Thursday, July 4, 2013

"Hill Country Grays"

($180.00......6" x 6"....oils on a flat gessobord panel.....presented in a custom frame)

"Trust in God is the bedrock of all other freedoms." I chose not to inscribe this quote into the oil paint. However, it will be attached permanently to the back and be included in the interpretation when exhibited. We are blessed to have an abundance of rock in Central Texas. It is a characteristic of our region. Texans are proud of the United States and very proud of our state. We celebrate this fourth of July with thankfulness in our hearts.

As to the piece I have been working on entitled "Color Poetry", I wanted a bit more time to think about its direction and the other decisions I need to make to bring it to completion. In the meantime, I have recently been outside painting. The piece today was painted on location at Bull Creek right off of 2222.

The rock is a favorite subject when painting out in our area. By using a double palette (warm and cool of each primary) plus white, I am able to mix a full range of cool and warm grays. You can clearly see the contrast in the rock formations. Some of the grays in the rock have a bit more yellow cast and some have a bit more blue cast to them. This creates a push/pull in the painting that I find most interesting. 

My love of the palette knife continues. The way the paint is delivered to the surface is a bit different than the brush. I always lay down one undercoat of paint first. That color is determined by what I need to have peeking through with trees, rocks, etc. In this case, I mixed a very dark gray by using ultramarine blue, cad. red medium, and cad. yellow light. I also reserved part of this paint to mix with white to create some of the other grays.

By having this very dark gray over the entire surface to begin with laid the groundwork for exposing the bits of dark gray that appear on and in between the rock formations. It also mixes with the dark greens and the blue in the water to create those darker values.

I began the piece by laying in the rock colors first and establishing the strong diagonal. Next came the green that appeared above the rock and then I worked on the water. I laid the water colors in by dabbing them on carefully and then rock my palette knife over them to create the look of ripples. Foreground interest is very important to me, so I chose an angle that included a tree. The tree trunk also creates another division of space from top to bottom.

This diversion from mixed media was a pleasant change of pace. My hope is to do some larger palette knife paintings. This one (6" x 6") took me about two hours, so the challenge is to have a large block of uninterrupted time to complete a larger painting in one day. I like to work wet into wet, so finishing in the same day is a hugh deal. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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