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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

A Winter Transformation is Easy with Pastels

'Dreaming of a White Christmas'              16x16              pastel            ©Karen Margulis
available $225
I kept looking at the painting up on my spare easel. It was a demo from a recent workshop. It wasn't a finished painting. I was demonstrating clouds and didn't add any finishing touches. As I looked at the painting I kept imagining it as a landscape covered in fresh snow.

 I put on my 'what if' hat and asked "What if I turned this into winter?" Could I do that? How would I accomplish that?

Because a painting can never become precious I decided it was worth a try. I put the painting up on my working easel and sprayed the trees and ground with workable fixative. I wanted to give more tooth to this piece of unhanded Canson paper.

I began by altering the trees into bare branched winter trees. I then worked on the sky, cooling the blues and adding more pinks and violets to the clouds. Finally I worked on the ground planes covering them with snow. Notice how I used different light value pastels to create distance and depth in the snow covered ground?

As I painted and felt colder I knew I was getting the effect I wanted! Altering the seasons in a pastel landscape is easy because of the ability we have to layer pastels. A quick spray of workable fixative gave me all the tooth I needed to build more layers. The fact that I was putting light values over dark worked in my favor. Using a light touch gave me the flexibility I needed to make the changes. In the end, it was a satisfying exercise!

The original unfinished demo painting....a very warm Southwestern landscape
Do you have a painting that is asking for a change of seasons? Put on your 'What If ' hat and give it a try!

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