Saturday, 31 March 2018

Small-scale practice

I may as well make something useful whilst getting some painting practice. Which surface is best to paint on and not too heavy for cards? Three painting surfaces, fine canvas, textured oil/acrylic paper and Bristol board, were cut to the following sizes: 21x 10cm, 15x15cm, and 18x12.5cm. A 1cm border was drawn around each.

Each ground was toned with acrylic paint, but why have I chosen to tone the surfaces?  For me a base colour gets me passed the terror of painting on a white surface; it makes it easier to find tones, sets the mood if the colour is allowed to show through and it avoids the need to fill in those awkward white patches.

On this occasion my choice of colour, cadmium yellow is based on springs early morning light. Yellow ochre works well for most of the day, but as day the day progresses a touch of orange should be added. Finally evening: red or red/grey enhances the sunset hours. I used a burnt sienna as it is the choice of the old masters and it is a complementary colour to the blues, which is good for seascapes, skies and snow scenes. Placed side by side the complementary colours really ‘sing,’ a technique the Impressionists used. When the atmosphere is really cold and wet I like to use an ultramarine violet ground.

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