Friday, August 14, 2015

Layers


NFS

I've redone this one a couple of times and decided I'm STILL NOT proud of it enough to sell. Alas. But it does illustrate a point I've been promising to make.

This is my final one from Hood River. And it has lots of layers going back into the distance. They say as stuff goes further back it gets cooler because of "atmosphere." I've realized that if you can keep your palette organized as you make your layers, it's much easier to do this, because often the difference between one layer and the next is really, really subtle, and it takes seeing the two colors right next to each other to really get it. So I've made this example, from the photo, taking samples of the colors from each layer and putting them in order (the light side and shadow side of each layer), in the same order I try to mix them on my palette. I haven't gotten a good picture of this on my actual palette because ... well because by the time I think of taking a photo it's gotten messy, but the concept is still a good one.

Notice that the lights get darker as they go back, and the darks get lighter, and in general the values get closer together and not nearly so "contrasty." I've been doing lots of driving this summer, and really noticing this happening as I stare out the window at the landscapes around me. Try it! But uhhhh, watch the road too!

10 comments:

saundra george said...

Lovely, the blue cast is perfect...

Barbara Pask said...

Thanks for the lesson and I think your painting is really wonderful. Occasionally I pre-mix colors, that a fun exercise.

Susan E. J. White said...

Carol, this is a really helpful post. The values example, photos and text shed light, so to speak, on another level of understanding. Thank you.

lynn bowes said...

This post is interesting and absolutely something I am going to try with my next landscape. Right now I'm struggling with foliage and ready to drive the blunt end of a brush thru a half dozen of 'em - but that's another story. I like your sample palette colors off to the side which really ought to help me visualize the contrasts as land disappears. I do okay but this really makes sense in the approach.

I, too, squint and stare at the landscape as I drive thru the farms. Happy I'm not alone but hope we don't meet on a hill =-)

: lynn

Kathy Johnson said...

What a great visual. When you see the actual paint mixtures together it makes it easier to keep track of the progression. I hadn't thought about the lights getting darker -- I'm so usually focused on the darks getting lighter. I guess it is good sometimes to "think" about how you are painting instead of just doing it intuitively.
Thanks Carol

Anonymous said...

I think the only thing lacking here is contrast. The blue shadows are interesting, but the foreground is too diluted in them. A quick contrast filter to demonstrate: http://i.imgur.com/TO0xeYC.jpg

Also thank you so much for your blog! I have recently discovered you and I'm gradually getting pumped to paint more often again as I sift through your ENTIRE gallery (2015-2010 already covered!). I used to paint daily back in 2010~2011, but my skills were incredibly weak. Nowadays I'm able to set composition and pick good colors, and you doing all these little pieces show me how a simple painting can be very appealing if done correctly. I think I've found a North to follow. Keep going this wonderful project, Carol!

Laura Gable said...

Hi Carol, wish I'd met you while you were over there painting -- I was in the trenches painting too at the plein air festival. A lovely experience. I enjoy seeing the painting through your experience, and as others' have shared, this is a great teachable moment for the rest of us as well. Do you premix large piles of paint when you go out? I'm not in the habit of doing that, but noted that several others do that when painting out of doors. Seems to make for very harmonious paintings.
Take good care

Lynn Lobo said...

Very interesting laying out the tonal and colour shifts in planes. It leads me to consider the simplicity of colour notations when I'm out plein air painting and I'm pushed for time. I've read about how some painters just go out there and mix colours and then work from memory. Thanks very much.

Jen said...

Like that green you used for the front cliffs as the reflected light. What color is the #1 light value?

Dana said...

Carole - This would be a great "mini-artbyte" as it stands for those of us who need a reminder from time to time. "Atmosphere" is so well explained and illustrated!