Here’s a little more progress on the Pescallo painting I started in my last post. I’m trying to write this as a demo of sorts, which means that with my time constraints it is taking longer for me to post than I’d like. But noting ventured nothing gained, and I’m now ready to talk about some color! My palette for this painting is as follows:
cadmium yellow light
sevres blue (Rembrandt- it’s like a cerulean but more intense)
This is a bit more expanded than the single primary I have experimented with a lot in the past, but with limited time in the studio now, it is helpful to have a few more “convenience” colors in my arsenal. With the tonal drawing laid to canvas as my guide, I begin by blocking in my color, starting with the sky and mountains. I start with very general shapes at first and then work to refine them as I move along. For the sky I am using combinations of sevres and ultramarine and white, and for the clouds, touches of cadmium orange and red, plus white. The mountains are basically varying degrees of cadmium orange and ultramarine blue.
Since so much of the background peeks through what I will have going on in the fore, I decide to work out the background first, fleshing out the highlights of the mountains. The greens of the mountains are very grayed down- just the slightest amount of cad yellow light is used, in combination with the blues. I also add a little alizarin crimson to neutralize it further.
I decide to soften the sky a bit to make the background stay back and be less busy. Then I start to lay in a first pass at the water. I use a slightly darker variation of the blues from the sky for the distant water, using less white as I move forward. I also add in some cadmium orange to the blues as the water edges closer to the pier and foreground. This won’t be the final word on the water, but I have gotten rid of that white canvas and have enough of the background tones to start laying in the foreground. Next I will begin work on establishing the shadows and highlights of the pier.
Quite a lot still to go, but things are starting to take shape. But as they say, the devil’s in the details.