Saturday, July 5, 2014


Paste Paper Flowers

     Why is it that, as I graciously age, I like chocolate and bight bold colors more and more?

     As I read and research I am better understanding this warm/ cool color theory thing. I understand that there are warm and cool colors but I was unaware of the warm and coolness within a single color and how combining them affected my art work. Using a limited palette kept coming up in my reading so I am trying it. In the past I had a bucket full of colors and used them as the mood struck me and many times I ended up with a lack luster painting. How did other artists get their vibrant colors? From my reading is seems my biggest problem was mixing a warm color  with a cool complimentary color to tone it down or create a  new color. Results:dull muddy colors. If I had mixed my warm color with a warm compliment color it would have worked! So the theory goes.

     Because I am trying a limited palette, I will only take one warm & one cool red, a warm & cool blue and a warm & cool yellow with me to my open studio painting sessions. This forces me to paint with a limited palette. I also take white and an umber. I do underpainting on the canvas to help the colors vibrate as they peek through.

Here are the color I will be forcing myself to use:
*warm; Cad. Red Light      & cool; Alizarin Crimson
*warm; Cobalt Blue           & cool; Ultra Marine Blue
*warm; Cad. Yellow Med. & cool; Cad. Lemon

There are other colors that can be substituted but for now I only know these colors.

     I have to admit that I get frustrated on some paintings and fall back into my comfortable bad painting habits. At some point my paint brush will catches up to my brain's new knowledge and my art work should improve greatly.

The retired science teacher in me had to give you a visual but in the process the warm/cool color theory did not hold up! First I made a warm/ cool chart using acrylics.
I could not see the dull color when I mixed the warm with the cool compliment. The only color that looked dull was mixing ultra marine blue with cadmium yellow.

Next I will try a chart using watercolors; maybe that will adhere to the color theory better. I do realize that I made no attempt to determine equal amount of paint that were mixed together; I just slapped it down to see what happens. I see a difference in the colors produced but I don't find them to be muddy whether I mix warm to warm or warm to cool colors.

Nice try Eclectic Artist!

Please advise me; what is the problem?