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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What I Have Learned from the Limited Palette Challenge

'Morning Drive'       8x10      oil on panel        ©Karen Margulis SOLD
Keeping it Simple.  It is one of my goals these days.  It started last summer when we were thinking of moving out west (still would like to one day)  I cleaned out every closet and sold or gave away all but the necessities. I kept all my art supplies but did organize them.  It felt great!  I didn't need all of the things I had accumulated. It was so freeing. I have tried to keep it simple in my art life as well so the Limited Palette Challenge Group that Candy Day started on Facebook was perfect for me. The idea of the challenge was to paint using Ken Auster's limited palette of just alizarin crimson, cad yellow medium, ultramarine blue, black and white.  The challenge ends this week and we were allowed to submit 5 paintings to be judged by Ken Auster. I am sharing my five submissions and what I have learned from this challenge.


What I Learned From the Limited Palette Challenge
  • Using a limited palette is a great way to learn how to mix colors. Coming from a pastel background I was new to mixing my own colors so learning how a few colors interacted was less intimidating.
  • A limited palette forces you to look at other elements besides color to achieve your vision....value, textures, composition can be considered if you can't mix the 'right' color.
  • A limited palette helps you create a more harmonious painting. Every color you mix is related.
  • A limited palette is manageable and easy....it is quick to set up your palette and less expensive to only have a few tubes of paint. It is also so much more portable...great for plein air!
  • I never felt deprived or lacking a color. I thought I would because with pastels I have hundreds of colors available to me. I know there are some colors you just can't get with this palette but sometimes the color isn't really what's important in the painting. If it is about that particular color, then at least I've learned the limits of the palette and I can move on and introduce the color I need.
I'm sure I'll think of more that I learned but I am very happy with how this challenge eased me into the world of oil painting. I was very hesitant to try them but I am so glad I did!  If you would live to see the other paintings in the challenge you can vidit the group on facebook   here


robertsloan2art said...

Your paintings are lovely and the things you learned from the limited palette challenge are all vital and important. I know that when I'm using wet mediums, using a limited palette is a lot easier.

Pastels or colored pencils demand a range a lot greater because mixing is limited. I tend to prefer a lemon yellow to the Cadmium Yellow Medium because I like having the option of bright emerald greens, but the palette you used for these is gorgeous.

One thing though, the landscape you posted at the top is one of your best and if they were mine I'd have put it in there with the cat and the wildflower ones.

Karen said...

Hi Robert,
Thank you so much! I always enjoy reading your comments. They always add so much to what I have tried to say! Thanks for the comment about the top painting. I did include it as my 5th entry! :)