Saturday, June 15, 2013

"The Secret Place" (draft 3)

(draft 3)

Today you are seeing the entire support which measures 24" x 36". Nothing is yet adhered to the support and so I am still able to move pieces around. You can see that I have moved the piece that was in the bottom left hand corner up to the top left corner. And so it will go for a few more days until all of the pieces find their places.

Two color combinations I have always been fond of are yellow/green and blue/green. So those are my two selections for greens in their various values and intensities. This choice of greens gives me a warm and a cool green which is why they look good together.

The best yellow/green I have ever mixed is Green Gold (Golden) + Cad. Yellow Light + a bit of Raw Umber. And that is the mixture your see today. The blue/green was mixed with Cobalt Turquoise + a bit of Raw Umber. Raw Umber is a perfect choice for decreasing the intensity of any color. And that is the blue/green you see today.  For this type of work it is great, but if I am painting an oil, I use a limited palette and choose a bit of the direct complement to lower intensity.

Working in mixed media is like directing an orchestra. You have all of the instruments (your materials and techniques) and then it is up to you to compose the music and choose which instruments will be featured as a solo. The grays in this piece are equivalent to the instruments like the tuba, timpani, and many of the other instruments that create the deep tones and foundation for the more "flashy" instruments such as the violin, trumpet, snare drums, etc. In this piece, those sections with the yellow/green and blue/green represent those instruments that are featured.

Another way of saying it is to emphasize the brilliantly colored areas by surrounding them with neutrals. So I could expand my favorite quote on color by saying that black, white, and gray plus one or two other colors works every time it's tried.

Color is a vast subject and can be overwhelming so keeping it simple is always a good option until you become more confident. This is also a good time to re-emphasize the idea of calling colors their proper name by their description on the color wheel. If you can develop that habit, it will help you on down the road when you need to mix a color from a limited palette. For instance, rather than calling yellow/green.....lime green or green is better to call it yellow/green. That automatically informs you of what colors to mix to achieve lime green.

Of course, there are variations of intensity of all these colors that can be changed by adding white or the direct complement. By focusing on just these simple basics, color mixing will become familiar and automatic. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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