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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Adding Clarity to a Demo Painting

'Listen to the Voice of Nature'         16x20       pastel        ©Karen Margulis
 I am home from a wonderful weekend in Florida. I was hosted by the Shady Ladies Art Studio in Fernandina Beach for a 2 day pastel workshop. I left feeling inspired and energized by my enthusiastic and talented group of artists.  I did four demo paintings during the workshop and I took them out today and added some finishing touches.  This wildflower painting is a good example of the benefit of time away from a painting before adding the finishing marks.

I began this painting at the workshop with a watercolor underpainting. I wish I had taken a photo of the underpainting stage because the colors I used in the underpainting definitely influenced the way I responded to the painting. The sky was supposed to be blue but the peachy yellow underpainting didn't want to be blue! So I let it be peachy yellow.

The photo below shows where I stopped the demo. I had made my important points and it was time for the class to start painting. I am so glad I stopped when I did. I had gotten to the thinking part of the painting process....the time when you are almost finished but aren't quite sure what else to do. I need time away from the painting to I could evaluate it with fresh eyes.

The painting before the details were added
When I took the painting out I was excited to add the finishing touches. I was happy that I didn't paint the sky blue.The painting was still mostly soft and out of focus. I liked it but I knew it needed some more clarity in the important areas. I reminded myself of the concept I had for the painting....flowers dancing and singing in the wind.

  •  I needed to show the wind more effectively so I added more grasses and made sure to have them bent by the wind. I gradually added these grass marks staring with ruler greens and ending with brighter greens.
  • I needed the have the flowers woven into the grasses. I didn't want them to look pasted on the grass. I wove the grasses in and out and on top of some of the flowers.
  • I added some darker grasses for greater texture and interest.
  • I needed to add clarity you the tallest flowers. They were lost agains the sky. I darkened the sky color slightly and added lighter marks to the flowers.
  • Finally I decided that my flowers needed bumblebees. They were actually covered with bees and I clearly remember the buzz when I painted at this very place.
I will be sharing the other finished demo paintings during the week. Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

RFaureAWS said...

Dear Karen,
These finishing touches are just perfection! What fun to watch that painting from its inception in person! It was such a delight and honor to participate in your Fernandina workshop and have the opportunity to observe you in action. I have such admiration for not only your talent but for your obvious work ethic, your ingenious methodology and most of all, your open hearted generosity with all your vast knowledge.
Thank you, Karen.
I do hope to be seeing you in our neighborhood again soon!
Renee Faure
PS. this is a photo of your underpainting but not sure I can get it in this comment :-(

Renee Faure