|'Summer Fields are Calling' 5x7 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
As much as I love sanded papers I am equally drawn to unsanded surfaces such as Canson. Every once in awhile I just like to paint directly with soft pastels with no underpainting. It is enjoyable. In fact the painting that just was awarded an exceptional merit award was done on Canson with no real underpainting.
|'Summer Fields 2' $75|
Many artists don't enjoy working on Canson. They either don't like the textured bumpy side or feel they can't get enough layers. I have written about tips for having success on Canson. (search my blog for canson articles) So today I decided to do a side by side mini demo on both the smooth side and the bumpy side of Canson Mi-Teintes paper. I hope you enjoy!
The bumpy side is the painting on the left. The smooth side is the right. The textured side is considered the correct side but many don't enjoy the regular texture. You can click on any photo to enlarge and see a close up.
I blocked in each painting with soft pastels using 4 values of violet. I then rubbed in the pastel with a piece of pipe insulation foam. It was especially helpful on the bumpy paper.
Reinforcing the dark areas and painting the sky with a few different pale blues and a light pink at the horizon.
Beginning to add the green on top of the violets. I had to use a light touch so I could get enough layers on this unsanded paper. I don't really notice much difference in how many layers each side of the paper will take. It feels similar.
I sprayed the bottom half of the paintings with workable fixative so I could darken the foreground and get a feeling of texture over the dark areas.
I lightly applied some golds and greens over the 'fixed' areas. The bumpy side definitely gives a feeling of more texture although some feel it is too regular and mechanical. Click to enlarge.
Finally I added the finishing touches....the flowers and a few blades of grass. The flowers are are not planted randomly. They are placed deliberately where they will help move the viewer's eye through the painting.
Which version do you prefer? Answer in the comment section.