|'Down in the Clover' 10x8 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
I've decided I like my meadows wild and free. The more tangled and out of control the more I intrigued I am. It isn't easy to paint though. I don't want to totally tame it but I also don't want to get lost in the busyness of the scene. We know it is important to simplify. But how do you simplify and still keep the feeling of the freedom of the flowers and grasses of the meadow? The answer is easy.
Paint the flowers and grassy stuff last.
Too often we get excited about the colorful flowers and interesting shapes and textures of the grasses. We rush to put them into our painting. The problem we run into is that the flowers are not anchored.....they are floating on an unfinished background. We then have to add all of the grassy stuff and before we know it we have a overly complicated overworked painting.
In today's painting I simplified the busy meadow by painting the big simple shapes of the background first....the trees and the dirt. Scroll down to see the progress shots.
|my reference photo....another Maine summer meadow|
|block in of the big shapes using three values|
|Staring with the trees and the sky|
|midway through the painting|
Then and only then will I put in the details of the grasses and flowers. I use harder pastels for these calligraphic marks. I am free to put in as much detail as I want. For today's painting I decided to put in more detail in the grasses than I usually do and had a great time!