Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wrestling Match continued...

As I had mentioned my "Soft Place to Land" is getting a real workout.  But after several days of just staring at it, thinking the solution would come to me, I decided to get busy and really find out what went wrong.
It seems that the dominant color palette of Burnt Umber which I mixed for this painting, is probably not well suited to a snow scene.  I figured it would go more to the purple side, but it didn't.  Oops!
Anyway, here are a few things I did today to see more clearly how Burnt Umber behaves.  I use a lot of Burnt Umber in my paintings so thought I already knew.  This just goes to show, not all of us are as smart as we think we are   : )!

Anyway,
Heres the palette.  Pretty huh?

Today I made a chart out of it, you know like the ones I've been harping on everyone about?
It went much redder than I thought it would.

So I did this little painting to see what it might look like if I pushed it to the lighter side.
Ooo!  Very pink!

So, whats the lesson?
#1 - I should never assume that I know what I'm doing...  : )
#2 - I need to go back and finish one chart for each of my colors, (I have about 3/4 of them done) so I can choose one when I have my heart set on a certain mood to come through in a painting.
This palette I think, would be better suited for a late evening or early morning snow scene.  You know, when you have those lovely pink hues falling across the snow.  Also, I thought it might work really well for an interior like one of Rembrandt's, with figures or a portrait.

...now what did I do with that olive branch painting?

4 comments:

  1. Deb, this painting lesson is a valuable one - thanks for sharing. I've been meaning to do some charts with my colors too - I have a few new ones and surprises are not infrequent LOL!
    These birds are really fun - without the "before" picture I can't tell what the problem is. It looks like a good balance to me. The cooler blue birds with the warmer white.

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  2. Yes, I agree with Cheryl. The birds painting does have a nice contrast of warm to cool. It's also very intimate and expressionistic. Well done.

    I'm not as disciplined as you are with color studies, so I'm not able to diagnose any "problem" and don't really see one from here. I have found, though, that I prefer to work with burnt sienna more than burnt umber. There is an unwieldy yellow/green that hides in the background when this paint is mixed with another paint that I am often surprised with.

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  3. Thanks for your comments Cheryl and Melinda!
    I'm glad you like my little sketch : ) but the color problems I mention here are for a previous painting I posted last week "Soft Place to Land" on September 28th. I should have included it here to be more clear. The painting "Three Birds" posted here is just a sketch I did to help resolve my color issues with the dominant Burnt Umber palette. I was trying to bend that palette to a cooler hue in "Soft Place to Land" but its obviously too warm for that! I feel kind of silly having even tried. Although I think it would work in some cases, it's probably not a good idea to make snow out of BROWN. : 0 ...oh!

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  4. Hi Deb,
    As you know, I've been a good boy and went off to do some mixing tables.
    I only got as far as two tables of color, but that was enough to use them in my latest plein air sketch ...saved me from mixing cadmium yellow medium with payne's gray, and going green when I wanted a brown. I was really surprised to find that what I really needed to get the color brown I wanted, was to mix magenta with cad yellow!

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