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Sunday, November 08, 2020

Tips for Powerful Color in a Landscape Painting

        'Texas in the Spring'                    12x18              pastel            ©Karen Margulis      available $285

Yesterday I had the pleasure of doing a livestream demo for the Pastel Society of Southeast Texas. The subject of my presentation was 'Powerful Color in the Landscape'. I shared four of my favorite tips for achieving more exciting and pleasing color in the landscape. I then put these four tips to work in a demo of this Texas landscape. It was fun painting live for a group and I look forward to my next livestream for the Pastel Society of South Carolina!

Below I am sharing the demo painting at the end of the video. It was just about finished when my time was up. I let it sit for awhile before approaching it with a checklist of areas to address. The finished painting is at the top of this post and directly under the unfinished demo.  What did I do?

  • I refined the trees and bluebonnet areas. I added clarity around the biggest trees. Notice the spice mark of bright green near this tree?
  • I added a pale yellow to the horizon to connect the sky to the golden colors in the land. 
  • I toned down the dirt path with lighter yellows and tans.  It was a bit too bright and competed with the bluebonnets. 
  • I used some hard pastels to add some linear detail in the foreground grasses. 

Below is a list of the tips I shared in the presentation. 

The painting is 12x18 on Uart 400 sanded paper. I used my floral landscape set of Terry Ludwig pastels with a few Nupastels for the underpainting and final details. I also used a few blue and violet pastels from my 'bluebonnet box'. 

Below is the underpainting. I did a dry wash with hard pastels rubbed in with a piece of pipe insulation foam. This is what I consider going bold in the underpainting. The colors are brighter than I want them to be in the finished painting. 

I will be sharing the livestream demo link over on my Patreon Page soon. Consider joining us for $4. You can cancel your membership anytime if you find the group isn't for you!


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