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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

How to Paint Rain with Pastels

'Let it Rain'              11x14             pastel              ©Karen Margulis       available $295

I am back from a blog break. I didn't intend to be away for so long but one thing after another kept me busy with non-art activities. But I am back on track and I even have a half organized studio! More on that later. Even though family has kept me busy I have still been painting and sharing with my Patreon group. This month our focus is on the sky and clouds. I am sharing demos and tips for painting sunsets and stormy skies! I took some great sky reference photos on our June trip and it has been so much fun to revisit them in new paintings. 

The painting I am sharing today is our Patreon Monday step by step demo. It is 11x14 on gray Pastelmat paper.  I always forget how much I enjoy the way Pastelmat grabs the pastel. I find I make my marks in a different and more direct way....perfect for stormy skies.  

In the Patreon demo I share a step by step photo breakdown of each step of the painting process but I wanted to go into more detail about how I painted the rain falling from the clouds. 
  • 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.

Here is a close up photo of the rain.

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