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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Lesson for you and a Lesson for me!

'A Hike into the Woods'             9x12              pastel            ©Karen Margulis
available $225
 I knew better. But I did it anyway. I have done paintings in the past where a dirt path looked more like water than dirt. It happens when we use colors found in water to paint the path.....especially when we uses blues and violets.  It is somewhat of an optical illusion but the brain sees a ribbon shape of blue and labels it as water despite the other clues in the painting that says it isn't water.

Here is what happened. I painted this scene for my step by step Monday Demo for my Patreon group.  The initial painting is posted below.  Right away someone commented that they thought the pathway looked like water running downhill. I took a second look and could see how it did indeed look like it could be water.  I knew it was a steel gray stone path mostly in the shadows. I knew that in real life it looked very blue.....but I didn't consider how it might look to someone who wasn't on the path with me! I was tied to my memory and to the colors in the photo. I took the painting out and changed the color to make it more like dirt.

Lesson for me: Step away and make sure what I paint makes sense and doesn't have to be explained. Remember that blue pathways can look like water!

Lesson for you: Don't get so caught up in your photo and your memory of things that you stop thinking of how the viewer will see your painting. won't always be there to explain things to your viewer. So things that look odd should be changed or eliminated even if that is how they are in real life.

The palette I used for this painting

Is this a stone path or water? The original demo before the changes to the path
If you liked this mini lesson consider joining us over on Patreon. We will be exploring more tips for painting pathways this week!

1 comment:


Thank you for interesting lessons and the very wonderful paintings !!!