Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sep 13 - Important Lesson on the Color System!

I was working on the 24 x 36 canvas this morning, and also working on putting together the Flash Cards packets, and was immediately struck by something (no, not literally!). Of course my painting is morning light--I knew that when I began it. I know the Color System so well that I didn't need to have support material with me. But as I looked at the morning light Flash Cards, I realized you might enjoy seeing the cards in action. So for your lesson today, I put two of the Morning Light Flash Cards by the painting to show you what I found.

On the right is the Morning Light Flash Card with the red pear intact. That's one you get with the set. On the left is the same card with the red pear desaturated (love Photoshop!). I desaturated it for two reasons--one, there is no inherently RED object in my landscape, and more importantly, I wanted the lesson to go home to you as clearly as possible. The lesson? Stick to the colors on the Flash Cards, and you'll get great color! Wow...

Notice how the left card just blends into the canvas? The colors of morning light are clearly shown in my painting, and hopefully clearly understood when you see the card. I'm hoping that you'll use these Flash Cards as you paint, and that the cards will end up being small "companions" for your paintings! You'll know you've "nailed it" when the card just "belongs" with the painting.

Now, if I'd had a red object in the painting, then it would also harmonize with the right card.

This afternoon I head out for the Sam Maloof Foundation for the Plein Air Artists of Riverside's show (I have two paintings in it). I'll take along some of my flash cards and see if I can figure out who painted what time of day!! Now there's an idea.... I'm going to take a set to my next museum visit and look at some of the Impressionists and Tonalist paintings.

The first sets have started to arrive--I just received this from Gabriel Baber in Temecula, "Ok really did it this time. Great brainchild..Awesome idea with the flash cards. I am excited to have them..Thanks for getting them to me so quickly. Those of us that are visual much better with the color images than all the words. "

I'm so pleased they are helping people already!

I'll finish up this painting for you tomorrow.

You can see my entire blog here.

Order your set of Color System Flash Cards HERE. And please share this with other artists.

If you need to email me directly, please click here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sep 12 - Moving right along with the Landscape

I've had some interesting responses to the posting from yesterday, and want to address them here, as this painting is special for its misty light. Right now the sky reads as warm, but I need to share with you that the underpainting for this was done with a thin wash of a warm and a cool--to make a neutral. The two colors mixed for the underpainting wash were untramarine blue and australian red gold.

At this point in the painting, there are NO pure warms anywhere. So the neutral sky area reads warm because of the proximity to the cools elsewhere--temperature contrast. It's amazing what colors do in relation to other colors. Ovanes Berberian once said, "A color has no temperature until it is next to another color." At the time, I didn't understand that. In growing into the Color System, I see it more and more, based upon the certainty of the colors I'm using to create cool and/or warm vistas. Again, the source material:

I also need to stress that there is no mixture in the work that isn't less than three hues/colors. This is how one gets those marvelous, harmonious grays. The source material is a lot greener than the painting--if I painted to that (the "match" instead of lighting a fire on my canvas!), I'd be using a lot more duo mixes--ultramarine and yellow ochre or the cool yellow. But each of my mixes is THREE or more colors from the cool box. Try it!

Now you know the "famous sky trio" will do those sky patches, and more details will be added, yet it doesn't look too shabby at this point. Maybe I'll finally do a painting that avoids the "Uglies"!

And I apologize for yesterday's misprint on the link for the Flash Cards. I've fixed it and it is HERE. I've been filling the many orders, and am so happy that I bit the bullet and have enough to fill all of them. Over 50 sets went out in the mail last night!

You can see my entire blog here.

If you need to email me directly, please click here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sep 11 - Continuing the Landscape, and the Flash Cards are HERE!

Oh, my! Thank you for your response to the Color System Flash Cards! I'm prepping envelopes and Alberto will be here today to fill and send them off for you. It was wonderful to be able to offer them at a much lower price than I originally thought. I do hope that some of you will let me know what you think of them--a mini review?

Here's the next 45 minutes on this canvas... mixing cools and dark values to fill in the "framework" of the composition, and then putting in the middle distance (mid-ground) ultramarine blue affected grasses. No details at this stage. Again, I'm just covering the canvas! Although I sometimes feel a tweaking need to slip into the warm boxes, I curtail it and instead mix up other hues that still read "cool". Almost every mix is more than two colors, too. That grays down the overall "feel" of the painting, and if I add any warms, they'll only be enhanced by the cooler hues.

Source material again for your enjoyment:

You can see, that although my warm boxes are completely "out of the picture" (HA... Pun!) the differences between the colors in the painting and the colors in the photograph are already diverging. This is why I absolutely love painting and the Color System, because it gives me much better choices than just those in the source material.

You can see my entire blog here.
Color System Flash Cards at this link:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sep 10 - Starting a Large Landscape with Critters

Paintings follow me around... tapping me on my shoulder and whispering, "You need to paint me." This 24 x 36 inch oil came from a photograph I took while in Georgia earlier this year (see below) and what intrigued me about it is the soft, misty light and value structure.

So of course I close up my warm boxes and know that over 85% of this painting will be in the cools. The initial lay-in is to establish the abstract structure, and decide where I want the viewer's eye to go. My initial idea is to put some horses out in the distant pasture, yet create a texturally interesting foreground to allow the viewer to enjoy the journey. The small watercourse is a pathway around the tree and counteracts the lean it has.

Here's the source material:

And on the Flash Cards, they are printed! Still at the printers, they need to be cut, so I pick them up tomorrow at noon! Now you can order them, since I've seen the finals, and am very pleased with how they have turned out. I've set up a special PayPal and text order form on my web site... HERE.
Or you can cut and paste the link below.
No more waiting!

You can see my entire blog here.

If you need to email me directly, please click here.