Sunday, January 29, 2017

Have You Tried Going Big Lately?

'Passing Storms'         16x20          pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available $225
I fall into a rut with painting sizes. It is too easy to pull a piece of 9x12 paper out of the pad or use a piece from the pile of 8x10 paper that I have precut. It takes more thought and effort to work larger. But when I do make the switch I alway wonder what I was waiting for. I was reminded about the fun and value of painting large after painting this demo for a private class last week. We had already painted 3 smaller studies and it felt so strange to go big! But it is so worth it.

Painting larger is Liberating.

Painting larger allows you to put your whole body into the painting. Dare I say it is easier to get involved and become a part of the painting? Instead of making small marks to define a tree or cloud you are making large sweeping marks. It is different and it feels great.


'Back to the Beach'         18x24       pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $350
Have you painted something large lately? Give it a try!

Painting a large skyscape is one of the best ways to improve our  skies and clouds.

The sky is larger than life. It isn't easy to fit it into a small space and give the illusion of how grand it really is. Clouds are free and constantly on the move....appearing, disappearing, changing.  When we have a larger space to work on we are free to create this grandeur and movement with larger and sweeping marks. When our whole body is involved in painting it often translates into  looser more expressive marks. When I paint large I "feel large'. It is hard to explain but this feeling of freedom can be carried into smaller works once it is experienced.

cloud close-up
Try a Big Sky Painting ...Here are some tips

  • Work on a full sheet of paper. I used 18x24 sheets of Uart for these paintings. (Don't be afraid to use the paper. If you decide you don't like the painting you can cut it up and have readymade underpaintings.)
  • Plan your painting before starting. Decide on the composition and select your pastel palette. This will help you get into the 'zone' and really respond to the painting.
  • Do some kind of underpainting or tone your paper. This will allow you to use less pastel.
  • Use hard pastels for much the painting. Save your super softies for final marks. If you are worried about using up precious pastels you won't relax and enjoy the process! I love using Mount Vision pastels for my largest paintings.
  • Make sure you have a lower horizon if the painting is about the SKY and downplay the stuff on the ground.


'Storms End'        18x24      pastel     $400

see my cloud demo on etsy for more sky tips

1 comment:

gideon sockpuppet said...

I love your skies! You are right about going larger. I am an oil painter and my default size is 16 x 20 inches. In the last year, I have pushed myself to go larger, and recently completed a 24 x 30 inch landscape. The size did help to convey the expanse of lake, hills, and sky.

Jude