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Friday, October 28, 2016

The Benefit of Doing Small Color Studies

'Deep into Fall'               16x20             pastel            ©Karen Margulis
available $350
 Color studies give me power.  Taking the time before starting a large painting to do a small color study takes the pressure off. It allows me to approach the painting with confidence. I can ENJOY the painting process secure in the knowledge that I will have pleasing color harmony. I will be confident that the colors I selected will express the mood I want for the painting. I can relax and paint with passion and joy.

Color studies help me choose my color palette. I begin the painting with the pastels I will use avoiding the dreaded problem of too many colors in one painting. Too many colors/pastels in a painting is the fastest way to muddy and dull color.


My reference photo and small color study

Color studies don't have to be elaborate or time consuming. There are many ways that make it easy to pre visualize color choices. Any way that you can see the colors together will work from a simple collection of marks to a fully developed smaller painting. The method I choose depends on the time I have and my mood. Often I enjoy painting small 'mini' paintings in a standard 2.5 x 3.5 size. This small size forces me to be loose and expressive with my marks. It is the perfect size to play with color palettes.

If I like the mini painting I move forward with the same palette on the larger paper. I now have the power and confidence to go large without the worry of color choices! Often I find that I use the color study as a reference instead of the photo which is an added bonus!

2.5 x 3.5 color study
Painting notes: 16x20 pastel on Uart 400 grit paper. I did a value underpainting with a 305 Nupastel and alcohol wash underpainting.

The Landscape in Bloom!!  There are still openings in my IAPS demo. If you are going to IAPS and want to add to your schedule, consider my 2 hour demo. It will be packed with fun and great information on painting the landscape. Even if flowers are not your thing there will be plenty of landscape and general pastel and painting tips that will make my demo well worth your time!

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