Problem Solving with Libby
Question from Susan:
I am in the south of France where the light is delicious, but very bright, even late into the afternoon. I feel good about my work while I am on site, checking first to make sure my values are correct, as you discuss in the book and teach at the workshops. But then when I bring my studies indoors, the colors are way too saturated and bright. Is there a way to gauge the color saturation while mixing onsite in the bright sunlight? Both my palette and panel were under the umbrella.
Answer from Libby:
Hi Susan, your painting location sounds fabulous!!
Congratulations on avoiding coming in with dark cold paintings. That is often an issue in bright light. With all of the bounced light you're having invade your painting, I would suggest taking out a painting with correct chroma in a clear bag that you can paint on to check color or make up a couple of premixed puddles of color. I would premix colors from the previous day's work in the correct chroma and then go back to the same location and make a new painting. By comparing the paint you mix on your palette to the premixed puddles, you can tell if you're in the ball park with the chroma you want. Once you know how to compensate for the light you should be able to reach your desired chroma.
I run into over-saturation in my studio at times.
By using my plein air studies I am able to mix puddles of color that I want to use in my studio work. Then I have wet paint to compare to as I mix new color.
Comparing wet paint to wet paint works for me.
This is another good reason to keep your field studies! They create our library of knowledge.
What do we mean when we say,
Keep your painting in the same language?
Do you ever find yourself rushing to finish a painting on location, or running into the studio and painting before you get focused on your intent?
I have been thinking of this recently with the work I am completing in the studio. I have to rethink what my mood was when I was on location and the rhythm in which I painted. Each painting has it's own energy. I have to think about the brush work and what size and kind of brush I was working with.
One of ways to change the unity and language of your painting is to paint carefully thru the foreground and middleground and then take out a knife and paint a large flat sky... get the idea? If you layer color in most of your painting make sure you layer paint in the sky.
All in all keeping your painting in the same language means making sure the painting doesn't look like someone else came up to your easel and painted on your painting when you weren't looking!
What's on the Easel?
Paintings from Maine!