Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Colors of Winter














Colors of Winter

5x7in oil on canvas panel  $100.

Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico
Once again a mix from photos and imagination.

Artist Note.

I prefer this scene with winter colors rather than
the greens of summer. When out painting plein air
I always find green difficult to get the right harmony
and it is a real struggle to achieve a natural appearance
of the many subtle, different shades in front of me.
If I go more decorative then it can be fun and bright,
but if I try to mix what I actually "see" then all heck
happens and I have many frustrating attempts.
Back in the security of my studio I can work with green,
but then I lose the freshness I value from the outdoor
sketches. Any solutions or suggestions will be gratefully
received.

My outdoor/travel palette is:
T White
Black
Yellow Light
orange
perm Aliz
Cobalt blue or Ultra Blue
Transp Oxide Brown
I mix my purples from the alizarin and ultra
My ochres by adding purples to the yellow
My GREENS
from black and yellow or ochre
blue and yellow plus red or T brown.

(Phyllis - can you spot it?)


34 comments:

  1. Doesn't get much better than these yummy thick brush strokes. Beautiful Julie.

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    1. Thanks Blanche. The story on your blog really touched me.

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  2. This one is gorgeous. It makes winter look very, very inviting. And I just told Rich I was yearning a bit for the desert:)

    The green thing gets me too. I've taken my notes in the field and brought the info back only to have the results fall flat. With that said, I really would try a different palette and just some field notes-no painting a scene. I was really surprised recently when I added in phthalo green and blue. They are garrish in my mind and not natural looking. I added the green to my Azo yellow and ultra mix-just a smidge-and it freshened it right up. Both colors added to other colors create some beautiful browns too. My red is a pyrolle light and a quinacridone magenta. These are colors I would have never chosen. But, they describe my own experience perfectly and I guess the only point I am making is that sometimes unlikely choices and just mixing your paint in the field really helps. I also added dioxazine purple in to use with my yellows. The golds and browns are outstanding. And I noticed you didn't have a warm red but are maybe using the orange? Cad red light is nice too.

    I love talkin' palette choices:)

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    1. Thanks Libby and I appreciate your follow up reply which I cut and pasted here...
      The late Charles Sovek was a wonderful painter and moreover, a very generous guy with the info. His site contains an article about choosing just the right green mix-how to do it to suit your environment and what you see. He references common things in the environment such as grasses and foliage for different areas. You can search his site (just Google Charles Sovek and it's under Publications-Articles)
      I thought maybe some other artists would find it valuable too.

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    1. I feel the same way about your collage. The red touches are perfect.

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  4. Interesting...........how about ultra and cad red med for your purple. That is more lively I think. For greens I try to go cool and warm however I can get there. Depends on what is on the palette at the time. In looking at your palette, I could not live without cad red med and cad yellow med..........esp cad yellow med. It is quite a staple for me.
    Your painting above it is just lovely. The colors of winter are so beautiful. I feel like you are playing with the paints. What could be better.

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    1. Thanks Helen, My plein air palette is the Ned Jacob's palette and makes pretty much every color. I agree with the cad red med and have learned to get a pretty good match with the orange and aliz. The cad yellow medium is easy to get with a little dab of orange into the yellow. So we do agree with the mixtures. The purples can be quite varied with aliz and ultra blue having no yellow in either of them so they make a clean transparent purple, and when I mix it with the equivalent of your CRM and CYM I get all the neutralized purple shades.
      In the studio I use a warm and cool of every color which helps.
      Your colors are always beautiful.

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    2. Thanks Julie. So much to learn about color. My palette comes up a little short on transparent colors so it will be fun to play with some of what you do. Amazing variations. Wonderful.

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  5. Julie, I love those rich browns. I cannot help with your palette (although I always think your greens are very believable) as the colors are so different in Florida.

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    1. You are correct about the difference between tropical greens and desert greens, The additional of water makes a big difference. I am always tempted to move to Florida when I see your paintings, Carol.

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  6. That blue on the ground is breathtaking, Julie! No suggestions from me; you do beautifully on your own and I'm not good.

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    1. Hi Sherry - thanks so much for giving me permission to use that gorgeous photo you took. Stay tuned!

