Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Summer's lease hath all to short a date...

photo credit: Liz West (aka Muffet); Flickr. Used by permission
The photo I'm working from reminds me that we don't have long to wait until glorious summer weather sets in. When we come out of our winter cocoons here in New England, there is always a flurry of fun events on the calendar. I recently donated paintings to two separate benefits: one to the annual "Art in the City" auction that benefits the Family Health Center here in Worcester, MA. The painting is of a lake in autumn, with reflected trees ("Reverie" click to see in the slideshow). The second painting I donated ("Playful Petunias") was given to the All Saints Church, Worcester (my parish!) silent auction. 

If you've been watching my gallery, you know I've been concentrating lately on florals. But because I'd enjoyed working on both of those donated paintings, I thought I'd try another 'reflections' image. (I am grateful to the very gifted photographer Liz West (Muffet) for her generosity in allowing me to use her photos as painting references.)  
My palette: a plate from IKEA

The range of greens in this view is astonishing, but since there's no point in attempting to paint the scene with only one or two tube greens (e.g., Hooker's Green, Permanent Sap Green, etc.), I knew I'd be doing a lot of mixing. See my busy, varied palette, at left. 

In addition to these puddles of mixed color, I keep a separate little dish of Shadow Green (PBk 31) manufactured by Holbein. I use it straight from the tube, and like to keep it thick and pasty, as it gets wishy-washy if too much water is added. Shadow Green is great for foliage and it blends well (NB: Winsor & Newton's Perylene Green is similar -- in fact, has the identical pigment label,  PBk 31 -- although it does appear slightly different on paper.)

My favorite green is the brilliant and flashy result of mixing Quinacridone Gold with Winsor Blue (green shade). Tempting and luscious. Unfortunately, it's vibe is way too tropical and jazzy for this New England scene, so I'll have to save it for one of my Puerto Rico photos!

There was no way I'd be able to complete this painting in a single day. So here are several shots showing my first steps.

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