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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

The Painting Blues: Three Reasons to Paint with Blue

'The Blues'           8x10         pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $125

Color is everything. Or is it?  Most of us are drawn to pastels because of the wonderful array of colors. They are all there in front of us. We don't have to mix them to see the possibilities. We want them all and we never have enough.  But color can also be our downfall.  You've heard it before:

Color gets the Glory but Value does the work.

If we don't get the values correct then all the colors in your box will not make the painting better. In fact the more colors we add to try to fix the painting the more we risk making mud.  Value studies are good. Value block- ins are helpful. Lots of practice seeing value is important. I have a great exercise to try. Why not try limiting your palette?

I love painting with ONE COLOR....a Monochromatic color scheme.  I pick a color and allow myself to use a full value range of that color. I give myself permission to use both warm and cool versions of my color. This gives me quite a few choices. 

Study for blue Trees
 Here are Three Reasons to Paint with one color

1. Working with one color helps the value challenged.  If you have trouble simplifying a busy scene into a few values often adding color choices to the mix makes it even harder.  Working with one color takes color out of the equation so that you can concentrate on getting the values correct.

2. Working with one color helps you become intimate with the color.  Not only is it easier to see value within one color it is also easy to judge color temperature.....putting a cool yellow next to a warm one makes the difference between them more clear. Is one closer to orange? Is one closer to blue or green? It is easy to see when they are together.

3. Working with one color is manageable.  Sometimes it is nice to keep things simple. Pick a color, any color and forget about all of the pastels in your boxes. Keep it simple and concentrate on your values or your composition or your strokes and mark-making. Give yourself one less thing to worry about!

Black and white reference photo

Check out the video demo of this painting on my Patreon page. www.patreon.com/karenmargulis

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

That's something wonderful about your blues paintings. I'm used to monochrome and setting out one color and its values - actually one hue, not even bright and muted versions of say, blue-violet. But you're including all variations of that color, gray-blue leaning violet on through to sizzling green cast blues. So the amount of variation possible in one of your monochromes is tremendous - and it makes sense.

Because that's working with color as color along with value. That's adding intensity and cast to the mix but still keeping it simple - and can distinguish sea and sky, foliage and pond, clouds and flowers... anything really. It's glorious. It has the strong values of monochrome as I'm used to it and all the color tricks of polychrome without losing the monochrome feeling. It's what might make some of the less natural monochromes work, like say, red. It would be incredible in green!

Any color could work with this. Though working with shades of rather than related values, you'd get "yellows and greens" in a yellow one, or "oranges and greens" with orange. Would look cool either way. I chose yellow for a gouache monochrome in a class once by recognizing that mixing the shades gave me olive greens and thus two colors in a monochrome palette.