Starting a new painting

Back in March I did a couple of quick interpretive sketches from photos. Just about then my arm and shoulder locked up. It's good now after a lot of PT. I'm back to this painting. Is't after a photo from about 5 years ago. I decided to paint the stuff that I liked in the photo but not the other crap. I rescaled the bridge brought it closer and simplified everything. I want a painting not a rendition of a photo. For that reason I going to show only the painting The reference is insignificant. This is a scene new us in the Ten Mile River Boy Scout Reservation with three important features. The stone arch bridge, the tumbling water in the foreground and the indication of the road marked by 2 yellow orange signs. Next step - find my base palette. Hint. It's gonna be semi neutral and neutral color.



  • I think you're off to a great start!
  • Looking great so far! Looking forward to seeing this develop :)
  • The composition looks really strong, i like how the eye is lead to the waterfall.
    What excactly do you mean "find my base palette"? Are you going to match the reference's coulors or make them up?
    Cant wait to see it finished!
  • edited August 16

    I work from a what I call a foundation palette. 12 colors spectrum colors. I start with Red Yellow and Blue mixing Secondaries and Teriaries. I mix and tube them. I then mix the 3 semi neutral primaries from the Tertiaries and tube them. I have to do this maybe once a year. It takes a day. Lately I've gone beck to using some earth colors to make neutrals on the fly. 
    It sounds like a lot of work but it's not. A bit of learning maybe but my goal is to constantly develop and learn.

    Anyway I generally start with semi neutral colors maybe tinting them with small amount of full intensity colors from the 12 color spectrum palette.

    I then find the base 'set' palette for that painting. I've always done this even when I painted with a limited earth tone watercolor palette. 

    I'm planning on doing a couple of videos on this subject over the next couple of months.
    #boat painting
  • @KingstonFineArt , I like the idea of mixing and tubing your secondary and tertiary mixes.  When I use the three primary palette, I generally mix what I need as I need it.  I've also been occasionally making my own paints, mixing them with Mark's medium, and then keeping them in small mason jars.  

    Quick question... How to you get the paint in the tubes?  I saw an idea recently on putting the paint on a piece of wax paper, rolling it like a roll-your-own cigarette, and then squeezing it into the tube.  Is there a better way?
  • @mstrick96
    i tube the paints with a palette knive. I’ll make a short video on the process. 
  • It is a lesson in painting, I am following it. " I want a painting not a rendition of a photo. For that reason I going to show only the painting The reference is insignificant." I like that. 
  • @Cabral i agree, after all thats what painting is about!
    @KingstonFineArt i'd love to see the video when its uploaded! I'm trying to paint only with the primaries lately. Not sure if they count as primaries. It's ultramarine blue, cadmium red and cadmium yellow pale. I also use burnt umber to make greys to desaturate my mixes. I like the idea of having the secondaries and Teriaries mixed and tubed, would prob speed up the mixing process when painting.

  • @Marinos_88
    You can get some very good mixes with those, so I would count them as primaries. There is technically no such thing as a true primary in pigment, because all pigments contain traces of other colors in them.

    One thing you might want to try is substituting alizarin crimson permanent for the cadmium red.  It will give you some better purples for shadows.  If you mix it with cad yellow, you can come pretty close to a cad red.  

    I've been doing a search for a good alizarin crimson replacement.  Winsor Newton's "Permanent Alizarin Crimson Hue" seems to be one good one.  Gamblin's Alizarin Permanent is another good one.  The pigments used are different so you might want to try both. 
  • Red, Blue and Yellow ere the only primary colors.
    When we mix the secondaries and tertiaries to make the color wheel the sequence as old as Newton. The sequence can be used as a metaphor to mix semi neutral, neutral and limited palettes.Really simple. It can get real complex but but I'm not making color chips for Sherman Williams I'm painting the world around me. 
  • While I make a new camera mount for my easel I thought I'd show the sketches I made of this scene. I painted this location many times. I'm not showing the photo because I'm not painting a photo. When I figure. out the unbreakable camera mount I get to painting and making a video of the progress.

    The top sketch is the one I'm working from.

  • I found the palette for this painting in a metaphor. I studied my sketch and the photo and decided that the color should be based on mixes of the complements Orange and Blue. Looked some more and decided on Red Orange and Blue Green. 

    I used the mixing metaphor of the 12 color spectrum. I started with darkening my mix of Blue Green with Ivory Black. I'll spare you the details but I created this set of colors as a 12 color wheel.  With the mixeing between the RO and BG built off the Blue and Yellow green positions. This comes from the mind of John Sloan and his crowd a hundred years ago. 

    It is interesting that the colors will make my painting very well. With a little help from my neutralizing pals Yellow Ochre and Transparent Red Oxide. Neutralizing neutrals with neutrals. Nuts.

    What I don't want is a highly chromatic painting.

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