Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Study in Blues

                       The Cliffs of Monhegan                     
22 x 30"
In this painting of the cliffs of  Monhegan Island, Maine, part of my goal was to use a variety of blues to depict the chilly coastline.  Planning the range of blues was deliberate, and considered the placement of warm and cool blues.

I began with the sky.  Since it is the most distant space in the painting, I used cerulean and thalo blues, both cool blues.  Near the horizon I added some new gamboge to make a light green which would later be echoed in the cliffs.

The sea consists of cool thalos: blue and green.

The cliffs are rendered in warmer blues to contrast with the surrounding colors.  The first layer was the purist blue: cobalt.   Since it is more opaque than the other blues, it also makes sense to place it on the bottom. 

Next came a very transparent blue:  ultramarine, a warm blue leaning to the red side.  I dashed in a little alizarin to further enhance the violet, mixing all colors on the page, not the palette.  As I got to the foreground, I warmed up the blue with a bit of burnt sienna and raw sienna.

All these blues needed some contrast, hence the grassy green areas on the the mid-ground cliffs.  That was also a mixed green of new gamboge and a dash of cobalt blue.  The use of another blue that was used elsewhere in the painting gives some unity.

Experiment with a variety of blues to create contrast and interest.

No comments:

Post a Comment