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Old 08-07-2006, 01:07 PM
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Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

My partner forum is going to be no more...(*note- today's date is April 16, 2009) and I thought a number of threads I had there would yet serve some folks moved into the general forum. This thread was a result of a workshop I taught in Juneau, Alaska a couple years ago. A summation and referring thread of the basic palettes I taught, both as an additional aide for my workshop students, and others interested.

As many now know, I had been studying the works of Emile A. Gruppe and Edgar Payne quite a bit...their ideas, palettes and methods of instruction to students. While I find my own methods of direct painting easy for me after over 10 years of such painting outdoors (near 20 years painting instudio prior), I have found introducing the palettes Gruppe and Payne prescribed easier for students in a practical sense. Focus can be on painting and less on the fear of outdoor light changing. Such fear can take over reasoning capabilities so that the student is soon chasing the light...which means as the light changes, parts of their painting changes, and creating harmony and unity at such point is very difficult. Also...the original idea or compulsion that initiated the work can be lost, at which point the painting is lost. A system approach keeps that all in tact from the get-go.

The plus though (for example with the split-complementary palette) is that harmonies and color relationships can be quite lovely, and in time for the artist predictable, which is a great thing to be armed with when heading outdoors to paint.

There were basically five palette strategies I taught in Alaska...the idea being to expose the artists/students to the strategies with no thinking they were to master them in short order, but to allow them to see each demonstrated, attempt each...and get a feel for which strategy might at the present time suit them and their fancy. Time and use will bring a level of mastery, and at which time their intuition and gut hunch combined will produce good individual works.

The first palette used was simply setting up a grayscale priority...and this was simple for the students to understand because I had them do a small quick painted value study each day to start their larger effort. Not judging values rightly is the number one reason artists outdoors do not get the color right nor get the impression of what compelled them to the scene.



The above palette is responding to a good many greens in the scene, a few darks needed as well..and just basically to get the painting off to a start. You see that I have a dark green, mid green, and light green. Yet each green is controlled by slightly neutralizing it. When I mixed up my greens I had two things in mind..first, to attain the right value, secondly to control its strength by mixing a bit of the complement (red) into it.

By premixing your palette...you see from the get go that a bit of harmony already exists before you even begin your painting.

The painting I demonstrated was with rain falling, much gray in the sky...and perfect thus for a grayscale painting demonstration-



This was day one...and one palette strategy.

Another palette strategy was to first paint a reddish undertone. My blogspot shows quite a few works using this reddish undertone in the June and July archived folders especially. This I adapted after reading quite a bit of stuff from Emile Gruppe's book on brushwork, which I borrowed from a interloan library.
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Last edited by LarrySeiler : 04-16-2009 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 08-07-2006, 01:07 PM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

I'll share a few examples here of the reddish undertone...and the versatility it allows for...with various palettes...

Here is one I painted on location about four days ago...later afternoon...a big drop off of gorgeous rock over looking Lake Superior...
first the blockin...using a modified Gruppe reddish undertone...plus you see some painting strokes that have begun over the top...



Here it is, 9"x 12" finished...



The reds are allowed to come thru or sensed throughout the planes (background, mid and foregrounds) and creates a harmony. They also help to control the greens of nature, and for a reason I am not yet completely and fully knowledgable of seems to create more luminoscity and brightness of the lighting.

I often begin many of my outdoor paintings now with a reddish undertone, building up darker and lighter red values...with turps, quickly absorbing into the ground so that within minutes of finishing and wiping my palette mixing area off...it feels dry to touch and I'm ready to overpaint.

Here are a couple others...

this one an 11"x 14" that stressed values oriented palette painted over a reddish undertone...


one more...
8"x10"


here is a link to my partner forum here at WC...with an entire thread created on my experiments alone using the reddish undertone...and thus, I'll refrain from showing more images of that here...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=345248

my blogspot...especially May-July will show quite a few reddish undertone experiments on my part...
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Last edited by LarrySeiler : 08-07-2006 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 08-07-2006, 01:08 PM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

another palette is the use of what commonly used as a strategy in the early to mid 1900's by outdoor painters such as Payne and Gruppe, which was referred to as a "pigment soup"...

