Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Schmid's Way

      



The 8 x 16 inch canvas panels for my oil color charts arrived and I'm sorry I ordered them. It took me an hour to section one using 1/4" tape. I was never very good at figuring fractions. After trying several mathematical ways to make the squares come out equally sized, I finally gave up and did it by eye.  With a relatively equally divided board accomplished,  I was too tired to get down to fussing with the paint. Plus, I suspected I should coat the board with clear acrylic medium to seal the tape edges to insure clean lines when the tape is removed. -- Later for that. I decided I needed to relax.

And relax I did with Lolita. The painting is going well thanks to just the little color charting I did while waiting for the official panels to arrive. My brush stokes are also getting a bit looser and more accurate. I was pleased with the days progress. But on the way upstairs, I did wonder why I decided to pursue skill with oils at this stage in my game?  There's so much I don't know about the paint. While the medium no longer stinks, it is messy and  takes forever to dry mixed with all that white--on the fifth step up I understood. All that white used in Schmid's mixes keeps the paintings wet enough long enough for the alla prima technique to be used the next day and the next pending the overall tonal values. Lightening colors with other colors not white (because white cools color down)was what I had been taught. But that doesn't work with the alla prima techniques--not if Speedo isn't your middle name.  I get it!  I'd better stock up on white.

       

A chart for every color on your palette  mixed with white is Schmid's way.  He said twelve charts should take two weeks of consistent work. I figure cutting down the number of colors and going with just five or six might do it for me, for now?  Lolita's palette has five colors on it, (the vertical row on the right). I took the colors six steps to white on the left. It reads like Hebrew, right to left.  This is only one chart of what should be six. The colors are all derivatives of the dominant Cadmium Yellow Medium. I also combined them all to find the gray, which turned out a range of lovely warm brownto a cool taupe. 


       





13 comments:

  1. Une véritable Lolita ! Je trouve fascinante la manière séductrice du regard de votre charmante fillette !
    Une merveilleuse peinture. Je vous admire... J'aime la façon méticuleuse et réfléchie pour le choix de vos couleurs...
    J'ai honte en avouant que je ne procède pas artistiquement et aussi méthodiquement que vous. Je fais un peu comme la cuisine ! J'ouvre la porte du frigidaire, je prends ce que je trouve et d'instinct j'ajoute un peu de ci, un peu de ça ! sans me poser la moindre question... Avec la peinture je procède de la même façon !... J'avoue que c'est peut-être ce risque d'itinérance dans ce domaine qui m'émoustille !
    Je devrais peut-être prendre exemple sur vous...
    J'aime beaucoup cette dernière oeuvre... Une Lolita très attendrissante.
    Gros bisous

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    1. je suis aussi intuitive et spontanée comme vous dans mon travail, mais qui ne travaillais pas avec mes gars. je me tournai vers Richard Schmid pour obtenir des conseils. ce qu'il a dit était badically begore vous pouvez voler, vous avez yo apprendre à marcher. tandis que le style alla ptima semble insouciant, il n'est pas. vous avez à prendre une promenade graves avec des couleurs à choisir spontanément les bonnes. si je marche. Thanks Martine. Lolita's glance is serving me well for trying out what I'm learning. Plus I love that look in her eyes. It's enough to make this grandmother cringe with thoughts of what's to come during her teen years.

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  2. OMG, Linda! I went through this excruciating exercise years ago. Its hard work but well worth the effort. I had to laugh when you described trying how to figure out how to equally section off your canvas. When I try to reduce or enlarge something proportionally, I immediately run to my husband who has a masters degree and teaches math at the university level! I don't know what I would do without him!

