Landscapes November 3, 2021 19:15
Lately I've been wanting to paint landscapes, so I went through my reference photos looking for likely suspects. I have tons of photos I've taken over the years, but every once in a while, I find a photo that I'd like to use as a reference that isn't mine. I collected all the landscape photos I wanted to try painting, all of them my own, except for this one photo that featured an abandoned church where rough, thick boards had been nailed across the windows. This hadn't stopped someone from ripping off one of the front doors, which was lying in the long grass out front, and the cross from the steeple was missing. It reminded me of cults, which so often arise, create havoc, and disappear. So I thought it would be good to paint.
This morning I got back to it. It is much improved, I think, even though it is far from finished.
I did a couple of other different things with this painting. For one, I decided to give the Classical Landscape Palette that Tad Spurgeon outlines in his book. "The Living Craft." This is a terrific book, by the way, for all sorts of reasons. But one of the things that have inspired me is his list of different sorts of palettes.
I've always had problems with choosing colors. In the past, I wanted everything, and that meant that my paintings were often jumbled. I discovered limited palettes in watercolor, and I learned a ton from that and felt like I did find more image cohesion that way, but I also kind of went overboard and got to the point where I was using just 2-3 colors (including white) for my paintings. Only recently did I decide to go back to trying a lot of colors.
But even so, I still felt I hadn't conquered the color chaos. I considered trying some of the palettes in the book in the past, but never got around to it. Lately, though, I've been feeling more serious about how I paint, so I decided to actually try one of the palettes. I chose the Classical Landscape Palette because it offered a lot of choice without being overwhelming and it includes a lot of fast driers, always a consideration for me:
Nickel Titanium Yellow
Yellow Ochre, Golden Ochre, or a mix
Raw Sienna Dark or Transparent Mars Yellow
Venetian Red, Vermillion, or a mix (lost my vermillion, so I am using pyrrole scarlet PR170 instead)
Burnt Sienna Light or Dark, Transparent Mars Brown, or a mix
Pyrrole Crimson (pyrrole rubine PR264), Mars Red, or a mix
Green Earth, Viridian, or a mix
Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, or a mix
Ivory black (but I decided to use Italian Roman Black Earth instead because it is much faster and I have good blues)
Just for starters, I've always had issues with viridian, felt like it was a fish out of water type of color, but it seems to go well with these others. I'm using williamsburg's Italian Terre Verte and their French Terre Verte for the green earth; they are great greens. I love the two pyrrole reds, so that's cool, and the crimson one made a decent purple with the ultramarine today. The only issue I see is the selection of yellow. The earth yellows are kind of murky and the nickel yellow is pale. I'll have to see how they go with the other colors. I have a jillion yellows, but my favorite is a strontium yellow I got from a Ukrainian seller on Ebay.
At any rate, I am ready for adventure.