Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Starting with Greys




Today is Canada Day, but that doesn't stop my plein air painting workshop here on Campobello Island.  Nor, for that matter, does fog stop it.  We had a good deal of fog this morning as we headed to our painting location.  Although fog can challenge the outdoor painter, I took it as a sign that I should show students how one can start with an underpainting of grey.

Starting with a monochromatic underpainting eliminates the delay that one runs into by trying to figure out both value and color at the same time.  We figure out the values first, and then apply the color later.  Of course, in this case, the greys were a natural fit for all the fog, but they also can help you mix the beautifully muted colors of a sunny day.

I failed to get a photo of the grey underpainting, but you can see the finished piece here:

Foggy Bluff, 9x12 oil/panel
Available unframed - $150 includes shipping

And here are the greys I used:

Gamblin Portland Greys

These are Gamblin's Portland Greys plus Chromatic Black.  (They must run into a little fog in Portland, Oregon, too.)  Although you can certainly mix your own greys, it's nice to have them pre-mixed and ready-to-go.

I found this patch of lupines after I did the painting.  Next time I run into fog, maybe I'll include them as a bit of richer color.


Later this month, I'll be one of the artists juried into the Castine Plein Air Festival.  This will be my third year.  I'm excited about this event, as it's always special and takes place in a beautiful, historic seaside town.  I'll write a blog post about what to expect in the next few days.

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