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Friday, May 25, 2018

What Happens When You Use Your Least Favorite Color

'Reach for the Sky'           12x9         pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available $160
 Interesting things happen when you are forced to use your least favorite color. In one of my workshop exercises the task is to use your least favorite color. At my recent workshop one of the students had a dilemma. They didn't have a color that they didn't like. I had to agree. I really like all colors for different reasons. But the color I use the least would have to be orange. I just don't paint too many things that are orange. Until now!

Beautiful Orange Pastels
I was so excited to see the California poppies in bloom on my recent trip to Santa Barbara. I couldn't wait to get home to paint them even though they were orange-ish! Would I have the right pastels?  I discovered that most of my orange pastels were hardly used. I used some of the yellow orange pastels for sunlit grasses and flower centers and an occasional sunset. But otherwise they were untouched. 

A funny thing happened as I painted my first orange poppies. The orange made me happy! I enjoyed building the layers of dark orange to yellow orange. In fact I enjoyed using these colors so much that I didn't want to stop! So instead of overworking my painting I just painted another variation. This time I included the sky. I don't think I have orange out of my system yet! 


A dry underpainting on Wallis Warm Mist sanded paper

close up detail
Try This: Do you have a color that you don't like or find that you rarely use? Try to use the color in a painting this weekend. You might surprise yourself!

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