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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Behind the Scenes: Today's Daily Painting

'Seaside Tangle'           8x10        pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available $155 
Happy First Day of Autumn! I find that I am very much a seasonal painter. My landscapes change to meet the season. I never paint snow unless it is winter! So I welcome the change from the very green landscapes of summer to the colorful and sometimes subtle colors of fall. For today's daily painting I selected a photo from a past trip to the California coast. I will be visiting California again this November so I am getting prepared!

I took the photo somewhere north of San Francisco. It was a cool foggy day which made the subtle colors in the meadows come alive. I remember being enchanted by the wonderful tangle of dried wildflowers and grasses....my favorite subject!

alcohol wash underpainting on white Pastel Premier paper
I decided to work on white Pastel Premier sanded paper because I had a piece handy. I usually recommend choosing paper to suit your subject and not just choose the piece on the top of the pile. But in this case the white paper would work well for my idea.

I wanted to get some texture in the grasses so I decided to do an alcohol wash underpainting using softer pastels. I knew this would give me less tooth to work with but would also make some interesting thickening in the underpainting.

I selected various pink, mauve and purple pastels for the underpainting. These were the colors of the grasses so I thought this choice would give me a head start. These colors would look good peeking through the lighter grasses.

TIP: I have heard that Pastel Premiere doesn't take a very drippy alcohol wash so I was careful not to get the paper too wet. I had no problems.

I made use of my Terry Ludwig pastels especially the Richard McKInley landscape set. They were perfect for the subtle and gentle colors in my scene. The neutrals allowed me to create the depth and foggy feeling.

I like to make a color chart of a new box of pastels. Terry Ludwig makes it easy because he includes a blank chart. I decided to laminate my color chart. I hesitated at first because I thought it might change the colors. I did it anyway! I want to report that I don't notice any color change in the laminated chart...so laminate your charts!


nanabella said...

I just read March 2015 post and you said you don't make color charts. ???

Karen said...

The only charts I make are the ones that I fill in from Terry Ludwig. I do it so that my students can get a better idea of what is in each set. I don't really use them for myself!