The focus in the beginning is to start with the background of the water and snow that is around and behind the ducks. Slowly building up until the shapes of the bufflehead ducks showing up in the negative space.
I used a very thin layer of burnt sienna as underpainting. I don’t do an underpainting for my big paintings very often, but I do for all my colour studies. It helps me to see the light and dark values easier. It gives me a comparison to work from. It just works for me.
I just keep adding layers and layers until I get the background to where I want it to be. I am not in a rush.
The water was fairly calm that day as they paddled back and forth. Actually, the pair were in a ditch, as I mentioned earlier there had been very little melting happening around the lakes even though it was the middle of May.
As the ducks’ paddle past they are creating some rippling in the water behind them. Focusing in on these small details makes the water seem more real. I have changed to a smaller brush to paint in the smaller areas.
I have done a number of paintings with water and each one is so different from the other. I marvel at the very living nature of water and how diverse it can be from even one hour to the next.
I notice that water also reflects darker values. As the ripples fan out, they may crossing paths and creating very distinct forms. Water is always changing. The variation makes water a very rewarding subject matter to explore with paint.
Complimentary Colour Chart, Colour Study of Rainbow Lorikeet & 4 Colour Studies compared.
This video has three parts:
Part 1 - creating a Complimentary Colour Chart
Part 2 - doing a colour study using all the colour mixing information that we have done
Part 3 - Comparing 4 different colour studies of the Rainbow Lorikeet with different Red/Blue/Yellows.
Below is the Complimentary Colour Chart that I created. This time around I did 3 steps between the Orange and Blue, Purple to Yellow and Green to Red. Only as I was completing it did I realize that I should have done 4 steps between. Oh dear. The measurements for the chart are below.
Here we have the whole range of colours we have mixed mainly from 3 tubes of paint. The Colour Value Scale always requires a range of other pigments to ensure the value changes that are made are in the same hue family.
Now we are on to our colour study of the Rainbow Lorikeet!
Here are all 4 together on the screen. Seeing them all side-by-side, you really get a sense of what works and what doesn't work.
Personally, I really like the beak colours in #3 which is Cadmium Yellow Medium and Cadmium Red Light. But I would still need to use some Cadmium yellow light on the bird’s body.
I like the Blues on the bird in the first colour study. I think that Ultramarine Blue is more representative of the blue on the bird.
Looking at the greens now. I would say that I am not a fan of either version 3 or 4. In the first two colour studies I prefer these greens. I think I would use both blues with Cadmium Yellow Light to create a variety greens
When looking at the branches I prefer colour study 3.
Doing these colour charts and studies took some time but the helpful information that they provide is invaluable. Each of the colour studies took about 1 ½ to 2 hours when I include the pre-mixing of paint.
These kinds of challenges it helps to get a sense of the potential of the various pigments that we work with.
Below are photos of birds around Melbourne. I toured with the late Paul Hackett in 2018. Look at the very last photo...these are Orange Bellied Parrots. When I was there Paul said that there were only 18 left in the wild. These were two of the 18. They were trying to breed them and release the young but I don't know what kind of success they have had with that program.
The second day I spent on a bird tour was up in north Queensland with Doug Harrington of Birdwatching Tropical Australia. The very first bird we saw was only 200 metres from where Doug picked me up...just hanging around on a post... a Kookaburra! I bet you know what song popped into my head when I saw it! Are you singing it?
This is the second in installment of the Limited 3 colour Palette exploration that I have been doing. Links for the play list KICKSTART YOUR COLOUR MIXING is below.
We are making 12 colours out of these three paints. This video has two parts: the first part I'm going to make the 12 colours quickly and then we will dive into making a colour value scale with each of the colours that we have created.
The three colours that we're going to use is cadmium yellow light, quinacridone magenta and phthalo turquoise. This is a set of colours that would be considered CMY which stands for Cyan/Magenta/Yellow. Phthalo turquoise is kind of close towards Cyan.
Now when I get to mixing the purples I start with two parts of magenta and one part of the phthalo turquoise, then one to one, and lastly one part magenta and two parts phthalo Turquoise. The value of each of the paints is so dark this is the only way to ensure the purples shift from red to blue.