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  7. I so love Bosque del apache though visit the birds much closer to home as I live one half mile from the Rio Grande. You have inspired me to think about painting the bosque this summer. Your painting is thick with the scent and flavor of bird habitat. I also like that you paint so many subjects, yet your style is distinctive. So often we hear and read an artist's subject needs to recognizable. I won't be put in that box either; rebels from birth. (A rebel is often a leader.)

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    1. Lucky you living near the Rio Grande. It is absolutely dry down here. They cut it off COMPLETELY up at the dam. My heart breaks for all the wildlife that live and depend on the southern part of the river. You will adore the bosque in the summer as you are a natural with green. The birds will have gone though.
      I do understand when they say an artist need a defining subject. As a teacher I have to explore to be able to help the artists with whatever they are drawn to do.

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  8. Love the colors and the depth in this one. You could really learn a lot about palettes, cause I just go with my gut feeling.

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    1. Even with a set palette you still have to go with your gut. Every mixture is different and then a sense of adventure creeps in, doesnt it, and we try a little bit of something different added to to the pile. Painting is lifelong learning.
      Your flower series is an wonderful example of different colors being used in different degrees of saturation..

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  9. Love it, Julie! I admire your very knowledgeable handling of the various planes for depth. The reds in front are fabulous.

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    1. Thanks Dean. I do not know if they are willows or a type of cedar but they are glorious in color against the blue of sky and shadows

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  10. Julie, your texture and color choices are extraordinary! Love how you've used the blues in this scene - from an electric blue to an indigo-ish! Really complements the oranges and golds.

    For me, too, green has always been a challenge whether in pastel or oil. Rather than recommending particular hues or color combinations, I use a suggestion by Kevin Macpherson in his book "Landscape Painting Inside and Out." On page 58-59 he addresses "Making a Plan" for your painting in which he suggests several methods including one called, "Color Plan." He supports making a very small study on paper or canvas pad with areas of flat colors representing the big shapes of the scene. This is NOT a complete painting. Rather it's a compilation of flat, broad strokes noting the colors you intend to use. It can be done quickly and gives the painter an insight into whether or not the colors harmonize and whether the shades and tones are appropriate for the season or subject.

    It's helpful to me as I need all the trial runs I can get!

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    1. Well Carol, I certainly call you the MASTER OF GREEN! I encourage everyone to click on your name above to go to your blog and see what you have achieved. it certainly speaks well for your recommendation from Kevin Macpherson's book and I thank you for letting us all know. He is a WONDERFUL painter.

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  11. Anne, Margaret and I have talked about this today. Since there are no fences or chickens, we have come up with the greens, the foreground or the dark red shadows. Did we "spot" it correctly?
    Phyllis

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    1. Nope! It is the shape of the front left bush being repeated behind it..up to the cloud shape. Thought if you saw it this way it would stick!

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    2. It has been a pleasure seeing you challenge yourself and grow.

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  12. Just beautiful, Julie! Fantastic colors and texture!! I love "Colors of Winter" but not fond of Winter..LOL

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    1. I agree, Hilda. beautiful BUT!
      I am not fond of it and when I lived in Denver I found it quite dangerous too. I am sure glad our winter is much milder than many have it. It is the colors I love.

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  13. Julie - I am glad you painted it with winter colors...it seems like such a happy painting. I am wishing our winter colors were that bright. Hope you are having a delightful week-end. Take care and God Bless.

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  14. I enjoyed seeing the winter sunshine flooding over the snow and the dogs carrying the stick. What an amazingly beautiful place you live in.
    Blessings back to you, dear Debbie.

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  15. Greens are my pain in the ...you know. I hadn't realized that about Charles Sovek. I have some of his books. I am going to do more investigation. Thanks for always sharing not only your great art but your wisdom, too!

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  16. Beautiful! I just love the colors you used in this one. Love it!

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  17. so beautiful and texturally delicious!

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  18. This is absolutely fabulous! It's so full of energy, you have an amazing technique. I'm always happier to see a winter or autumn picture. If I'm honest, I dislike summer and find it a bit boring when it comes to colour, but then I still have a lot to learn. That's why I couldn't possibly offer you any suggestions, I'll just enjoy your pictures!!

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  19. beautiful painting and I always love reading your blog and learning from you and all the other artists who follow and comment. Lots of learning here.

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I love that you are taking the time to comment and thank you for it. I am sure other readers will enjoy them too. If you cannot comment through this format then email me at juliefordoliver@gmail.com
Cheers,
Julie