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An excellent exercise for young artists.

Painting "primary" color blocks is an excellent exercise for debunking color misperceptions. I learned the technique from reading Lois Griffel's Painting the Impressionist Landscape.(I highly recommend this excellent book, and no,Ms. Griffel doesn't give me kickbacks for saying that.)I've modified the process to suite my learning style and limited palette preferences. I had to work from a photo, since our light is pretty fleeting at the moment and it's a little cold outside. It's always best to do this from life, but working from a good photo is a nice bridge to working from life.

So! First thing's first: setting up the palette. I always set my palette the same way. I wouldn't be able to play the piano if my keys we're always moving around. The same goes for painting. I need to know where my colors are without having to constantly look down at my palette. Keep in mind, that I'm always changing which pigments I use depending on my subject. For color block studies, I like to use the most saturated versatile pigments I can lay my knife on. My choice in pigments lies somewhere between a split primary palette and a secondary palette. Why settle when you can have the best of both worlds? (Alas, another subject for another post) Since the lighting is so warm on this set-up, I've chosen not to use lemon yellow, which I tend to reach for if I want a true full spectrum light effect.

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Using a medium with the stronger colors can really help keep them under control. Since magenta, phthalo blue, and green are already transparent, the medium also helps enhance their light effect without deadening the colors with white. I add a little medium to the magenta, and a little more to both blue and green.

Already my colors are looking more luminous.Time to start mixing! I start by pushing over some of my lightest color (yellow) in between it and it's adjacent color (light red), then add the light red into my pile of yellow. It's VERY important to put a healthy amount of paint on your palette, (again, a subject for another post), but please trust me on this one.

I continue to work clockwise on my palette mixing the darker color into the lighter adjacent color as follows: magenta into the red, phthalo blue into the magenta, phthalo blue into the phthalo green and finally phthalo green into the yellow.

Next I make piles in between my new mixtures and the original colors. Again, I put the darker color into the lighter one. I move a bit of my yellow to the right of my main yellow pile and mix some of the orange mixture into it to make a yellow orangeits hue needs to be somewhere between cad yellow and cad yellow deep for you artists out there.

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Posted in Health and Medical Post Date 10/31/2017


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