I tried out all kinds of new things with today’s painting for my 9 mini landscape paintings project! A wide format, split complementary palette, a sunset…
This one was inspired by an impromptu photo excursion on a recent Sunday evening. I wanted to catch the low light over the lake and made it just in time to snap a few sunset shots. There were a few other people enjoying the peacefulness of this hidden little fishing spot on the lake. I felt like we were all sneaking in the final glimpse of the setting sun and savoring some quiet time before Monday morning brought a new week of responsibilities.
With the backlighting in this scene, my composition is based on the silhouette design stem. I wish I had taken the time to pay more attention and make notes on what was happening in the shadows of the trees because that didn’t get picked up by the camera. Good thing to keep in mind for next time: take fewer photos and spend time taking notes!
I chose a split complementary color scheme of yellow-orange, blue, and violet. My palette consisted of cadmium yellow (Holbein’s is a pretty good match for yellow-orange), ultramarine violet, cadmium red deep, cobalt blue pale, and ivory black. I mixed ultramarine violet (a blue violet) with the red to get a more true violet. The intensity of the blue and violet were lowered with ivory black + white, and the yellow-orange was lowered with violet + white.
After watching a demo of another artist who uses only linseed oil as her medium, I had the idea to try making the oil paper I’m using slicker to ease moving the paint around. So I brushed linseed oil all over the oil paper before beginning to paint, and used it to loosen the paint as well. This paper was toned with a mid-value yellow ochre/ivory black mix. After sketching in the main shapes with my brush, I went straight for the average color and value of each shape instead of doing a monochromatic block in.
I’m glad to have a better understanding of how to make color schemes work, thanks to some lessons from Dianne Mize. Before, I was super confused about how to make the colors work together harmoniously. Now I see that it’s about controlling the intensity, and not about making it super obvious what the hues are.