Limited Palette exercises begin

Sayaka - WIP 4

As an exercise on learning to mix colors, my next few paintings will be made with a limited palette of 4 colors – Titanium White, Crimson Lake, Ultramarine Blue and Chrome Yellow Deep Hue. Following the MacPherson book I was looking for Alzarin Crimson and Cadmium Yellow Pale but they werent available at the local art store. I took what to me seemed closest to them as replacements. I did not want any further delays.

I’m using a photograph that I’d taken of Sayaka in college as a reference. I will add photos of progress to this post as I go along.

Update : Later in the afternoon : I need to find a way to leave the wip alone till it dries a bit.
Sayaka - WIP 1 Sayaka - WIP 2

Update: Dec 14, 2006: I’ve made some corrections to the shape. I can see some more that I need to make immediately. I have put in a layer of the light values on the face and will go in with the mid values tomorrow.

Update: Dec 15, 2006: Started adding in the details and now want to further seperate the light, dark and shadow.

Sayaka - WIP 3 Sayaka - WIP 4

11″ X 13″ oil on unstretched canvas


5 thoughts on “Limited Palette exercises begin

  1. What kind of medium are you using? Some mediums dry a little faster then others and I think they dry differently in different climates. Some one at your local art store might know. You are doing great. I would have thought that it would be difficult to learn painting from a combination of books, the Internet, photos and live models. Proves the point that there are many ways to get to where you are going.

  2. I have been using a mix of turpentine and linseed oil as the medium. For the last one I barely used any medium. Sadly, the local art stores here are not very well stocked and nor are they very knowledgeable 😦 Also there is a language barrier. Thank you for the encouragement. 😀 I must confess that it hasnt been just books and the net. The months that I spent at the Delhi College of Art helped me get a basic understanding and some confidence. Having said that I find the forums, the books and the blogs extremely useful. The thing that I have not fully understood is “values” and what each author means by it. It would’ve been nice to get demos for such things 😀

  3. This is really looking wonderful Ujwala. I can’t wait to see where you go with it, although it is already very interesting.

  4. Ujwala, a way to understand the value is to break them down into thirds and exclude white and black..
    The first third would be your dark’s, which could include, Payne’s grey, raw umber, burnt umber etc. 2nd third would be your mid range that might include both cad red dark and Raw Sienna, the last group might include cad yellow, maybe cad red light, orange. Most artist, instructor when they are talking about values they are talking about a grey scale, with “0” equal to black and “10” equal to white. All the other colors fall somewhere in-between. If you have time try mixing each value just using black and white to match the value of each tube of paint you use. I’ve looked for a value chart on the net but have not found one yet. Maybe somebody out there know where to find one. I’ll keep looking.

  5. Bob, I think i’m going to mark my paints on a 5 scale value and maybe that will get it to stick in my head. I have tried Sovek’s exercise of putting all the shades in your paint set into the various values. I managed to get most right and was quite proud of myself. But that’s the theory part. I cant seem to apply it to my paintings or even drawings.

    So far I do not plan 😦 a reason why i’ve completely stayed away from watercolors. I sort of barge in and then try to recover. In a pen & ink drawings it becomes impossible but with paint there are usually possibilities 😛 When I read about first painting the darkest dark and the lightest light no light bulbs go off in my head.

    And Bob, did you ever spend time with drawing and painting cubes, pyramids and round objects? I know how much I could learn and improve but I just cant get myself to start. 😦

    One of the books that I’m looking at is by Craig Nelson and he talks about a Two Value Statement technique in which each element is broken down into a light and dark and then later further refined. I started off with that in mind here but got lost very early while painting. 😦

    I’m sorry for going on and on. And I thank you for looking, listening and helping me out. Extremely grateful.


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