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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Painting without a Plan


'Dancing with the Stars'        10x8        pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $150
 I admit it. I didn't start with a plan. I don't always have a plan even though I stress how important planning is to a successful painting. But I was so excited to start on my daily painting that I didn't take time to make a plan. I just began painting.

I was a few minutes into the painting when I realized that I didn't do any kind of underpainting. I didn't even do my usual value block-in. Once I drew the flowers I just dove right in!

Working on dark gray Yi Cai sanded paper. Click to enlarge to see sparkles

I just started painting the flowers with the local colors. And then I started with the dark foliage again using the local colors of green. What was I doing??!!  I always layer my greens with other colors to make the green more lively. But I was enjoying the painting so I just kept going. Then the phone rang.

The start....without a plan

It was my sister just wanting to chat. I was in the middle of the painting but didn't want to be rude and I really love to chat with my sister. So I put her on speaker and continued to paint. I chatted and painted until I was just about finished with the painting. It was the strangest experience. I almost felt like my hand was on auto pilot as I painted away without stopping. I found myself making marks and choosing colors without actively thinking about what I was doing.


I've created a jungle!  Midway through the painting


After we hung up I made a few refinements and called it finished. It was an oddly satisfying experience to paint without a plan and take a backseat and let things unfold.  I still believe in the power of a plan but every once in awhile it is very liberating to just let go and paint!

4 comments:

NancyO. said...

Plan or no plan it's beautiful ! Your story inspired me to relax and enjoy the journey :)

carol frieswick said...

Can you somehow put that bud back in? I love how that looked in the last step. The colors of the flower are so rich, and all the mark making in the background really adds to it. carol

robertsloan2art said...

This one came out so beautiful. I don't usually plan, but occasionally I make a foray into the other technique and it'll come out well. Either way, the practice you have at painting is what really helps. I know a lot of times if I do plan, what happens on the painting has no resemblance to the plans.

Linda Kriegel said...

Every so often I too need to fly by the seat of my pants! Fun! It looks amazing!!