This comprises of squinting the eyes...sensing the prevailing light and its influence as regards color, and electing a dominant color, and mixing a pile of it.

From that point on...the artist pulls a bit of the piled paint into each color seen in the scene before him/her, thus influencing each color to lean toward that color. Difficulty comes in learning just the right amount to pull in, and a common mistake when first learning this is to draw too much of the dominant color in. Moderation is a good way to first learn this.

My own tendency is to add a bit of the opposite color for this dominant (its complement) to take just a bit of the sting out of the color strength and subdue it slightly.

One can choose really any color for aesthetic purposes to be the "soup" thus electing to ignore actual color seen for perhaps an abstract emotive intent.

I'll give a couple examples here of "soup" pieces, some demos...

two 5"x 7" studies of Alaskan seining fishing boats...each about 15-20 minutes exectution-





a 9"x 12" effort done at the stern of a ferry my son and I both took from Juneau to Sitka (four hour trip and then back), once at dock. Only had 30 minutes before departure and return to Juneau...so done with great haste, a few finishing marks once underway...



in both cases above...I had scraped left over paint from previous painting sessions into one pile, what some might call "mud"...which usually is always a gray, often leaning toward a green tint. It is one way to save on some paint, using it to begin another. I will often add more blue to the pile to lean it toward blue if that is what I am sensing, and so forth.

another...9"x 12" oil..


this was a soup painted over a reddish undertone..
9"x 12" demo-


and a soup painted in about 15-20 minutes for students, demonstrating the efficiency and speed adapting to such a system can offer an experienced painter...




I often use the "soup" much like a potter might practice throwing off the hump...

in this case....instead of wedging one lump of clay for one pot...the potter puts an enormous pile of clay on the wheel, and bothers to center only a small amount on the top each time, making a pot...then removing it with calipers to set aside, then returns to the pile to center another small amount on top...makes another pot, cuts it off...and so forth. In this way the potter can make a large dinner set in little time...but, it takes practice, and the novice potter would have difficulty.

I have heard some artists trying the "soup" method...but they speak of their failures and frustrations, and I suspect it is because they failed to get their values to read properly. So long as the values are spot on...you can nearly use any coloration. You must have dark enough darks where needed, and light enough lights...or you'll experience a sense of producing muddy efforts.

Larry
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Old 08-07-2006, 01:08 PM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

Lastly...I'll explain the complementary approach, one that I am at the present enjoying the most for myself...

For your reference, a YouTube video I have that explains the concepts of the split-comp palette I think rather clearly....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU6_0...e=channel_page



in the palette above...I determined my dominant to lean toward a yellow-green present light. I was teaching just the complement palette for this session, which was to choose a dominant, and then its opposite on the RYB colorwheel (complement). The yellow-green color (tertiary) would have as its opposite another tertiary, reddish-violet. Thus I premixed my pigments then according to descending values from the lightest yellow-green, using white.

Here was my demo of that palette for this session...a 5"x 7" quick study-


basically you want to aim for more of the dominant chosen to be felt and seen, the complement less so. In a sense it reads somewhat monochromatic, but has more excitement to it.

After this...next day, I taught and demonstrated the SPLIT-complementary palette strategy, which begins by electing your dominant color, then going across on the RYB colorwheel to its complement (opposite) and choosing the immediate adjacent colors residing next to the complement. These are the splits.

Thus...if your dominant color is for example blue...the two adjacent residing splits are next to blue's opposite/complementary color orange. Thus, you would mix up a pile of blue for the dominant, and a pile of yellow-orange, and red-orange...plus white. Those would be the three colors plus white that you would use, and use ONLY...

If you chose a tertiary as the dominant, such as bluish-green...then the splits would be orange and red. Always the dominant remains just that in the painting...the dominant sensed hue, the splits playing a lesser role. But, all colors interpreted from the scene are mixed up using the splits with the dominant plus white.

Again...its important to have a darkest dark available for values to read right.

