Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Painting in Perfect Harmony

First my thanks to both Colorado's Louisville Art Association (LAA) as well as the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission for asking me to have a workshop and give a talk this past week. Both groups were so welcoming! One of the best parts of my "job" is meeting new artists, sharing tips and my personal art experience. Thank you again!
LAA painters enjoying some exercises at my Intro to Daily Painting Workshop

One of the aspects of daily painting that I discussed last week was working with a limited palette so I thought I'd share that info here with you. For example, with all those wonderful and tempting paint colors at the art store why work with a limited oil paint palette?

Quick note: “Limited” is a relative term. To some, less than 20 tubes may feel restricted but in general it’s 7 pigments or less. Here's a fairly versatile limited palette I've seen other daily painters use: Ultra. Blue, Aliz. Crimson, Cad. Yellow Light+ White

10 Benefits of a Limited Painting Palette

  1. Simplifies overall process of painting so you’ll likely paint more
  2. Mixed secondary colors and earth colors (greens, violets, oranges, browns, blacks) will often look more natural and interesting than a tube green for example (Tip: Pre mix your secondaries before painting if you feel your colors are limited.)
  3. Easier to achieve color harmonies (colors will naturally all relate to each other)
  4. Tends to look more natural for well natural and organic subjects
  5. Faster way to paint—less mixing choices means fewer decisions
  6. You can give more attention to your shapes and values
  7. Easier to get “cleaner” mixes (2 colors for example) if that’s what your after—you may be tempted to use “extra” colors that aren’t really necessary for your painting
  8. You’ll “get to know “ your pigments much faster (juggling just 3 balls vs. 12)
  9. You’ll likely start finding what colors you really need (for your style) and what you don’t
  10. Much less paint to buy, store, carry, etc.
When would you want to add extra pigments?
  • You need a specialty primary color such as “hot pink” Permanent Rose or Opera 
  • Time constraint—Where "convenience” colors (viridian outdoors) are handy
  • Your painting calls for lots of pure color notes and/or man made objects (lots of colored costumes for example)
  • You need a variety of transparent as well as opaque pigments for a particular painting technique (glazing for example)
  • You're stuck in a color formula rut for things like shadows, skies, etc.
If you love color like I do and want to learn more, I'm giving a mini workshop (color talk/demo) at Blackridge Artists School on Saturday, September 24.  You can find more info here.

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