Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Quiet on the River

Oil on panel
11 x 17

This wasn't what I was planning on posting today, but the more I looked at the other painting the more I thought, nope, I can do it better. There are things to fix. So that's what I'll be doing the rest of the day - making small corrections on a variety of pieces that aren't bad, but not quite right. I seem to do that a lot, fiddle with things until they're absolutely perfect or screwed up beyond all hope. Never really gotten anything perfect though, but the day's still young.

This little piece was done specifically to fit a frame I've had laying around for several years now. Talk about putting the cart before the horse. In spite of that I think it came out pretty well, and it does suit the frame. There was a very limited palette used on this, just milori blue (like prussian, but supposed to be more lightfast) venetian red, yellow ochre and lead white. There was no challenge to myself or anything like that, it just turned out to be all the colors I needed. On that note there is a lot to be said for using a limited palette. Harmonious color is almost assured, and you find that you really don't need every single color ever made. The old masters used very few pigments, and they got along pretty well. I remember one of my teachers once saying that with all the colors available these days there should be some pretty good painting going on. I'm not really seeing that. Maybe we suffer from an embarrassment of riches.


d00mg1rl said...

I think the limited palette works beautifully here. I've often stood and watched settings like this on the river when I live. The clouds and reflection are amazingly breathtaking and the bird works well.

Dave B said...

The photo came out a bit dark. There's a lot of subtle color and value changes that are being lost. You really don't need much to do quite a bit.