Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Colors from Gamblin

Recently, I was given some of Gamblin's new colors to play with.  There are so many that it's taking me awhile to work my way through them!  In the "natural divider" diptychs I wrote about recently, I used three new greens:  Green Gold, Cadmium Chartreuse and Nickel Titanate Yellow.  The arrival of these coincided with spring's arrival on Campobello Island, so the timing was perfect!

These three gave me a high-chroma greenish-yellow tint (Cadmium Chartreuse), a somewhat weaker and cooler yellow (Nickel Titanate Yellow) and a rich, mid-value warm green (Green Gold.)  In these paintings, which you can see by going to the blog post about them,  I used the Nickel Titanate for cooler, more distant sunlit greens; Cadmium Chartreuse for closer, more intense sunlit greens; and Green Gold for some of those wonderfully rich and warm backlit greens that appear in shadows.   The Cadmium Chartreuse is also a good staining color, and I used it sometimes in the underpainting as a sort of wash, applying it and then wiping it off to let it act more transparently.  Together, these three make a nice addition to the spring palette.

This week, now that summer is here and the maritime mist has mellowed the light, I've been playing with some other new colors:  Portland Cool Grey, Portland Warm Grey, Warm White, Titanium Buff.  These greys are perfect for summertime here by the ocean.  To experiment, I decided to paint a piece that is so typical of the area - a battered scallop dragger sitting in low water by some old fish shacks.

"ME 7194" 11x14 oil/panel
The time of day in the painting is late afternoon, and much of the painting is in shade.  For the shadowed areas, I used a combination of Portland Cool Grey and, depending on the object painted, either Indanthrone Blue or Permanent Alizarin Crimson.  For the areas in sun, I used Portland Warm Grey plus the blue and alizarin I just mentioned.  For the sky, I used Warm White and Titanium Buff.  Mixed with Indanthrone Blue, the Titanium Buff also made a nice, greyed-down green, which was perfect for distant, sunlit vegetation.  Ninety per cent of the painting was made with just these few colors.  Toward the end, for variety and to punch up my center of interest, I added Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow Deep and Burnt Umber.  No "white" other than Warm White was used in this painting.  (I also have a tube of Cool White, but it didn't make it into the painting.)  I found these new colors to be very useful for maritime painting.

I created a video showing some of the steps of this last piece:

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