Monday, October 28, 2013

Four colors three ways....

I was experimenting with, what I would call pure color paintings--where the intent is to place paint color at very similar values, and then use a little bit of value (maybe) to finish the painting.

This is a challenge (i.e., hard) if you're an impatient watercolor painter like me.  I end up with numerous bleeds, and mixing because I don't wait for the paint to dry, and I don't always have the color values quite right.

Anyways, here are three paintings that use identical palettes of four paints.  Quinacridone orange, carbazole violet, manganese blue hue, and undersea green, all from Daniel Smith.  The first, (at the bottom) I was randomly placing paint.

The second, since I liked the colors, I was thinking about tit a bit more (the photo is a little too dark). 

And, the last I used gray to turn them into a landscape.  I may try something else with this combination of colors since it makes lovely grays.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

View From Sanctuary

Last Sunday, instead of listening in church, I was studying the view out the window.  Our church lucked into some life long dedicated gardeners, and on the grounds you can see all sorts of bits and pieces of their handiwork.  The sanctuary windows look out on to some of their plantings, and the turning leaves against the dark backdrop caught my eye.  
A couple of weeks ago, I thought I should start carrying a sketch book around with me.  I ordered a 6x6 inch one that fits in my purse with the idea that I'd draw every day.  (I haven't quite managed that, but I am drawing.)  I whipped out the sketchbook, and.....didn't have a single thing to draw with.  I ended up scrounging a green pencil, and did a quick study with notes about colors--see below.

When I sat down to paint, I purposefully limited my palette to Prussian Blue (two o'clock), Alizarin Crimson (ten o'clock), and Quinacridone Gold (six o'clock) and looked at various values and ways that the paints mixed before I started--again, see below.  In the past, I haven't planned things quite so much.  I'm not sure if I like this or not.

 The final result took two tries.  I tried the first painting on 140-lb paper, and I was having trouble with the paint drying too fast.  I tried again on 300-lb paper, and liked the result much better.  The painting is alla prima, and is 4x7 inches.  Definitely makes me think of fall.
From the sketch book.

Planned palette.  That's Prussian Blue at two o'clock, Quinacridone Gold at six, and Alizarin Crimson at ten.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Mill Course at Sunset

My younger son is taking golf lessons at The Mill Course in Winton Woods, which is part of the Hamilton County Park System.  It's very difficult to predict when he'll finish a round of golf, so when I pick up, I frequently have to wait.  Luckily, they have a beautiful patio that overlooks the course.  And, of course, I end up studying the trees and the light.

One of the things I've learned, is that my phone takes terrible pictures.  That turns out to be okay though, since at best, I use the photos as jumping off points for paintings.  So, to the left is a pic I snapped one evening while waiting for golfers.

Then, a week or two went by, and all I remember is that the line of trees looked lit up against the darker tree line, and that there was a golf flag.  I planned my painting around the idea of trees versus dash of red flag, and did a couple of thumbnail sketches to see what I though about different value plans.  The sketches are only about 1.5x1.5 inches.  You can see them to the right.

I like the bottom value sketch better, but ended up loosing the top light portion when I did the painting.  It's interesting--I'm not a big fan of golf, but this course is beautiful.  It's hard not to feel at peace as the light comes by.   You can see the final product at the top.