Monday, January 30, 2012

Value and Color Relationship

Camp Lucy Chapel    8x10   oil


















This was done on a Saturday morning paintout with my new friends in Plein Air Austin.  I've been meaning to get together with them for way too long.  I joined the group, and checked off one of my painting "to do's" for this year.  There are some terrific painters in the group, and it's a great inspiration for me to go out and paint with them.  Major thanks to our president, Johnnie Sielbeck, for all of her hard and faithful work to organize and schedule our painting locations. This was a gorgeous spot, named Camp Lucy, in the Hill Country just outside of Dripping Springs on a road that I often scour for painting sites.

While I'm setting up to paint I try to remind myself that I'm not there to create a finished painting, but to capture the essence of what's moving me to paint at the moment.  It helps me to focus on accomplishing something other than recording the "thing" in front of me.  For me, the subject is not the thing. It's the light, the mood, the feeling of the moment.  My best chance of getting some of that into my work comes as I make the conscious mind-switch to see the simple shape, value, color and edge relationships.  In this one, I was trying to give special attention to the arrangement of shapes with right values.  I've found that if I can get the values right, and simplify their design, I can more effectively bring out a nice color harmony.

Since color can be broken down into value, hue, and saturation, by first getting the value relationships right (light to shade) I can then work with the questions of "what kind of red, or blue or yellow is this?", "is this color warmer or cooler compared to that other one?" The fun is when you start seeing, on your canvas, how beautiful the colors can be together when their brought into a proper relationship.  When I look at my little study, I can recall the feeling of that crisp, sunny morning.  I was encouraged by this one  to try another study of a new subject, the next morning.  I'll probably show that one to you, soon.  


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