Sunday, September 19, 2021
Friday, September 17, 2021
This month I am exploring unusual underpaintings. One of my challenges is to take the same scene and paint it each week using a different underpainting technique. I had fun with this variation! Here is what I tried:
- I repurposed an older painting done on LuxArchival paper by brushing on some Liquitex Clear gesso. This turned the pastel into a muddy gray brown. I left the original light blue sky and used my brush to push the mud color into the shape of my mountains.
- I liked the effect of the muddy color and the random brushstrokes but I have done this technique before and wanted to add something extra!
- I did a scan of my art supply shelves and found a bottle of gold powder by Schmincke. The powder is meant to be wet with water and brushed into watercolor paintings but I wanted to see how I could use it for my underpainting.
- I sprinkled some of the powder on top of my still wet gessoed paper. The powder stuck to the gesso and was so shimmery and interesting!
- Everything dried and the gold powder remained secure and stayed shiny. I was ready to paint on it.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
- Rubbing alcohol dries a bit faster than water. Since it quickly evaporates it doesn't sit on the paper leading to less chance of buckling.
- Rubbing alcohol can create some interesting spider web-like drips. Click on the photos below to see them closer. The results are unpredictable so I am always excited when I get some good runs like I did here. When I get some interesting drips it becomes my goal to allow as much of this underpainting as possible to show in the finished painting.
Sunday, September 05, 2021
Friday, September 03, 2021
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Sunday, August 29, 2021
Recently I dd an online mini workshop for the Arkansas Pastel Society. The topic was How to Paint Wildflowers. I did two full demos and started on a third. I did a wet underpainting with Derwent Inktense sticks and water. I finished the demo and made a Youtube video of the process. It is available for all to watch on my YouTube channel! Click on the link below to watch.
Can I ask a favor? I would love to grow my YouTube channel and expand my reach! I would like to offer more videos on YouTube that compliment what I am doing on Patreon. Your engagement with me on YouTube is so helpful. If you have not already done so I invite you to subscribe to the channel and click on the notification bell so that you can get alerts when I release a new video. Your comments on each video are also very helpful! Thank you very much for your support!
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
- I started by painting the dark rain cloud with a few dark value blue pastels.
- Next I painted the lighter value dull gray violet and light blue in the sky area under the dark cloud.
- The rain is a middle dark value. I want to suggest the look of dark rain bands falling from the cloud so I use a middle dark blue gray pastel moon its side and make a wide vertical mark from the cloud base to the ground.
- I use a very light touch on the first pass so I get a whisper of rain. I go back for another pass but vary the pressure on the stick so that some areas of the rain band are a bit darker.
- To finish the illusion I use the sharp edge of a light blue Nupastel to make a few linear 'rain' marks.
- I do go back into the rain with more of the sky color. I want to make sure the rain looks like a thin veil. I need to be able to see through the rain.
I'd love for you to join us over on Patreon! It is just $4 a month for access to almost 4 years of content! Your support helps me create more online demos and lessons! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
I have a suggestion for a more successful studio painting. Don't try to copy your plein air painting. Don't make it a goal to recreate the same exact painting. Instead use it for inspiration. Choose something you like about the study and expand on that idea. Then choose a completely different technique/paper/underpainting for your studio painting.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
- Choose the largest set you can afford. You need to have a good range of values from dark to light as well as a range of intensities....you need some of the duller neutrals as well as the pure intense colors. You can modify colors by layering but it is nice to have a larger variety to begin with.
- Plan to remove any labels and break bigger sticks in half. You want to be able to use the pastels both on the side as well as the tips. Removing labels will allow you to paint and draw! Also Nupastels are too long for me so I like to break them in half so I can have more control.
- Choose the right paper. Hard pastels have more binder and less pigment so they tend to be more successful on sanded paper which grabs onto the pastel better. I do use them on all paper types but sanded papers will be less frustrating especially for beginners.
- I like to keep my hard pastels separate from the softer ones. I have a box of assorted hard pastels that I will use for underpaintings and finishing detail marks. I don't keep them in any kind of order. It is nice to have this little box available!
If you have any hard pastels, challenge yourself to use ONLY the hard pastels for an entire painting. If you can't make note of what you were missing. Perhaps you can fill in your hard pastel collection for future paintings!
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Have you considered joining my Patreon group or returning to us? This month we are focused on foregrounds, transitions and depth. The low $4 monthly pledge gives you access to almost 4 years of content! I appreciate your support! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis
Sunday, July 04, 2021
available on Etsy
If you've been getting Painting my World blog posts through e-mail, you might notice that something has changed with your email updates!
