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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Color Inspiration from a Plein Air Study

'Peaceful Interlude'           8x10         pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $145 
I have color on my mind this week. I am headed to Florida on Thursday to teach a workshop at the Northport Art Center. The focus of the workshop is color. I am excited about the demos and lessons I have planned on the better use of color. So color is very much on my mind!  

One of the important things to do when planning a painting is to plan the color....not leave color to chance.  Color schemes are fun tools to use for inspired color. But there are other ways to get inspiration for color. Today I was inspired by an older plein air study. The study had sold and as I was wrapping it for shipping I was struck by the colors I had used. They weren't exciting necessarily but they were a real response to the colors I had experienced. I was inspired to use them again in a similar landscape.

5x7 plein air study from France sold
I chose another piece of my Wallis Belgian Mist paper. Next I looked at the colors I used in the study and pulled out similar colors from my big box of pastels.  I limited myself to using just these few pastels for my painting. It was a great exercise. I started the painting with a two value dry wash underpainting. Since I now had my composition, values and colors planned all I had to do was enjoy the experience of putting pastel to paper!

Lesson Learned: Look at previous paintings and studies for color combinations that you enjoy. Use them for new paintings. Inspiration is everywhere!

my limited palette for today's painting

two value dry wash underpainting


Enid Goyers said...

Such wonderful colors and they combine so well together. Good choice Karen.

Francesca Droll said...

Thank you, Karen! I often can't respond because of time constraints...I'm a plein air artist, painting as much as possible while having a full time job. Your blog is so full of information and techniques that I never miss a post or your videos. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your efforts and willingness to share your invaluable insights!

robertsloan2art said...

Both your original plein air and the new painting are wonderful! An added benefit to using plein air for a color guide is that you were looking at true color at the time - not at a photo's distorted color. I love that sense of mist or smoke coming through the trees, the way the masses of it dance around in front of darker trunks.