Payne quite frequently worked with a split-comp palette, and you do a Google search on Edgar Payne, and add Redfern Gallery to that search where you'll see many enlargeable thumbnails of Payne's work to study.

Here are a few of my examples and demos of the split-



a yellow-orangish/pinkish-tan color was my dominant...and I chose blue and green as my splits...

my demo ...an 11"x 14" oil of the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, and here I wanted a bluish-violet on this predominantly overcast day to be felt throughout, with the splits being yellow and orange. My greens thus made from the splits with that bluish-violet color..



this was my split-comp demo, a 5"x7"...the original which I then referred to in my other example above. The difference is I chose a different dominant above to this one here...


again...I chose bluish-violet as my dominant, and yellow and orange as my splits.

Hope that gives some examples...and helps explain a number of palette strategies!!!
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Last edited by LarrySeiler : 04-15-2009 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 08-07-2006, 01:09 PM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

oh yes...and my palette, limited...but, with these palette systems I believe I am easily able to make it appear as though I must have had many colors on my palette. Especially when a reddish undertone is first applied.

My colors are...
Utrecht French Ultramarine blue (nice, dark, rich)
W&N Bright Red
Cadmium Lemon Yellow (any good brand)
Utrecht Naples Yellow
Viridian Green
Titanium white
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:04 AM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

The following is pasted here from discussion in another forum and thread, thoughts I decided I'd like not to bury in another thread and which might be appropriate to this thread's topic.

The topic of the former thread was whether many mix as they go painting on the fly...some offering their own reasons why...but many seemed to opt for the on the fly mix as you go approach.

Since that preference was also mine for near 27 years of painting until more recently studying Payne and Gruppe, I don't criticize or discount what can be done with it, or that one can become skilled and capable going that route. In fact, as an art instructor...I taught many how to become skilled painting on the fly. I am coming to believe as I get a bit older, however...that there might be advantages, perhaps more saneness in slipping into attaining skill and facility, avoiding perhaps much heartache, trial and error, frustration or even thoughts of giving up. With that in mind...I paste my thoughts here for consideration....

- - - -


yep...one learning to paint directly, mixing on the fly definitely develops (and must) a sense of working on impulse...intuitively, and arriving at the place is fun.

That was how I painted, and often still paint...but my eyes were made to open working with students in workshop situations. For one...there is no avoiding the making of many many paintings, and often bad ones...to happen upon an eventual facility to paint effectively on the fly and without premixing.

I am encouraged to see so many participating in the thread that have worked out that sticktoitiveness and daring.

Working with adults though...I came to discover that what came so easy for me was not such an easy proposition for them. We so easily forget we were willing to bear the burden and overcome our moments, and we presume others should simply be able to grab their own bootstraps and do the same. As an instructor...one cannot afford such propositions, for it won't meet the needs of many that want to become capable painters. What will happen is you might work thru the workshop...holding the hands and cheerleading each participant to at least produce one half-way decent painting for the workshop, but several weeks after you have gone...they are once more alone with their inhibitions, intimidations, frazzled by nature throwing things at them and doing bad paintings.

As I told my last group of students...guaranteeing one good work for their workshop effort might be a bit like buying someone hungry a plate of fish, whereas teaching them how to fish could help them feed themselves and family from that time on.

Its easy for us as instructors to simply shrug our shoulders and count such folks as perhaps not having the right stuff, perhaps not as serious about painting such that the moment of heat reveals their lack of substance and fortitude. Besides...we can relax knowing they're going to have to paint 100 more paintings regardless of what could be taken in in one workshop anyway, to get a feel for it.

However...I have to be honest...when adult students get a good sense of what foundational principles and systems are about, they get a handle on their fears, inhibitions. Their confidence falls upon tried and true approaches by predecessors, and thus a failure may be more a sign of making one error in thinking the matter thru then as an inevitable indication they are simply not meant to be a painter.

Anyone teaching workshops will know many adults nearly have a small inner child that fears failing and looks for the first indications of such to call it quits and a day.

