|'The Evening Show' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
This scene was the obvious choice for one of my first paintings since returning home from 4 weeks of wandering. I decided I would do a watercolor underpainting on Uart paper. I used my sketch as a guide to the colors. Watercolor works differently on sanded pastel paper than on white watercolor paper. I didn't quite achieve the same effect as my sketch but I did get the shapes in place. I have to remember that watercolor dries lighter. I could have made the dark areas a darker value. Lesson for the next time!
|The watercolor underpainting while still wet!|
|Dry watercolor on Uart paper|
I began the pastel application by reinforcing the dark areas. I layered several colors of the same dark value to create interesting and rich dark trees and foreground. I used blue, purple red and orange...all dark values. I also used the Terry Ludwig eggplant for my darkest accents. I also added the orange 'flash' at the horizon since this was the most important area of the painting. (it was what excited me about this scene)
|Adding pastel to the trees and foreground|
Next it was time to work on the sky. Once I began painting the sky I got so involved that I forgot to take photos! That happens sometimes. I began painting the sky by tackling the cloud shadows first. I layered violet, green and orange to create the grays. I then worked up from the orange horizon using a yellow orange and then yellow. I added the blue sky areas in between the clouds and finally pulled the lightest pale yellow over the blue. I continued using these colors to gradually model the clouds. I occasionally used a finger to lightly soften some of the clouds.
The last thing that I did was to add the telephone poles and wires and the spice colors. I didn't want to draw the pole and wires because I wanted them to be mere suggestions so I used the edge of a square pastel to press and drag forming a broken line.
|close up detail of trees|
What I learned from this painting: I had enough information to paint using my notes and watercolor sketch. I believe that working from a simple sketch allowed me to recall what was most important to me. I didn't get caught up in the details that might have been in a photo. This was my memory of a scene that spoke to me!