Thursday, October 15, 2009

Color it or tone it?!

Our last assignment in art class was to paint flowers with only 2 different pigments. We even had to pick our colors blindly. I got lucky and picked red and phthalo green.

Limiting myself to just these 2 colors was quite an experiment, forcing me to use the paints to their fullest. I varied the intensity by using full strength pigment down to barely any pigment diluted with water. And I mixed the red and green pigment in varying proportions to get as much color variation as I could. The range of tones amazed me, from the lightest light, to the darkest dark.

I have read that it matters less what colors you choose, than the variation and patterns of light and dark that you create in your painting. Simplifying this concept in one challenging exercise helped me understand it. Getting outside of my comfort zone always seems to result in learning something new!
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Something new, something true

I'm pleased with myself for painting a building. It's pushing the limits for me, as I've not done one before. First I made a pattern sketch, just drawing the basics, alternating dark and light. Then I made a couple of underpaintings in light - mid range tones, one predominately cool colors and the other predominately warm colors. I made a skeletal version of my pattern sketch on see-through mat acetate paper and put it over each of the underpaintings so I could see what effect the color of the underpainting had on my sketch. I chose the underpainting with predominately warm colors and then transferred my sketch onto it. Painting it was fun and easy.

It is a building of significance for me, the sunporch and upstairs patio of my "sister's" home in Sweden. Having lived with her family 30+ years ago when I was an exchange student in high school, we reunited when my husband and I took a trip to Sweden 2 summers ago. It was wonderful to stay with her family in their home. The sunporch is a recent addition and much celebrated as a way to enjoy the warm summer sun after a cold winter.

Continuing to learn something new each time I paint makes it fun. And when I paint something of true significance to me, I can feel my creative juices, beckoning to catch the vibrancy I see in it.
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