Monday, June 28, 2010

Three Color Palette

Further on down the road
Oil on panel

If you have been doing a lot of studio work, it’s easy to fall into a routine.
Your color sense and choices can become predictable. The best way to shake those cob webs is get outside and do some sketches with a limited palette.

Midwest Scenic
Oil on panel

These pochades were done with a three color palette of cadmium yellow, permanent alizarin and French ultramarine. The simple three primaries will produce an inherent set of color harmonies. I wrote about this limited palette earlier here. You may not match every color you see perfectly but you will certainly produce better overall color harmony.

Using a limited palette will force one to truly look at what those secondary colors are composed of, and push you to really see the color qualities of temperature, value and chroma/intensity.

Out the backdoor
Oil on panel

A limited palette and some quick sketches can be refreshing. In the end it’s about being able to express what you see through color. It is about gaining experience, not producing frameable work after all.  Art is not about a product, but an evolving and developing process.
I learn something from every painting I do, even if it’s only what not to do next time.
The lesson this week is to paint and persevere.
Plain and simple.

Enjoy Jim