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Friday, January 06, 2017

Painting Frost with Pastels

'Winter Lace'          8 x 10       pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $150
It is something I have been wanting to do. I had some downtime during the holidays and decided it was the perfect time to tackle this little project. I took my favorite wildflower, Queen Anne's Lace and painted them in all four seasons. They  gave me a head start on my #Painttime2017 project!  I started with winter.

It was the winter version of the QA Lace that gave me the idea for this series. I had started a frosty version of a stand of dried wildflowers a few years ago. The painting was abandoned in the unfinished object pile. I rescued it and gave it some finishing marks.

closeup view
I thought about how I could paint the illusion of frost on these dried flower heads. Here are some of the things I decided to try:

  • I tried to use all cool colors. Red violet was the warmest color and I used dark, middle and light values of this color.
  • I kept my palette limited and again on the cool side. Purples and blue-greens. No white though.
  • I didn't use pure white to depict the frost. Instead I used very light values of the main colors in the painting. Note the pale blues, blue-greens and violets. They are almost but 'not quite whites'
  • I sprayed the painting with workable fixative (Blair) and very lightly scumbled these pale pastels over the sprayed areas. This left a light haze of 'frost'
  • I used the tip of a pale blue Nupastel to draw some fine lines to indicate frost covered grasses and stems.
Painting note: this painting was done on an Ampersand Pastebord. I haven't used this surface in awhile and I really enjoyed it!

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