Friday, July 6, 2012

Why I Dont Use Color Recipes

 A while back I posted a watercolor I had done of a trees along a parkway. After viewing it someone had asked me what were my color recipe's for green. At the time I didn't know what was meant by "color recipe's". I do now and I don't use color recipe's. When I look at something, It may be a tree I'm painting, I look at a color (maybe the green of the leaves) and I ask myself is it warm or cool, light or dark. If the green is on the warmer side I might mix in some burnt umber or burnt sienna or red or maybe yellow ochre. If its cool I might mix in some blue, but it is a response based on what I see and not some formula /recipe that is decided on before hand.

Page from a sketchbook
Of course after painting for sometime you are going to have a feeling for color and some idea of whats going to work when you mix it on the palette, but that comes through observation and experience. The thing is that while its good to keep a mental record of what has worked in the past it is more important to keep your eyes and mind open to the what may be a new learning opportunity in front of you, and that's where the fun of painting from life comes in.

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