Wednesday, May 10, 2017

More Tips for Painterly Grasses



'Discovery'            9x12          pastel over oil stain         ©Karen Margulis
available $165
It is so easy to paint stiff grass.  You know the kind I am talking about. Grassy areas that look too manicured. Grasses that look rigid and unnatural. The difficulty comes about because we tend to paint grasses the way we think they are ...the symbol in our brains for grass often resemble a green grassy fence.(think of how a child draws grass)  We don't always look as carefully as we should.  So my first bit of advice is to be observant and pay attention to the colors and movement of the grasses.  Here are someother tips to help you paint more 'painterly' grasses.


My chart of ideas for painting grasses
  •  Avoid painting individual blades of grass. Think instead of the big underlying shapes or blocks of grass. Pull out and paint a few blades. Allow the viewer to participate and fill in the rest. A few well placed blades will read as grass.
  • Using the long edge of a soft square pastel use the press and lift method to leave a print of a piece of grass. Do a few but be careful not too have them spaced too evenly or all marching in the same direction.
  • Use the top edge of a harder round pastel and roll it leaving a broken line of grass.
  • Lay down a block of color and then draw some lines of grass with a thin hard pastel. Draw a SENSITIVE line. Have a light responsive touch so the line isn't to thick or regular. Practice sensitive lines.
  • Paint on a heavily textured surface. Glide the pastel over the texture and it will look like grasses without putting in a blade!
  • Underpainting! I like to use an alcohol, turpenoid or oil stain and allow the drips to create the grasses.

This is an oil stain underpainting. The wonderful drips
make great grasses! In my painting I tried not to cover up all of the drips.


1 comment:

Sandi G said...

Thanks Karen for the info on grasses. For readers usin iPads to view this , here's a tip to save the chart. Long press on the chart and choose create a PDF and save to IBooks.
I have this stored in my iPad for reference. Thanks for all you do to promote pastels.