Friday, November 2, 2012

Tangled up in Blue

"Tangle up in Blue" oil on 16 x16 gallery wrap canvas
This painting will be featured at the 910 Arts "Spirits Bright" Show Nov. 30-Jan. 7

Happy Fall Friday all!  For my “Tangled up In Blue” oil painting, I abstracted this close up photo I took look down at the pathway in Wash Park near my studio. (One of the things I miss most as my broken toe recovers is taking pics in the park as the season changes.)  Natural elements likes leaves, pebbles, twigs, etc.  provide me with all sorts of shape, color and texture inspiration for abstract paintings like this.
This might make a good painting...

My other inspiration for this painting was exploring a range of blues which I used to balance the primarily warmer leaves.  For me, I find I can get the blue range I want (in oil paint) with just 2 key blues: Ultramarine (which tends to lean blue violet) and Pthalo (or Thalo ) blue which tends to lean to the blue green.

The good news about these two "workhorse" blues as many of you know is that they are quite affordable pigments compared to genuine cobalt or cerulean. Also, while I usually use the standard 37ml size tubes, for larger paintings I don't mind using big tubes (200ml vs. 37 ml.) of student grade ultramarine and thalo (Winton, Dalery Rowney, Gamblin Sketch). The large student tubes of these 2 blues are usually still single pigments so I find they compare quite favorably to the pro lines. Briefly, here's a short article about pro vs. student paints. 

Note you would likely see a difference with student grade cobalt or cerulean. These are usually hues" or "mixes" of several pigments such as ultramarine and white to keep the cost lower. And because they are often multiple pigments they can cause mixing headaches so I tend to avoid them.

Speaking of thalo, we’ve all heard the caveat about thalo taking over a painting, your palette, your clothes, your home…At this point, I’m sometimes asked why use thalo at at all? Simply, because I love teals, turquoise, emeralds, mint, limes—And I need thalo for those mixes. Here’s painter Kathleen Hebert’s  view on why she loves thalo.

Before I go I wanted to give a shout out to any of my East Coast readers and followers who may be dealing with the storm this week. For those of you who’d like to help out with Hurricane relief DPW is generously hosting a Hurricane Sandy art fundraiser where you may donate a painting or buy a wonderful piece of art,  You don’t need to be a DPW member to participate. Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!

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