Thursday, November 3, 2011

Today's Tree Painting

Notes From My Tree Journal

I finally had a day in the studio to begin painting trees again. My week at the coast went fast and now I am back to work on more familiar subjects. This is field II at Fair Oaks. I am really beginning to get some good control with this limited palette for fall and winter. I find that using a limited palette for a season of work really frees my focus, so that I can think about other elements of painting. If you know what your palette will do for you, you can think about composing, values, and other principles and elements of design. Using a limited palette prevents the nasty color mixing surprises that sometimes happen. I really like to have palette control. One thing I learned and tell my students frequently is to mix on the palette, not the canvas. I make sure my mixtures are thorough before I ever add them to the painting. I often see sloppy mixing where lots of ugly variations end up on the painting because the painters have failed to mix properly. Here is another little tip that works well for me.  As I begin to do a color mix, I will vary it slightly as I work through the painting. I am adding small bits of other colors into the paint mix. It is not totally noticeable, but instead, subtle variations occur near each other to add depth and richness to the color mixtures. I almost always do this with my paintings. It prevents the flat illustrative look to my paintings that I see so much in other acrylic work. I've never liked that hard edged,flat look and try to avoid it.

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