Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Suddenly Seagulls

Marco Island Gull 8x8 Oil on Linen
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Each day has its own individuality of color. Charles Hawthorne.

When I was in Florida last week I was consistently captivated by all the high key colors created by the sun, water, and tropical atmosphere. This gull was perched on a weathered post by my table at a waterfront restaurant. I immediately knew I wanted to paint the water reflections on his white feathers when I returned home.

As I noted in my previous post, I was lucky enough to spend a week on Marco Island for a Dreama Tolle Perry oil painting workshop. More specifically, I was learning how to keep my oil colors really bright and fresh by using more transparent oil pigments (ultra, rose, sap, diox, etc.) in my initial block in stages.

For you orange lovers out there, in this gull painting, I used a gorgeous citrus-y Gamblin Transparent Orange (which I read is a favorite of painter Wolf Kahn’s) for some of my initial color block-in. You could also mix a nice transparent orange with Perm Rose (or Perm. Alizarin) and Indian Yellow.

You’ve probably noticed that most yellow pigments, though light in value, are not usually transparent. If you’re not sure if your paint is transparent you’ll find that any tubes now (often on the back) are labeled with a small "opacity rating" box as you can see below. If the box is clear (open) the pigment is transparent.

If the box is solid black the pigment is opaque. If there’s a line through it the pigment is semi-transparent. Some tubes also note (usually near the pigment info) the transparency level.  For more info about pigments check the detailed pigment database (for oils, acrylics, and watercolor) on the Art is Creation website.   

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