With the Cadmium Yellow Light and the other two colours I’m actually matching a value and every once in a while, you can see my value checker. This Yellow is a value 9 and the other two colours are sitting at Value 3 or 1. For the Quin Magenta (Value 3) I make value mixtures of 7, 6 and 5 to keep it simple. Then with Phthalo Turquoise it is easy to make three steps across at Value 7, 5 and 3.
This gets us around the whole 12 segments of our tessellation. I always start with the yellow when I do these kinds of things. Here we can see the oranges, from yellow to red, that we create from Quinacridone Magenta.
Learning how to change a colour and still be in the same colour way is really important.
Starting with Cadmium Yellow Light which is at Value 9. Using Raw Umber to darken from Value 8 to Value 2. For Value 1 we will add a bit of black.
Adding Quinacridone Magenta to create an orange that is Value 7. Add white to create Value 8 & 9, then add equal amounts of Raw Umber (low Chroma Yellow) and Burnt Umber (Low Chroma Orange) for this particular orange. This will bring us to Value 2, add black to get to Value 1.
As we step to the middle orange, which is mixed to a Value 6, then using Burnt Umber to darken from Value 5 to Value 2. Again add black right at the end to get it to value 1.
Create the third step of orange to a Value 5 which is noticeably more red. Take 2 parts Burnt Umber and 1 part Alizarin Crimson Hue Permanent to create Values 4 to 2, then add black to create Value 1.
On to Quinacridone Magenta, add white to create Values 9 to 4, the pure paint is Value3, add black to get to value 2 and 1.
As we move from Quinacridone Magenta to Phthalo Turquoise we are entering into our delicious purple range. The first combination is 2 parts Quinacridone magenta to 1 part Phthalo Turquoise. This value string is simple in that the darkest value of the two paints is Value 1. Using white to create from Value 9 to Value 2, pure mixture for the last square.
Step two of the purples is equal parts Quin Magenta to Phthalo Turquoise. This purple very pretty.
To create step three use 1 part Quin Magenta to 2 parts Phthalo Turquoise.
Notice how the purples go from being more red to being more blue as we move across this colour value chart.
The Phthalo Turquoise string is as simple to create as just adding white to make Value 9 to Value 2, pure paint for Value 1.
On to the last three colours for our Colour Value Chart. On to the Greens. The first string the green we mixed is as Value 3, it is very blue. Adding white to create Values 4 to 9. To create Value 2 and 1, we will use 3 parts Phthalo Green (Blue shade) to 1 part Raw Umber.
Section 2 our green is at Value 5, we will create a mixture of equal parts Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) & Raw Umber to create from Value 4 to Value 1.
Here we are at the last value String! We created a green that has more yellow as it is now at Value 7. Use white to create Value 8 & 9. Then to darken this last mixture we will use 1 part Phthalo Green (Blue shade) to 5 parts Raw Umber ( Low Chroma Yellow) to make Value 6 to Value 1.
I place the pure tones right across the top and there's a rainbow of beautiful colours.
Join me for the next video as we will do the complimentary mixtures using these three colours and the final colour study.
The first colour study that I started, after an hour I abandoned it. Right away I could see that the Light values were too dark, and all the colours were far too chromatic.
Watching the video on painting a sphere will help in rendering these Ptarmigans. I did a full blog post about the sphere, click HERE. These birds are rounded objects and the light moves across them in a similar fashion.
Below is the final painting that I critique at the 18 minute point of the video.
Below are the three adjustment options:
1. lighten the snow in the background
2. darken the snow in the background
3. blur the snow in the background which creates a lot of little bokeh.
Which one would you choose? Leave a comment below.
This week's video is a tips and tricks one. I am actually going to focus in on how to photograph white birds on snow! I will be using my friend Astrid Kruse's little ceramic birds that she makes. It turns out that birds are not known for being where you want them to be when you are ready to film. Plus it's really cold outside. It has been hovering at -30 and colder all week.
Check out Astrid's work HERE.
If you figure out what I'm going to paint for the next video put a comment below. :) I recommend staying to the end of the video as I will be sharing some of the images that I have taken. Let's grab our camera and let's get going.
in the above image you can see each step that I go through in one place beginning with ISO 200 and ending at ISO 1250
Each ISO jump brought me into the "over exposure" range of the Exposure Value Scale.
