Saturday, April 30, 2016

Four Palettes, Four Paintings

While I'm traveling for the next few weeks, I'm re-posting some of my older blog posts.  Here is my next re-post, from June 1, 2011.

In the current (July/August 2011) issue of The Artist's Magazine, I have an article on exploring different oil palettes for plein air painting.  For the article, I made four paintings to demonstrate each of the palettes.

The paintings are of Southern Head on Grand Manan Island in the Canadian Maritimes, just off the coast of New Brunswick. Grand Manan is known for its tall cliffs and as a source of the edible seaweed, dulse. The novelist Willa Cather summered there, and Audubon painted birds on its coast. I like it because it always seems remote, and you can find some great landscape painting there. On one of my trips, I painted Southern Head, and it was that painting that I used as a basis for paintings I made for the article. It's interesting to see how the color shifts from piece to piece, even though I did try to match the colors of the original plein air sketch.

The palettes are:
  • Original plein air sketch: split-primary palette (cadmium yellow light, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium red light, permanent alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, phthalo green, titanium-zinc white)
  • Limited earth color (yellow ochre, burnt sienna, ivory black, t-z white)
  • Limited primary palette (ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow light, cadmium red light, t-z white)
  • Limited primary palette with Naples yellow replacing the t-z white
  • Split-primary palette with four values of grey (split-primary as described above plus Portland Grey light, medium, dark and chromatic black)
(All paints are from Gamblin.)

Original Plein Air Sketch: Split-Primary Palette (no grey or black), 9x12:

Southern Head 9x12 oil/panel

Earth Palette, 8x10:

Limited Primary Palette, 8x10:

Limited Primary Palette plus Naples Yellow, 8x10:

Split-Primary Palette with Greys, 8x10:

(From June 1, 2011)

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