I painted the both works below on Sunday–the first plein air, the second in my studio. I suppose it’s fair to say it would be difficult for anyone to identify these as coming from the same artist. This is part of my “split personality”: In the studio, I find it easy to be more inventive than I do while painting in front of my live subject. This is a problem I need to work on. I think somewhere between these two perspectives is where I want to be.
The seascape was painted using the “brush in front” technique I’ve written about before. With the sun behind me, I align my brush in front of the object I’m trying to represent. This allows me to get a fairly accurate color match. But to aid in that process, I also use “color separation“, ie, when painting objects of the same general color (eg, the green of the sea, the green of the hills), I purposefully use two completely different base colors. The hills where mixed with a base of Ultramarine Blue and Hansa Yellow Orange, while the sea is mixed with Cobalt Blue and Yellow Ochre. Yes, I probably could have mixed a good approximation with, say, just Ultramarine Blue, but there’s something about this approach that I think is a sure fire way to mix color.
I really like this spot, so hope to come back and paint something larger.
Sunset (Buena Vista Park), Oil on Canvas, 8×10″
What do you think of these two approaches and the results?
2 thoughts on “Two Sides”
Interesting ideas, Ed! I hadn’t heard of “brush in front” or your “color separation” concepts. They both sound good. Something I’ll have to try.
“Color separation” is a particularly intriquing idea. So many beginners – okay, even us non-beginners – get mired down in using a particular blue for every green in the scene. This method will help distinguish different objects of the same color family better for the viewer.
I like parts of both, I like the closer to realism of the first, BUT I really like he adventure in the second, brushwork, colors, and overall interest. I know what you mean by split, I love De Kooning to Dantin and am inspired by all in between.