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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Video Blog Demo of a Quick Daily Painting

'Happy Meadow'            5x7             pastel             ©Karen Margulis
 If a picture is worth a 1000 words what is a video worth? If blogs are great for sharing words and pictures imagine the possibilities for sharing through video! I am excited to share my entry into the world of video and YouTube with my first video blog episode. Here is the back story.

My daughter is an avid fan of certain channels on YouTube. She follows these 'vloggers' every day just as we read our favorite blogs everyday. She encouraged me to start my own YouTube channel and share my art life through video. At first I resisted. I have enough to do. I don't have the right equipment. I have no idea how to take and edit a video. Would anyone really want to watch?

I tested the waters a bit last year with a few simple videos on YouTube. The quality wasn't very good and the learning curve seemed steep so I let it slide. But then I needed a new camera for my upcoming art adventures. I thought it would be a good idea to get a camera that would be good for travel but would also take decent (and would be easy) to take videos....just in case.

my new camera
I got my new camera. I mulled over taking a video. And then it occurred to me. I can learn how to make and edit a video. It's just like painting. We need to learn the basics and then practice.....a lot. Things may be rough in the beginning but with practice they will improve. I have to take the plunge and just do it!

Video will be the perfect complement to this blog. We are artists....visual people. I can show so much more with video!

So I am pleased to share my first episode of my new video blog 'An Artist's Life'. I plan to add a weekly installment and I will share it here. I encourage you to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you won't miss an episode!

(if you are reading this post by email the link to YouTube may not work. Go directly to the blog at for the link or copy and paste this address in your search bar

I used my Great American Artworks Richard McKinley set for this painting 
Now that you have watched the video here are a few more tips for small daily painting:

  • keep them small 6x8 and 5x7 are ideal
  • keep them quick. Set a timer for 15-10 minutes
  • keep supplies set up even if it is just a small set that is easy to access
  • simplify! start with a few big simple shapes
  • create a roadmap of values....decide what is mostly dark, light and mid value.
  • choose the area of interest and put the most clarity in this area
  • leave some mystery....don't put in every detail. the time limit helps.
  • when the timer goes off STOP. Paint another one but don't fiddle with the painting 
  • evaluate the painting and decide on 3 marks to finish. place those mark and call it done!


Susan Vaughn said...

I really enjoyed your video, Karen! I have learned so much about painting in pastel by reading your blog and can't wait to see more of your videos! This is wonderful for me, because I can't get away from home to take workshops. Thank you so much! - Susan

Unknown said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! As a beginner artist and a beginner at pastels, your video has inspired me - it has simplified what otherwise feels daunting (when just reading about it and looking at pictures) and proved that you really can do this in just 15 minutes a day. I came across your paintings on Pinterest and just adore your colors and style. I really appreciate you taking the time to learn how to make a vlog and share your knowledge with the rest of us!

Joycelyn Schedler said...

Fantastic job, Karen! I believe you are one of the bravest artists I know. Just step right up and BOOM! a video blog is born. Thank you for being such a giver of your time and talents. ~joycelyn schedler

Sandi Graham Pastels said...

Karen, you are such a gift to those of us that have been following for a time now. Thank you for this latest demo.
I can't wait for yor next vlog!

Susan Williamson said...

What a great learning experience you have created! I think it looks VERY professional! Thank you for sharing your journey

HappyPainter212 said...

You seem to be a natural at this! I learned so much. I want to paint every day but often get stymied by fear of beginning something that might be too difficult for me. These 15-30 minute quick paintings could be exactly what I need to get the artist motor running. Thank you so much. I so learn from your daily posts and now look forward to your vlog.

Anonymous said...

fabulous! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I follow your blog every day and it has inspired me. But seeing you in action is a thousand times more helpful. You are truly a gifted artist and teacher!

Lynne Porter said...

Hi Karen
Brilliant job, I have learned so much from your blog over the last dew years, and also from the workshops I bought from your shop. The video brings it all to life.
If you think about doing video workshops I'll be first in the queue to buy them.

Unknown said...

Hi Karen,

This was great to see you actually do a painting vs describing it in the written word. I agree with Susan Vaughn, about workshops. There are very few pastel classes, if any, in my area, so this helps me immensely.

I would love for you to take us on a tour of your studio, so we can see how you have your place set up.


Judy Baker said...

I Loved your Vlog!!! It is so much clearer when we can see it being done. I'm itching to get out my pastels and get started. Thank you SO much for your generous, giving spirt!!!

BJR said...

I was so excited when I saw you were going to vlog! To watch you paint, that is a treat. I'll be here!

Ruth said...

I found your video very interesting. I am just starting in pastels. I have been painting with acrylics for 4 years. Your video's have been a great help and inspiration to me as I get started. Thank you.

Brenda LaRue said...

You are a treasure. Your generosity is astounding! Thank you so much for sharing your techniques. I can't wait for your next vlog! Perhaps, since you paint right-handed, you might try moving the camera to your left side - we aspiring artists want to see your every mark as it happens!

Again, thank you!

Gloria j Zucaro said...

Thanks so much, Karen. I seem to more easily understand a process when I see it actually done.

LEX ROSOFF said...

Hi Karen,
I've been reading your blog for about a month now, and I loved your video! You mentioned that video has a learning curve just like painting--that's true, and you're off to a great start! I got my MA in video and film production, so I can tell you that you have a great foundation. Your lighting is good, and your audio is clear; both are pitfalls of beginner videos. If I could make a suggestion? I noticed that you have your camera on autofocus, which is a good idea if you plan to move the camera like you did in this video. However, when you lean across the field of view to reach your pastels, the camera focuses on you and then has to readjust to focus on your painting--which it didn't accomplish a few times. If you could change your setup so you don't have to reach past the camera, that would help a lot! Thanks for the demo, it was fun to watch! Now I'm off to try one....

Karen said...

Thank you all so much for your comments! I appreciate all of the helpful tips and advice all things I will do for the next one. I know I made some mistakes and I will do better the next time!!
Thanks for watching!

Nancy O said...

Hi. I loved your demo, and so funny... I started a quick painting yesterday at lunch of what I believe to be the exact same view. 😊

Susan Richardson said...

Thank so much for inviting us into your studio!! I am looking forward to your next video blog!!

Mary F said...

Love your ideas, your video and your painting! I think you did a really terrific job with this video. At the end, could you focus in on the finished painting for a little longer? I really wanted to get a longer close-up view of what you'd done and talked about.

Karen said...

Thanks for the advice Mary. I will do that. I also post the painting to my blog as a still photo so it is easier to study and even enlarge. Thanks for watching!!