Today I decided to try to paint a picture using only the green colour family (only shades of green). I decided my definition of green can go from ‘almost blue’ to ‘almost yellow’ since green is a secondary colour anyway. I also wanted a focal point which did use (as part of the colour mix – not on it’s own) a bit of red. I was hoping that having this red hue mixed into this one object would make it stand out. (My ‘object’ is another owl – sorry – I just love those little feathered friends.)
So I began with a sketch:
Then I began to lay down flat colour. I was using a gouache method called ‘The Mid-Tone Method’ where you paint the middle tone and then darken and lighten that later to give texture and form.
It was really odd using a yellowish/green for the sky. On the palette it looked really too green for sky but against the more green greeens it looked yellow. I didn’t realise that colour could change with context to such a significant extent.
Another experiment I’m doing at the moment is that I’m seeing how gouache responds to being dried out and reworked on the palette.
Here’s my palette:
I found this worked perfectly for watercolour paints. I thought it would work well for gouache since it reactivates so easily but I’m finding that it only works well when I want to use the gouache in a dilute form like you would with watercolour. For the flat colours I needed it to be just a little bit thicker than I could easily mix from the dried out paint. This is a pain because the flat colour I wanted looks less flat. It probably also means that, long term, I’ll need to move to a different palette system to work with gouache. I think I’m going to go for a paper palette since it’s nice an easy to clean up. As you can see (in the partially completed painting above) the paint is not as flat as I wanted.
I’ll finish it tomorrow… 🙂