Monday, March 29, 2010

Various Palettes

I have been painting a long time (since 1973 when I started studying with Frank Mason at the Art Students League), and since that time I had been using pretty much the same palette, or line-up of colors. This palette was a "Cadmium Palette", meaning I used the full range of cadmiums paints, from cadmium yellow lemon to cadmium red deep. Along with the cadmium colors, I used alizarin crimson, cerulean blue, cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, raw umber, burnt umber, titanium white (of flake) and ivory black. Under my standard line-up, I made a series of grays using black and white.

When we built our new studio, I decided to expand my knowledge of color a bit, and I started trying different colors in my line-up. Most of the above palettes were used in different "Open" Figure/Portrait Sessions. The above pictures show some of my experiments. As you can see, the grayscale is the one consistency. I learned that there are other colors that I now use and love. Terra Rosa, Viridian, Orange Ochre, and Cadmium Brown are among some of them. Trying new colors keeps you from falling into a formula. It keeps you thinking and problem solving as use paint.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Open Figure/Portrait Sessions 2010

Twice a month, I host an Open Figure/Portrait Session. With the longer days, I shifted the hours to noon to 5pm. This seems to work for most people. Today's model wore a wonderful costume that she had made. To get the nice warm, reflected light, I opened the shutters on our south-facing window and draped it with material. This stopped the direct sun, but left a nice warm glow that you can see on the right side of the figure. It was fun to contrast the cool north light with the warm reflected light.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Working on Still Life

I added the blue print to the pitcher.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


With the coming of March, I began painting with renewed energy. The longer days always make me happy. I can paint in natural light until around 6pm, so I have several paintings going at once. Purchasing a bouquet of supermarket roses inspired several paintings so far this month. The top photo shows a previously painted head study that I re-worked by adding a crown of flowers. The other photos show the set-ups and paintings, and the bottom one shows the start.