In The Studio: Just Paint 17 “Cool Light”

My goal in today’s painting was to create a feeling of light but to keep the colors very cool and yet say light.  I left a few pieces of white paper create movement to the center of interest and use big bold strokes with a 1.5 in brush to lay the colors down.  I used a very broad color palette, and because I wet the paper a lot before starting the colors died some when the painting dried.

Run a big cool sky wash of cobalt violet and blue and immediately paint the background hill down to the top of the buildings lift and paint that runs on to the roofs.  I used a range of yellow, and greens for the background to start the painting off on a cool note.

Paint the foreground with dark values of olive green, alizirin, cobalt blue and some new gamboge.  This can really get murky if you rub the paint, just apply in and let it dry.  Remember to leave the little light for the pathway on the right, create a little texture on the edge to make it more interesting.

Paint the big trees with dark mixes of olive green, burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, thalo yellow green and keep using the big 1.5 inch brush.  Really try to get a variety of marks with this brush although it is big is can be used to make a wide variety of textures and edges.

Paint the barns from left to right, the first one is brighter and red, the colors are cadmium scarlet, alizirin and cobalt blue, the next barn is cooler so I used more cobalt blue and added burnt sienna to gray it down a smidge.  The last building is basically a cool grey mixed from burnt sienna and ultramarine blue with a little cobalt violet to make it harmonious with all of the other colors.

Add accents and details like the cows and fences and colors on the people in the barn. I think I will darken the red barn.

Yep darkening the red barn brings out the intended light in the painting and I also added weeds in the foreground and a few shadows.  The one on the gray barn is indicating a tree out of the picture plane and then I hinted at a few shadows on the path.

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  • MercedesApril 11, 2014 - 8:10 am

    You’ve thoroughly explained each step, and the why of what you do at each of them. It is a delight of reading, interesting and full of information. It push me to want to try it. I’m informing my friends, beginners in watercolor, the links of your posts so that they can know you as me. Thank you for sharing. A respectful greetingReplyCancel