As a painter and instructor...I find teaching opportunities time to observe others and learn myself. So...I applaud myself, and many others that have endeavored and feel confident about painting directly and what one sees, but I began premixing more as a necessity to make painting less a mystery for my students. In the process of observing students, what works for them and why...I actually learned more about painting for myself and the wisdom of past painter/instructors such as Edgar Payne and Emile Gruppe.

A painting that doesn't turn out might be simply choosing the wrong dominant root color to begin with...and in hindsight, the student is charged up once more to give it another go realizing the fault was in the wrong choice and not in the futility of their hopes to be a painter. This is a benefit of premixing.

I mention this not as a cause for argument, for I am already a direct on the fly painter myself and have been for near 30 years. Especially since 20 of those years was painting acrylics, and premixing doesn't work too well where paint dries near immediately. hahaaaa....

I mention this to confess I saw little value or need for premixing until I began using it more as an approach with students. Immediately these students, even with little experience...began to see creative options and aesthetic choices. Their confidence attached to understanding was impetus to begin new efforts again and again.

Let's face it...one of the hurdles we face and must overcome in learning to paint direct and on the fly is how to orchestrate, direct and wind up with a work that holds together in co-hesive unity and harmony. It requires many paintings under our belt, the process of eliminating the many prior road blocks, traps, and underpinnings...to gain hindsight, and develop the speed to get an idea down before nature's light changes. It's a tall order to start a painting with one available light and see it thru carrying a similar lighting long after the whole lighting has altered. Many paintings under the belt will in time provide confidence one can accomplish this, and this confidence is what makes painting on the fly mixing as you go both a challenge and fun to conqueor.

Many folks just don't have that fortitude, strength of character, or patience to see success to that end.

It has caused me to be a motivator, an encourager, and one that holds to many quotes to pick up the spirit of the discouraged and see that there is no other way to arrive eventually at successful works but the pains of seeing many poor and failing efforts thru to get there. I've used Churchill's quote often...still do, that says..."success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm"....and Degas who said, "painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do!"

True...dues must be paid, but premixing for the most part is senseless and ridiculous if not part of a plan. Its beauty and logic, reasonableness is when it is understood to pre'empt and thus carry out a plan.

Funny thing is...many of us as artists are of the character where we do not like plans, rigidity, formula and so forth. We don't like restraint...and resent that if we were a mighty train engine that we would have to be held to those tracks. We'd prefer to jump tracks...but in so doing, we would entrench our heavy engine into the mud going nowhere.

It is that going "nowhere" feeling that many painters (especially attempting plein air) must wrestle thru...and many not successfully. They are especially frustrated when it appears others have worked thru.

Train tracks do however serve to give the engine purpose. Going from point "A" to point "B" might be restrictive, but it gives credence to why the engine was designed and employed to begin with. When an engine is worked out of the mud...many days later and with great effort, philosophically and metaphorically...one learns to appreciate finding one's purpose, and being able to open up and speed along one's course brings a new and refreshing sense of finding one's self.

So...a direction that is time honored and proven will show the engine that didn't think it could...that in reality, it is an engine that can.

What Payne argues for....is that a foundational working idea in time will lead the mature artist to freely follow their intuition and gut hunch. Sorta like that engine opening up and lettin' er fly down the tracks.

You will find it difficult for one...to opt to choose a dominant color and set up a split-complementary palette to arrive at a desire effect if you have to mix up those splits over and over and over again. Much easier (especially for the beginner to intermediate) to be taught to mix up a pile of a dominant...and then assign the splits, then setting them up....and go.

The underpainting/block-in for the direct on the fly painter is a God send...for it cuts a lot of the guess work, a lot of what might have to be otherwise thought thru, and gives the feeling of control. It helps get what the light is doing, down..and quickly.

Another thing that I've been coming to now..after about 10-11 years of plein air painting is that "why paint this scene?" thing.

I submit its possible in time to arrive to a place where simply recording what one sees begins to feel as though less in touch with nature, really. As though outward appearance alone is all there is to nature.

