Saturday, May 3, 2008

Three-Color Oil Palette

As I work on my new book, I've been experimenting with limited oil palettes. At the moment, I'm working without blue. Without blue? Indeed. The palette consists of the following colors:
  • Cadmium Yellow Deep
  • Cadmium Red Light
  • Ivory Black
  • Titanium White
Surprisingly, Ivory Black makes some beautiful greens when mixed with Cadmium Yellow Deep. The blues are more subtle, but they can be enhanced by surrounding them with orange. (Thanks to the principle of simultaneous contrast, in which a large field of one color can "push" its complement into adjacent areas, the orange "pushes" the bluish cast of Ivory Black so it seems a richer blue of higher chroma.) I'm waiting for one of those "severe clear" Maritime days when the blues are deep and dark to see how this limited palette can really perform!

In the meantime, here are two little pieces done without blue.

"May Firs" 5x7, oil, en plein air

"Early Garlic" 5x7, oil, en plein air

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