Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Three Colors Triad in Artistic Journal Sketch

5 x 7" acrylic on paper, journal sketch

In this color exploration of three colors I used a only a small palette knife with a round tip, not a flat color mixing knife. Usually I apply the paints with a brush. This time I laid the paint on the paper in a trowel-like fashion, broad and narrow "slabs" of paint. Then I scraped off some paint to expose colors a layer below followed by another mix of the same colors. Finally, as the paint was drying quickly, I "patted" the paint in different areas which produced texture. Click on the picture to see a more detailed view.

I found the result of using only cobalt turquoise with a bit of cadmium orange and thio violet resulted in a number of subtle colors. The whole effect was like a marble striation. An interesting green was one of those colors.

Color wheel terminology would call this a triad color combination meaning three colors evenly situated around the circle of colors. I tried to make one of the three colors dominant and I tried to keep the colors light contrary to my tendency to paint strong color contrasts.

I had fun with colors and that was the purpose of this sketch.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Puget Sound Impressions in Artistic Journal Triad Colors

4 3/4 x 8 1/2" acrylic on paper sketch

Using a color triad of Hansa yellow light, permanent alizarin crimson, and phthalo blue acrylic paints I painted this color sketch yesterday as the snow started to fall in the Puget Sound area of Seattle. I used only a #2 filbert brush and a flat palette knife to play with the colors.

As I finished with the paints this little sketch seemed to be expressing my experiences in this area of miles and miles of shoreline at different times of day. The bright light bouncing off the distant Olympic Mountains which sometimes are beautiful pink colors. The omnious cloud formations coming over Vashon Island share space with the light colors.

The lower portion of the sketch reminds me of the dark colors of the waters under piers. The churning waters of white caps I've seen often driving along the boardwalk at Redondo Beach, WA. Even the dark shapes in the distance could be symbolic of the freighters steaming by.

I especially like the thalo blue colors with a touch of light yellow that make beautiful greens.

Even a few speckles of titantium white paint which were not intentional in the process of making the sketch are reminders of the snow that started to fall while I was making this color exploration.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Warm Yellow and Cool Red Artistic Journal Sketch

Color Sketch
5 x 8" acrylic/ink on paper

A warm yellow, azo yellow medium, and Liquitex brand deep brilliant red provided the colors for my color exploration in this sketch. Paint manufacturers often give a name to a paint color which doesn't tell you much about the characteristics of the color until you open the tube. I find this especially confusing in acrylic paints because there are so many colors available in more than one brand.

The deep brilliant red is composed of naphthol crimson and thioindigoid violet! Even though you may not understand the chemical names the words crimson and violet tell you much. The red tends toward the cool reds of the violet colors. Knowing what colors are mixed in the tube paint helps the artist to avoid the proverbial "mud" of ugly mixes of paint.

This happens when mixing green colors from blues and yellows. If the blue has some red in it as ultramarine does, the green tends to be grayed (muted) because the red complements the green pushing it toward a neutral tone.

Some artists avoid some of these color problems by using a palette of primary colors with a warm and a cool paint for each primary, e.g., cool red and warm red, cool and warm yellow, cool and warm blue. Do you see how a painter can mix so many variations on a color because of the chemicals in the paint? Challenging, isn't it?

I selected this sketch today, a light and airy bright color exploration, when the weather has turned cold and a chance of snow is in the forecast even before Thanksgiving. It's spring time somewhere.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Warm and Cool Reds Abstract Poppies Artistic Journal Sketch

"Abstract Poppies" 4 1/2 x 8" acrylic on paper
artist journal sketch

Recently I wanted to use some bright, clear colors for my daily artistic journal sketch. My choice of colors included azo yellow orange, cobalt blue, and two reds, one cool and one warm. They were very close in color temperature but I chose them any way to see if they could be distinguished from one another. The reds are cadmium red medium and scarlet red.

As usual, I brushed these colors onto the paper without a preconceived idea for a composition. I just wanted bright colors. Some colors mixed with each other, others remained separate hues. Splashes of titanium white gave some relief to the powerful colors.

When I reached the point where I was getting concerned that a muddy mess could happen at any moment, I stopped and looked at the result of playing with colors. To me, the brush strokes resulting from using only one flat brush seemed to suggest petals of red poppies, flowers I like.

Can you tell where the two reds are located in the sketch? Click on the sketch to enlarge the image.

If you couldn't distinguish the warm and the cool reds, be encouraged because color temperature also changes with the influence of other colors nearby. What fun! And never ending challenge!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bright Small Sunflower Painting, Colorful Original Art

"Sunflower 82"
5 x 5" original painting, gallery wrap canvas

Small paintings are a charming size of fine art. And sunflowers bring smiles to everyone with their cheery yellow golden "face".

A small original colorful painting displays so easily. Show it off on a tiny desktop easel. Prop it on a bookshelf along with your favorite books. Make it a show stopping focal point by mounting it in a wide frame. Because sunflowers have a universal appeal, an original painting of them makes a special gift, too.

I've run out of names for my sunflowers so I'm assigning them numbers. Does it remind you of the saying, "a rose is a rose is a rose ..."? They are all unique, one of a kind.

This painting was painted with acrylics and is sealed with UV varnish. No staples show on the sides of the gallery wrap canvas and the image is continued onto the edges.

Be the first to view this painting and purchase it online through my website before I offer it on the art venues in which I participate. Click here to view more images of this painting and purchase information.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Abstract Artist Journal Sketch in Raspberry Colors

"Raspberry Ripple", 5 x 7" acrylic on paper

When I was using a magenta paint recently I remembered this artist journal sketch in which I played with three acrylic paints; light, medium, and deep magenta. Doesn't the sketch remind you of raspberry ripple ice cream? It did for me. I can "taste" it right now on this unusually warm, sunny day in the Puget Sound area of Washington State!

I enjoy trying various acrylic paints because the color mixing is already done for you. That is the major difference, I find, between oils and acrylics. The drying time is so fast with acrylics that it doesn't allow me much time to mix colors. Oils are so different in drying time that I enjoy mixing basic colors and seeing how tiny amounts of another color change the mix. I think it gives one a greater command over the properties of color.

My first experience in painting was with pastels. The colors are so clear in that medium because you are working more directly with color pigments. The binding solvents for acrylics, oils, and watercolors determine the ease or difficulty in mixing colors. I'm itching to bring out my pastels again. Maybe do some mixed media paintings with them? Over "so-so" acrylic paintings?


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