Hard to explain except to compare it to a romance and marriage.

I will be married thirty years this next coming February...and it does get better and better. It was not simply possible for me to know what I know about my wife all in the first couple years...and she becomes more and more beautiful to me, but such beauty extends beyond simply her outward appearance.

This tends (especially in our culture) to be the all in all in dating and romance, to find one's ideal attraction...but we all know that is cheap and shallow.

So...after awhile...painting on location one begins to feel MORE from nature. Perhaps one must exhaust what nature looks like to begin to get that, and why some artists seem to arrive at that so early in their painting career and others later (like myself), I'm not quite so sure.

But...experimenting with systems of time honored past traditions in alla prima methods...toying from Schmid..S.Christensen, to John Carlson...Hawthorne, E.Payne and Gruppe...I am beginning to get a sense there is more to nature, a deeper level...an intimacy these preplanned foundational systems are helping to uncover and disclose.

Painting not just what nature looks like to me...but feels like to me.

I see Bill Wray's paintings here...in urban settings. Now...if I were to simply paint what I saw set up next to Bill...I would surmise my work would be vastly different. (well...different regardless...), but Bill has a way to paint the scene that rings and connects to how we might leave the area feeling of it. If that makes sense.

I think Bills emotive painting ways are more liberated...but to a degree many painters here have an emotive way about them. Lee's New York bridges, his arches and so forth, his hazy air, spacey convincing distances...they do more than tell us about New York...but we get a "feel" for New York.

One may in time come to be comfortable with arriving eventually to their on the fly manner...and consistent work may in time come to identify the artist. I did...and my work for many years carried a look that identified it as mine. I am, howver...coming to realize as an instructor of art and painting that it is possible to come to greater quicker understanding of why somethig works and what I want to MAKE work for myself by experimenting and using palette strategies.

A palette strategy that does not begin with a plan or idea of intent, is no strategy at all.

Now...the plan may not be obvious. A block in...wipe the palette clean, and then go on the fly is afterall a plan. We can make it work...if we see it thru and pay our dues. Just don't totally discount there are benefits to palette strategies. There is a rhyme and a reason to the genuis, the mastery, and the results of past masters such as Payne and Gruppe, and it is there for us to consider and borrow from.

Plans...other than the on the fly palette will require some organizing of intentions and directions, and is most reasonably managed when premixing. The short list of palettes I provided in my last post will require it...and they result in paintings of a style or intent that are predictable to the moment and mood you want.

I fully believe that when I chose a split-complementary palette and reddish undertone to do this one last weekend...


...that it would really ring true to the moment, not only how it looked, but also how it felt. I more or less experimented trying the split-complementary strategy to see if it would turn out that way, and it did. I knew that were I to simply paint on the fly allowing gut hunch and mixing as I go...that I would have pretty much arrived at the near same result...which would have been easy enough for me after so many years of painting, but in truth had a particular ease about it as an elected pre-thought out strategy, that no doubt would serve newer younger painters.

So...as I am learning from workshops that a number of my students have been long time lurkers here at WC, never participating- so often never addressing their concerns and making them known, if you are beginning to paint plein air, entertaining it or between a novice and intermediate and a lurker to this thread today...there remains a choice beyond painting on the fly mixing as you go- not decrying the one, but espousing the benefits to consider of the other.

Many artists (as you read and continue to read) have come to overcome obstacles, have been stubborn to the point of developing eventual ability and facility painting on the fly mixing as they go...but, if the proposition of that is a bit overwhelming and you struggle to keep the faith, keep trying beyond one failure to the next...then I'd recommend getting your hands if possible on Edgar Payne's "Composition of Outdoor Painting" and borrow from your library Emile Gruppe's book, "Brushwork for the Oil Painter" and come to see that many successful painters and past plein air traditions relied upon proven and working systematic strong approaches.

There will ALWAYS be time after spending some length growing with a palette strategy and pre-mixing to see your confidence soar, your gut hunch begin to take over...and intuit to your heart's content. See such as a launching pad. There is much to be covered and gone over before liftoff...and sometimes sitting in that shuttle it may seem that it is always about lifting off. However, once in space...you will find it is time for you to go about your business. It is in preparation and takeoff that will get you there.

