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Friday, May 19, 2017

Changing Seasons is Easy with Pastels

'Summer Breeze'           16x20                  ©Karen Margulis
available $350
 I had a great idea and couldn't wait to try it. Last week I unpacked my box of supplies from my last workshop. I had a couple of demos that needed a second look. I love to take my demos and tweak them in the studio when I have a chance to slow down and think about what the painting needs.

I pulled out the demo below and wondered how I could change it. I love this scene and the color palette. I love the windy fall mood that it represents. But I had painted a similar demo for another workshop and I didn't want two similar paintings.

So I decided to change the season! Why not take the painting and turn it into a summer scene?
It is easy to do with pastel! Keep reading to see what changes I made.

The original demo before the change of season

  • I first evaluated the painting to see what I would keep. I liked the composition and the arrangement of the trees. I liked the movement in the sky and the bold energetic marks. I liked the way the grasses seemed to be blowing in the wind.These were the things I wanted to keep.
  • The first thing I did was to spray the trees and grasses with workable fixative. I like the warm colors and they would be perfect underpainting colors for the summer greens. The fixative would allow me to layer the green while keeping the warm colors in place.
  • Next I started adding green. I used some cool blue greens in the shadow areas and warmer yellow greens in the area that was getting more light. I added greens to both the trees and the grasses.
  • I liked the violets in the distant treeline but I decided to adjust it to blue green and blue. This pushed the painting closer to an analogous color scheme. I liked the blues better.
  • The sky....I needed to be careful not to do too much to the sky and ruin my fresh marks. All I did was add some blue green on top of the violet to echo the blue greens in the trees. I left the fun touch of pearlescent green.
  • Finally I added more detail to the grasses with some Nupastels and added some summer wildflowers. Voila! Fall skips winter and spring and turns into summer!
Try This: Do you have a landscape painting that you aren't quite happy with? Maybe a change of seasons is in order! Use the original painting as a base for the new one. Use your imagination and memory of another season to guide your new painting.


Sandi G said...

What a difference a season makes! Just love both paintings. I once did a farm scene and decided to make it snow. I carefully added some glazes of snow colors and scraped pastel on the field. I really liked the painting better! The power of painting with pastels. Such Fun.
Thanks Karen.

Toine P. said...

Another great lesson. I love your work and I love your blog (and your youtube videos, especially with your dog walking around...). Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us, Karen.