color theory studies

plate of oranges study in gouache: ultramarine blue, rose madder, lemon yellow + white

I have been doing some gouache work when I am not in my studio, and specifically focusing on color. I have been enjoying doing it as it has been dreary out and the color brightens my day. I also pulled out my photos from my wild cottage garden we had when we lived in Seattle and painting the flowers. Like painting those birds during my 100 day challenge a few ago, these flower studies are brightening my day. I first started with a plate of oranges.

poppy study in gouache
poppy study in gouache using ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow and cadmium red + white

I really loved poppy and keeping it loose and expressive, rather than getting bogged down by the details.

3 gouache paintings of a poppy
3 different studies of same poppy switching out the primary

The first poppy was with ultramarine blue, cadmium red, cadmium yellow and white. The middle one was ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, and cadmium yellow and white. The third one was cerulean blue, cadmium red, cadmium yellow and white. The cerulean blue study was a lesson in letting go that my darks just would not go any darker. I had fun with these and just focusing on blocks of shapes and color.

gouache study of foxglove
gouache study of foxglove surrounded by campeons

For the foxglove and campeon study I used ultramarine blue, rose madder and lemon yellow ( I think, I forgot to note it!!) What I discovered doing this one was how much I loved doing the greens, which is quite a discovery. Greens have always confounded me! But I think it was because I would always start with tube greens. With these studies I mixed all my greens.

gouache study of tulip

This study of a tulip was created using ultramarine blue, cadmium red, cadmium yellow and white. Although I was getting frustrated by the cadmium red because it wasn’t deep enough so I added a touch of rose madder. Again, I got lost in the greens. Literally! I emerged from them an hour later and discovered that I was late in starting to make dinner. We ended up getting take out. win-win!

I miss my cottage garden.

“Color is all. When color is right, form is right. Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration.” -Marc Chagall

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