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Friday, April 10, 2020

A Rough Painting Makeover!

'Delight'               7x5            pastel                ©Karen Margulis
available $150
 When in doubt......wipe it out!  One of my favorite ways of starting a new painting is to cover up an older one! I have stacks of paintings that are in various states of finish. Some are unfinished demos or experiments gone bad. Some are just old and terrible! But I save them all for the paper.  Every once in awhile when I am feeling uninspired I go to the stack and pull out one of these duds and I anticipate the possibilities!

There are many ways a painting can be recycled. Some sanded papers can be completely washed off. I have done it with Uart and Pastelbord works especially well! But I refer to let the old painting remain but in an altered state. This is so much more exciting. Nothing breaks the fear of the blank paper than an interesting blob of colors!

Here are some things you can do to alter an old painting and giving it new life:

  • Brush off the pastel with a stiff brush creating a soft and dreamy underpainting. Do this over a trash can or a jar to collect dust. 
  • Brush off a painting and spray it with workable fixative for darker values.
  • Liquify the pastel with a brush and any liquid.....water, rubbing alcohol and Odorless Mineral Spirits work well. If the pastel is thickly applied you might want to brush some off first. 
  • My favorite : Liquify the pastel with clear gesso and create random or directed texture. It will result in the pastel mixing and becoming gray but it gives a great start for a new painting. (see below)
  • Use other pastel grounds over the pastel to add more texture. 
Note that anytime you add a liquid over pastel it will cause the pastel to liquify and mix together most often creating interesting grays.

Todays painting was an older demo that I liquified with clear gesso. 

Want to learn more about adding texture to a pastel painting? Check out my YouTube channel and my latest video!

Midway through the painting and you can really see the texture

1 comment:

Beth Glaude said...

Thank you for these tips, Karen. I have a lot of paintings that didn't work out. Now I know why I saved them. Thanks again for all you do to help.