Its all about enjoying painting...but as well all know, the education and dues paid getting us to that point is not always about fun, nor easy. So whether you get there trial and error, paint as you go...on the fly, learn as you fail, as you succeed...or with some fundamental system as a way to go about it that may encourage mixing up your color, (also paying dues...but with an order that makes it more manageable and clarifies matters taking heat off of a lot of moments of self-doubting)...understand its worth getting there...to that point where painting is joy and celebration.

To all....forgive the rant, thank you for your indulgence and tolerance... just thought I'd share from a position of hindsight I think...perhaps from an old fool...who knows.

peace..

Larry
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Last edited by LarrySeiler : 08-09-2006 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 08-13-2006, 01:33 PM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

Some additional thoughts for those weighing between painting direct on the fly mix as you go...or systems such as Gruppe and Payne's.

My book on painting, the subtitle says, "the Art of Seeing & Doing"...which bespeaks of what I've done for near 25 some years of painting, see it...see it rightly...then put it down in paint rightly. What a number in the plein air forum refer to as painting on the fly, mixing as you go.

I seem to be of a sudden minority with these experiments, since it would seem most artists put out their tube colors...then simply mix and paint. Surely I do not speak against that...for as I said, I have built a life on that approach as well as taught and wrote on such.

Don't know really if its getting older and hoping to yet push myself more, or my starting a masters in painting setting my own directions last year...but I have enjoyed reading about the early painters of the oil sketch in the field (Cole, Church, Durand, Bierstadt, and so forth), and more recently John Carlson, Emile A. Gruppe and Edgar Payne.

They advocated, used and taught/advised painting students of their own to work with various palette strategies. So, I have been reading, studying those strategies...attempting to put aside my own practices for years for the purpose of education...to see what I might see, learn what I might learn.

The current issue of American Artist magazine has an article written by Collin Fry that begins with this-
Quote:
"Mastering color--making it work so it contributes to painting success--can be difficult for even the most experienced painter, and plunging ahead into a piece without a real plan for color and value can lead to disappointment and frustration. However with some insight into the characterics of color, and some experimentation, one can soon paint with greater confidence and skill."

My mantra for years has been to point out that this painting from life thing will require many many failed attempts. I oft say it takes about 120 bad paintings to learn something about painting.

Winston Churchill said, "success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm"

When one paints for oneself, and does not spend time working with others...one can with tenacity and sheer stubborness in time arrive at a time and chapter in their artistic life where successes begin to outnumber the failures. You develop a sense of how to go about this stuff...anticipate what not to do (knowing from experience where that would lead), and simply being out there you begin to understand nature well enough to accomodate all the pile of logs nature will throw at you.

By "pile of logs" I refer to the endless detail and things you discover that were not part of what you first noticed, and secondly...that the visual information will change as the light changes.

It takes a long time and a strong will & constitution to outlast your frustrations of nature's light constantly in flux. You know this is the right way to paint...and not copy photographs, but photos are conveniently still.

In time...with many failed attempts behind you, an understanding of nature means you can stick to what you remember nature was first doing and ignore what it is NOW doing.

That in a sense slowly develops into this "real plan" Fry speaks of...but it is not the kind of plan that the masters of America's past understood.

At first...it seems formulaic to consider painting a red undertone when a red undertone is not what you are seeing in the scene before you. Simply mixing up the color you do see and paint direct seems to have greater integrity.

However...nature will....WILL change its light, and many artists find themselves thereafter tempted to "chase the light"...

Chasing the light means having finished one part of the painting in accordance to one kind of light, then seeing nature do something different and fall into the error of recording the new kind of light. You then have to tweak or fix what has been done so that it comes into agreement with the new light direction, OR you have to forsake what the new light information is to stick with the original (and now committed to memory) idea of what it was like when you began.

so...then arguably, the artist knowing that harmony and continuity must hold the final work together has to wrestle with how to go about this.

