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Thursday, June 04, 2020

How to Exercise While Painting!

pastel on paper 36 x 48                     ©Karen Margulis
 I just finished a large commission. This is one of the largest personal commissions I have painted in pastel 36x48!  I had to use two easels to accommodate the board but those Blick aluminum easels are versatile! I used Nupastels to block in the painting and Mount Vision pastels for the remaining layers.  I used my Terry Ludwig pastels for some finishing details. I used Uart 400 paper cut from a roll.

Painting this large really gets you moving! I turned up the music and got to work. I was working form a study I had painted several years ago for a different project. I would interpret the scene in this new larger landscape format.

  • I used Art paper cut from a roll. I used artist tape hinges to attach the paper to an extra large foam core board. This isn't a permanent mount. It will be attached to archival support board by the framer. 
  • I started with a simple four value block in using four values of salmon. I would allow this red-pink color to peek through an enliven the greens.
  • Next I reinforced the dark shapes with Mount vision pastels. I love using these large and robust pastels for big paintings. 
  • I began layer darks and middle values in the tree trunks and foliage.
  • I added the distant blue landmass and began work on the sky. The sky holes were important to help define the tree shapes.  I needed to paint sky holes and add more foliage until it looked natural. I did use Blair Low Odor Workable Fixative several times to build the texture in the foliage. 
  • Next I started the water. I had already put in the reflections when I painted the dark shapes. I used horizontal strokes to paint the water. 
  • The last thing I painted was the Spanish Moss. I had fun draping the moss on the branches. I used several colors to paint the moss. See the photo below. 
When I started I was intimidated by this huge blank paper. But as soon as I turned on some music and started moving I was able to slip into the zone. It really was a workout though! Wouldn't that be a fun way to exercise? Tape up some huge paper, turn on music and get dancing!

My set up with two easels and pastels on stools.

half way through. You can see the salmon color underpainting.

Here is a close up of the moss


Anonymous said...

Hello Karen! Love that you are painting big-could you tell me where to get the oversized foam board or other suggestions on what to tape my UART paper to. I also want to paint big! Thanks, Crystal in TN

Karen said...

I got the boards online either at Blicks or Jerrys artarama . I ordered 12 and I no longer have the box !