Sandra Burshell (featured artist in the June 2010 issue of The Pastel Journal) knows from experience that she’s likely to crop in on her image eventually to make a more focused, unified composition. Therefore, she always starts her paintings with a larger sheet of paper than she anticipates needing. To crop a painting in progress takes courage; after all, there’s no turning back. To avoid disappointments, Burshell uses a “matting” technique first to view the crop before cutting, using strips of newsprint to block out areas of a painting to see what it would look like with a section removed. See the following three images which demonstrate this technique. A willingness to crop, the artist explains, has led to some wonderful surprises.
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