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Thursday, April 03, 2014

A Must Try Painting Exercise

'Spring Fantasy I'            6x6             pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available for purchase $45
I couldn't stop.  Even if I could I didn't have my paints. But the colors were unreal. I wanted to stop my car and soak it all in. Luckily though I was at a traffic light. So I painted it in my mind.  I tried to describe the colors I was seeing. The unusual corals of the trees with their fresh new growth.  The amazing hot pinks of the smaller trees in front.  The shapes and how they were arranged. I made mental notes. Then the light changed and I was on my way.

The image made an impression on me that I couldn't let go. I could return to the spot with my pastels. But what if I just tried to paint from my mind? After all I did make mental notes. What if I just tried to paint my impression of this scene?

What a great exercise it was. It was so liberating to be free from the influence of a reference photo. I was able to rely on my mental notes to recall the colors and shapes. It was up to me to arrange them into an interesting composition.  I could paint them however I wanted. I didn't have to match colors and shapes and arrangements to a photo. There was no real right or wrong. It was totally my own interpretation.

'Spring Fantasy II'         6x6          pastel
click here to purchase $45
If you haven't painted something from your imagination lately I encourage you to do it.  Go outside and  find something that captures your attention. Take some mental notes....colors, shapes, what it is that excites you. Now go back inside and paint it. Let yourself go. You can't get it wrong! It is your impression alone!

Why is this such a good exercise? 
I am a firm believer in using reference photos to jumpstart a painting. I never copy it. Sometimes it is challenging to move away from the photo...to make changes. Painting from your imagination show you that you can pull things from your experiences and insert them into a painting. This will make it easier to make changes to a reference photo! Have fun!


Sergio DS said...

Love this, I always use to do.

Hélène said...

Vibrant and bold ! I love it !