|'Seeking Beauty' 12x16 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
If you missed the recent post on clear gesso you can find past articles on clear gesso in these links:
To clarify the use of the clear gesso I'd like to add that it can be applied to paper before painting as a preparation or it can be used on top of pastel layers but it will liquify and darken the pastel creating a dark textured underpainting. Don't put it on top of pastel if you don't want to obliterate the painting!
I am starting my annual studio cleanup and came across an older painting that had the clear gesso texture. At the time I thought it was finished but when I looked at it today I realized I didn't make the most of the texture so it went back on the easel. Look at the original below and compare with the reworked painting at the top of the post.
I realized that the painting needed more layers to exploit the texture. Here is what I did:
|Is it finished? I decided it wasn't.|
- I started with the sky and added a yellow orange to unite the two spots of bright orange. I also added a pale yellow at the horizon. For these new layers I pressed much harder with the pastel.The pastel was grabbed by the raised areas created by the dried gesso. TIP: After the initial layers are established don't be afraid to PRESS hard to really get some pastel on the grooves.
- I added some lighter and cooler blue green and blues to the distant land. I wanted to cover the red violet which was coming forward. I also rubbed in this layer with my pinky finger to eliminate some of the texture. Tip: eliminate some texture where you want to create depth.
- I used workable fixative on the trees and grasses to darken these areas. Then I went over the areas with more greens and oranges using a harder touch. The dark areas remained in the grooves and the new pastel marks sat on top of the grooves making the texture more visible.
- I used some harder pastel stick (Nupastels) to draw some linear marks. These marks filled in the areas between the raised textured areas. These marks added to the texture created by the gesso. TIP: Enhance texture with marks from harder pastel sticks.
|close up of the texture|