Tuesday, October 15, 2013


($60.00......6" x 6"....Water Soluble Oils on a 2" Depth Cradled Gesso Board)

Today began with a warm up with palette knife and oil paint. Hopefully, I will have the larger one over the finish line very soon. The inspiration for this image came from a color magazine of interior rooms. No quote.

For those who like to have fun with your palette knife, this approach is a good warm up and an excellent way to practice mixing colors from a limited palette. Of course, the palette is set up with a warm and cool of each primary plus white. That makes (7) colors on the palette. At least one of each of the three primaries plus white created the tan color. The mint green was created with Pthalo Blue (just a touch), lemon yellow, a touch of cad red light (to gray it down) and then lots of white.

Having a thorough knowledge of the color wheel and all of the direct complementary colors is essential to changing the intensity of any of the primary colors. Beginning with a small abstract such as this keeps it simple enough to focus on just (2 or 3) colors at a time rather than the full range of values typical in a still life, landscape, or figurative work.

So my double palette consists of lemon yellow, cad. yellow med, alizarin crimson, cad red med, ultramarine blue, pthalo blue, and titanium white. From this you can mix all of the other colors in all their tints and shades. I am writing about this again only because I know that some of you who follow my blog are still struggling with color. The reason I know that is because you've told me. And to quote another teacher who had a profound affect on me...."Always go back to the basics."

It's quite like a professional golfer who changed swing coaches to improve his game. The new coach started out the instruction with...."This is a golf club." And he had already won a lot of titles! So never feel bad about reviewing the basics to improve as an artist. It's the smart thing to do.

The technique I used on this small abstract was to cover the entire space with the tan color. The bottom layer was darker than what you see on top. I then swiped on a few strokes of the mint green, white, and a small bit of orange. The next step was to take a knife and make several gestural movements which mixed all of the colors a bit. I didn't like that so I kept going over it with my palette knife and then applied the mint green and white alternately with a single aggressive stroke. The word "aggressive" is important because the movement of that stroke is what gives the piece energy.  And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

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