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?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bright Yellow Sunflowers in Green Field Artist Sketch


5 x 8" acrylic painting on paper

The golden yellow sunflower dancing in the autumn breezes inspired me to play with just two colors, azo yellow medium and Hooker's green. I like that color of green for its versatility.

Note the variations of yellow green when mixed with the azo yellow. Full strength Hooker's green provides a strong dark for contrasts with lighter colors. The really nice blue green it produces when lightened with titantium white gives a cool color in the midst of the warm yellows.

I let the azo yellow be as it is, similar to cadmium yellow medium, except for a few spots of light yellow. Maybe a title for this sketch could be Hooker's green etude!

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