Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Limited Palette

I did something yesterday that I've been wanting to do for a long time: work with a limited palette. For someone who thinks less is always more it took me long enough to get around to using a limited palette. I guess it was hard to get out of my comfort zone. Anyway, it took me two days but I learned a lot. I used Aureolin Yellow, Permanent Rose, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Blue and Chinese White. At first I was going to just use the Burnt Sienna and Cobalt Blue but halfway through the painting I thought I'd allow myself just a bit of the primaries. Of course, these two colors are complementaries so that wasn't too much of a stretch for me but I felt I needed the punch of the primaries to finish up. It was real easy to lift these colors and I really took advantage of it. My first choice is not to have to lift paint cause it leaves a surface that is not totally clean and texture of paper is compromised so you don't get that real fresh look. I noticed that when using the Chinese White it stayed on the surface instead of melting into the paint underneath it. I used some fresh paint and maybe it wasn't as wet as I might have used it in the past. Such a miniscule amount of water in the paint can make a big difference. It brought me back to feeling like I was using oils. I like the contrast of opaqueness and transparency in the painting. I may use this palette on a set up that is not so neutral next time I get to paint.
I'm going to the Donnell Library across from MOMA to look at their watercolor books. I go to B&N quite often and have quite a few books myself but I'm hoping they'll have something either out of print or different. I love reading new books; it's so inspiring. It's the best part of working on a book and of course advancing in my own technique. Boy, I'm chatty in this post. Maybe a new direction for me. Ah, I think it may be a result of reading the Times article this past Sunday on the intimacies of blogging. I'll see if I can get the name of the article or author. She was great.
There were two reasons I chose this set-up to try the limited palette: it was there already and it was very neutral. Ah, laziness!! Would love to hear how you think it holds up to the previous post.
"White Pitcher", watercolor on paper, POR


Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I like a chatty post when it's informative. :D Good job.

babahr said...

I like the one with the limited palette as much as your others. It is a tad more delicate.