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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Behind the Scenes...A Landscape on Canson

'Watching Life Unfold'           18x24         pastel          ©Karen Margulis
Today is the day!  It is the best day of my job as awards chair for the Southeastern Pastel Society. Today I meet with our judge Richard McKinley as he judges our exhibition. I have collected prizes from many wonderful vendors all year and tomorrow they will be awarded to some very deserving artists. It is fun to collect prizes but the best part of the job is meeting the amazing artists who serve as our judges. I will report back tomorrow but today I would like to share my post about the painting that I have in this exhibition. Enjoy!

I decided to take progress photos of the painting so I hope you will enjoy this mini demo. I used a piece of Moonstone color Canson Mi-teintes paper which I find to be good for quick paintings....except for some reason I wanted to go large! I cut the paper to 18x24 and taped it to my board.

I did a quick drawing with a pencil indicating the major shapes and flow of the painting. I like to visualize how the viewer's eye will travel through the painting.

I blocked in the big shapes with some Nupastels. I chose these colors based on value and a start to some of the intense colors that I want to peek though my pastel layers.

I rub in this first layer with a piece of pipe insulation foam. A reader recently wrote and asked me what this is made of and I don't really know. I threw out the bag and haven't had a chance to research it. I know that it works without shredding!

Next I block in the dark shapes with softer pastels. I spray them with workable fixative so I can get a feeling of texture in the foliage. I add some mauves and pinks in the meadow. Next I begin the sky.

I didn't intend to have a pink sky. I thought it would be a pale sky....maybe pale blue or even pale yellow. But the underpainting color was pink and I really liked it. So I went with the pink and pulled my marks down leading into the meadow.

The next part of the process it to work from back to front painting grasses and trying to create depth with the colors I choose and marks that I make.

Once I got to the foreground I started to add more detail and clarity to the foliage. I don't put detail at the edges or bottom of the painting. This area is out of focus so we can move into the important parts of the painting.

The last step is to add the final details....the icing on the cake which are the beach roses. I save them for last so that I can place them where they will lead the viewer into the painting.

That was fun! Now that I got that out of my system I can return to my panels!


Enid Goyers said...

Hi Karen,

Thank you for this wonderful step by step exercise!

Dee Martella said...

Thank you , Karen. I really find this mini demo very useful for a variety of sketches. Thanks again!

Artist444 said...

New to pastel and wanted to say thank you for sharing. Learn so much from your beautiful works.

Tomas Valik said...

Thank you for sharing this awesome demo. I started painting with pastels about 2 months ago and i learn so much from you. Is it posssible to share reference photo with us? I am having problems with simplifying photos. It would be so much helpful.
Thank you for this awesome blog.