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Monday, February 06, 2017

A Fun Way to Start a Pastel Painting

'Garden Delight'        9x12      pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $145
I've been wanting to try this. I have been reading about watercolor techniques to give me a better understanding of the medium . I love using watercolor for my sketchbooks and I want to become more proficient with them. Not only will it help my sketching it will enhance what I do with pastel underpaintings.  So today I took out a piece of watercolor paper and had some fun.


watercolor, Brusho crystals and cellophane wrap
 I wanted to create an interesting washy looking background for a flower painting. What I discovered is that I need more practice in creating those wonderful ethereal washes I see in books!  My wash was awful and the more I added the worse it got. But I am not one to give up. I took out my box of Brusho crystals. These are pigment crystals that can be mixed with water and sprayed on or just sprinkled. They explode with color.

But  I went too far. I sprinkled too much and the effect was ruined. OK. Another lesson learned. So I took out some cellophane wrap and arranged it on top of the painting and let it dry. The result was an interesting background with a feeling of texture. Now I had something to work with! To give the paper some tooth for pastel I quickly brushed on some CLEAR GESSO. This gave the watercolor paper just enough tooth for a few layers of pastel.

The result after the cellophane wrap

Now I had an interesting background for my flowers. As I developed the coneflowers I made an effort to leave some of the background alone. At the very least I used pastels of the same color and value as the background. Even though I didn't have immediate success, I enjoyed playing with watercolor and seeing what would happen. It was fun and freeing. Now I will go back to the books and practice!

Start drawing the flowers

Begin with the centers

2 comments:

RoK said...

Thank you for sharing your fearless explorations. Very inspiring!

robertsloan2art said...

That's interesting! It's very vivid. I can see why you were frustrated with the Brusho effect, but that's watercolor stuff - unpredictable and sometimes very strong. Great finish.

Looking forward to seeing more. Gorgeous painting!