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Saturday, January 05, 2019

Do You Have a Magic Pin?

'Back to the Country'               8x10              pastel             ©Karen Margulis
available $150
I had an idea for today's painting. What if I used the same 'sunset' palette I had been using for the last two paintings for a totally unrelated scene. ? Could I adapt the palette? How many more colors would I need to add?  So I selected a reference photo from my trip to Ireland. I will be going back to Ireland in the fall via a cruise with my mom so I am reigniting my love for this landscape in anticipation of the trip.

I started the painting by blocking in the box shapes with four values of a deep salmon. You can see my reference and value thumbnail in the photo below.

Step One: The block in
I began layering with the oranges and violets of my original palette which made a great 'dirt' base for the greens to come. Below you can see the two layers coming together.

Step Two: The first layers
The painting was working but there was a problem with the distant hillside. It was too solid and boring. I didn't want to add more 'stuff' because it was too far in the distance. But I needed to find a way to make it more interesting. Then I remembered that I had a Magic Pin.

Distant hillside is too boring
Stan Sperlak gave these pins to artists at his workshops and I treasure mine. Actually I bout my own box of pins. They come in handy! The pin is just a steel push pin with a bit longer tip. It works great when you want to remove tiny areas of pastel. Think of it as a tool to do scratch art. It is a precision tool. Use it to straighten horizons or add grass marks. For today's painting I used the pin to scrape linear marks in the hillside to reveal the dirt underneath.  It was a subtle effect but it served to break up the boring green shape.

Scraping with a Magic Pin adds needed texture and relief form boring!
Stan will be opening registration soon for classes at his Goshen School of Art in Goshen NJ. I am very excited to share that I will be teaching a 3 day workshop at the school in April. Registration will open January 10 Details to follow .

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I don't have a pin but I DO have a very, tiny, miniature Swiss army knife that does the trick.