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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Autumn Tree Demo on Uart Dark Paper

'Three Friends'           12x9          pastel on Uart Dark        ©Karen Margulis
available $145
When I saw the photo I knew just what I needed. I wanted to capture the crisp brilliance of the trees on a sunny Fall day. I wanted to colors of the foliage and the light on the tree trunks to come alive. I considered my options. I could do a bold underpainting blocking in the reds and greens and brilliant blue. I could do some kind of value underpainting establishing a roadmap of values. I could work on white paper and do a colorful and drippy watercolor underpainting. All of these options would be good but I had another idea.

These trees called out for black paper! I pulled out a piece of Uart Dark 800 grade. The dark charcoal tone of this paper would really help the colors come alive.

My Reference photo 
I started the painting with a plan. I did a small value thumbnail and selected the pastels I wanted for the painting. I drew my trees with a dark blue Nupastel which was visible on the Uart dark paper.

All set up and ready to paint!
My goal was to keep the foliage masses as simple as possible for as long as I could. It was such a busy scene and I really wanted to capture the kaleidoscope of colors.  I built the layers with wide strokes gradually changing to paint the individual leaves with smaller blocky strokes. It was fun to watch the painting progress and change with each layer added.

Building the color in the tree trunks...close up photo

As I painted I took photos of each change or layer. The entire step by step demo can be seen on my Patreon page. If you haven't has a chance to check out my page now is a good time! Unlimited access to my step by step demos and exclusive videos and exercises are available for a pledge of $4 a month. 
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