30 Days of Value Thumbnails – Day 15

mini painting color study Grand Tetons May 13 2019
Mini color study, “Watching Over”, 3×4 oil on paper

Today’s mini color study feels like a rousing success after yesterday’s disaster! I got clear on my color mixing strategy, made sure there was enough contrast in my value plan, and did a better job of staying within the value range of each major shape with the colors.

I also referenced a black and white version of the reference photo much more than the color printout, to help me remember to make good color harmony, not copy the colors in the reference.

For color mixing, I used a rather limited palette of yellow deep, winsor orange, alizarin permanent, ultramarine blue, and viridian. I discovered a few mixes I really liked when I did my big chart of pigment combos recently and this was an excellent opportunity to try them out together.

I tied the mountains in with the foreground by adding some dabs of the light blue-violet along the ground where I saw dead trees and other light-valued patches. And I incorporated a deeper version of this violet in the darkest shadows of the trees. I didn’t set out to use a triadic palette, but it largely ended up being orange, violet, and green in various intensities, temperatures, and values.

Reference photo from our Grand Tetons trip
Value thumbnail of simple shapes
Black and white value check of my color study