|'Above and Beyond' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
|My out of focus underpainting|
Everything was there. The value structure, the color harmony, the composition. But something was missing. I needed some clarity and the best place for the clarity would be my focal area. I wanted the viewer to travel around the flowers like a bee and then notice the beautiful water and distant land.
I gradually added clarity to the painting. To finish I used a soft light value pastel and pressed very hard. In fact so hard that I broke the pastel! But the effect was perfect. The chunky marks on the flowers now contrasted nicely with the smoother pastel application on some of the out of focus flowers and the sky.
Contrast attracts your eye! Having soft blended areas next to thicker pastel marks creates contrast and becomes a magnet for the viewer's eye. Blending does have a purpose in a pastel painting!