Next, I decided on a color strategy.
I could have included or used just about any color scheme here. In the past, indecision about what colors to put in would have caused me to seize up.
Now I know better. . . so I chose orange.
Every color in this painting is based off of orange! The purples, greens and especially the blues.
Having a simple plan before you start a painting can help you get further along when you need to work fast.
Toned canvas was pretty much a mystery to me for a long time. Until I started thinking logically about it. Off and on for years, I toned my canvases with just about any color and value, sometimes multi-colors and values. But now that I have certain convictions about what a landscape needs, I find that:
Careful consideration for the undertone's VALUE and INTENSITY aids in efficient painting in the field.
Since I believe that a landscape painting without atmospheric perspective just isn't a landscape, I am always finding ways to promote it in my paintings.
Five devices for promoting atmospheric perspective:
• Cool it.
• Grey it.
• De-emphasize detail
• De-emphasize contrast
• Lighten it.
Undertone Value and Contrast Control
It's "de-emphasize contrasts" that I pay a lot of attention to. In short, I control my foreground, middle ground and background contrasts from the very start. If my undertone is getting in the way of that, I'm not working efficiently. I want to avoid having to go back into the painting to lower the contrasts in the background. The value of the undertone should work for us and not against us here.
The other aspect of the undertone is intensity or color saturation. I build my paintings on relationships, so if my initial tone is too saturated, I have less control over it from the start. It can inhibit my ability to judge subsequent masses as they are blocked in. Too colorful an undertone, and I am always competing with it. Too grey, and I can't seem to make the block-in colorful enough.
Finally, I think the undertone color (hue) is up to the artist. Whatever conveys your inspiration and sentiment the best.
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Here I talk about art, my process, and what I have learned painting in oils for the past 15 years.
RayMar Monthly Finalist
What a wonderful still life. It has luscious color and variety of shapes. I love the abstract nature of this painting. The artist took this still life and made it his own with the conscious outlining and color variations. It is filled with life and energy.
- Camille Przewodek
RayMar Monthly Finalist
This is a small painting, which is common to those painted en plein air, and its intimate size makes it an exquisite gem. Everything that should be in a larger, more developed work is to be found here: an adept grouping of values into two strong light and shadow shapes, additional grouping of those shapes using a division of warms and cools, and a fresh handling of paint that can be difficult to maintain in a studio setting. Some folks might consider this to be a sketch. I consider it a complete painting. The colors remain clean because each stroke has been carefully considered and laid down in a sensible order. Enough transparency remains to spice up the larger shapes, and attention was given to the direction of the brush pulls. Troy knows how to start and when to stop. We can all learn a lesson from that, right?"
- Thomas Jefferson Kitts