Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fall Lasts Long in Sedona - and a New Oil Palette

Creek Colors 9x12 oil
Available - $700 - Frame/Shipping Included

A friend recently said, "Fall lasts long in Sedona."  And it does!  You can still find pockets of fall color here and there along the creeks.  Yesterday, I went down to Red Rock Crossing with our plein air group to catch a little before the last of it dropped.

I also wanted to play with a palette revision.  Normally, I use (from left to right on the palette):

  • cadmium yellow light
  • cadmium yellow medium
  • cadmium red light
  • permanent alizarin crimson
  • ultramarine blue
  • phthalo green
  • chromatic black
  • titanium-zinc white

This time, I replaced the mineral cadmiums with organic modern colors and also replaced the alizarin with a modern version of a red earth color.  (Not very scientific, changing so many variables at once.) So, yesterday's palette was:

  • hansa yellow light
  • hansa yellow deep
  • napthol red
  • transparent earth red
  • ultramarine blue
  • viridian
  • chromatic black
  • titanium-zinc white

(Okay, I changed out the green, too.)  In many ways, this new palette looks and acts like the old palette.  The viridian, of course, is a little easier to handle than the phthalo green since it mutes easily.  The most different player, however, was the transparent earth red.  It is not as "clean" a cool red as the alizarin, so it dulls down the blue in mixtures.  That is, it doesn't make as rich a violet.  In fact, it results in a very earthy violet.

For the painting above, I toned the surface first with transparent earth red and then wiped it down to just leave a stain.  (I didn't want it mixing up with my other colors.)  Then I used chromatic black to establish all my darks.  I followed this with more transparent red for all the trees, then blue for the sky, and finally modified the reds with the other colors I saw in the landscape.  Back in the studio, I also added a dash of napthol scarlet to the foreground water for zest.

There's quite a bit of unruly color in this painting, and believe it or not, I did knock down the chroma quite a lot with complements. I used a painting knife exclusively, which probably also account for the strong color.  But who doesn't like color?

All paints are by Gamblin Artist Colors.

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