I want you to take a minute just to focus in on the shadows. As you look at the range of images you can see how dark the cast shadows are. Cameras tend to read the shadows as really dark compared to what our eyes can see. I can have the bird at a perfect light reading but then the shadows tend to be too dark. If I then made adjustments for the shadow, the bird will end up way too over exposed. The two images with hearts are the correct exposures: ISO 640 the ceramic birds are perfect and ISO 1250 is where the cast shadows are what my eyes were seeing.
Often I will work with two very different images so that I can get the object expose properly but also the cast Shadow are the shadow area expose properly.
At the end of the video I shared a bunch of images that I've taken from being overexposed, properly exposed to underexposed. I would warn against photographing cloudy day when the light is really flat. On those days in the winter there is so much light bouncing around that it just flattened everything out. You will notice it when you're walking as it tends to affect your depth perception.
This weeks video is the 2nd in a 3 part series all focused in on exploring various colour wheels. I have done the Gurney Yurmby version but today I go backwards into my childhood to create the colour wheel that most of us are very familiar and comfortable with.
A colour wheel that we learned had primary, secondary and tertiary colours that could be mixed only from the three colours. Not really so truthful that claim...yes we could mix all 12 colours from 3 but we don't always get clear nice colours that we think about in a colour wheel. I have begun exploring this notion in a series of videos "Limited Palette: Red Blue Yellow - 1, 2, 3 and 4. (Click on the numbers to see the videos).
What makes this colour wheel different from the "Yurmby" version, you ask? This version has 3 primary colours; Yellow, Red and Blue at equal distance around the wheel. But in the "Yurmby" colour wheel version (Blog post click here) there are 6 primary colours of Red/Blue/Green and Cyan/Magenta/Yellow.
We will explore why that makes a such difference when I create the 3rd and final colour wheel version.
You will notice that I have substituted paints for the secondary and sometimes for the tertiary colours so that the colour wheel does have the bright clear colours that we want in a colour wheel.
In the traditional colour wheel I use the following colours:
Cadmium Yellow Light (Primary),
Cadmium Orange (Secondary)
Cadmium Red Medium (Primary)
Alizarin Crimson Hue Permanent (Liquitex)
Dioxazine Purple (Liquitex) (Secondary)
Permanent Green Light. (Secondary)
Thanks for dropping by. See you in the next art video.
I hope you enjoy this video of a flower that my father-in-law grew beside his house. It is not a very showy flower but I had a lovely 17 hours painting it. All the way along memories of Don kept coming. I shared just a few of them during this video.
I mentioned our last trip with Don in August of 2015. Below is the photo of Great-Grampa with Burke, Ian and Stephen. 4 generations of love all in one place.
In the photo collage below is Don holding a log above his shoulder. That is quite the feat given that his heart was in very bad shape. No one, including Don, knew that his heart was in trouble. We still miss Don.
Thank you for join me. See you in the next art video.
Here we are at the end of this first series that we worked with a Limited Colour Palette of just a Red, a Blue and a Yellow. The paint colours used are Alizarin Crimson Hue (Liquitex), Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Yellow Light (both Golden Paints).
To download the print ready pdf for the colour study click HERE
I am so excited to finally get on to the Colour Study! It took about an hour to paint this 13x18cm (5x7in) Rainbow Lorikeet. Don't be in a rush. You want to take your time so that you get all the info you need from this study.
Now we are getting to the substance of what the three colours: Alizarin Crimson Hue (AC), Ultramarine Blue (UB) and Cadmium Yellow Light (CYL) can do.
Below is the grid with measurements on it to make your own Complimentary Colour Chart. The page size is 20x28cm (8x11in).
See that didn't take long, but look at the amount of information we have now. WOW. We are ready to tackle our first colour study. Join me in the next video for the colour study.
It is tempting to use black to darken the value of a colour that you're working with. Sometimes what looks like the easy answer gives us the wrong result. Why does it not turn out at all like we thought it would when we add black? It turns out that Black is a low chroma Blue, just like Burnt Umber is a low chroma Orange, and Raw Umber is a low chroma Yellow. They are very dark colours that can lead to confusion at times.
In this video I will share a mixing strategy which will change the value of the paint but does not alter the colour we are trying to achieve. This is a very important concept.
As we work with the 12 colours we mixed from Alizarin Crimson Hue (Liquitex), Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Yellow Light (both Golden Paints) in the 1st video of this series, we will be creating value scales that are appropriate to each of the colours.
This will require just a few more paint options to help us to create value strings that stay within the same colour range. Here are the extra colours you will need to gather: Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) and Bone Black.
