Tuesday, 31 December 2013

54. Autumn in Blighty

Landscape, W&N Griffin Alkyd oil paint on Arches oil paper, trimmed to 8" x 8"

Before trimming (9" x 9")

This is to be cut and displayed on mount board so I used alkyd oils for speedy drying. It needed an autumnal look to it and nearly all my paintings end up predominantly blue (as opposed to red or yellow) so I used the 'Zorn' palette (Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Titanium White and Black*). I was very pleased with the nuances of colour achievable, including pale yellow and some good greens.

*  I wanted a black that was completely transparent so I mixed together Alizarin Crimson and Phthalocyanine Green. I thoroughly mixed it out with a small palette knife on a transparent party plate then tested it by adding white to ensure it was not biased to either red or green.  This gave me a very deep, luscious black without any chalkiness at all and resulted in a darker mix than the equally good Ultramarine Blue/Burnt Umber (or Burnt Siena) mix.

I agree that most mixes should still show a hint of their components but if I'm mixing two colours to get a third colour, the plastic plate has two benefits. I can turn it upside down to check that the two pigments have been blended completely - no streaks at the bottom of the mix - and I can also lay the 'palette' down onto a surface which is the same colour as the support I'm using to give an accurate reflection of how the paint will look on the actual painting.  My ground colour is often black, an umber (see previous post) or white so I usually have at hand a second support in the current colour placed under the transparent plate. Some artists paint their support and then the bottom of their glass or perspex palette; the party plate is less hassle and there is no clean-up or scraping off afterwards.

Phew!  If you've read this far, please will you let me know if all this information is helpful or if you'd prefer a shorter post? I'm happy to continue sharing my findings with you if you wish.

(Btw, Santa brought me a lovely present which I'll share with you soon!)

Happy New Year to you and your families.  x

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