Sunday, June 15, 2008
I'd like to say that my palette is all sooper limited and all that, but I guess at this point it's become almost a combination of the four artists who I've studied under (hehehe, and in this case I'm counting having "studied" under Jeremy Lipking after just watching his demo DVD:) (the other three teachers are Yuqi Wang, Juan Martinez and Kevin Gorges) So yeah, now I've basically got the palette you see here.
I mix a bit of white into each colour with a palette knife, creating a “string” of colour tints, with the exception of Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber. I use these colours mostly in the shadow areas, and white tends to make them too opaque and “chalky” looking.
If you're interested in how this palette “came to be”... it started with Juan Martinez in Toronto, ON. He taught me about the “strings,” which are useful because then you have both a lighter and darker - as well as an opaque and a more transparent version - of each colour. He didn’t use many blues and greens though, or the Burnt Sienna, all of which I took off my palette for a while after taking his workshops. He introduced me to the red oxides as well as the Yellow Ochre Pale. He also convinced me to give up the way of the impressionists and start using black on my palette for the first time in my life.
Next I studied under Yuqi Wang in Santa Fe, NM. He favors a more colourful palette, and although I still tend to lean towards more greyed down colours, seeing him paint beautifully with Flesh Ochre, Prussian blue and Egyptian Violet, made me just have to add them to my palette as well (for VERY restricted use).
Also, while I was in Santa Fe, I took classes with Kevin Gorges, who studied at the Florence Academy of Art, so he worked with a VERY restricted palette. He didn’t even use Cadmium Yellow, instead he used Naples Yellow - so onto the palette that went, but I kept the Cadmium Yellow on too.
Now, most recently, I bought myself Jeremy Lipking’s demo DVD, and was surprised by how much you can learn from a DVD! I guess after studying with all these masters in real life, I just never would have thought a DVD could come close to being as good, but actually I have realllyy found that it has improved my painting so much. After watching the Jeremy Lipking DVD I remembered something that I had kinda heard before - that Alizarin Crimson is not really all that permanent:( So now I’m using Alizarin Permanent, I’ve also added burnt sienna back onto my palette. It's an old favorite that I used all the time in my landscapes (Phil Craig loves it too!) then i removed it from my palette after adding all those red oxides. But yeah, seeing Jeremy Lipking use it brought back memories of how much I used to like it, and I stuck it back on. I still have burnt umber too (and sometimes even some other Umbers, like Green Umber), and, as you can see, I’ve started mixing up his “magic” mixture of Ultramarine, Titanium white and Alizarin Permanent (a light blue, slliigghhtly purply mixture)
heheh I basically have a phobia of purple! As in “Do I see Pink and Purple!?” of my Spumco days (John K would look at my background paintings for the new Ren and Stimpy and if he said that, he wouldn’t even look at them;) Also associated with purple is the dreaded “old man syndrome” where by artists as they age sometimes go through a period where they want to “jazz up” their work and purple is always prominent in their art. BUT, instead I have bluey green syndrome, where I’m too afraid to use purple, and I make everything less grey purple then it is! So yeah, I started mixing up that “magic” colour of Jeremy Lipking’s and wow, it is making all the difference in my painting!! I mix it into my flesh tones a lot, and it keeps them from getting crazy saturated. It’s also so great for cooling the tones as they recede, and warp around the edges of the form. Actually, the lemon yellow is an addition I made after the DVD as well. Before I would only use it if I reaallly required it (which I only ever did once, when I was actually painting lemons), but now I see that it can mix quite nicely with the blue mixture, and some cad red or orange to make nice skin tones!