Mia and husband John are putting together a series of new works for next month! More, MUCH MORE, to come.
Back in the studio! I'm trying a new technique of adding a ground layer of medium before painting to mimic a wet-on-wet technique. Pleasing.
...here is my best attempt at explaining to others how I use color swatches to control color. I paint primarily in three layers. The first two layers are opaque paint. As I paint the first layer, roughing in the shapes and trying to get a general idea of color, I record all of the paint colors I used on the swatch of primed birch panel. You can see the first layer's colors on the left third of the swatch. Once I've had time to study the finished first layer and have decided where I want the painting to go, I sand it smooth. As I mix up colors for the second layer of paint, I can quickly reference them against the first layer's mixed colors. I either match them to the first layer if I lucked into getting it right the first time, or more likely, adjust them to reflect the changes I want to make. Before I start painting with this second set of colors, I paint them over the first layer's colors on the right two-thirds of the swatch. At this point I either stick with the new colors for the second layer, or wipe them off the swatch and adjust again. This allows me to make very finite changes in brightness, hue, and saturation. The shifts in color may be small, but the effect can be enormous. At this point, my color mixing is done and I am free to focus solely on painting all the detail I can manage. In this example, the bottom right corner of the painting is the last section to complete in the second layer of paint, using basically the bottom half and right two-thirds of colors on the swatch to paint in the grass and leaves. Once the second layer has dried, I will glaze the painting with a translucent glaze to heighten the atmosphere, in this case a heavy grey obscuring the background, shifting to a clear glaze for the foreground. I will test it out first, using the last right one-third of the swatch to see the effect before committing to glazing the painting. Best of all, when the painting sells it is gone forever, but the next time I am working on a cloudy sky or foggy scene, I can pull out this swatch and any others of a similar bent for reference to get a quick start on the first layer of that painting. Hope this helped! -jb.