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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Tip for More Painterly Paintings


'Meadow Walk'        8x10        pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $145
I surprised myself this weekend. I started a new sketchbook devoted to value studies. That's not the surprise! What surprised me was how much time I took to do just four small value studies with graphite. I didn't mind at all. In fact I thoroughly enjoyed taking my time developing these little sketches. 

I used a Sketch n Wash pencil by General. It allowed me to create graphite washes. That was fun!
I started with a middle value wash and tweaked and darkened some areas while removing some areas with water. I used my small reference photos for these studies. I had such a relaxing time working on these sketches and the result.....a more painterly painting!

TIP:  Paint without a reference photo using only a small value study as your inspiration.

Small value sketches done with a Sketch and Wash pencil
 Spending time doing a value study allows you to get to know your subject. You work out the composition and the value map. When it comes time to actually paint all you need to do is decide on a color palette.

Working from a value study gives you all the information you need. It gives you the freedom to paint with passion and expression. You remember only the important details. You don't get bogged down with the unessential. You give your memory and imagination free reign to create a painting that expresses how you FEEL about the subject. Try it!

I am going to try to do at least one black and white value study in this sketchbook every day. This discipline will help me be more interpretive with my subjects.

My Process: Blocked in the big shapes with a Masters Shadow Stix

Wet with water

Added some color in the first layer

Finished!

4 comments:

esther Jones said...

I really believe that learning to make value sketches during the Texas plein air workshop is one of the main things that have caused people to notice such a big improvement in my painting. It also makes me so down and think about the composition, focal point and other details that I tend to forget.

robertsloan2art said...

Great exercise for getting a better handle on composition and values. I like that sketchbook you're using for them. It's good to stop focusing on details, which are easy, and get to working out the structure of a painting.

Susan Klabak said...

Karen, where can one buy the Maters shadow stix?

Karen said...

Susan, I am not sure! I found it in a box of things I picked up at a trade show one year. I haven't tried to buy one.