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Monday, December 19, 2016

Favorite Paintings of 2016: A Large Meadow

'Watching Life Unfold'           18x24         pastel          ©Karen Margulis
This painting practically painted itself. I love when that happens. I was transported back to Nantucket and it just flowed! I am pleased that it was awarded an Exceptional Merit award by Richard McKinley at the Southeastern Pastel Society Exhibition. Enjoy this post from the archives!

Sometimes you have to heed the call. I am in the middle of my acrylic panel project but I happened upon one of my Nantucket photos and it just called out to be painted. I have until Friday to finish the panels so a little detour to Nantucket wouldn't hurt.

I decided to take progress photos of the painting so I hope you will enjoy this mini demo. I used a piece of Moonstone color Canson Mi-teintes paper which I find to be good for quick paintings....except for some reason I wanted to go large! I cut the paper to 18x24 and taped it to my board.

I did a quick drawing with a pencil indicating the major shapes and flow of the painting. I like to visualize how the viewer's eye will travel through the painting.

I blocked in the big shapes with some Nupastels. I chose these colors based on value and a start to some of the intense colors that I want to peek though my pastel layers.

I rub in this first layer with a piece of pipe insulation foam. A reader recently wrote and asked me what this is made of and I don't really know. I threw out the bag and haven't had a chance to research it. I know that it works without shredding!

Next I block in the dark shapes with softer pastels. I spray them with workable fixative so I can get a feeling of texture in the foliage. I add some mauves and pinks in the meadow. Next I begin the sky.

I didn't intend to have a pink sky. I thought it would be a pale sky....maybe pale blue or even pale yellow. But the underpainting color was pink and I really liked it. So I went with the pink and pulled my marks down leading into the meadow.

The next part of the process it to work from back to front painting grasses and trying to create depth with the colors I choose and marks that I make.

Once I got to the foreground I started to add more detail and clarity to the foliage. I don't put detail at the edges or bottom of the painting. This area is out of focus so we can move into the important parts of the painting.

The last step is to add the final details....the icing on the cake which are the beach roses. I save them for last so that I can place them where they will lead the viewer into the painting.

That was fun! Now that I got that out of my system I can return to my panels!

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