|'Meadows of Blue' 9x12 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
But how do we effectively paint a meadow filled with flowers without it looking overdone or even too sweet?
The trick is restraint and remembering to add them at the end of a painting.
Build the painting first with big simple shapes. The flowers are the accessories. Like the earring or the scarf ...they go on last.
|black and white thumbnail|
Tips for Adding Flowers to a Meadow
- Save them for last. Build up the painting with big simple shapes. Restrain from putting in a single flower until the end!
- Make sure the flowers will have a structure to hold on to otherwise they will appear to float in the grass. Consider laying in a dark 'dirt' shape in the underpainting. (see above)
- Think Masses! Mass in shapes of flowers using the general color of the flower. Remember that atmospheric perspective will change the size, color and value of the masses as they go back.
- After the masses are in place, pull a few single blooms out from the mass. Use colors and shapes that suggest the type of flower. These single blooms will allow the viewer to fill in the blanks and understand that the masses are just flowers. You don't have to paint every flower!
- SLOW down and think carefully where you will place each bloom. You want the viewer's eye to move around the painting and the flowers can help give direction if they are well placed.
- Every flower should have a purpose so no polka dot meadows! Make a mark and step back to evaluate. Less is more!
Would you like to paint the Texas Hill Country? I will be returning to Dripping Springs in April 2017 to teach a plein air workshop. Click on the image below to enlarge and see more information.
Contact me if you wish to register.