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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Trying Jack Richeson Underpainting Squares!

                'Evening Approaches'              12x16            pastel          ©Karen Margulis       $295

On Sunday I had the pleasure of doing a livestream demo for the Red Rock Pastel Society. I focused on how I interpret small dark photos. I like to use my artistic license to transform uninteresting photos into more interesting paintings! For this demo I decided to do a warm/cool underpainting using Richeson Underpainting Blocks. I bought these pastels at the last IAPS convention and they sat on the shelf. I recently gave them a try and I have really enjoyed them. Here is a description from the Dakota Pastels website:


Origin: China
Colors: 40
Size: ½” x 1 1/8” x 1 ½”

Underpainting Blocks are the latest addition to the Richeson Handrolled Pastel line. The blocks are made with the same luxurious texture and rich color as the 504 Handrolled sticks. 40 colors are now produced in a large, durable block measuring ½” x 1 1/8” x 1 ½” - great for blocking in large areas and making broad gestural strokes.

The 40 colors (carefully selected from the Handrolled line) are Darks, Rich Saturated Hues and a White. Two 20 color sets are available as well as a complete 40 color set.

available at Dakota Pastels. Click here. 

Below I the small crummy photo I used for the demo. I was drawn to the play of warm light on the hills against the cooler shadowed trees and foreground which guided the decisions I made as I painted. 

 Below are some of the Richeson Underpainting Blocks. I used the dark purples and blues. I didn't have an orange so I used Richeson hand rolled soft pastels. I used a light touch with all of these pastels so that I would not clog the tooth of the paper. 

Here is the dry underpainting. The painting is 12x16 on LuxArchival sanded paper which I love! It does not warp or buckle with a wet underpainting which is such a joy!

In the livestream demo I was not able to finish the painting. I got as far as the 'set it aside and come back with fresh eyes' stage. The easiest way to overwork a painting is to keep working without know what you need to do to finish. I came back to the painting after lunch with a list of things to adjust. You can scroll down to see the finished painting and compare the two. Most of the things I did were to add more clarity to the areas of importance and to strengthen the areas of contrast that lead the eye around the painting. Can you see what I have done?

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