I had a big realization today regarding technique that I feel will help a lot of artists out there who may feel lost with technique. I've written about this before, but I realized again that if you think there's a right way (and wrong way) to do something then you're doing it wrong. By this I mean that there is no right way and wrong way to do something and you can throw all those ideas away. Don't limit yourself in your thoughts. Give yourself freedom to experiment with your colors, your paint thickness, brush selection and anything else.
That being said, I did want to document my current oil painting palette as a way to track my progress. Below is my current full palette, but I definitely don't use all these colors in every painting, but it's a good starting place for anyone looking for a broad range to choose from.
Current oil painting palette as of 7/22/19
1. Silver White (Zinc + Flake)
2. Cadmium Lemon
3. Cadmium Yellow Light
4. Cadmium Yellow Medium
5. Yellow Ochre
6. Cadmium Orange
7. Cadmium Red Light
8. Cadmium Red Medium
9. Alizarin Crimson
10. Venetian Red
11. Burnt Sienna
12. Oxide of Chromium Green (Winsor & Newton)
13. Viridian Green
14. Cobalt Blue
15. Ultramarine Blue
16. Prussian Blue
17. Cobalt Violet
18. Raw Umber
19. Burnt Umber
20. Ivory Black
Had a super fun day with one of my best friends, Asem Ahmed, painting at the Ramapo Reservation. I titled the painting, "Broad View of Reflections, Ramapo Reservation" because I tried to capture a broad view of the reflections that I saw. I had always wanted to do a painting like this and I'm very proud of the way it turned out.
I love the spontaneity of certain paintings, but some times an error occurs and you have to go back and fix something. A lot of times my paintings come easily for me and I don't sweat them too much, but once in a while I have to put my proverbial blood, sweat and tears into a work.
I recently painted a painting of my dad sitting outside and I loved the overall light and feeling I was able to capture. The painting took a little over an hour and I photographed it and called it finished. A lot of the painting is impressionistic and even my dad's face looks unfinished, but the thing is that that was on purpose and not in error. But I later realized that I forgot to put in the upper portion of the chair behind my dad on the left side of the painting (as indicated in the image below with the red arrow). I want my paintings to be intentional and in control even if they appear less finished.
I'm a purest when it comes to painting alla prima and I believe in capturing the transient moment and then called it finished in order to leave the spontaneity and not overwork it. The problem was that I was losing sleep about that missing chair part. My style is fairly impressionistic so a lot of people probably wouldn't notice, but I noticed and it was bothering me. I knew it was an error.
So what I did was I set up the chair back outside under roughly the same lighting conditions and I fixed it. It only took a few minutes and now I finally feel the sense of relief that I get when I do something right. It's a hard thing to judge, but I knew I had to fix it in my gut and I always trust what my gut tells me.
The beginning of summer so far has been very productive for me. I'm really enjoying the weather and being able to paint outside. I'm also really finding my own voice as an artist. I'm fondly remembering my trip to Spain last summer and I want to channel that energy into my new paintings.
My family's renting a beach house during July and I plan to do a lot of beach paintings while I'm there!