Mixing by "the method"

Tonight I spent my time color mixing for a white Japanese vase in a new still life, and it was one of those nights where there is NO WAY I would have mixed any of the colors I came up with using the color checker. Dark purples for the shadows, oranges for the reflected light, and weird light brownish colors for the lit "white" part of the vase. Tomorrow I'll paint it using those colors and I know that it will be right. If this was my first TMC painting though, I would be freaking out, it looks so wrong. Just sayin'.


  • Martin, it will be interesting to see your WIP. Perhaps the most interesting thing is, those aren't the only colors that would give you your vase. If you had 10 leading artists paint the same vase in the same setting and same light, probably all 10 would use a different palette depending on how they painted, and all 10 would look like your vase. Colors are so very interesting and so is style.
  • I think that you're absolutely right. I'll definitely take some photos. I'm having some motivation problems with this painting though. As soon as I set it up and sketched it out on the canvas, I had two other ideas (for a portrait and a landscape) that I've been thinking about more than this one.
  • I'm trying 2 portraits at one time right now. I think I like this approach as something different for me. AZ works on multiple canvases all the time. My subconscious works on problems with one while my paint brush works on the other one. I don't find it a problem with the paint since I'm using Mark's limited palette for the most part. I've added Payne's Grey for these two. Why don't you try working on two if you have the physical means to hold the canvases?
  • Well done Martin! I think you meant to say you wouldn't have come up with the colors 'without' using the color checker. I don't mean to be changing what you meant and if I did I need to remove that comment. I hope you stay with the method for several paintings before moving on.....your color mixing experience is a good example of why I believe this. By staying with the method, your learning to see colors that you would not have seen otherwise if I understand your opening post. I believe in maintaining your focus on your current painting for many reasons including just the time element involved in working in wet paint. You have shown yourself to have a wonderfully creative mind through your drawings. Show the same patience and undivided attention with your early paintings as you've shown with your drawings and, I believe, it will deepen your learning experience and deepen it quicker. Everyone is different in how they maintain focus, or how many pieces they can work on or why they have to work on multiple pieces. In John's case he makes a living with his art and has to turn out a certain number to make a living - now that's motivation! Your results remind me of the color mixing Mark went through in his first DVD...remember the white tea pot? Virtually no white color puddles but in the end, there sat the white tea pot! Looking forward to following your progress. :)
  • Well stated Gary =D> I've heard this so many times and not just from Mark - learn to paint what you see not what you think you see!
  • edited May 2013
    I think I've just been put down. :))
  • Ha! Tanya, I definitely will. I usually have a drawing going as well as a painting, and I have an underpainting done on what might be my "no blend" entry. I'm the type of person who reads three or four books at the same time. My problem is maintaining my enthusiasm about my projects, but, hey, the Pearavaggio painting was one of those that got set aside for a long time before I got around to finishing it.

    Gary, you summed it up exactly. I'm very comfortable with drawing, proportion and values, but I haven't yet developed the same instincts for color. The thread that runs through all of these things is practice and careful observation.
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