Monday, August 15, 2011

river work: grays and complements

9x9 pastel and watercolor on Uart
Plein air work feeds my soul. There is nothing better than being out there. The idea in my mind when painting this was the use of grays. I think that near complements make the best grays. That means that instead of using red and green, use a red/violet and green or a cool lemon yellow and a blue/violet.  Now keep in mind that when complements are mixed together they neutralize or gray each other. Also when mixing the colors it's best if they are in the same temperature family or else they will appear muddy. For example use a cool red/violet mixed with  a cool green.
While mixing neutralizes, the opposite effect happens when they are placed side by side  Now those same colors become more brilliant.  Cool and warms can be used next to each other with amazing results. Skies love this kind of work.
Last, when glazing in very thin veils of complements, the effect is kind of a mix of the two (mixing and side by side) and appear delicate and delicious. Outdoors this glaze-like layering is easily done with use of a watercolor underpainting and then thin layers of pastel on top. In this case it is the pink underneath the blue green on top. I feel that pastels are really amazing for working en plein air.
That's it for today....paint on folks!


Sarah said...

Those water reflections are absolutely beautiful, such lovely layered colors!

Leah said...

Incredible, spectacular reflection of sky!

Eden Compton said...

Love this one Loriann! Beautiful colors!

Debora L. Stewart said...

Yes - really beautiful water. This may be one of my favorites of yours.

loriann said...

Thanks Sarah!

Hi Leah and thank you..let's talk soon!

Hi Eden, Thank you. I appreciate your comment.

Hi Debora,
Thanks...sometimes in plein air it can come together.

Deborah Elmquist said...

Again, you share valuable information that are absolute jewels. Please put your teachings in a book. Do you think the gray color mixtures will work the same for oils?

karen said...

really beautiful - one of your best.
Keep on - - -

Jeanette said...

LOVE it! The colours work so well, your knowledge base about how they work and complement/neutralize is good to know.

Double "D" said...

Very subtle, very cool, very hot.
This is unlike where you've been.
It's cool.

Casey Klahn said...

I am mesmerized by the open strokes of the blue banks and the rocks in the water. But then I am amazed at the very gentle reflection - almost not there, but then you see it.

Lynne E. Windsor said...

This is definitely one of my favourites Loriann.

Barbara said...

I've been experimenting with split complements as well...they give a more sophisticated, luminous gray I think. Your work is really well done; love the experimenting and seeking.

Anonymous said...

Hi Loriann,
The orchestration of color throughout this painting
is stunning. Going from the trees to the water with
the visually rewarding. I think that
you have found for yourself the right combination for plein-air work, watercolor and pastel. How long do you have to wait until the watercolor underpainting dries?
I agree with you about using near complements to make better grays.


Caroline said...

Lovely colour, very peaceful and full of atmosphere.

loriann said...

Hi Deborah!
Thanks for your kind words. I am delighted that the information I share is valuable to others....still I can't imagine me writing a book. As for the gray mixtures and oils, yes I think the translations are similar if not the same.

Hi Karen! Thanks!I am keeping on:-)

Jeanette, hi! Thank you for your kind words!

Hey PB!
You never know what you will see with me as I search for the translations from plein air to studio with emotion. I sometimes feel I am searching for the holy grail. Ever feel that way?

Hi Casey! Thank you.

Hi Lynne, how is life in GB? Thank you!

Hi Barbara,
Thank you! Seeking is what I do.

Hey NJ!
The watercolor dries quickly, depending on the amount of humidity and temperature. If i am near the car i put it near the heater on full blast. Then it takes one minute. Thanks for your kind comment. The search goes on.

Hi Caroline in the wilds of Scotland!
Thank you!

Helen Read said...

wonderful, poetic colors!

Astrid Volquardsen said...

Hi Loriann, this is such a nice an dstrong piece.
I think you reached a new level with this one.
That is very encouraging, because it means that one you paints and paints one will eventually pull through those dark moments when you are stuck.

loriann signori said...

Thank you Helen!

Thanks Astrid. I agree with you. Dark moments are definitely not a bad thing- they push us forward and keep us striving. I am not out of the dark yet, so much painting and thinking to do!

Anonymous said...

love it!!!