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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Painting Rocks with a Black and White Underpainting

'On the Rocks'               12x9                pastel              ©Karen Margulis
available on Etsy $225
The assignment to myself was to work only in black and white. I began the painting with a wet wash using black Art Graf pigment block on white paper.  I enjoyed doing the wash and the resulting underpainting but I decided to cheat a little and use color. I don't like to cheat so I will be doing my black and white exercises with another subject tomorrow!

Have a look at the underpainting below. I do believe the black and white value underpainting provided a strong foundation for my rocks. That is what rocks need. I didn't want potato rocks or soft mushy rocks. The rich darks gave me the structure and foundation for my pastel strokes. I followed the contours of the rock planes with the side of my pastels. After establishing the planes I finished the rocks by adding the light areas and some greenery. The finale step was to add some linear marks with a black Nupastel. That was fun!

My black and white underpainting done with black Art Graf and water

If you are looking for ideas for your studio time have a look at my Art Play Activity Guide. Maybe some of the ideas will jumpstart your next painting!

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