Wednesday, August 25, 2010
the secret to color harmony is grey
Grey or neutral colors are probably the number one most important tool for making a painting work. In oil it's easy to neutralize color. In pastel you have to choose the right family grey or layer to make your own grey. Oftentimes pastel sets include so many luscious colors- pure hues, like candy. They really should be used more as the frosting, not the cake. A really good set of greys is made by Girault. They have sets of 25 and 50. Layering to make greys, and using the underpainting as a warmer greyer tone work well too.
Here is a photo of my box. A Heilman backpack box, it has two rows of greys, green and cool greys and warmer greys. There is a tiny section (at the bottom of the blues) for the lightest values possible..white with a tiny bit of color.
Today I was walking to Starbucks and noticed that this small "landfill" hump of land had remained unmowed all summer. Yipee! Queen Anne's Lace, blue chicory and wonderful wild grasses. . My focal point was that wonderful place where the flowers met the tree. The mall looming in the background became one splotch of neutral color.
Below is a tiny study I made while the underpainting was drying on the top painting.
Oh, and just to let you know, good news, part one of Marla Baggetta's interview will be Monday. mmmmmm good.