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Friday, January 27, 2017

A Tip for Better Color Choices

'Wanderings'         8x10        pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $150
 It has become an important part of my painting process. I am a firm believer in having a plan before starting a painting but I didn't always take time to make a plan for color. I would do a value thumbnail and plan my composition. I would also choose my palette of pastels. But I didn't really have a plan for what colors to use. I would pick them intuitively so it was hit or miss. Sometimes the colors would work and sometimes they didn't .

It isn't fun trying to rescue a painting with bad color. It would be nice to know in advance if my color palette would be pleasing. Lately I added another quick step into my painting planning and it has been a big help.

It isn't rocket science and I am sure many artists do it but it is a new habit for me.....creating color swatches with my potential palette of pastels.

color test swatch
I just use a small scrap of the paper I am working on and make marks with the colors I might want to use. I just make big simple shapes of the colors in the approximate size and location of those shapes in the painting. These few marks allow me to visualize what the colors do next to one another. If it is exciting or pleasing I proceed. If something looks off or wrong I try another test swatch. This small step saves a lot of time and frustration.....as well as helps prevent experimenting on and overworking the painting.

A few layers into the painting
TRY THIS: Choose a painting you have done recently with success. Now paint another version this time using a different set of colors. Do a color swatch to test your color choices before you start painting. Share your work to social medial using hashtag #Painttime2017

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