Monday, May 16, 2011

benefits of a limited palette

12x24 watercolor
The benefits of a limited palette can not be over stated. I at least start out with one in the underpainting. Paint is an easy way to limit your colors yet still make so many more. Pastels are a little trickier. Yes, you can choose a few sticks, but you have still eliminated many many combinations that still fall with the limited palette.
This underpainting has 5 tube colors, cad yellow, cad orange, cerulean, cobalt blue and ultramarine blue (plus white);it is essentially two color families-complementary colors.  It's the set-up: value plus the colors that lie underneath.
So pastellist, have I convinced you to try a paint underpainting?
Tomorrow you will see the pastel portion.

PS I received a wonderful email from a subscriber  today. It made my day! Here is a quote from her email:
"I have over a thousand books about art and painting in particular. Your work is more helpful and interesting than most of these books. You "reveal" many artists' secrets and remind those of us with quite a bit of experience of the things we have forgot. Please do whatever is necessary to get this book one of the books on  my shelves. What you say and illustrate is particularly of great aid for pastellists."
Thank you so much Linda...I don't know about a book. We will just continue this journey together!
PPS This is another memory painting of my field.


Anonymous said...

Hi Loriann,
I agree with that subscribers comments.I do not know if you have created a book through such sites as BLURB. I think that a book of your beautiful landscapes with your insightful comments would be something quite special
You may want to give some thought of someday publishing an art instruction book .I think that it would a welcome addition to artists libraries.

Regarding limited palettes-one of the pleasures of painting is to research the different palettes that both contemporary and past masters used.
My typical studio methodology is select some colors and work with the Quiller wheel to select the complementary and subordinate colors. When I paint en plein air I usually use a predetermined palette.
I have found that when outdoors the only red I use is a permanent alizarin crimson .I do not know about you Loriann but unless it is a field of flowers I have very little use for bright intense reds when painting plein air. I do find that purples/violets are more useful.


Jami Buck said...

It's true, Loriann. Your grasp and knowledge of color theory and practice is amazing and instructive. I so enjoy and benefit from your blog! Thanks for sharing.

Caroline Savva Art said...

I agree, it's true. You're direct, truthful and instructive. You have no pretenses and you speak to us as equals in a clear, comprehensible and inspiring way. Even though my work differs greatly from your own I frequently stop by here to see what I can take form your lessons as your advice is often so fantastically universal and not just limited to the boundaries of your own practice.

Thank you!

I love the colours in this underpainting, in fact, I'd have it as it is!

Brian McGurgan said...

This is a beautiful start, Loriann, with a strong composition and lovely sky - even before the pastel goes on. That's quite a dramatic vertical format you've got here, too - looking forward to seeing how it develops!

Casey Klahn said...

Write me before you do your book, and I will share my bad experience! But, do write one, and maybe I can help jump start your research.

Cadmium Orange! Yummy!!

My typical under wash is Creatix Pure Pigs, but it isn't a true underpainting. Another current favorite is a wiped off pastel as an underpainting. Deeper hues, if it works out.

loriann said...

Hi NJ,
Alizarin is very useful when painting outdoors, as is purple. I must admit a complete lean towards pink and purples in my plein air watercolor underpaintings. Why? Maybe I just love those colors. I use Quin Magenta, opera, and a DS purple rose.
I don't see myself publishing right now..but thanks for the advice! Always good to hear from you!

Thanks so much Jami and Caroline!
I believe in sharing. None of us got to our understandings on our own. Whether through teachers, viewing art or reading we are gradually taught the "secrets" when we are open. I am grateful to my many teachers whether Richard McKinley(numerous workshops), James Boul (MFA studies) or James Whistler (through the love of his paintings.) They all inspire me and are my teachers.There many more, too numerous to mention here. I am very I share. I am delighted you enjoy my posts!

Hi Brian!!!
I am really loving dramatic formats..thanks for noticing!

Hi Casey!
Love Cad orange and magenta!!!!!! Creatix pigs are VIBRANT! Wiped off pastels definitely offer new possibilities.
PS I will write you when time allows!