Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday, Dec.14 - My Pallet Colors

Today was one of those days, where my mind was preoccupied. Last night we found out that several days ago the power went out sometime in the night at our cabin. With the nighttime temperature well below zero, it wasn’t long until the small space heater became ice cold and the water in the pipes froze up soon afterwards. Our neighbor up there called and informed us that there was a small stream running out from the front door, down the hillside and across the road. When he noticed the road in front of out cabin had become an ice rink, he thought something wasn’t quite right.

The well pump had been filling up the small crawl space and flooding out the bathroom door. Mark, our neighbor made it into the cabin and cut the power to the pump. Thereby setting my afternoon plans in stone. I spent the time driving up there and digging my way through the snow to get the car close to the cabin. With a quick stop at home depot on the way up for supplies, I cut out the broken copper pipes and replaced them with new sections several hours later.

I did manage to work a little on the Amsterdam piece, mainly some of the water, which I gradated from a darker blue to a lighter blue in the background. I also brought some more color into the shadow areas of the boats. Tomorrow I’ll be able to concentrate better on it, since the cabin is fixed.

Larry, my computer guru, was wondering what colors I use. From my years studying under the portrait painter, Alvin Gittens; he never let us forget that it’s not the colors so much that matter, but how they are placed next to one another that makes the difference. “You could mix up the muddiest and dullest of color, but put it next to the right color and it will sing!”

But for those who would like to know, on my easel I have a glass pallet, measuring 16 by 26 inches, which is painted a neutral grey on the underside. I like glass because it can be scraped clean with a razor blade, the grey makes it easier to judge values. Starting on the right side I have Utrecht Titanium White, Rembrandt Cadmium Yellow light, Gamblin Cadmium Yellow Deep and Rembrandt Yellow Ochre. Moving along to the backside of the pallet I have Rembrandt Cadmium Orange and Red Light, Permanent Red Medium, and then Rembrandt Viridian. In the left corner are my earth tone colors. I really like the transparent oxide colors from Rembrandt, so there I have Transparent Oxide Red, Transparent Oxide Brown and Raw Sienna (what can I say, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than Transparent Oxide Yellow and it looks identical!) Off on the far left of the pallet I have Rembrandt Cobalt Blue Light. I do save room for the occasional use of Permanent Blue Violet, when the time is right it can really add to the painting.

Richard Boyer

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