All art copyright (c) Mike Kloepfer
"The level of achievement that we have at anything is a reflection of how well we were able to focus on it."
-Steve Vai

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sick days don't always suck.

Stayed at home today, sick as the proverbial dog.
I was vegging and watching some tv (Merlin), and all of a sudden, I could see the exact colors, and the color palette, that they were using. It was as if they pulled the colors right off my newly acquired "limited" palette (Payne's Gray, Red Oxide, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber and a touch of Manganese Blue) that I just hand-picked at the art supply store last week.
So I got my new 'limited palette' selection of paints and played around with them. I find that by doing simple mixtures, blends and washes, I can really get a feel for the colors in my palette, their strengths, and what they are capable of.
Plus, since I had already written the day off as a sick day, there was no hurry or agenda (i.e., I didn't feel the need to 'accomplish' something.) That allowed me to just experiment and have fun.
I found that this palette is quite powerful and versatile, and I can create nearly everything I need for the pieces/color schemes I have in mind, while maintaining color harmony. I also am experimenting with the two whites: Titanium and Zinc, and how they affect the colors.
I love the way the colors play off each other. And in the tv show, I could see the way they composed the scenes with color and lighting. It gave me a lot of really cool ideas.
It was quite the extraordinary experience.

In addition, I prepared a couple of sheets of canvas for the next step - the color charts!
I take each color in the palette, and mix it with each of the other colors in the palette. I then take each of these colors and mix them down to almost-white in five steps.
Here are the old color charts from my full, extended palette:

This really gives me a handle on all of the color mixtures and possibilities in my palette.
It also helps when I sit down to create a painting - I can look at a color I need, and find a mixture on the charts; it usually only needs minor tweaking to get the color I want, and helps me to keep my color mixtures simple. (I have a tendency to get carried away, and throw everything under the sun into a color mixture, only to have it come out looking like muck.)
I find that most of the colors I seek fall into the 'subtle grays'/neutrals - and by obtaining simple, clean neutral color mixtures, it makes the few saturated colors really sing!
It doesn't t always have to turn into a full-spectrum color Luau, like "Technicolor melty jungle"in the Burn the Ships cover/poster art!
Fun fun fun!

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