visit to the Windy City'          16x20    notan underpainting with black pastel     ©Karen Margulis
 I wasn't sure what to expect. When Uart contacted me and asked if they could sponsor a workshop I was thrilled. I immediately chose Chicago as the location for the workshop. It would give me an opportunity for some 'Grammie Time' with Greta and also to share with the wonderful artists in the Chicago area. It was the perfect choice. I ended up working with a fantastic and hard working group of artists. What a  great experience!

Our venue was Arts on Elston. We took over the gallery space in this lovely old building. It was an intimate and cozy space. At first I was concerned that we wouldn't have room but in the end the smaller space helped us all to get to know one another better! And we got creative with repurposing furniture!

The workshop was sponsored by Uart Pastel Paper. They were very generous with supplying enough paper for everyone for the whole workshop. In addition everyone got a goody bag. The Uart aprons were a hit! Some of the artists were already familiar with Uart paper but some had never tried it. I know we have some new converts. It was a great opportunity for every one to try the different grades of paper and to discover how versatile my favorite paper truly is!

The focus of the workshop was 'The Mystery and Magic of the Underpainitng'. I broke each of the three days into two sessions...morning and afternoon. At each session I introduced a new underpainitng technique and lesson. I also did a demo for each lesson. The artists then had time to work on their own paintings. I encouraged everyone to try a new painting at each session. So in the end most went home with 6 or more paintings!

The most gratifying part of the workshop was seeing how hard everyone worked and what great work was produced! We could have put on a great exhibition with the paintings that were done this weekend!

'Riverside Reverie'     18x24      pastel dry wash underpainitng
 I began the workshop by asking everyone what their workshop goal was and I shared mine. I wanted to give them the tools to understand the power of an effective underpainting. (I gave them the secret to a successful underpainting) My other goal was to make sure that the workshop was a relaxed and fun experience for all. I know I had a fantastic time and I can't wait for my next workshop!

value based alcohol wash underpainting

watercolor underpainting demo

impromptu demo done after everyone finished lunch early. The artists chose my subject!
For more information on Uart paper visit their website here.


Evelyn said...

Many thanks to Karen for working flat-out for three days (and, I'm sure, much more prep time), inspiring and pushing us lucky workshop attendees. When she told us her prior career was running a day-care, I realized where her calm, adaptable, and experimental nature was honed! Like all good magicians, Karen makes it look easy, but she is ever ready with the right suggestion to help each of us progress -- or caution us to stop. Please come back to Chicago!

Best, Evelyn

Anne Y said...

Lovely write up Karen. What grade of U-art paper did you use for each of your demos in this workshop?

Karen said...

Thank you Anne! I used 400 and 500 form my demos. I do like all grades though!

robertsloan2art said...

Oh these are wonderful! I love them all, but that first one really grabs me. Notan underpainting is so powerful. I love that kind of drama!

Talk about a dream workshop! Wish I'd been there with three good days in a row, keeping up. Cool about the goodie bag and Uart supplies too. That's awesome. I like variety in surfaces, so Uart is a joy with its different grits. They're all good, so I can flip through the stack of pieces I cut and choose the one I want for the pastels I'm using and effect I want. It stands up to underpainting methods so well too!

Also, it's nice they keep reprinting the grit grade across the back so even relatively small pieces I don't have to guess whether it's 400 or 500 that I'm using. A small and sometimes important convenience. With other surfaces I sometimes have to pencil the brand and color etc. on the back so that I'm not just painting on "Mystery Paper, white and sanded and artist grade."