Monday, September 1, 2014

Challenge Day 1: A Certain Blue

"Blue River Bird" 8x10 oil@ The All Colorado Show from 9/27 to 10/31--SOLD
A certain blue enters your soul. Matisse

Day 1: Limited Palette with Dominant Primary Color

Happy September everyone! And so it begins. After some debate, I’ve chosen “COLOR” (you saw that coming didn’t you?) as my 30 in 30 theme. Obviously COLOR is an enormous, almost overwhelming, subject so I’ve decided to narrow my focus each day to a specific color plan, strategy or approach. 

Today my goal was: Color harmony as well as dominance (in this case a rich sapphire blue).  This confident little sparrow caught my eye on an early AM stroll in Breckenridge, Colorado. He was hanging out on the sunny boulders near the beautiful Blue River.

This 8x10 oil study is just three pigments and white: Ultramarine blue (warm blue), alizarin crimson (cool red), and hansa yellow light (cool-ish yellow).  My white is mostly Permalba (titanium+zinc).  That’s it. Three primaries and white. I almost always find this to be a successful color approach to little paintings.

If you’re participating in the “30 in 30” thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic month of painting. My thanks to Leslie Saeta for creating this exciting community (are there really over 700?) of daily painters. I know this will be busy but motivating and inspirational month for all us!

Day 2: Another limited three color palette. Different pigments and warmer… Stay tuned.


  1. I adore everything about this little guy!

  2. Thanks Nancy--I appreciate the kind comment. I love little birds. Cheers and happy painting from Colorado! Aimee

  3. Wonderful color and value - and you have made this common little bird sing with life!

  4. Thank you Tammie--Speaking of color your challenge watercolor painting today is gorgeous as well! Have a wonderful month of painting!

  5. I'm new to the 30-in-30... your lovely bird caught my eye... I love the color! Stunning!
    Fantastic work.

  6. Hi Kathy,
    Congrats on your first 30 in 30! Thanks so much for the nice compliment on my bird. Enjoy your month of painting! Aimee

  7. You are welcome to join and/or follow my Pinterest board of all the artists participating in the Leslie Saeta "30 in 30" challenge. Just send me your email so that i can send you an invitation.

    Thank you!

  8. Aimee, beautiful color scheme ! That's what drew me to your thumbnail on Leslie's site (I'm painting for the challenge too.) I especially like the orange and blue beak.

  9. Such a powerful and interesting painting. I was taken immediately to the top of his little head. Love the light. And you did so much with that limited palette. Nice.

  10. Thanks so much Susan, Kirsten and Helen! I was recently re-reading Dan McCaw's book and he loves back lit subjects. Am sure there was some helpful inspiration there. My thanks again to everyone for all their motivating comments today!

  11. Beautiful! You've done a wonderful job here my friend!

    I, too, have decided to do a few songbirds for the 30-in-30. I usually do landscapes and seascapes, but wanted to try to capture out little feathered friends to do something different!

    Your treatment and use of color really makes a wonderful painting! You should be proud of yourself! Bravo!

  12. Wow thank you Robert that's a super nice comment. As a bird lover, I'm happy to see so many fellow bird painters in the challenge. I saw all kinds of birds posted yesterday! Thank you again and best wishes for a successful month of painting! Aimee