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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Brown is Not a Color

Brown. There is no such color in the color spectrum. A color can be one of six: warm - red, yellow, orange or cool - violet, blue, green. No brown. Below are three versions of "brown." They are the dark, dull tones of yellow, orange and red (all warm). We tend to think of colors being bright and flashy but, if you are painting an apple, you will see variations in the red - some bright, some medium and some dark.
An orange requires the same attention. It is not all bright. We must use variations in the values (light, medium, dark) to create dimension otherwise the orange remains a flat circle on our canvas with no depth. All colors have to fit into the color spectrum of which there is no brown. These darks have to be assigned a color.  Therefore, Burnt Umber is our dark yellow. Burnt Sienna is our dark orange. And, Indian Red is our dark red.

This helps when working with darkening shadows.  Combining opposite colors (the dark ones) makes excellent shadows.  Violet is opposite yellow therefore violet (or purple) will darken Burnt Umber.  Blue is opposite orange so adding blue to Burnt Sienna will darken it.  Green will darken the Indian Red.

Something to think about.  Happy painting! - Kathy

Friday, April 8, 2016

Reading Maps


This painting took me a bit longer than usual.  It's of my Mom & Dad at the Auer Family Boathouse in Burlington, Vermont on Lake Champlain.  Here they are reading maps from the bicycle ferry.  Can't remember what they were looking for.  The  nice thing about painting from my own photographs is that I can leave out parts I don't find interesting and it also gives me the time to study my subject matter.  The light was so beautiful that day and they were both trying to pretend I wasn't there with my camera.  The perspective was very intriguing as well as capturing two portraits of people I know.  I am quite pleased with the result.  

Reading Maps
Of course I adore red and, for some reason, I have needed to practically inhale it all winter.  Painting a red painting, knitting a red sweater and, at the moment of this writing, I'm wearing a red dress.

It's important to feel a connection with the subject matter whether it be the color or the composition or the spirit of it.

Maybe the next painting will be a little faster with some nice globs of paint.

Happy painting!