A weekend in colour
This week I started an online course in colour mixing for watercolour and acrylic painting, so during this weekend I plan to spend as much time as possible learning colour theory.
I worked on the course in the evenings and have already used up a few pages of a new sketchbook, including the pages I have posted here.
I feel that one of the most important things I have learned so far, regardless of the type of paint used (Watercolour or Acrylic) is that I am getting to know them very well, how to mix the basic colours included in a sets of paints and what the results look like. Not all colours act the same even when used without mixing them, some colours produce very smooth results others produce a very grainy texture, some colours don’t seem to go into the paper or canvas very deeply others act more like a dye and the moment they touch a painting surface they stain and fix themselves in very quickly and most likely permanently.
The use of colours
When I first stated painting some years back, I would spend a large amount of time trying to match every single colour in a landscape I was painting, however I feel that since these days I have learnt that doing this is not only exhausting it also does not always produce a good painting. Colours can be used much more effectively when limited and balanced so that they are used to compliment each other. When colour is used to highlight areas in a painting or to soften other areas they can make some parts of a painting stand out and others while still included, fall into the background of the finished work.
It’s all these areas and more that I want to study and regain complete understanding again of both in practice and theory, I can then move onto producing colour sketches and full paintings again.
In order to produces all the colours you want to include in a painting you actually only need three , The primary colours (RED,YELLOW and BLUE), what does counts here however is the type of red, yellow or blue you start with in the first place as this will allow you to produces very different final results.
So this weekend I plan to uses as much paper as possible and produce a colour notebook that I can use during the year to help me when producing any paintings I start working on.
If I get time I will post on my progress but if not, I will on Monday post some results and my thoughts on what I worked on.
Sketching in the great outdoors
This year I hope to use other forms of recording the landscape that I find around me other than photography alone, I love creating images using my camera but I want to dig in a little deeper and spent a lot more time at each location.
There are so many art based media that can be used to create a sketch, such as (Pastels, pens, pencils, charcoal and paint).
Personally I love using Pencils and Waterolour paints, both are very simple to use and very easy to carry around. Pencil is the most direct and very easy to always have with you in a bag. Watercolour paints requires you to have a supply of water and a palette for mixing colours, both simple to have available and easy to use. A monotone Watercolour sketch is a great way to make use of this medium, used to capture all the tones that you can see in the landscape in-front of you and a lot faster than using a pencil to record the lights and dark’s in your image.
I find that the process of starting and finishing a sketch outside to be the perfect way of relaxing, its very hard to think about anything else on your mind from the moment you start working and by the time you have finished, your mind is filled with little else other than how you can use you finished sketch later for a painting or more detailed drawing.
Add your sketch to some photographs you took and you have the perfect set of images available to create larger works in oil or acrylic paints.
The sketches here are a small sample of some work produced during an art course I completed a while back …..
Painting Skys – MyPaint
Earlier this week I posted about MyPaint a Windows and Linux application used to produce ( Art work , digital Paintings and Graphic Designs)
Since then I have been able to spend a little time using this application to paint some sky’s using some photographs as source material. I feel that its always a good idea to practice areas of a painting and sky’s are great fun to work on by themselves.
MyPaint has a full selection of artists brushes available that are capable of reproducing such painting styles as (oil, Acrilic and watercolour), I have found the watercolour brushes and tools such as the sponge very flexible, especially when you want to blend areas of a painting together and produce some soft area.
Another area I have worked with is the colour palettes, there are many great palettes available as standard in MyPaint, I am however more use to working with artist colours from a tube and wanted to recreate some of these colours digitally.
So by downloading the Winsor & Newton Artists colours palette as a tiff file and then creating my own palette by using the colour eye proper selection tool and the tiff file I have now produced a palette that matches the one I am a little more use to working with. This palette is only a starting point and I can ether edit or added to it as needed.
As for mixing colours using this palette as a starting point, I am experimenting with the available scratch pad window along with the palette knife and smudge tools to see just how well colours can be mixed.