Thursday, October 7, 2010

Winsor Purple with Light Yellow Artist Journal Sketch

5 x 8" acrylic on paper color sketch

Purple is one of my favorite colors. Another is bright red. Yes, I have painted both purple and red in the same composition. However, for this color sketch I wanted to use the complement of purple which is yellow, but I planned to keep the cadmium yellow light and not dull the purple as can happen with complements.

Starting with Winsor violet I painted an area of deep purple and added yellow acrylic paint near it. I also added another smaller area of strong purple to balance the first large shape. From there I painted strokes of light green oxide and cadmium yellow, trying to maintain very light values. I used only a 1/2" flat brush.

The interesting aspect of this artistic journal sketch was the change in the original dark purple area as I painted. At first it popped out as a positive element on a lighter background. As I kept aiming for the very light values of yellows and greens, the Winsor purple seemed to recede into the background with the light areas becoming dominant. It was like those drawings that play tricks on your eyes, e.g., a vase turns to a face profile and back again as your focus changes. Part of this may be due to the size of the color shapes.

I was pleased with the results because the sketch stayed light instead of my usual penchant for strong lights and darks. Do you see the many color nuances from these three paint colors?

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