Saturday, May 22, 2010

Revisit After 15 Years

We paid a visit to a stream that fills the Alton Mill pond and eventually flows into the Credit River.  I painted at this location late fall and winter some 15 years ago.   Vic Sullivan was mentoring me and I planned to visit him the same day as he recovers from surgery.

Three of us painted on this a beautiful day.  I painted down and away from the road.  There was a May Fly hatch in full bloom.  Not much had changed from the past except everything is more grown over.  I remember making a breakthrough in this spot.  

First the thumbnail.  Squint to get the relative values, shapes, and edges.  Formulate the rest of the concept.  Low key value, analogous colour scheme, two player interest.

The analogous colours I chose were yellow, green, blue green.  These are next to each other on the Practical Colour Wheel.  Each has green in the pigment (yellow too).  The pigments chosen were Cadmium Yellow Light, Viridian, and Cerulean Blue (to mix blue green).  Each of these can be mixed with the other to make somewhat grayed colours.  White (today I used Flake white) will also gray the pigments.  There are a number of ways to mix the other subtle gray greens to fill up the pie shape on the colour wheel.  I could mix each pigment with its complement (but not show the complements in the picture - just the resultant grays - keeps the concept in tact).  I could choose the complement of the central green (alizarin or permanent rose) and mix it with all of the analogous pigments.  I could choose tube colours that are grayed greens (such as terre verte, olive green, sap green, etc.).  Finally, I could choose to combine the approaches.  Today I used the complement Alizarin and Olive Green.  I can mix olive green but the tube approach is quick for on site painting with the early light changing rapidly.

The dominant green was Viridian, the subordinate green was Yellow, and the accent was Cerulean.

The painting consisted of predominantly grayed greens with little high chroma colour.

Paint was applied transparently (beginning with a Viridian wash which still shows), translucently with an undercolour showing though in a mist manner, and opaquely.  Thick and thin paint were used for interest and to guide the eye through the painting.

Revisit It, 10x12, Oil on Board

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