Monday, November 19, 2012

River Access

18 x 36
Oil on Canvas

I originally did this one quite a while ago, several years in fact.  I don't think I ever posted it simply because I could never get a good picture of it.  Just as well because I wasn't particularly happy with the first version.  So I started over from scratch, and within a couple days it's all done pretty much the way I'd envisioned it all along.  Still don't have a good picture though, please pardon the glare.  

There's a couple things I'd like to talk about in this picture.  First is the use of a limited palette.  In this particular case I used Prussian Blue (Milori Blue actually.  It's supposed to be a more stable version, but handles just about the same) Venetian Red and Yellow Ochre along with Ivory Black and Titanium White.  The blue and red make a really nice range of grays and they're dark enough together that the black was not all that necessary.  I'm not entirely sure I used it at all now that I think about it.  I do use black to gray colors as necessary so I'll include it here just because it's usually on my palette.   For this image those three pigments plus white is all that is needed and they worked perfectly.  There is nothing that says you can't add a higher chroma pigment if you need something to pop.  A limited palette is not magic.   It does have the advantage of making it easier to harmonize a painting's color.    There just aren't a whole lot of color combinations to deal with, but with these three colors you might be surprised at just how much color range you can get.  Again, if you want or need higher chroma passages use a higher chroma red or yellow.  The advantage of using an earthy red is that you can get a range of grays without adding the third color.  This isn't the only combination that will work of course.  Ultramarine and burnt sienna works nicely as does french ultramarine and raw sienna.  Both of those will give you a nice range to play with.  Another advantage of the limited palette is cost.  I know I have a lot of paint tubes that I haven't opened in quite a while.  Keeping it simple can keep the cost way down and in these times that can't be all that bad.

The other thing I wanted to mention about this painting is details.  This basically a simple image, just a  basic value arrangement.  As such, I think it works fairly well.  But in something like this I like to hide a few little nuggets for the viewer to find.  Take a look at this detail. 

That egret just one example of what's hidden here.  It might not be big enough to see here, but there is a great blue heron and a handful of ducks to be seen if you care to look.  So the thing is give the viewer something to look at.  There's nothing wrong with a simple image, but that doesn't mean you can't make it rewarding too.

One last thing, there are a few things for sale over at the Drying Rack.  There's a link over on the side here.  If you'd like one get it now.  Prices will be going up the first of the year. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi David. I still have your "Samson." Its subtlety is incredibly penetrating, and yet, your talent expresses itself like the great genius masters of old. Hurray for '77, you deserve it!