I am no longer using Feedburner to let you know of new posts. Feedburner has been deactivated by Google. I have been requesting that you sign up for my new website. My intention was to start posting new blog content on my new website. The only problem is the new website does not allow for email notification of new posts! I am planning on consolidating posts into a monthly newsletter. I will still be doing this and I still would love for you to sign up for these newsletters on my new website at www.karenmargulis.com. However I found a new service to provide email updates on THIS blog. So for the time being I will post to both blogs.
The new service is Follow.it.
You may get an email to confirm your subscription. Please be sure to confirm that you wish to still receive this blog via email. Once you confirm, you can go to the settings on the Follow.it site to let it know how you want to receive the email. The default is the email heading or snippet, once a day. But you can also get summary posts, the full article, or just read it at Follow.it rather than getting an e-mail.
Please note that the free version of Follow it will have ads at the bottom of the email. So, if you'd prefer to see the blog without the ads, etc., you can just bookmark my blog site and check it weekly. I am trying to post at least twice a week.
I look forward to sharing with you both here on Painting my World and through my website blog!
Friday, July 02, 2021
It is elusive....that wonderful peek of watercolor under a thin veil of pastel. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes it doesn't go as planned. But I remind myself that the creation of a watercolor underpainting will influence the direction of my painting even if I completely cover it with pastel.
Still, that thought doesn't stop me from trying! I always approach a watercolor underpainting with the intent to allow a lot of it to show through the pastel layers. I want the wonderful drips, blooms and mingling of the paint to do much of the work. But once I start layering pastel I often go farther than I wanted. Many a painting gets completely covered with pastel much to my dissappointment. How much pastel is too much? It is a personal preference. I love the contrast between the transparent watercolor and the opaque pastel so I want some of the watercolor to show. I've discovered some tips....
It is all about restraint. Work slowly and deliberately. Think about every pastel mark.
Here are some things I do to help me preserve the underpainting:
- When I am ready to add pastel I begin by choosing colors and values that closely match the underpainting. I apply a VERY light layer so that I can hardly see the pastel. I will change color and value very gradually....small areas with a light touch.
- If I like the passage with this thin veil of pastel I will leave it and move on. In this way I don't get too heavy too quickly. I remind myself that it is OK to let the paper/underpainting show.
- I find I most often overwork the pastel application when I get too thick too fast. I then feel the need to keep adding heavier layers all over the painting. When I keep a light touch and work slowly I have more success.
This painting is the Paint Along for my Patreon group this month. Head over to Patreon to check it out. There is a $4 pledge to access the content but it is a great value!! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
- Turning your reference photo upside down causes your brain to disconnect which helps you see the scene as a collection of shapes, colors and values rather than things. When you look at something and try to draw it...your brain wants to label it and give you the shortcut of symbol for that thing. The symbol isn't usually as interesting as the actual thing! We need to disconnect the thinking brain so we can SEE better.
- Make sure you don't try to figure out and label what you are looking at in your upside down photo. Describe things by shape, value and color as you block them in. For example: You aren't painting white flowers...you are painting a whitish shape with some blue middle values on one side.
- Keep the photo upside down for as long as you can...the longer the better the results. For this painting I blocked in the whole painting with one layer of pastel before I turned the photo and painting right side up.
I will remember to use this exercise more often! If you have something complex you have been wanting to paint but putting off.....turn it upside down and get started!
Sunday, June 20, 2021
Welcome! I have been creating monthly Paint Along videos on my Patreon Page since 2017. The Paint Alongs are comprised of four video demos in which I break down the painting process from the planning stage to finishing touches. The goal is to simplify and slow down the pastel painting process. This allows artists of all levels to benefit.
I am now making some of these Paint Along videos available to you as one complete video for free on YouTube. You can purchase a PDF booklet to accompany this video in my Etsy shop. This PDF booklet contains supporting photos and expanded information.
Usually the videos on my YouTube channel are under 30 minutes. This doesn't give me time to expand on each important step to my process. The Patreon Paint Along series allows me to slow down and spend time on each stage of the painting process. They have been a fun part of my silver tier on Patreon and I am excited to share one of my favorites with you.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS AND TO PURCHASE The PDF BOOKLET IN MY ETSY SHOP
**Note that this video is all four parts of a monthly Patreon Paint Along series all in ONE NEW VIDEO. You will see all four parts combined together.**
If you enjoyed this Paint Along video consider joining us on Patreon for much more! www.patreon.com/karenmargulis