Sunday, January 31, 2021

"Three Cities in Three Days" ink & watercolor 8 x 9 - randomly chosen palette


The Girls Just Wanna Paint challenge for January was "3 random colors".  I used watercolor, and blindly pointed at three corners of my watercolor palette, which is arranged by color/temperature.  By aiming at three different areas of the palette, I knew I was getting a bit of variety.  I chose vermilion, sap green, and cerulean (see picture).  My first instinct was to pick again, but I wanted to maintain the integrity of the challenge and learn something.  Here are a few thoughts from this challenge

  • None of these colors is very cool, so I needed to adjust my temperature scale
  • The most yellow I could achieve was with sap green with a little vermiliion.
  • I could make beautiful neutrals, browns, grays, using these three colors. 
  • The darkest I could get was a charcoal-ish blue gray but if I pushed it a tiny bit beyond its neutral balance, I was into an orange or green or blue (not really neutral anymore, and not as dark as I wanted.)
  • I adjusted my buildings to look a little terracotta colored, so maybe Italy or Spain, based on the colors I could achieve.  
  • When I used vermilion on its own, as a color option, it was much too strong and overpowered the other options.  There is nothing in this composition that I wanted drawing your eye that much, so I neutralized all the vermilion I used.
  • I enjoyed the challenge, and will randomly choose three colors again to see what happens  
Take a look at all the Girls Just Wanna Paint interpretations of the theme by clicking the link. 

Friday, January 01, 2021

"A New Day" 9 x 9 oil

 The woods where we live are filled with trails.  I recently discovered the "All Trails" ap for my phone.  There are thousands of trails listed, with reviews, information including distance, elevation, difficulty, and a route which you can track using your phone's GPS.  On a recent walk, I was rewarded with this view, before descending to a dock along the river.  The brisk winter air, the quiet, and sumptuous visuals reminded me that we are entering a new year, and each day is fresh.  You can see my progress photos below.  

I began by tinting my canvas with a dark neutral.  I leaned it toward the cooler side, knowing I would warm the trees later, implying the late day sun bouncing from tree to tree within the woods. Then I wiped away everything in light, carefully designing the tree shapes, and leaving them a little heavy as I intended to cut in on them when I applied the light.  

Then I added my lightest light note.  It is a white, slightly tinted with cad yellow.

I began to add layers of color starting with the intense warms, and the blues of the sky.  The chroma neutralizes as the distance grows from the sun, either vertically or horizontally.  Because the sun is so low, the tops of the clouds are darker, and shades of purple.  I used the purple to enhance the value of lighter spots in they sky.  And, I began to soften the edges of the trees against the sky, banding their edges, as light will do. 

In the final passes, I warmed the ground where the light was scooting across it, and softened the edge of the sky to ground, implying another layer of land out there.  

Lastly, I added a hint of smaller branches throughout the trees.  These are almost obscured by the intense light, but still evident. 

It's a new day.  Let's take each one as it comes.  Thank you for looking.