Skip to main content

What are your Favourite Colour Combinations?

One of my artist friends, Sea Dean, posed the question "If you had to choose just two colors what would they be and why?" But it was not as simple as saying blue and yellow, of course she wanted more detail - exactly what shades, which brand etc.

This got me thinking. I use a lot of colour in my paintings but my palette has evolved to always having cadmium yellow medium, ultramarine blue, winsor blue, dioxazine violet and alazarin crimson and often viridian squeezed onto the palette. These basic colours provide me with combinations that suit the Provence landscape. I add yellow ochre pale for some buildings, rocks and pathways and also use other colours as required. I use winsor and Newton oil paints as the consistency is right for me for both palette knife and brush.

I can't say that I have two favourites but there are certain combinations I love and here are two:

Pale purple and green/turquoise
This painting is based on the shimmering combination of the violet and turquoise

For the pale purple I mix diox purple with white, sometimes adding a touch of pink (permanent rose or al. crimson with white) or a touch of pale winsor blue depending upon the temperature I am trying to achieve. For the green turquoise I will mix a combination of phthalo blue, lemon yellow, white and often viridian and winsor blue to get the correct colour.

Yellow and purple
This combination is difficult to pull off because they are both such vibrant colours. It is important to make one of them more dominant than the other. In this painting the purple dominates but the yellow is the star

Of course the yellow doesn't need to be vibrant, the combination works just as well with purple and yellow ochre

Popular posts from this blog

Value in Painting - Black and White Boards

"The most important aspects of a painting is VALUE  and DESIGN. These two trump colour, texture etc." Nicholas Wilton

Value is essentially the lightness and darkness of a colour. The correct use of value gives a painting (both abstract and representational) depth.

I must admit, because I use a lot of colour, the values can sometimes go awry and I have to always be very conscious of that. So getting more of a grip on this, is my goal for this aspect of the course.

The second assignment of the Art2Life course, was to create two boards using only black and white. I based one on one of my failed paintings to see where I could make improvements and the other was purely abstract.

This one still exists as shown, I have yet to put colour on it
The first one, received some limited palette colour:
I have not taken this one forward and I shall have to find it again in my pile of unfinished boards. I can see it is too busy (so obvious now) and it needs to be unified.

Phases of a painting, are you in the middle middle or the beginning of the end?

Work in Progress Diptych. Where am I in the process?

Recently I listened to a trailer for an interview by Nicholas Wilton talking to Mark Eanes.

Mark Eanes suggested that a good way of looking at the painting process is as a three step process, the beginning, the middle and the end. Each of these have three parts - a beginning a middle and an end, so nine phases in all.

I love this way of thinking about the process and it really gels with me and helps me assess where I am at. I has helped me to visualise what I have done in a meaningful way and how much more there is to do. For example, recently I felt that I wasn't getting past the beginning, but when I stood back and assessed the work I had done and what else I wanted to do, I felt I was further along the process and maybe more to the middle of the middle. Not foolproof of course, but a help.

For example in the work in progress above. I am at the beginning of the end. Realising that, cheered me up no end. 😊

Tell me how you as…

Adding Texture to Acrylics Part 1

My visitors have all gone home and I am enjoy the peace and quiet lost in painting again.

As usual, I am working on several paintings at once but they all look a little flat so I am injecting some texture into them.

The best way to do this is at the beginning of a painting is using gesso or modeling paste. You can also use these on an in-progress painting but, as they are opaque, you will lose any colour already down.

One method I enjoy using, because it brings up a lot of unexpected surprise, is laying down two, three or even four layers of acrylics on top of one another and then scraping through the acrylic.

Use thick paint for the best results and wait for the paint to touch dry before adding another layer. I like to wait until the top layer is just touch dry before dragging the scaper through the paint. The effects are different according to how dry the paint is. Practice this to see the different effects. The wet paint also lifts off some of the dried paint underneath, giving in…