I use very inexpensive pad of watercolour paper for this lesson. I cut the paper down to 26.5x20.5cm (10 1/2x8in).
You can get your very own Munsell Accurate Value Scale by clicking the blue text!
The measurements for the grid are on the image below. I use pencil, but you can use waterproof pen if you want.
Let's start with changing the Cadmium Yellow Light (CYL) paint. CYL is a value 9 directly out of the tube, which means that from Value 8 to Value 1 another paint will have to be added. A low chroma, dark value paint that would give us the results that we are looking for is Raw Umber (Value 2). Raw Umber is a low chroma Yellow. Carefully mix and test each value on the Munsell Accurate Value Scale as you head from value 9 to value 3. Raw Umber alone is the Value 2 spot on the chart. The very last mixture is when Black (Value .5) is be added to the Raw Umber to bring it down to Value 1.
This video is a bit higgly piggly in how I paint the value strings.
Now on to the second colour which is between CYL and Alizarin Crimson Hue (AC). We will mix these two paints together to a Value 6 as this is the middle value in this section. Add white to create value 7,8 & 9. Then add Burnt Umber (Value 2), which is a low chroma Orange, to create Value 5, 4, & 3. Value 2 is Burnt Umber on its own, and as we have done before, add a bit of black to Burnt Umber to get to Value 1 on the scale.
Below on the left is the CYL & AC mixture that we created to a Value 7. You can see this is has more of a Yellow base. We will mix Raw Umber (RU) and Burnt Umber (BU) together 1 : 1, equal amounts of each paint. Add white to create Value 8 and 9, then the RU & BU for Values 6, 5, 4, 3 and 2. Add Black to create the last value of 1.
Sometimes the paint we choose makes it easy to make a colour value string. Alizarin Crimson Hue is that kind of colour, as straight out of the tube it is Value 2. Add white to create Value 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9. Using Black to take the AC to Value 1.
Below on the left we will be using equal parts of Ultramarine Blue (UB) and Alizarin Crimson Hue (AC) to create this lovely purple. The paint mixture is a Value 1, add white to create all the other values! Easy Peasy!!
Ultramarine Blue (UB) is Value 1, add white to create all the other values. This is fun!
Below and left: Mix together Cadmium Yellow Light (CYL) and Ultramarine Blue (UB) to a value 5. We shall add white to make Value 6, 7, 8 & 9. Now we are going to mix 1 part Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) to 5 parts Raw Umber. The Phthalos are very powerful colours so to get the green that is appropriate we need to add a lot more Raw Umber for balance. Lower the values 4, 3 & 2, with Value 1 being the Phthalo Green/Raw Umber mixture which is Value 1.
Above right: This green is much closer to the blue. We will be mixing UB with CYL to a Value 3, add white to go from Value 4 to Value 9. Mix Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) 1 to 1 with Raw Umber. Use this mixture to do Value 2 & 1.
Below left: We will again be mixing CYL with UB this time to a value 6. This creates a green with more of a yellow focus. Add white to accomplish the lighter values of 7, 8 & 9. We will be making a mixture of 1 part Phthalo Green (Blue Shade) to 7 parts Raw Umber to construct the darker values of 5, 4, 3, 2 & 1.
Back to the Alizarin Crimson Hue (AC) and Ultramarine Blue (UB). Using 1 part AC and 2 parts UB to make this delicious colour. We are back to the easy ones, as this mixture is a Value 1. Add white for all other values.
Below Left: On to the last purple. 2 parts AC and 1 part UB makes a value 1 mixture...add white for all the other values.
Above and right. Here we are at the very last colour value string. Mix AC with CYL until the combination reaches a Value 5. Add white to form values 6, 7, 8 & 9. To darken this mixture you will need to use 2 parts Burnt Umber to 1 part Alizarin Crimson Hue which both are Value 2. Use this to form Value 4 & 3. Value 2 is the BU/AC mixture, then add black to bring to a Value 1.
Here we are at the end. I just placed the 12 pure colours across the top for reference. I actually made two of these strips and you will see how I use the second one in the final video of this series.
I hope that this has been helpful! Any comments or questions...leave them here or on the video. Thanks for stopping by.
Yellowknife watercolour and acrylic artist Shawna Lampi-Legaree’s latest venture can best be summarized as capturing moments of beauty from the world around her.
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