Saturday, February 15, 2014

February 15, 2014

My overview of today, as a day to be out painting... Well, at least it wasn't snowing!  Low ceilings, chilly temps, and almost no snow left, didn't get me real excited out there.  I really found it hard to like what I was looking at this morning.  Without the snow cover, the dead grays of the landscape under the low overcast were less than interesting.

Like I've told students, sometimes these are the kind of days when you go out to school yourself.  One way to do that is to minimize the palette to study and paint the tonal relationships without as much concern for color... because the color there is minimal at best.  Let me put that another way... at this time of year, if there is sun on the landscape, even the dead grasses and 'winter landscape' usually has a wonderful visual treat in store for the painter.  If not... then it's like today.

I almost went with straight value studies, black and white paint, which is a great way to study.  Instead I decided painted with the so called "Zorn" palette of Ivory Black, Cadmium Red Light (Zorn used true Vermillion) and Yellow Ochre... plus white.  Zorn did use this palette, but not for everything he painted.  He had tons of tubes of color in his studio when he passed, and it's obvious looking at his work that he painted with other colors on his palette.  Still, on a day like today, it was a challenge yet a very appropriate selection of colors to use.  I might have liked a blue... but after the day of painting with those three colors... I really didn't miss the blue at all.  It's all about color relationships, this palette shows that in spades.  The violets and cool bluish colors are only looking that way because the black, white and red in mixture is next to a yellowish or an orangish color, causing the visual effect of complimentary contrast to help out.

Since the snow has melted off, there is a lot more road surface to see to pull over on.  Today was a road painting day for sure.  No weirdos, no animals.

Thanks for checking in... Enjoy!

2-15-1 "Low Ceiling" - oil - 8x10
©Marc R. Hanson 2014

2-15-2 "Easy Gray" - oil - 8x10
©Marc R. Hanson 2014

2-15-3 "Old Dark Ones" - oil - 8x10
©Marc R. Hanson 2014

2-15-4 "Ouray Up" - oil - 8x10
©Marc R. Hanson 2014


Wendy Rhodes said...

Hi, I admire your commitment to this fabulous series. The roads are a very appealing set, encouraging us to look through your work to the landscape beyond. Thank you also for the commentary, knowing the weather conditions and how you feel about the work brings it alive. All the best for the rest of February.

Carole Pivarnik said...

Love your blog (I subscribe via email).

This post kinda gut-punched me into promising myself not to dismiss opportunities to paint outside on overcast winter days just because I find them visually boring! That's just an uncreative excuse. So thanks. :) All these paintings are really nice but the one titled Easy Gray is very striking. Amazing how blue that sky reads.