Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Better Halves"

I have been eying this avocado on the window sill for days, thinking about how to paint it. Sliced, of course. Strong shadows are important. But with or without the pit? And from which vantage point? I decided that the shadows in the holes would be more interesting than the pit, and did sketches from two vantage points. This one was the most interesting.

A comment on getting that "avocado green". All of the gouache paintings shown so far on my blog have been painted with a limited palette of Da Vinci ultramarine blue (404), yellow medium (493), red (475), and titanium white (490). Occasionally I add a small amount of quinacridone rose (Graham). I have ordered a darker Da Vinci yellow, because I find this one not as opaque as I like (see the Mineola Blues post). I like the unification I get from a limited palette and the simplicity of using only a few tubes of paint. As a result, one of the things I feel I have learned the most about by daily painting - is color mixing. And I don’t mean just hue, but also dull versus bright and the amount of white to mix in. It is a great feeling to be able to re-create a color previously mixed (it satisfies my need for control!). I still need more practice creating every color that I see in an object, but progress is definitely being made.

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