Monday, June 13, 2011

yellow ochre & cobalt blue

I am adding Yellow Ochre, and Cobalt Blue to my palette.
I had been thinking of adding a cool yellow for a while now, I even had a tube of Yellow Ochre, but never used it. Since I was going to add a color to my palette, I figured replacing one that wasn't to my liking wouldn't be a bad idea either, so good bye Ultramarine, hello Cobalt Blue.

Ultramarine never grew on me, there's something about its hue that I have never really liked. Cobalt Blue has a nice cool glow to it that goes quite well next to Cerulean.

Before I begin using a color, I like to find out what the capabilities of it are, and how it will react with the rest of my colors.

I got the idea for the color charts from a Richard Schmid book. Now, I don't remember his approach to the color charts, or any of that, all I remember is seeing the color charts, and that is all that is necessary.

I drew a grid on each of my canvases consisting of 8 squares across, and 9 vertical.

I also drew in a lone square at the top, for the color the chart will be about. Each of the squares across the top represents a color from my palette.

The vertical columns under each palette color represent that particular color mixed with the new color, as well as with the rest of colors. In the example above, Ultramarine, is mixed half with Yellow Ochre, followed by 1/3 Ultramarine mixed with 1/3 Yellow Ochre, and 1/3 Cerulean, and so on. Repeating the process for each color.

Resulting in this:

I really liked Yellow Ochre. The earth tones that came from it are amazing. Lots of dark greens, browns, and reds, as well as several light and medium brown/orange colors, great pastel colors with Titanium White.

Cobalt Blue had some incredible results as well, Lots of varying greens, browns, grays, and some surprising pastel colors, as was the case when mixed with Quinacridone and Titanium White, or with Cerulean and Titanium White.

I highly recommend the color chart exercise to every painter out there. Get to know your colors, know their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Though these particular charts do not get to the full capabilities of the colors, it is enough information to work off of, and you will always have it to go back to and study.

My palette now consists of a warm and cool Blue, a warm and cool Brown, a warm and cool Red, a warm and cool Yellow, and Titanium White. Harmony at its best.

Friday, June 3, 2011

10 minute exercises

wood block
oil on panel
9 x 12