Sunday, June 24, 2012


One of the major problems with painting plein air is deciding on color schemes. How many colors will you use and to what purpose?  If there are green leaves in the upper corner but green does not repeat anywhere else, you are creating a spot of disunity.  Taking the liberty to use color as a unifying factor requires deliberation and decision making to limit the number of colors to achieve a satisfying result. 

In this painting of Little River Beach near my cottage, I chose to push the color temperature to the warm side, using yellow ochre, raw sienna and burnt sienna.  To contrast that, smaller areas of blue were included in the first wash to provide relief and heighten the purity of the warm colors.  To create the dead fallen tree, I painted the negative space around it.  But because the first wash went over both the tree and the background, they had a commonality that created unity.

Select colors that unify rather than for their local color accuracy.

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