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Friday, May 04, 2018

How to add Some BLING to Your Pastel Paintings

'Everyone Needs Some Sparkle'           8x10         pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $145
Today was another play day in the studio. I knew I wanted to paint but I wasn't sure what to paint. That is always a good opportunity to pick something form the discard pile! I chose an 8x10 pastelbord with a failed snow scene. I needed to cover the original painting so I took it outside and sprayed the board with water......and the coolest thing happened!

I sprayed a failed painting on Pastelbord with water

OHHHH I love what happened!
As a puddle formed on the wet board some of the pigment floated to the top. I gently tilted the board and wonderful patterns emerged. It was like oil floating on a puddle. It was awesome. I should have left it alone and let it dry. But I didn't. I was in full on 'What If' mode and I wanted to see what would happened if I dropped in some rubbing alcohol. It wasn't  a good choice. The alcohol broke up the magic and the patterns immediately dissipated . I should have left it alone.

The board was still wet so I decided to take a piece of golden green metallic pastel and crumble it onto the wet board. I don't know what I decided to do this but I was in What If mode!  Metallic pastels are usually quite soft and crumbly making them difficult to paint with. This could be an interesting way to incorporate metallics into a painting.

I crushed a piece of metallic pastel over the wet mess
 The metallic pastel splattered onto the wet board. Where it was thick I took a brush and spread it around. It was like painting with liquid paint! It was full of texture and I loved it!  Below is a photo of the completed and dry underpainting. Now I had to decide what to paint. I needed something that would take advantage of the metallic bling.

I moved some of the shiny pigment around with a brush
I couldn't help but see some wildflowers blowing in the wind. So That is what I went with. I worked slowly so that I wouldn't cover up all of the sparkle.

I saw some wildflowers and grasses in the underpainting so I pulled them out with some pastel layers. 

As a finishing touch I took out my prized gold and silver Henri Roche pastels. I rarely use them because they are like precious jewels but this painting called for more gold bling. I added some of the gold pastel to the flowers. It was like adding some gold leaf.

Who doesn't like a little more bling?

Here is a close up of the finished painting. It really doesn't photograph very well. But it sure was a fun way to spend the day in the studio. And I will revisit the pastel and water puddles again!!

A close up of all of the sparkle



Very interesting art work and so beautiful painting !!!

esther Jones said...

How interesting! I have some iridescent pan pastels...I never thought of using them in the underpainting. Maybe I will! They are practically impossible to photograph, as you discovered.

"What if" is my favorite time in the studio. Even though I often feel as if I "ought" to paint more seriously, I usually do some of my best work during these times, and if it doesn't turn out, I don't care--I've filled up my joy tank!

Helen Stephenson said...

I admire that willingness to go with gay abandon! Clearly a positive adventure. And I’d rather have some gold and silver Henri Roche than a pair of gold and silver earrings! It’s nice to see that things you try might not always turn out as expected but you can still learn from the experience and maybe even have a beautiful painting!

Anonymous said...

Hey Karen--I've often used Pan Pastel in gold or bronze to cover a sanded board & the results have been great. They impart a glow to the paintings that is hard to replicate. Plus, it's super easy to do--I just use pipe insulation to mash it into the board. Thanks for all your wonderful posts; I always learn something every time I visit your blog. I have NO idea how you do all the things you do, but I'm very glad you do them. L&K, MaryB