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Monday, December 17, 2018

Painting a Winter Landscape 6 Easy Steps

'City Kids'                  8x10             pastel           ©Karen Margulis
available on Etsy $150

Greta and Jamie are city kids. They go to their neighborhood park everyday. They have a group of friends already and I am sure they will have a great time this winter on the sledding hill. This painting is dedicated to my grandchildren and all of the city kids out there! 

I took some step by step photos as I painted this one. Here are my steps and my thoughts as the painting developed.

I chose a homemade support which is mat board coated with gesso and pumice mix. It is white. I did a quick drawing with a pink Nupastel. My reference photo inspired me but I made changes to create a better composition.

I blocked in the painting with big simple shapes of neutral pastels. I selected muted colors from my 'neutral drawer'. These are all grayed down muted colors such as blue-grays and muted purples. You can see the texture of the pumice in this photo.

Here is a shot of my Neutral Drawer. I keep these colors together so I remember to use them. Next to other more saturated colors these pastel get overlooked. Some may even think of them as ugly or dirty. I love their soft subtleness.

I decide to rub in this first layer of pastel to fill in the rough texture of the support and to create an out of focus underpainitng.

For this painting I choose to work on my center of interest first. The children going up the sled hill are my center of interest. Anytime you add a figure to a painting the eye looks at the figure first. I want to make sure they are well placed and developed before I spend too much time on the less important parts of the painting.

Next I develop the trees and suggest window in the distant buildings. I am still using my neutrals. I did use some saturated colors on my figures. I also add some blue and lavender shadows in my snow.

 I work on the snow some more. I use a dull rose for the distant snow and some brighter whites in the foreground snow. I also make some footprints in the snow. I also add a few lamp posts and light the lights....since I was going to make it snow.

I add the snow using pastel dust. I decide to add some smaller figures in the distance since my two stars seemed a bit lonely!  I also changed the color of the turquoise sled to yellow to echo the lights in the distance. Now I am finished!

Here is another Chicago winter cityscape. I love painting these scenes!

'Let it Snow'.           8x10           pastel            available $150


René PleinAir said...

Super joy!!

A Merry Christmass Karen, for you and yours.

Tuija Granqvist said...

The painting shows joy and beautiful coloring. Thank you for your teaching.