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Monday, August 22, 2016

Another Painting Transformation. Step by Step

'Reawakening'           13x18          pastel        ©Karen Margulis

This one should have gone into the trash. It was a demo I did last winter for a group of school children for their Art Day. They were choosing the subject as I painted and suggested a tree, water, guy fishing and I have no idea what the red things are supposed to be!  It was fun and the kids loved it but it was a painting destined for the bin.   On top of that it was on Canson Mi-Teintes unsanded paper which doesn't usually take to much abuse.....or does it!?

Today I decided not to throw the paper away and see what I could do with it. Was there any hope? Below I walk you step by step to the save!

This is the demo painting. It is on terra cotta Canson Mi-Teintes paper. I took a stiff brush tried to remove as much pastel as possible. I was left with some dark shapes. I sprayed the paper with workable fixative and let it dry.

I decided to reinvent the painting and turn it into an autumn marsh scene. I had a reference photo for inspiration. (bottom of post) I set to work with a dark blue and dark burgundy pastel to introduce the dark shapes of the bushes and distant trees.

I repainted the sky and added some clouds. I painted the distant trees and marsh and added the blue water. I dealt with the foreground last.  As you can see in the photo above I had to darken the foreground with fixative. This also allowed me to continue building layers and getting the texture of the autumn weeds. I would say I sprayed and painted the foreground 4 times! Yes Canson can take it!

The final touches were in the foreground. I used the sharp edges of Rembrandt  pastels to paint grass and a very soft Sennelier pastel to paint the light fluffy blooms.  I used Terry Ludwig pastels for all other areas of the painting.

close up of foreground
 So the fishing guy and the red things are now history. There is really nothing more satisfying than the challenge of taking a mess and reinventing it into something interesting.

reference photo

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Love your paintings and your approach to painting! I am so happy you share what you know and how you do things. I watch your Sunday videos on Utube also. I am learning so much and look forward to meeting you in February 2017. I am signed up for your workshop in FL!

Thanks for taking the time! It is appreciated!

Kathleen Hartman