|'Go Against the Flow' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
Art advice can come from the most unusual places. And it might not even be art advice rather some tidbit that you can apply to your paintings. I got one of these tidbits during my last haircut. My stylist (who is a great artist both with hair and paint) was telling me to dry my hair against the way it wants to go first....then to style it in the direction you want it. It gives the hair lift and tames the cowlicks. This advice came in hand while I was painting today!
I was making all of my marks go in one direction. Everything was flowing to the left. It looked like the grasses were in a fierce wind blowing all in the same direction. That wasn't the effect I wanted at all! I wanted the feeling f a calm say with maybe a gentle breeze. I needed to break up the directional thrust to the left. I needed to paint the grasses in the opposite direction to tame them down! Just like my hair.
I attacked the grasses again and made marks going to the right. As I did that the grasses began to straighten up and look more natural and soft and breezy. I needed to pay attention to the direction of my marks and make them varied.....a little in one direction and then back in the other direction. It was good hair styling advice that also worked for taming grass in a pastel painting!
Below I have posted a few behind the scenes photos of the painting. You can see that it began as an older demo that wasn't working. I brushed off a layer or so pf pastel to give more tooth and painted the meadow on top of the old painting.