Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sunshine Super Painter

Last weekend we ran a plein air class.  The weather was near perfect.  Sunny, a little breeze (anti black fly and mosquito tactic), a little cool, and lots of GREEN.  Most of the participants did not try to avoid the greens.  They also didn't try to avoid the sun.

Going Green in Mono

That blazing sun just shuts your eyes down, especially when using a white canvas.  It is then difficult to just "put the right colour in the right place".  The class was painting in the mid day time frame which helps keep the shadows in one place a little longer that morning or evening time slots.  At mid day though, the compositions tend to be least interesting and the colours are most bleached out under the sunny sky.  One must develop the ability to see that nature provides an infinite array of greens and none of them are the hue that comes directly out of the tube.  So, mix you must.  Basic greens are modified by adding various hues of blue, yellow, orange, red, and violet.  One basic set of primaries that works well for this application consists of Pthalo Blue, Cadmium Yellow middle, and Alizarin Crimson.  Titanium white can also be included in careful quantity.  Try mixing a colour pool of green with these paints in a variety of values and intensities.  Learn how to mix out any garishness that evolves.

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