|'Pink Haze' 8x10 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
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You have to have some dirt! Nothing can grow without the dirt. I love starting a pastel landscape with a value alcohol wash because it lays down some dirt. I can build upon the value masses and add the greens and the flowers. It gives them a base to grown on!
I began this painting with a dark blue Nupastel. I massed in the big simple shapes of darks, lights and middle values and washed them in with some rubbing alcohol and a brush. The painting went through a color transformation near the end because I decided to add some pink instead of orange. Follow along and see the progression of the painting! It is 8x10 on Uart 600 grit.
I begin my reinforcing all of the dark shapes using several dark value pastels. A bit lighter and cooler in the distant trees.
I complete the sky using a few blues and pale yellow pastels lightly layered. I break up the tree with some sky holes.
Now I add some greens to the big tree. A lightly applied mix of warm/neutral greens. I love my Terry Ludwig greens!
Next I add the mountain using a mix of blue and blue-gray pastels. I make 'mountain holes' in the tree.
I need some more colorful dirt for my greens so I choose several values of orange. (secret of green)
I begin to layer some green in the grasses using lighter, cooler greens in the distance.
I add some chunkier greens in the foreground and a lighter green on the mowed path.
Here is where I decided to make a color change. I like the peach....but I just used this same color palette in yesterday's painting. To mix it up I decided to go with pink. I layer some pinks in the grasses and add some pink to the sky.
Finishing touches: I spray the tree and foreground with workable fixative so I can get some texture. I add more greens and pinks in the tree and meadow. I put in some hints of pink flowers and grasses in the foreground. Finished!
If you would like to try the value underpainting I have a pdf demo available showing this technique using turpenoid. You can see details in my Etsy shop here.