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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Building a Painting on an Abstract Design

'High Country Magic'.                   18.5 x 20                   pastel                     ©Karen Margulis  
available $325          

I always begin a painting with a loose out of focus underpainting. I like to have mystery and softness everywhere. It allows me to build the painting and add clarity where I want the viewer to look. While the underpainting is loose it still has the basic shapes of my subject. For my latest painting I decided to take it even further. I decided to build a painting on a pure abstract design. It was an exciting way to start a painting without the fear of a blank piece of paper!

I had a large piece of Canson sanded paper the I used for a recent sky and cloud demo. I never waste paper so I knew I would repurpose it. I decided to create an abstract with a blue theme. It was quite liberating!

The paper after the sky demo

After I played with blue pastels!

I suppose I could have left it as an abstract but I had a vision! I wanted to transform the blue shapes into something more concrete. I looked through my wildflower reference photos and found a scene from Colorado. The deep blue sky reminded me of the blues in my abstract. I took it from there and created a mountain landscape with wildflowers. There is really nothing remaining of the abstract but it allowed me to start the painting without fear. It gave me something interesting to work with. It was fun and if I can have fun painting this joy will hopefully come through to the viewer. 

Starting the landscape with a dark blue Nupastel

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