|'Return to the Marsh' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
Marshes are one of my favorite things to paint but they also allow me to talk about so many painting tips and techniques. Here are just a few. I will expand on each of them in future posts.
- Simplification. Marshes can be a complicated tangle of grasses and water. Doing a thumbnail allows me to simplify the marsh into a few big shapes. Start the painting with big shapes and gradually build and add the details
- Atmospheric Perspective: Marshes are expansive. They are a perfect candidate to practice the principles of atmospheric or aerial perspective. Learning how to create the illusion of depth is one of the most important things a landscape painter can learn. Marshes give us the material to exaggerate these changes.
- Mark-Making: Marshes have so much interesting texture from the grasses and shrubs to the water. Practicing a variety of marks and learning how to manipulate the pastels to get the marks you want is important. A marsh allows for a lot of variety in mark making.
- Skies: The sky is one of the most important parts of a landscape. It sets the mood and tone of the painting. Marshes allow for an expansive sky. It is fun to play with skies over a marsh.
- Suggestion of detail: Learning how to suggest detail rather than painting every blade of grass is an important lesson. I have learned so much about painting grasses from a marsh. It is also fun to practice 'hinting' at buildings in the distance!