Day 3 of Elin’s Color Boot Camp brought the use of both warm & cool colors in one painting emphasizing in composition & values. We started the day with a one hour lecture showcasing great Masterpieces and evaluating the value system these great masters created. Its great to see work that we love and know well with a different eye, by squinting you can see the lights, darks & middle tones and what that does for the paintings.
The time of day we painted today was High Noon. We picked photos that had good contrast and shadows that were beneath the subject. The neat thing is that Elin is teaching us that if you don’t have a great picture you can adjust and manipulate it to the time of day you want to paint. Here she illustrates that perfectly. The left photo above is the picture she will be using and its on her computer. She is only using it as a guide, but you can see how she is changing it to make it more interesting and dynamic. She started with a watered down wash of acrylic Burnt Siena, and is drawing it in with a more opaque tone, she is continually adjusting the drawing, by “erasing” the background using water, and pulling the wash out.
She begins blocking out the shapes using intense colors and keeps adjusting it as the painting progresses keeping in mind her Color System. She has not finished the piece yet, but its stunning as is, don’t you think?
She is doing this demo as we paint, and on occassion spills treasures of wisdom that we all listen intently. She is very open to questions and is fabulous at explaining why & how the color system works. I wanted to show you her palette below, the pill boxes are a fabulous way to keep your main colors wet, while you pull from them & mix on your palette.
Above is a nice picture of Elin Sparky & me, sitting on the couch that I’ve cemented & made myself at home in 😉
The picture I chose to represent High Noon is of when we went to Monument Valley, in Arizona. We came across a herd of wild horses (I’m sure they have some contact with humans) but they were holding their ground & grazing from this very rough terrain. While my husband, Kent, was photographing the herd and this Palomino’s foal, I saw an opportunity to go up to this mare Palomino that was grazing on her own off to the side of the herd. I rounded my shoulders showed the back of my hand and slowly went up to her, I gently reached for her and she allowed me to touch her nose. All the other horses watched in frozen horror as I made contact with this mare. She was stunning with light golden eyes. It was a moment I treasure every day & thank goodness my husband was able to capture that precise moment of contact, because a second later the whole herd moved on into the gorgeous scenery.
I started by painting in the scenery first. and then added the Palomino. I’m just starting to paint horses, so I had some issues with the anatomy, specially since the horse is at a foreshortening angle, so I made it even tougher on myself. So I sent an SOS to Elin, and in the above picture you can see what my horse looked like and the pictures below are the fixes that Elin helped me with. Its an honor & a joy to watch her paint on my piece. I learned so much from watching. Its amazing how she lays the paint down, so sure of her color choice & brush strokes. That is what years of practice brings to you.
The painting is not done, but when she walked away I thought to myself “I’m not touching or painting over anything she painted, to me this painting is done!”