Monday, December 2

Learning with a Limited Palette

A View from The Getty
Oil on Canvas Panel
6 x 8 in/15.2 x 20.3 cm
Copyright 2013
I am currently in the mode of painting relatively small landscapes--8 x 10 in/20.3 x 26 cm--or less on canvas panels using a limited palette.

I am trying to learn how to mix these limited colors so that I am able to make the correct value and hue for any landscape I want to paint.

What are those limited colors? French ultramarine, cad yellow light, permanent alizarin, yellow ochre, and titanium white.

It isn't easy as I'm sure you're well aware if you are a painter, too. For one, there are all those different greens in the landscape that must be made to look natural or you end up with a mess. It's no wonder that green is called the painter's horror color.

The earth-tone colors for the land and roads and hills and rocks and ground aren't much easier, but at least if you make a mistake, it doesn't stand out as much as the wrong green.

Then, of course, there are the skies and clouds. Although not as difficult as green, finding the correct blue for the sky can be daunting: cobalt vs. ultramarine vs. French ultramarine vs. some other blue.

Today's image has all three--the greens, the earth-tones, and the sky (as well as ocean) blues. As I've said before, I live in hope.

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