Monday, June 23, 2008

A Limiting Palette

Now and then, I run into a situation where my limited palette proves, well, limiting. This happens especially when flowers demand richer, more intense colors than I can mix with my six split-primary colors. As an example, today I was out painting the wildflowers in the dooryard. Fog and overcast can make for some very intense colors, and the phlox was remarkably high in chroma. I mixed my best purple (Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson and white), but once I got back to the studio with the painting, it was still too dull. So, I pulled out the secret weapon: Dioxazine Purple. A little white with it makes a very light but still intense purple, just perfect for the phlox. I also added a bit of Thalo Rose, another intense pigment, for variety.

Here is the result. The photo doesn't quite do justice to the richness of the flowers, but there's enough for the imagination!

"Phlox and Daisies"
5x7, oil, en plein air

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