Friday, August 27, 2010

Blue and Yellow Decor Palette Artistic Journal Sketch by K. Joann Russell


Sky Blue and Sunflower Yellow Sketch
5 x 8" acrylic/ink on paper

Clear blue skies, golden yellow sunflowers on a summer day must have been on my mind as I played with only two colors. I wanted something light and sunny. This time I wanted to try a different brand of acrylic paint, Amsterdam Azo Yellow Medium, along with one of my favorites from Liquitex, Light Blue Violet. I use a lot of this blue color because it saves me time in mixing its components, ultramarine blue and white.

Because my specialty is original sunflower paintings I like to try different brands of yellow paint. This is the first time I used the Amsterdam paint. I've seen it on beginning painting class supply lists at places such as JoAnn's and Michael's. I don't know that I'm excited about it. It seems to remind me of the poster card acrylic paints that used to turn me off to using acrylics. I purchased an expensive brand of yellow recently from my favorite local art supply store that I'm eager to play with because it is supposed to work well with both acrylics and oils.

Notice the greens that these two colors produced. They tend toward more grayed greens because of the red that is in ultramarine and the medium yellow. Red is directly across the color wheel from green so they neutralize each other to grays. I purposely kept them rather light to complement the lightness of this small painting sketch. Those two colors can turn to a khaki green very fast, not my favorite color.

This color combination is more subtle than the popular decor cobalt blue and bright yellow. That blue is a more clear, pure blue. However, it usually is more pricey than the ultramarine because of the cobalt in its chemical compound. I think I'm getting a little tired of that color scheme in the decorating world. Strangely though, I seem never to tire of a crisp, clear blue and white decor with a few splashes of other bright colors such as reds or oranges. Maybe those simply remind me of the beach, one of my favorite places.

For some ideas for decorating with paintings click here to read more from my website kjoannrussell.com




Thursday, August 26, 2010

Colorful Reds in Painting Sketch of Garden Flowers


5 x 8" Color Sketch
Acrylic/Ink on Paper

In one of my large flower pots this year I planted a variety of red blooming flowers. Yesterday I noticed the reds ranging from bright orange red to a clear red, followed by a rose red and a blue red with accents of dark, dark maroon. I hadn't planned it that way. I was just trying to make a bright, colorful painting using reds in the garden.

The flowers are salvia and petunias. In the sketch I omitted the white sweet allysum flowers which provide a softening effect to the strong red colors. Neither did I include the delicate pink miniature rose currently blooming and standing slightly above the red flowers.

The colors I used for this artistic journal sketch are cadmium yellow light, cadmium red light, permanent rose, alizarin crimson, maroon, and hooker's green. I used one brush, a #4 filbert. Do you know which are warm and cool reds?

Combinations of red and green can be so trite if the colors tend toward traditional Christmas red and green. This little sketch shows some of the many colors classified as red. It was so much fun, per usual. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Delicate Purples from Alizarin Crimson and Cobalt Blue in Sketch


5 x 8" Color Sketch
Acrylic/Ink on paper


The combination of alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue makes some of my favorite purple colors. However, in this sketch I substituted a clear blue, cobalt blue, to make a light and delicate color exploration.

The page of paper did not have an additional paper layer pasted on it. Somehow I had overlooked a few pages when I constructed this artistic journal. So I had to work drybrush technique as much as possible because too much water would have totally ruined the paper.

I started the color mixing using a 3/4" angular flat brush, one of my favorite brushes because I can make all kinds of strokes with it. As I came to the end of my experimentation I switched to a smaller 1/4" angular flat brush for some details.

There were delicate passages of white which prompted me to optimize them with more white paint speckles. However, they seemed to contrast too much with the soft background, so I used a dampened wet tissue to daub at the white paint.

As so often happens in intuitive painting, there was a point where I thought I had "lost" the sketch to the status of being a mess. But, I pressed on with the challenge of making something out of the original two colors and ended with something light and delicate, my goal today. I had fun and that is what counts for me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sketch Using Scarlet Red, Blue, Emerald Green Colors


5 x 8.5" Color Sketch
Acrylic/Ink on paper

What a contrast in colors from yesterday's post! This little gem has scarlet red, light emerald green, and ultramarine blue in it. I also always have titanium white available in these color explorations.

When I pulled out the color tubes I wanted a bright red first of all. It took a moment or two to decide on the blue and the green to go with the scarlet red. I also wanted to add surface texture by using thick paint strokes.

In the process of playing with the colors I became concerned that I was headed for dark, muddy colors but stopped before reaching that disaster point. Later I wondered if the colors were reflective of my concern over the smoky skies from nearby forest fires even though that was not my intention for the sketch. I did deliberately add the ink lines in the background to suggest evergreen trees and particularly pine trees that are around my present temporary location.

I'm satisfied that I somehow tempered the strong, almost garish acrylic colors. That has been the challenge for me in painting in acrylics, controlling color mixing in the speedy drying time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bright Colorful Journal Sketch by K Joann Russell


5 x 8" Color Sketch
Acrylic/ink on paper

Three colors (yellow light hansa, vivid red orange, and vivid lime green) gave me bright, lovely combinations in this color exploration sketch. It's been a long time since I last posted on my blog even though I do these quick, fun sketches nearly every day.

I guess I've been thinking that I should be using my blog for finished paintings as so many artists do. However, when I'm working on larger paintings I tend not to think about blogging. Maybe someone would enjoy patches of color from those paintings. Maybe not.

As I mentioned in previous sketches these are part of my artist's journal. I select only a few colors that appeal to me at the moment and start free flowing brush strokes for the pure enjoyment of the changing colors. Later I add quick, expressive black ink lines to complete the sketch.

More than a year ago I started this journal to loosen up my painting more. I'm surprised at how much I've done in that journal, now bulging with wrinkly pages. I didn't want to stymie my creativity with precious, expensive art papers so the wavy paper is to be expected.

Around the sketch page I write notes, comments, quotes for myself. On each page I also note the colors I used. Sometimes I go back looking for a special color when I'm "stuck" on a painting.

I'm happy to share my fun with others, but I must admit that I still do not find chrome oxide green "fun", try as I may!




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