Process - Color Strategy, Responsibility of the Artist

From this point on in the painting process, the responsibility of the artist is to the CANVAS, and will, hopefully, transcend the photograph. The photo has done its part by reminding us of the original idea for the painting and by providing the details of the scene that caught our attention. What develops on the canvas must go beyond the photo, bringing the spirit of both the place and the artist into the work. It may be referred to again for additional informational details, but should not be relied upon for interpretation.

I’ll now begin to develop a color strategy for the painting. My color strategy is intuitive rather than from formulas, but comes from a great deal of background study and interest in color. For this painting I know I’d like to push the pines into the background with with soft blue greens and work the whole painting into a more neutral vein. Working neutral is a struggle, but I love the results. So I’ve worked up a “color sheet” to keep me on track and will keep that paper at the easel to help me. Still, I will often throw my original plans to the wind when work on the canvas takes me in a different direction.

A small Masterson’s palette holds my color supply, and aluminum pie places will be used for mixing. This way the mix can be held right up to the canvas to check how the color will work with the whole. I never mix up too much of one color, and almost no paint goes on without being mixed up a little.

For this painting my palette will consist of the following colors: Liquitex’s Quinacridone crimson, Yellow Azo, Naples Yellow, Pyrrole Orange (a new favorite, it’s to soft) Aqua, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Green Gold, Light Portrait Pink, Burnt Umber and Golden’s Quinacridone gold, titanium white and parchment.