10" x 10" acrylic on MDF board
12" x 12" acrylic on MDF board
This weekend was a "discovery" weekend of sorts. I worked on the above two paintings and learned some new things. Here they are:
I learned (once again!) about keeping an open mind while painting. I mean an open mind in every sense of that expression: open to the possibilities, open to reworking a failed passage or piece, and open to using the hues that will get the job done. I also mean open to looking at your landscape (or subject matter) in any number of ways. For the second piece shown above and which was completed earlier in the month, I was stuck on the idea of a yellow sky and spindly trees. My insistence on that scheme and denial of what I saw result wise caused me to begin to dislike the finished piece. Rather than relegate it to The Closet of Shame however I decided to see what I could do to make it better. I mostly see the Lake Alpine landscape in the early morning. The sky really is blue, the trees are that green and the rocks that brilliant. I like that so why not paint it in the way that I see it in my mind's eye? So, I did just that. I deepened the colors of the trees and figured out a better way to knock back the intensity of the trees in the background. I am much happier now and very glad to have the piece on my wall.
The other two things I learned are about using colors and keeping an open mind. Too often a color is rejected outright because it doesn't fit in a "perscribed" palette or it isn't appealing on its own. Dioxazine purple falls into these two categories for me. I don't use it outright but generally as an accent color for shadows. It's pretty intense though. It is good as a "mitigating" color. To me, mitigating colors are the secondary colors-orange, green, and purple. They help to boost or tone down the primaries, among other things. I used purple to boost some of the green in the first piece and to change the character of raw umber which can be flat and cold when mixed with white.
I also learned just how versatile quinacridone/nickel azo gold is as both a mixer and "mitigator" color. It's both cool and warm if that makes sense. It mixes beautifully with white and can be added to my convenience green (sap green) to really warm it up without making it obnoxious. It can boost the cool yellow that I use too, making it appear warmer as well. Best of all though is what it does with raw umber. Add a little quin. gold to the raw umber and it is transformed! It perfectly describes some of the dirt that I see around my landscape. I use it now along with ultramarine blue to boost my sap green and to give it variety.
Last week was productive for me-several sketches and some completed paintings that I like a lot. This week will be short. I am taking a drawing class taught by Peggi Kroll Roberts on Thursday and Friday. This is a big deal. Peggi is an outstanding painter. I have several of her DVDs and appreciate what she advocates: mileage, mileage, mileage! So, wish me luck!
Hope everyone has a good start to the week. Thanks for reading and commenting.