One either learns to paint the mix as you go on the fly method incredibly fast with boldness to get it down before changes occur in light (and blocking an underpainting certainly helps get a jump on that), or entertains another way to go about this. Either way...a compromise must take place at some point, for one really cannot continue to mix on the fly and paint what they see purely if the light keeps changing, for there would be three different paintings (for example) executed in 1-1/2 to 2 hours time.

Thinking about that compromise...I was able to take my thoughts off the purist approach of mix as you paint on the fly direct painting long enough to consider if Gruppe and Payne weren't on to something.

I found in the process that the reddish undertones helped control the greens of nature, and painters often discuss in anguish their frustration with that. I found an odd property that light feels more luminous with a reddish undertone.

Though I use a limited palette...it feels like I must have used more color.

Payne points out two interesting things...one, that compared to the number of values one's eye can see (which he says is about 400...) pigment can only really represent about 40 of them. Also...he suggests that the brilliance of color in nature is about 3,000 times greater than what pigment itself can produce, so...their palette strategies and systems developed in the many historied experiments to bring efforts to better simulate the light of nature given the deficit of pigment.

One prepares their palette with the prejudices of what colors they will put out on the palette. One uses sixteen colors...another opts for a limited palette of three primaries, white and perhaps a couple others. These preconceived notions are of a prejudiced preferred nature or bias...and so, I don't see that more a greater lack of integrity to then turn one's attention to analyzing the light and coming to elect a color palette strategy.

There is a correlation of harmony built into each system they used and taught that begins by direct seeing and choosing a dominant color, and that being the case is yet a child of the painting direct approach outdoors IMHO...
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:05 PM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

I've actually done quite a few works using the split-complementary palette now...and have several video demonstrations on YouTube...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU6_08YFAFw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJN5zfgpdMA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afAtQvWuTSs

... my son...a high end caricaturist/illustrator, having understood what I'm doing using the split-complementary is also from time to time applying the method to his art thru digital painting or actual oils. Digitally, he'll create a pile of virtual color...sampling a pre-determined palette and has a YouTube video on his blogspot giving one more opportunity to see just what can be done. It might be a limited palette...but certainly is not limiting! Not plein air, though Jason is painting plein air these days...but one more way to further understand the concept and cement its possible use for plein air.

Jason's demo-
http://jasonseilerillustration.blogs...ing-video.html

of...Tim Burton..
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Last edited by LarrySeiler : 04-16-2009 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:01 AM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

bumping this up...
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:51 PM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

Great reading here Larry...Being new to PA I'll study this hard...

Jane
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Old 04-16-2009, 05:55 PM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

Thanks Larry.....just tons of great infomation here
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:55 PM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

Larry, Thanks for the "bump" as it gets better each time I read it.
Easter blessings to you and yours.
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:58 PM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

Larry, thanks for so much interesting information. What a workshop that must have been in Alaska! Pre-mixing the palette before beginning to paint make so much sense. Those red undertones make sense too, especially for landscapes with all the green. Really appreciate your sharing!
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:26 AM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

Thank you so much for sharing your lessons with us. How many years would it take me to figure this out on my own. Even with you spelling it all out, I still have to learn it. Thank you very much.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:57 AM
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Re: Summary of Varying Palette Strategies

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeymac
Great reading here Larry...Being new to PA I'll study this hard...

Jane

thanks Jane...

my advice is don't push things...

have the attitude it is great to be alive, and painting is a way you physically grab hold of the moment and celebrate that! Thus...its not just about whether or not you pull off a successful painting, but that by painting you have successfully more fully lived the moment...and did so more intimately with nature. Such should rejuvenate you...to keep you going past any potential failures.

I oft say it takes about 120 bad paintings to learn something about painting, so embracing that intimacy to enjoy the outdoors is important.

Secondly...limit your palette. Focus on getting the values right.

Lastly...determine what gets your attention as well as your viewers, and downplay everything else to get some sense of learning how to prioritize and organize your painting time as well as the painting.

that should help kick start your painting time outdoors!!! Have fun!

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