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Monday, August 19, 2019

How to Paint Richer Grasses with Pastel

'The End of the Rainbow'                 8x10              pastel             ©Karen Margulis
available $165

If it is green and growing then it need some DIRT!  I have discovered that if I add some rich darks and interesting dirt colors UNDER the grass it gives my landscapes with grassy areas more with depth and volume. This simple step has made a huge difference for me. 

So how do we add the dirt? There are many ways but usually through an underpainting of some kind. When I block in my composition in the underpainting I always make sure I use something dark and colors other than the local colors.

For today's painting I created the dirt by brushing some alcohol over a failed painting. The alcohol liquified the pastel and blended the colors together to make mud. Most of the time we don't want mud but this time I did! It was a great dirt color. I added a sprinkle of gold powder from Schmincke.....just because I thought it might add the effect of gold leaf. Below is the resulting underpainting ready for some grass!

8x19 on Uart 400 sanded paper

The next step for me is to reinforce the dark areas. I use a dark blue pastel on the side to do this step.  But the dirt is established and now my grasses will have a richness that might not otherwise be possible!

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