|'Nestled' 11x14 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
The evolution of a painting is such an interesting thing. Sometimes the painting takes on a life of its own and moves away from the plan....no matter how hard you try to bring it back! Sometimes the star of the painting just has to shine. Even it was supposed to be the star! This happened to me yesterday during the demo at my winter workshop.
I selected the subject because it checked all the boxes of winter landscape elements. I had covered my top 10 tips and techniques for painting winter landscapes and this particular reference photo covered many of them.....evergreen trees, bare trees, distant trees, sunlit snow, shadows in snow. I was excited about it.
I made my plan. I did a value thumbnail and a small color study. I chose my pastels. I started the painting with a warm and cool dry wash underpainting. My intention was to showcase the sunlit trees at the left end of the stand of trees. These trees would be the stars and I would direct my snow path to them.
But the little evergreen tree grew larger as I added layer to my tree stand. I should have know it would happen by looking at my color study. I didn't intend for it to be the star but it was making its presence known. Once I added the snow to the branches it was all over. The tree was the star....or was it?
|Painting with a Plan: thumbnail, photo and color study|
After the morning session we took our lunch break. I studied the demo painting wondering what I would do to finish it. Back on the easel for the afternoon session I discussed the finishing process with the group. We all agreed that the evergreen had become the star. I had two choices.....make it the star and direct the viewer's eye to the tree of downplay the tree and clarify my original star.
With a flourish I took a piece of pipe foam and scrubbed the little tree until it was a shadow of its former self. I pulled some of the orange tree over the evergreen further diminishing it. (see photo above) I made my point....have a plan and stick to it even if it means brushing out a perfectly good tree. But the story isn't over.
|a quick color study 2.5 x 3.5|
Moral of the story: Listen to the painting. Don't fight it. When it starts to stray from the plan let it happen and make the new plan work!
Winter Painting Sale!I have 25 pastel painting in all prices and sizes inspired by winter. I am offering a discount of 25% on these paintings for one week only. See them all in my Etsy shop and use coupon code WINTERART at checkout. Link here:https://www.etsy.com/shop/KarenMargulisFineArt?ref=hdr_shop_menu§ion_id=19718587