Friday, February 18, 2011

An Earth Palette

"Valley In Blue"
9" X 12" Oil on Canvas
I have been reading up on using an earth palette lately and wanted to give it a try. I thought forcing myself to use just 3 earth colors would push my mixing skills up a notch and teach me some new color mixes to try out. I used only Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Paynes Grey along with white. I enjoyed learning to mix greens and blues using grey and no doubt this will add to my mixes in later works so it was a good experiment to go through. Pushing yourself by using a limited palette is a great way to force you to learn something new and step out of your comfort zone a bit.
Greens are commonly bought by many painters but I have been mixing mine from my primaries for years now. Using these colors above was a great way to experiment with new green mixes, very pale green tones which will work perfectly for distant greens. This should increase my ability to use more convincing colors to promote depth into my work. Also, the range of greys and neutral tones found with these 3 colors is eye opening to me and will show up also in future paintings.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nipomo Eucalytpus

"The Sappling"
20" X 24" Oil on Canvas
I've been working on larger pieces lately and at the same time experiencing massive problems with my computer when trying to start up. This is a newer computer using Vista and I'm still going through the problem more often than not. Aside from those woes, I've been able to concentrate on larger works since the new year. I'm really enjoying working larger but they do suck up more time to produce...still a lot of fun.
This one was painted from a reference photo taken in a stand of eucalyptus trees in Nipomo, CA that I love to visit. This young little tree was catching the most wonderful light hidden in between it's older brothers. The young leaves showing off their great shades of bright greens in the background of muted darks and the pale ochres of the grasses. Hard to resist not painting this one.