Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blood Oranges and Lemons

Blood Oranges and Lemons
Oil on Panel, 2009
11" x 14"

I used Munsell chips to find the averages and then I used my palette knife with the hues to check on the HVC of the objects. This takes some time to do but is well worth it. It trains your eye and it is amazing how your eye can fool you. Munsell offers a tool to check your averages and from there you can mix a controlled palette for the painting. I don't do this all the time, I mostly use what is called a full spectrum palette that comes from Frank Vincent DuMond through Frank Mason. In this palette Cad Orange is the middle value of the palette. Now since I have been using Munsell it has struck me that not all Cadmium Oranges are the same value. I have two brands, OH and Williamsburg. The WB was 2.5YR,6/16 in Munsell color space. The OH was 10R,5/16!
A huge difference. So here's the problem with the DuMond/Mason palette: if you don't use the same brand of paint all the time your Orange value is going to shift, and in the case of the WB and OH it's a whole value step. The OH is one value lower than the WB. I tested W&N and it was 2.5YR,6/16. I don't have any other brands of Cad Orange so I can't say for sure about which is the most consistent, but it seems to me that OH is leaning to much towards red. Frank Mason had his students buy all the same brand for the palette, which I now see as a way to control this problem of shifting values.

In the DuMond/Mason palette you have to mix a string of gray scales that are the same value as the Cadmium's, such as Orange value gray. I find that Munsell is more accurate and mixing the gray scales to specific color values means you have to adjust.

Pond trail, late afternoon

Pond trail, late afternoon
Oil on linen panel
10" x 12"

This is a sketch from a nice spot near my house, first of the spring season. 2.5 hours give or take.

Ipswich Salt Marshes 3 PM; sketch

Ipswich Salt marsh: 3 PM 4-29-09
Oil on linen panel
8" x 10"

I went out to Ipswich to paint and found this nice spot which part of the state park system. There was not a soul around, which was great and parking was free. I did this sketch in about 2 hours.
The problem with this area is that there is no place to park and go painting. The entire place is posted with no parking signs.
I will be going back as there is this really nice bunch of old apple trees that are crying out to be painted.

I was also was bitten by a tick which was not fun. The doctor thinks it will be alright as it takes 24 hours or more for the disease to pass from this vile insect to humans, and I removed it within 6 hours. I should know in about 10 days if I have Lyme's disease which will mean a course of antibiotics. I was wearing long pants and a long sleeve shirt and the little bugger still found a way to my flesh.

I will have to add Deet to my outdoor painting kit.