Thursday, December 10, 2009

color, divas and other things

Color...oh color, probably the most complicated aspect of any painting. How to make light and the same time.We all have color tendencies. The ways of we like to look at color. My plein air friend, Christine, loves her neutrals. In fact she will use her Girault 50 gray box almost exclusively when we paint outdoors.  Think about your color tendencies.... hmm, what are they? Try to describe them.
In Raymond Logan's description of my work in his Daily Painter Review he wrote, "Rather, she (me) guides your eye through her pieces by using shapes – often nebulous, values, and last, but certainly not least, gorgeous hues. Yes, she is not shy with her palette, but nor is she heavy handed. She applies the full spectrum or just the right section of the spectrum that suits the ambience of the piece, making the landscape comfortable, yet dynamic." 
I was delighted that he saw my work that way. Because for me I feel that I am always trying to control my  tendency to an over-zealous palette. I know in my brain there can be only one diva if the painting is to sing. Quiet colors need to be placed near the diva or else she has a tantrum and walks off. Does that make sense?. 
Neutrals are key and divas like to be warm. So begin with neutrals and make your center of interest warmer (comparatively).
That's what was on my mind as I drove out to my painting site to battle the winds and freezing cold.


Double "D" said...

Dear Diva "B",
wonderful colors and very vertical. Your knowledge of which colors to use when and where makes me jealous right now. From a critique stand point, I would increase the value difference between the forward purple mass and the softer warmer mass. Let the warmer mass disappear more or darken the forward mass. Course as I think about what your were thinking, your thoughts were probably softness through both land masses. You know me, not very subtle.

Your painting buddy

Nika said...

I like the format of this one, it prepares you for the drama:)
You're absolutely right about there being only one diva per painting. A diva is nothing without supporting characters and vise versa, it's all about balance. Same goes for high contrast areas in a value painting, I don't think there should be more then 15% of those in a painting for it to look like a coherent whole, possibly even less.

loriann said...

Hey PB, You are right I was thinking the same thing I just didn't push it far enough. Tomorrow in the studio I will. I LOVE the real critiques. I don't specialize in subtlety either... although I do try.
PS Diva b???? heehee

Hi Nika!
I agree with you too. One diva and balance . Those supporting players are so important but they need to remain supporting. Less is more. Thanks for your comment. Come back soon.
PS I will come visit your site late tonight when i have more time.

Karen said...

The writer was right-on. I don't think your diva walks off stage too much, does she? :)

loriann said...

Hi Karen, I would say my weakest paintings are when I allow my diva to tantrum and walk off stage. I am getting better at allowing her freedom, not hemming her in yet not overpowering her with a maestro/divo. Ah, balance, life's challenge.

Nika said...

Thanks Loriann,
I don't have a blog just yet, but I'm working on it. Will let you know when it's up. I mostly do figure drawing and recently started to branch out into pastels, in case you're wondering what kind of things I do.

Adam Cope said...

Prismatic is the word that comes to my mind about your use of colour.

pastel on!

loriann said...

Hi Nika, I tried your link and learned just that. Let me know when it is up, ok?

Hi Adam!
"Prismatic" I like that word.

Brian McGurgan said...

It's funny, on my laptop's monitor I had to scroll down to see the full length of this painting - arriving at that blue-green, nearly horizontal stroke of pastel across the water at the bottom was very satisfying. Toward the bottom it feels almost like pure grisaille, which contrasts nicely with and provides a quiet anchor to the shimmering color in the sky and clouds. "Prismatic" describes it nicely; so does "luminescent".

loriann said...

hi Brian, Thanks for the heads up. on my monitor I don't have to scroll. So changed the size. I like your word..."luminescent" and of course I always appreciate your comments.
It's funny that last stroke of blueish green was the absolute last stroke. I kept looking and looking then I knew... it needed a "joiner."