Thursday, September 24, 2009

Palette Creep in the Studio

I have been working on the light effect on masses in recent weeks.  This typically outdoor activity has spilled into the studio.

The process consists of starting with the simplified shapes (masses that hold the painting together) painted flat in colours that reflect the prevailing colour key.  Then modifying the shapes relative to one another to get the correct colour, value, and intensity.  Then following up by painting colour variations in the shapes and treating edges as required, in a few iterations.  The last steps follow observations after each correction.  As more and more colour variations become apparent these variations are added to the shapes (great eye training).  The degree of subtlety is up to the artist.  The degree to which the variations are seen is a function of practice.  Interestingly, it is amazing how much detail can be inferred (not added) as the process is pushed to latter stages.  This leaves an air of mystery when combined with edge work and involves the viewer in exploring the work.

Annie's Saltbox, 11x14, Oil on Canvas

This small painting done in the studio from sketch reference seemed to demand more pigments on the palette.  I was mixing paint on the canvas and in order to get the variations, finer variations in the raw pigments seemed required on the palette (for example 3 or 4 yellows).  This does not seem to happen on a cool gray day colour key.

I used my new #14 Filbert Bristle brush and the expanded palette of Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Viridian, Cadmium Lemon Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Middle, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Red Middle, Alizarin, Magenta, Mineral Violet and Titanium, White.

We leave for Willisville On September 30, and my studio tour is this weekend.  I'll attempt to make another studio practices blog before the end of the month.  If you have subjects you would like discussed please send a message.

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