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Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Tale of Two Colors - "Letting Go"

What I've been up to lately has been quite a lot of things, but in the art department, I've been teaching my very first watercolor class! We have been learning the rules of watercolor, and experimenting with different ideas, such as textures in a painting, silhouettes, and creating a painting using only two colors. I decided to join in on the two color project my students were painting.

The idea is that two colors can create a number of outcomes, not just two. If you mix the two colors together, you'll get a third, if you add more water to the color it will become lighter, and if you increase the pigment you will get a darker hue. 

Believe it or not, this painting is composed of only two colors: Paynes Grey and Alizarian Crimson! The sky is so light with a lot of water, and the tree is so dark that it's definitely the focal point of the painting. Notice how the hills are lighter if they are farther away, and darker if they are closer. The leafy tree next to the leafless one was done by having fun with the water, letting it dry slowly and mixing while the water is wet. I just let the water go where it wanted to, and it created a lovely result! Look at the edges of the rocks how the color blooms off against the water! I loved it, so I kept it. I tell my students that when the painting looks just right, don't touch it! Drop your brush and let it alone until it's dry. 

I call this painting "Letting Go," for two reasons. First- the tree has prematurely let go of it's leaves. And second, if you let the water in your watercolor go, you'll get some really fun results, like in this painting. The picture was taken by, once again, my good friend Christine Simmons. We were on a canoeing adventure at Camp Liahona in New York State. It was a beautiful, warm summer morning with an overcast to keep the heat at bay. I wonder why the tree was leafless in the middle of July?

Hope everyone has a very Happy Halloween!


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