Analogous Colors with Semi-Neutrals

I’m reading a great book on Color by Stephen Quiller that I will review at a later date.  I tend to go a bit wild with colors.  Sometimes my tones are all too bright and there are so many colors it hurts your eyes and it’s hard to see the main focus from the background.

I decided to do a few paintings base on color schemes I’m learning from this book.  While I’m not fond of the still life, I did one in analogous colors with semi-neutrals for this exercise.  I used greens next to each other on the color wheel, a yellow green, viridian, and a blue green.  I mixed the yellow and the blue-green myself using the viridian.

Here is my palette:

 The colors at the bottom are the semi-neutrals where the opposing color from the color wheel was mixed, for instance quinicone red with viridian green.   This gave me a semi-neutral.  I added white to the main hue as well as the neutral to give me a larger palette.

I set up this still life:

 I then did the following painting with the idea of it being soothing and calm. 


The Three Teddy Bears Go Camping

Take 2 The Teddy Bears Go Camping

I posted the comment below on Facebook and an artist friend made some suggestions so here is Take 2 of The Three Teddy Bears Go Camping.  What she suggested was that I make the cold sky and background warmer and fill in the trees.  So here is the new and improved The Three Teddy Bears Go Camping



Take 1

I’m still trying to find a balance between careful clean brushwork and the more interesting combinations of  “dirty” brush.   I just bought a book on color theory which should help me.   I feel at this point I’m diving into too many colors at once and loosing clarity.  But I’m also getting interesting textures and brushwork.  




The Bumblebee’s Last Party of Summer

Book Reviews Techniques

The Joy of Dirty Brushes

 I read in all my intro books on painting about keeping your colors clean and not mixing your colors because they might become muddy.  I carefully used brush after brush and was careful to let layers dry and my colors were clear and wonderful.

Then my husband’s friend Pete in Australia who runs Pulsar Productions send me one of his instructional videos.  The video was by Hashim Akib and called Vibrant Acrylics.   This artist using mainly a couple of big flat brushes, dipped into multiple colors at once, created fantastic paintings. 

I had to try this.  He made it look so easy!  I decided to try to use a picture from my husband’s trip to Royal Ascot to base it on.  It is a lot harder than it looks!  I am now trying to incorporate this technique into my “style” of painting.  I find just using it alone, I tend to make things get a bit too busy.   It’s really great for skies, using a two inch flat brush, to dip in a couple of blues and a bit a white and just drag it across the canvas, dip a little differently and repeat. 

Here is my first effort.  I have to say it is harder than it looks. 


Spirit of the Race