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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Mini Week...Tips for Winter Mini Pastels

'Simply Wintertime'        2.5 x 3.5        pastel      ©Karen Margulis
available $25

Mini week continues with a look at some more of the mini pastels I painted last week. I had to revisit one of my favorite subjects....the winter landscape. I love painting snow and winter. I enjoy finding the subtle colors found in a snow covered scene. I have a few tips that help me simplify a winter scene.

  • Snow is like a blanket. It helps simplfy shapes that are usually busy. Think about a grassy meadow. It is tricky to simplify this type of landscape but when it is covered by a white blanket it makes it easier to see the big shapes. Vary the direction of your strokes to help indicate the shapes that are hidden under the snow.
  • I love the contrast found in the darker evergreens against the light snow. I like to begin the painting by blocking in the darkest darks. They provide the framework and also act as directional markers that lead the eye through the painting. I like using a dark blue or blue violet hard pastel to block in the darks. I used a Nupastel for these minis.
  • Color is everywhere! Color is there but it is often subtle in a winter landscape. This is the perfect time to pull out those wonderful muted pinks and violets that are often overlooked.
  • Use the side of a small pastel to make simple marks. Avoid details until the finishing marks. Keep it simple for as long as possible and you may decide you only need a few small details!
  • Use colorful lights! I reserve pure white for highlights. I prefer to use lights with color. I love Terry Ludwig lights and Diane Soft form lights.

Ready to paint some mini pastels? Here is a link to my PDF demo lesson on painting mini pastels. I show you a step by step method for simplifying a landscape in a very small format. This week only the lesson is only $1.99. Jump start your New Year with some minis!

I couldn't help painting a couple of cardinals in the snow! The little guys are so much fun to paint.
All winter minis are available in my Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/karenmargulisfineart

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

All of these are fantastic. Love those cardinals! The landscapes have your deft hand and sense that one mark does the work of three, the cardinals are bursting with color and texture. They look all fluffed up against the snow!

What's so funny is we've had a Wet Christmas here in Arkansas, it's all green and soggy. Was one of the warmest winter days yet and just as merry, with guests over and lots of good food, presents and cheer, plus soggy moggies crawling into my lap when I went outside to smoke. Got to have damp cats in your lap on the porch just to complete the joy, they purr so well!