Do you find that you are always attracted to the same colours?
It may be colours you choose to wear, or to decorate your home. If you are a painter you will almost certainly have a colour palette that feels personal and natural to you.
Some people go for cheery brights every time, while others prefer a more subtle softness that you get with more tertiary colours. At college my colours were always referred to as ‘squashed fruit’ colours!
One of the reasons for my #aprilcolour project was to stretch the colours that I mix and to learn about new paint pigments that are available. Let’s see if they can earn a place in my palette…
Quinacridone Burnt Orange (what a fabulous name, if you can remember it!) is, as the name suggests, a warmer brown tinged orange. It is often recommended for using as a warm wash to be used as ground or as a glaze as it has a high transparency. Introduced as part of the quinacridone pigment range in the 1950’s I admit it was a totally new colour to me and I was keen to see how it behaved.
I choose to mix with Paynes Gray and found this gave a beautiful range of soft plum colours. The Paynes Gray and Yellow Ochre gave a range of olive greens that softened to sage green with the addition of white. Here is my mixing page:
Using a drawing from my sketchbook, I created this postcard landscape for the day’s daily painting. The colours worked well for me; enough softness so that they sat well together, a good range of deep purple and grey darks with the zing of the orange to provide a lift of colour without clashing as a brighter orange could do.
Quinacridone Burnt Orange is definitely a colour I will be using more frequently – this one’s a winner!
https://i0.wp.com/alicesheridan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/365create_063-e1430316766977.jpg?fit=700%2C700&ssl=1700700Alicehttps://alicesheridan.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Alice-Sheridan-2.pngAlice2015-04-10 14:14:192015-11-09 10:55:37Discovering new colours
The first two months of #365create I have taken a random approach; a drawing while out and about, photographs, parts of larger paintings, getting ready for the Studio Show… And while this gives a good glimpse of the variety of art related elements racing round my head, it means each day I have the question “What do I today?”
This can be the biggest stumbling block to beginning, especially if the possibilities are limitless.
Keeping up with #365create has been hard on some days. As I expected it could be. On days where I don’t have studio time planned, deciding what to do can be tricky as I’m not currently interested in figurative drawing to develop my painting approach. Quick daily drawings are fabulous for fine tuning your visual radar and how this translates to marks on the page, but it’s an approach I have taken in the past and I want to push myself in a new direction this year.
One thing I am interested in is colour. And value. And composition.
I have been reading Carol Marine’s excellent book on Daily Painting. One of the things I noticed is that she gives herself set limitations: • The same small size • A similar subject matter • The same time each day
Carol uses still life set-ups as a basis to explore composition and explains by doing many small paintings she learnt more about composition as each day she could try something new with no fear of risk.
But often she spends up to two hours getting the arrangement right before she even begins painting… With two children currently on Easter holidays that isn’t going to be possible here!
What often sticks in my mind as I go through my day is colour: the bright red of a plastic caught against the grey branches of a tree, or the soft variations of greens.
So this month I’m keeping it simple. I will pick just three colours and white, mix a colour palette and create a small postcard sized painting.
In her book Carol talks about putting in the hours and makes the link between making music and making art. “If you were learning to play the piano, you would expect to put in hours of practice. And you would expect to play a whole bunch of awkward songs, painfully slowly. But you wouldn’t record the practice sessions, right?”
Well, I’m going to be braver than that as all my practice will be on show; everyday I will post to Instagram so you can see how I’m going, and the mini-paintings will go up in the gallery here. The aim of these pieces is learning! Exploring and testing are an important part of developing your creative approach but a part that can be hard. We usually wish to develop so many areas!
What am I hoping to discover?
Learn more about colour mixing
I know the principles of cool and warm colours and the colour wheel theory. But I admit that often in the heat of painting this knowledge can go out of the window. Sometimes this means areas of painting become muddy or don’t work quite as I planned.
Discover new colours
That sounds a bit crazy. There are millions of colours out there, how can there be new ones? But in colour mixing, as with other habits, we often fall into a rut. Picking up the same touch of Burnt Umber to darken our red, or laying out the same colours on the palette to begin with. So by limiting myself each day I hope to notice new colours in what can be mixed, and possibly new ways of mixing my favourites.
‘Find’ my colour palette
We all have certain colours we are drawn to, I know which colours I like to work with but by following the traditional paint layout the possibilities are so endless that I can mix anything! And that’s not always helpful. So it would be great to find my comfort zone and some exciting contrasts that can become my colour language…. we’ll see!
https://i0.wp.com/alicesheridan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/365create_056-e1427887796358.jpg?fit=700%2C700&ssl=1700700Alicehttps://alicesheridan.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Alice-Sheridan-2.pngAlice2015-04-04 08:33:522015-04-30 14:41:02Colour mixing for April