Monday, February 18, 2013

Last Water, 10x12

Last October, while the day was tilting rapidly toward night, I was searching for that last painting of the day and the simplicity of the light in this irrigation ditch seemed soothing.  It remained soothing until I began painting it.

It wouldn't cooperate.  It twisted and turned, trying to avoid my artistic grasp.  I parried with my brush.  It dodged with the light and color.  I think it ended as a draw.  (Would that make it a draw in the draw?)  Oh well.

Five questions to deciding 'What color is that?'
  1.  Is it red, blue, yellow, green or purple?  (Munsell color wheel)
  2.  Within the color you picked does it tend to the  warm or cool side?
  3.  How saturated or how pure a color is it?  Does it tend toward gray or is it vibrant?
  4.  What is the light or dark is it?
  5.  Great.  We did it only four questions.

Look at this painting.  Pick a color and if you can answer those questions you can mix the color.  Congratulations.


  1. Last Water is reminiscent of all the washes I have seen in the South West, although I think this is North West. I can feel temperature and the quality of the air. As my eye follows the hollow of the land I move from the cool shadow into the warmth of sunlight. The bright light reflected into the remaining water gives me pause to question how that puddle is so brightly lit in the midst of shadow. Then I realize that it is the warmer reflected light on the growth above. Susan Cavanaugh

  2. But "soothing" is the immediate sensation that I felt upon seeing the painting... and before I even read your commentary. Soothing. You did it.


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