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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Behind the Scenes: Painting a Heron and Egret

'The Wild Side'        9x12      pastel      ©Karen Margulis     sold

Enjoy this post from the archives. Would you like to see more animal paintings? I hope to get some wildlife photos in Alaska!)

I'm nosy. I like to be an observer of everything. Sometimes I get so involved with my people watching and observations that I forget that I am not really invisible. I am just very curious. It's not just people watching that intrigues me...I love watching art come to life. I enjoy seeing artists post their progress shots and even better when they give a commentary. I love learning how other artists approach a painting. 

So today I will take you behind the scenes of my egret and heron painting. I took some progress shots and I have added my thoughts below each photo. I hope you enjoy a peek behind the scenes.

I am using a 9x12 piece of Uart 500 sanded paper. I begin with a drawing done with compressed charcoal. I just dive right in with the charcoal and make any corrections without erasing. This is a totally different technique from my landscapes. It just illustrates that there is no right or wrong way to start a pastel painting!

I decide to start with the heron. I began by blocking in the darkest darks and then the middle values and finally the lightest areas. I usually work on the entire painting at one time including the background but for some reason the heron went quickly and I decided to finish him. Sometimes you just go with the flow!

Next I painted the egret. There is not strong dark so I began by using a middle value blue and purple before add ing the lighter value whites. I have left the dark charcoal lines on both birds. I love lines and I liked how they gave the birds a looser more expressive feeling. They are my interpretation of these wonderful birds....not a photorealistic representation.

I also added some of the dried marsh grasses with a few different yellow and orange pastels. Now the hard part, the background ....I never wait until the end to put in a background!

I wanted the birds to have a backdrop of water so I used several different blue pastels to sneak the water behind them. I was careful to pull the blue all the way into the birds. I didn't want to leave a halo of paper color around the birds.  I used blue to negatively paint in between the grasses. That was fun!  I love painting animals this way! Directly, fast with no underpainting!

4x4 study
Here is another favorite painting os a snowy egret. I enjoy the square format for these birds!

1 comment:

Kerry said...

Yes definitely, I would love to see more animals paintings. These are fabulous.