Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Diversity of Color: part 2

As I continue my exploration of color in watermedia, I’m realizing that through the controlled use of color a wide variety of moods and effects can be achieved. My last series of paintings replicated the same image in three different ways as seen below:
"Venus of Willendorf," three studies.
For this new series I chose a photograph of Mt. Rainier to paint. The high snowy lake scene provided me with the opportunity to work with both lake water and snow.

As before, I began by painting a color chart showing a full range of color mixtures between two colors, this time Cadmium Yellow Light and Ultramarine Violet. These colors mix well, creating a range of lively mixed neutrals. Showing the entire series below, you can see that my first two studies turned out unfortunately similar. (My bad!)  

Color Exercises: Yellow/Violet

"Mt. Rainier study 1"
Study 1 (above) uses a full range of values from white to black but only semi-neutral colors, no full-intensity yellow or violet.
"Mt. Rainier study 2"
Study 2 (above) has no high-key white and only mid-key values dropping down from light-greys to black. Although I began by toning the paper with a (too-light, as it turned out) wash of violet, you can’t really see it, and the effect ends up looking the same as the first study where I preserved the white on the page.
"Mt. Rainier study 3"
It’s in the third study that I stretched and had some fun. The exercise was to use full-intensity yellow and violet, but no white and a range of mid-range neutrals dropping down to black. I decided to create a yellow-tinged scene as if the air was filled with a strong, golden light. I was thinking sunset, but my hubby thought it looked radioactive. Despite this, I like the study. It stretched my conceptions of what was “safe” to paint in a landscape and created a completely different effect from the other two.

And now…onwards!

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