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Sunday, July 08, 2018

Using Texture to Reinvent a Painting

'A Good Year for the Queen'             8x10            pastel            ©Karen Margulis
This post from the archives is an oldie but a good one! Enjoy!

It's playtime in my studio today! I have a big to-do list but nothing pressing at the moment so it was time to paint for fun. It is a time to experiment and make discoveries. I will share all of the fun in upcoming posts. One of the projects today was a painting makeover. I love taking a painting that just didn't click and having fun with it.

Here is the painting that I decided to make over:

The original painting was a winter landscape 
It was an 8x10 demo I did for a private class. The student wanted to paint a snow scene. The painting served it's purpose to explain some snow techniques but I wasn't excited about it. I am finished with snow and ready for spring and summer!  Why not use the 'bones' of this painting and turn it into a summer landscape?

the photo that inspired the revised painting
Last summer was kind to Queen Anne's Lace. It was everywhere and it was thick! I had a photo that would work for my new landscape. 
  • To start the transformation I brushed off as much snow as I could. I then sprayed the painting with some workable fixative to seal the ghost image.
  • I kept the major shapes of the trees and developed them a bit more. I added the distant blue mountain shape.
  • Next I put in some nice rich darks that would form the pathway under the grasses.
  • Time for the grass. I begin with a cooler and lighter green in the distance. I used a variety of greens in the mid and foreground to represent the variety of grasses.
  • Next came the flowers. I wanted the Queen Annes Lace to drift lazily towards the trees. I varied the size of the flowers to create this effect....big to small.
  • Some of the flowers were in shadows so they are blue.
  • I choose a few flowers to highlight and make more important.

a close up showing the textured surface
Painting tips: This painting is on a piece of Multimedia Artboard that I prepped with clear gesso leaving a nice random texture. It was originally toned orange. 

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