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My first attempt

Hello fellow painters
     I've spent quite a bit of time trying to set up in such a way as to comply with the Carder methodology.   The big hurdle so far has been using a palette of just five colors.   It is very tricky to get the color you want when using just 5 colors to mix up your excact tone and value.    I'm sure you are all aware of this.   It remains my big hurdle.   
    In the painting I am posting with this post, I found trying to match the color of the grass in the vase to be very difficult.   I could list several mixes that I tried that did not work, but why be boring.   I would appreciate any input you may have on how to get that exact color from the  5 paints palette.    
     Another big hurdle is how to make the back ground interesting.   Varying the brush strokes is what I have come away with so far.  The "abstraction", as Mark calls it.   Do you think going back to the palette and micro mixing a tiny variation of your main color for the background, in this case black, for each brush stroke, would be a way to create plausible abstraction.   I did not do that, instead just mixing up two tones of black, and putting them on with various brush strokes.   Any thoughts on that would probably be helpful.   
   ps: I loaded several photos with the intent of removing some of them, but cannot find out how to do that.   Sorry for the clutter.  Let me know if there is a way to remove some of these poor photos. 


  • edited July 9
    I think the first thing that has not helped is that your set up you have the surface that the objects are on and the background the same colour. This makes any distinction between the two difficult.
    As well as the fact that the surface the objects are on is black, this means any cast shadows formed by the objects are not seen or lost compared to if you had them on a lighter coloured surface.

    Having no cast shadows from the objects gives the impression in the painting that the objects are floating rather than being on a surface.

    I would reconsider that for the set up, as having the shadows will give more form to the objects.

    Keep up the good work.


  • OhLuckyMan

    Here is the green colour gamut with the Carder palette. These were fully explored and explained in the link below.


  • Thank you MichaelD.   I find it amusing that I literally did not see that they were floating in the air, as you say; and they definitely are.   How can one be so blind to something so obvious when it is pointed out.   lol

  • Thanks Denis for the link to the color mixing discussion.   I'll go over it soon, and will probably be back with more questions.   In using your color samples in the first photo, how would I mix the color in column B4, second from the top? I'm guessing a trace of yellow, a trace of blue, and lots of white? is that right? Thanks in advance...and I will read the thread you provideda link to as well, but don't have time just now.  Cheers

  • @OhLuckyMan, I have done the same thing myself with a painting.
    I am glad you are finding it amusing rather than being hard on yourself. Remember we learn through our mistakes.

    It probably won't be the first time that something may be pointed out to you and you wonder why you hadn't seen it. I have found the forum really helpful for that

    I think most of us on here get that. Often we become so absorbed in a piece of work that we lose sight of it. Thats why its really good to stop now and again, go and do something else for ten mins or so, or even the next day/s,  and come back with fresh eyes.

  • Nice beginning. Lots of things can be tried to improve this but I think you should set this one aside and keep it as a reminder of how well you have progressed after a few more paintings. The main things are not to rush and not to give up. Did you use a proportional divider to help with your drawing? did you lay out your color strings following the steps MC demonstrates? Did you use a color checker? When mixing paints with the MC steps, you are ensuring the values (light vs Dark) are right. Then you can adjust the color as needed to match your subject. Follow MC's online course and you'll be amazed at what you can do. Don't worry, your first is way better than mine.
  • Hi Bob,
         Thanks for taking the time to look over my painting, and provide feedback.   To answer your questions,  yes, I did use a proportional divider, which helped.  I made the divider as per Mark's instructions.   I sharpened the points of it after doing this painting, as I saw that it was not nearly exact enough with dull , round points.  Yes, I also made a color checker, a la Mark again.   Using it was tricky, as the light varied.  I've since put in 8ooo lumens of 5500k lighting, and that is helping.   As for mixing the colors, I gave that a pretty good try, spending an hour trying to get just the color of the wheat grass, for example.   None the less, I just could not seem to get it right.   I lso have a book " Color Mixing Bible" by Ian Sidaway, and that was helpful, but I stuck to the 5 color palette, and am just beginning to see how subtle one must be at times to get the tone and value right.    Mark's course is fantastic for all of this. 
           Thanks again for your feedback. 

  • dencaldencal -
    edited July 10

    I'm guessing a trace of yellow, a trace of blue, and lots of white? is that right? 

    Correct. Maybe a pepper crumb of black in there too.


  • Thanks. I'll toy with it tonight to see what I come up with.  

  • OhLuckyMan

    A pepper crumb of burnt umber is probably a better option than black.


  • maybe the worst aspect of the carder method is it doesn't work well for people depending on natural light be cause the mixing steps take too long. It sound like you conquered the light problem though. Good idea about the divider points too. 
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