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Monday, March 17, 2014

Cutting To The Chase

From a blank canvas board with a grid laid down with 1/4 inch tape, To the first of twelve color charts to be completed using Richard Schmid's basic palette of twelve colors--slightly rearranged--but finished. Eleven more to go.
Chart one of the 12 basic colors on the limited palette didn't translate well, but you can see how very close Cobalt and Ultramarine Blue are.  It will be a while before I can remove the tape. There's a ton of white on this canvas board.

Cobalt Violet has been added next to transparent  red oxide (TRO) and Viridian has been moved to the twelfth spot. Being green, albeit a blue green, Viridian should be positioned next to Lemon yellow with it's greenish cast, if the chart was curled into a cylinder--or laid out like a wheel :-)) Note how close Cobalt Blue and Ultramarine Blue are. Looking closely, cobalt blue has a very slight violet cast and the lighter tints make an excellent silvery gray, which will be useful in another portrait I abandoned. But being so close to Ultramarine, I might want to exchange it sometime for Cerulean Blue?
 While charting color strikes all of us as being a tedious chore--one that I avoided until I HAD to make one for an acrylic .class in art college to get a grade--mixing tints this time around, seems to be a very practical and interesting thing to do. It takes the guesswork out of painting. It cuts mixing time. It allow the painter to cut to the chase, AND in my particular case, to get a feel for how much mixing agent to use to get a fluid stroke that covers the spot. 
Being intimately familiar with the color families enables putting your brush on the value quickly and eliminates using excessive amounts of paint messing around to find what sits right via a number of try's sitting wrong and having to be wiped out.  Using Lolita, an abandoned, failed  painting, as an experimental painting, doing just one chart gave me the values I needed to duplicate the values in the black and white reference photo and brought the painting back to life.  Charting is well worth the work. The bitch of it is the drying time of oils and the make shift drying station I had to set up to lay the charts out till they are fit to strip off the tape. I'm hoping in a week....?  The next chart, I'll use a drying agent. My thanks to Julie Ford for tipping me off that there is one. 

Lolita--Not a great likeness to my model, but it served me well. The shadow on her arm has a dash of blue
not in the right shade, and some softening has to go on, but enough on this sketch. What color that shadow should be will show up on the Cobalt Blue chart further down the road. On to the next. My goal  is to loosen my brush strokes while investigating the color values available in this limited palette.

NOTE:  Please excuse this oddly space layout.  It seems I can't write a post on my iPad and then fill in the photos on the computer. Windows 8.1 doesn't take kindly to materials transferred in from an Apple product. 






  1. Hi Linda, nice to take a catch up look on your blog! I love Lolita, you have captured her pose very well.

    1. Thanks Judy. I think I did save the painting. And I know I learned a lot while doing it.

  2. Good work on the colour charts - fun to do and so useful! I have used an app called Blogsy for writing posts and you can add photos easily but they have to be on your camera roll.

    1. I know. What I don't like about writing the posts on iPad is the photos can't be placed where I want them-- centered or next to text. I look at that app. The camera roll is where all photos go that have been edited-- cropped and enhanced. I always crop, but enhancing is only good got drawings on white paper; it makes the paper look white instead of grayish.

      I'm anxious to get on with the next and then the next. TRO will be next. Then one of the blues. I"m going to jump around with the order; the colors I use the most or am most curious about will be done first. I have to get the agent that speeds up the drying ASAP.

  3. I can never decide which I like more, your paintings or your commentary.