For the first one of these in color I wanted to try something different. I have a couple of books by Kevin Macpherson and he talks about using a very limited palette of yellow, red and blue. With these trees I was really wanting to explore greens and getting a feel for how to mix those so I gave his set-up a try. It was very disorienting to start with. I rely so much on Burnt Sienna that it was rough to try and “find” the browns and grays.
The limited palette forced me to slow down and really think about what the color was vs. reaching for a tube or Terre Verte. I was also really trying to work “fat over learn” with this one. There was no set underpainting and I used a heavily thinned coat to rough out what went where. I’m not sure the result was radically different from what I’ve been doing but it was great to expand and explore a little.
So, here we are in 2014. It feels great to be back at it again with a fresh year. I’ve not posted a lot this month, but I have been hard at work. I did a lot of thinking at the end of last year about what I wanted to accomplish in 2014 and what my goals should be. Out of that thinking I came up with some very clear paths for the year and am excited about what this year holds.
The two core things I want to focus on this year are color and craft.
For the last year, I’ve been more and more bothered about my color sense and seeing how much work is needed there. I’m going to try and focus a lot more on building and shaping my paintings with color vs. using it as window dressing to what is essentially value.
The craft part ties directly into the focus on color, but it goes deeper than that. Color IS painting and to understand color correctly is to understand the craft of painting. But there are so many things that define the craft of painting. This means a much greater focus on learning and being taught vs. trying to create art. Art is what I want to create, but I’ve got to get a handle on the craft before that can happen.
There might be fewer “finished” paintings and not as much will end up on Etsy, but I can already feel the benefits of this focus. Which brings us to No. 223.
This painting is really what kicked off the intense color focus. I looked at this and was really happy. But I also knew that the feeling I was getting would be lost when I the applied color. And I found that terribly irritating. Why could I not “say” the same thing with color that I was seemingly able to convey with a single tone? I wanted to get to the bottom of that. Or at least start digging.
So, here’s to a new year, lots of learning and a bunch of new paintings!