25 April 2007

Primary Colors

Just as I was starting this dalhia, I came across another Wet Canvas tutorial, lead by JJ in Australia. In it students were confined to using just three primary colors in their painting. I realised that the dalhia would qualify, and so was able to join in this tutorial as well.

It is surprising just how much can be done with such a limited palette. But then after all, the standard printing process uses only the three primaries plus black. The trick for the artist is in choosing which of each three colors to use. For example should it be a cherry red or a rust red, or one of dozens of other reds. And should that red that is chosen be matched with a caribbean sea blue or a navy blue? Lemon yellow or buttercup or mustard or ochre?

These considerations, and others such as paint brand, lightfastness, staining /non-staining characteristics, transparant vs granular etc, meant in just a few years of experimentation, I had acquired just over 100 tubes of paint. I tried to determine which were my twenty-two favorites in order to have the best paints fit my painting pallette. In the end, I could not do it and therefore invented and built my own pallette which would hold 96 pigments. It consisted of dollar store daily vitamin organizers and a tempered glass cutting board from WalMart. Total cost: $10. Don't, however, ask me what those 100 tubes of paint cost...........

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