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Friday, March 19, 2021

How to Make Your Palm Trees Glow

       Seaside Sunset                   12x9          pastel                   ©Karen Margulis        available $265

I was captivated by the light! We were walking in a small seaside park on a paved trail. It wasn't my kind of park since it was quite manicured with neatly mowed grass. I prefer wild and weedy!  But I couldn't ignore the light of the setting sun. It even made the shaved shrubbery beautiful. I noticed a collection of palm trees that were glowing with warm sunlight. I took a photo for future inspiration.

I decided to paint the trees but I needed to first eliminate the clutter. There was a big condo building behind the trees. It wasn't important to my story. I was interested in capturing the glow! I did two things to make this happen:

  •  I began the painting with a warm underpainting. I chose 3 values of red and did an alcohol wash n Luxarchival paper. The warm red will help to establish the warm colors in the sunlit trunks. It also serves to unify the entire painting as well as make the greens more vibrant!

  • The red underpainting gave me a head start but it was my pastel selection that made the glow as intense as I remembered. I used a very limited palette. See the color swatches below. They were selected from my Terry Ludwig Floral Landscape set. Notice there are mostly cool colors....blues and greens. There are a few warm colors and this contrast of warm and cool helped to promote the glow. 
  • TIP: Using warmer and more intense colors in the sunlit area made the trees glow. If I had used lighter value colors the effect would not be as strong. 

 You can see a complete photo demo of these palm trees over on my Patreon Page:

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