Sunday, June 24, 2018

Plein Air with Limited Palette

Primary Palettte, 5'x 7"
I finally got a chance to do some plein air painting at our cabin on a small lake in North Jersey.  I had just finished reading Macpherson's "Landscape Painting", and tried two of his limited palettes.  The first is a primary palette of Cadmium Yellow Light,  Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, and White. It felt a little constraining but I like the results.  I think I missed having Cerulean Blue and Cadmium Red Medium the most.

The next day I tried his earth tone palette of Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Chromatic Black, and White.  This was a challenge!  It was impossible to get the colors that were actually in the landscape but at least the values were right.  I was surprised at how blue the Chromatic Black was when I added White.  But when mixed with the Yellow Ochre for green it worked more like Ivory Black and produced an olive green that really wasn't what I was going for.
Earth Tone Palette, 5"x 7"

Then I tried a spilt primary palette of one cool and one warm of each primary.  I used Cadmium Lemon Yellow for a cool yellow and Cadmium Yellow Medium for a warmer yellow.  Cadmium Red Light was my warm red and Alizarin Crimson was my cool red.  I used both Ultramarine Blue (warm) and Cerulean Blue (cool), and White.
Split Primary, 4"x 6"

This last painting was late afternoon and I had intended to concentrate on the reflections but the wind wouldn't cooperate.  So I tried to do a closer view of the houses and I added Thalo Green to my palette.  I like Thalo Green and Alizarin Crimson to make rich darks but I think I got carried away with them and got too dark.
Split Primary w/ Thalo Green, 4'x 6"

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