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    1. Send him over. :-)). What's interesting about these oil charts is the length of drying time of the mixes. Ultramarine and white so far takes quite a while to dry. Other mixes dry a bit faster. My eye did a good job. But I forgot how to divid fractions and that was annoying. Is that the one where you multiplied after inverting the whole number? Duh. So after fooling around for quite an annoying amount of time wishing I had bought the 1/2 inch tape as well, I figured out enough to use my eye which is a good one after years of drafting. Looks good enough. It's not rocket science; it's color science. ;-))

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  3. It is hard to see someone like you - who paints with great intuitive response based on intimate knowledge and awareness - tidy up the decision making process.
    Your color sense is already superb and definitely YOU.

    Mix a little of Gamblins new non-toxic medium into your pile of white to make it dry a little faster. Or try Webers Res-n-gel. Also non-toxic. I have been using it for years.

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    1. Thanks Julie. See? I don't even know the products available to facilitate working in this medium. I just bought stand oil cuz I read it was the oil to use for glazes. I also read white is never used for glazes, then I read zinc white works in glazes. You know I will have to see what happens.
      After years of using acrylics, I was able to be spontaneous and free with my brushes. My guys taught me I was not free with oils and needed to do a few studies to get where I was with acrylics. So I'm taking the time to learn. What I don't understand is why I don't stick with what I know? I think that's my failure as an artist. My curiosity about the how stops me from settling down. It's a big flaw. I admire all of you who have made your choice and stuck with it to achieve such great skill. I should probably talk to my therapist, if I wasn't so busy coloring squares. :-))

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    2. Ha! - I don't stick with one thing - you only see the oils. Egg tempera was my true love and I was pretty bummed when my floaters started to prevent my ability to enjoy it. I still teach it. I do my more abstract work in acrylic and watercolor at weekends. I love the discovery of getting out of my comfort zone and I also love the comfort of familiarity with my oils.

      I also thought glazing was a transparent coat on top of a dry area and scumbling was the method of using opaque over an area. Transparent white by Rembrandt is already mixed to the correct consistency but I use it for scumbling effects. Yes - a zinc.

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    3. Oils sure have a lot of chemistry attached to the process. Yesterday, I ran across a sentence in Schmid saying avoid Burnt Umbra, it cracks. It was one of my go to colors. Of course when it cracks, where will I be? God knows :-))

      I'm glad to hear multilevel mediums don't make you a flibbity fidget, ( is that what Meg Ryan was in Joe and the Volcano)? I do love playing in the watercolors and of course graphite and charcoal have been fundamental.

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  4. Linda: The first picture of Lolita, the panel, the walls, and everything else in the room is magnificent! Paint it as it appears!

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    1. The photo did come out well--well sort of surreal with the op art of the prepped chart, the come hither look of the child in the painting and the rough cement walls and beat up easel. Maybe a hand with brush ala Escher needs to be an added ? --But very smoothly done like Dali. :-))

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  5. I think the reason you have chosen oil is that it is "the Mother of all mediums". In the right hands it produces the most luscious, gob smacking results. it is the designer in you that wants perfect lines in the color chart. Your charts will be amazing and helpful to you when you are done. I have done charts...but not this extensively. I bet nothing would teach color better than this!

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    1. You're right. Oils are sexy. They have a finish glow that beats out watercolors and acrylics. I had to try them again now that they were order less and I had time. But after years away, using them doesn't come back to you like riding a bike. After working wet into wet with a water based medium that dried extremely fast and permanent, the wet into wet with slow drying oils is an adjustment--especially with Schmid's Way--adding white to everything for the sake of brilliance and extending the wet into wet work period for that fresh, spur of the moment alla prima look.

      In just a few days, charting the palette colors has paid off. Not only am I actually using my palette knife for what it was intended, but I've brushed up (pun intended) on which colors are transparent and the degree of saturation that can be had with just a minute dot of pigment. And yes, I do like straight lines after twenty five years of drafting and crossing crowded public spaces to level a crooked picture on the wall. Level and equal divisions are in my blood. You caught me! :-))

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  6. I am so sorry, but I see a colour chart and my brain sleeps! Can't be doing with anything remotely analytical. I would benefit, I know, because my knowledge of colour theory is nil, but I cannot be arsed!

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