Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What About Color? And Natural Pigments? (In Still Life Or Other Paintings)

"Painting is a mosaic of colors weaved into a seamless whole."  - Igor Babailov

"Joyous Celebration"  
African Tulip Tree
24" x 20" Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas

My painting above was painted with a lot of joy, mostly because I was excited about the colors involved.  The vivid orange blossoms with the complimentary blue background visually moves you.   However, it is primarily a "warm" painting.   Marion Boddy-Evans has been quoted as saying, "It doesn't matter whether the overall feeling of the color in a painting is warm or cool, it just shouldn't try to be both."   Good advice.   

I began painting in oils when I was 15 years old, without any instruction to speak of except what I had learned in books about supplies needed and a few basics.   I can honestly say that from the very beginning, I painted mostly from instinct, and that particularly applied to the use of color and color mixing.  It came very natural to me, although it took a few years of painting experience to learn more about color and get a sense of what direction I wanted my art to go. I am still learning and experimenting with color today.  A quote I love is by Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, "Who told you that one paints with colors?  One makes use of colors, but one paints with emotions."

"Iris Garden Dance"
18" x 24" oil on gallery wrap canvas

I chose to feature 2 of my flower paintings here because they are so colorful.   I find much excitement in using a variety of colors in my works.   It keeps my paintings from all looking alike and also helps me to learn more about color mixing and color harmony as I go.    Marc Chagall said, "Color is all.  When color is right, form is right.  Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration."  I agree with that to a degree; form and contrast and value are also very important.   

I would like to tell you about a new 2 DVD set by Stephen Quiller, a well-known and respected artist, which is all about color theory and would be a great source for beginning painters.   Check out this link for more information and a short video. 

Also, there has been much interest of late about traditional artists' materials and natural pigments.  Please visit this link for a source of natural pigments, including lead white, mica lead white, ceruse, ercolano red, and many more.   They carry not only oil paints, but casein, tempera, and watercolor.   There are interesting articles on this site as well, such as the color palettes of some of the old masters.

"I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music."  - Joan Miro

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