let’s talk color

I’m about 95% finished with this new painting and I thought I’d use it to demonstrate a little color theory. Color is a huge part of what I do as a painter and I usually try to cram as  much variation into one painting as the size of the canvas will allow. Blue is never just “blue”, but cerulean, phthaylo blue, and cobalt all mixed together, or with white, or with unbleached titanium. Then use a dirty brush from the yellows and tint those suckers to the green side a smidge or how about accidentally picking up a little quinacridone magenta and pushing towards the lavenders. I keep my compositions simple and then layer them with red drawings and voila!, a place to play with color on all of those little shapes and edges.  


The light blue in the background of this painting is opposite of the orangey tans and browns in the bear and the woman’s hair and this creates a nice contrast and helps clearly define the figures. It’s opposite not only in color (blue/orange) but also in saturation (light, soft/bright). You can also see how I played around with the blues here. Some of them are greener, parts are more lavender. I’ve also added neutral greys in here to help ground out the colors and bring the overall feel down a notch. 

That’s all I’ve really got for today. This painting still has a lot of detail work to be done. I want to work on some of the accent colors and I’m going to add some weight to the left side of the woman’s shoulders so that she doesn’t lean so much. Too many diagonals all lining up the same and it’s causing the piece to look lopsided. 

Stay warm and stay safe out there! The holidays are upon us!!