A slow start...
After painting several of my studio paintings with my go-to regular palette, I came up with the idea of painting the same subject but with a limited palette...just to see what the difference would be. Using a limited palette is something I’ve wanted to try. This seemed like a great time to experiment! Right away, I was surprised at the versatility within the limited palette. It forced me to think more strictly in light/dark and warm/cool terms which, I think, is good for me. Editing and simplifying never hurts and the limited palette made me think differently. I was definitely happy with the results and folks on Social Media seem to like the results too...whatever that means.
Studio Study Gallery
It's been a fun experiment and something I will carry with me into my plein air work this season. I'm definitely considering how to limit my plein air palette. It's not an extensive one to start with...8 colors, but it may be time to experiment a bit with that this spring!
When I'm doing these challenges, I like to alternate doing different things; so one day I'll paint a small studio study and the next I'll play with some abstraction. Some days I may do both, especially if I've had a couple days off, but it helps keep it fun and interesting for me to mix it up a bit.
Gouache studies plus...
A number of years ago I took an online class from Larry Moore. He introduced me to this idea of many small gouache studies, one building off another and just building the layers of them too. You can add collage, markers, pencil drawing, whatever you want to the process. I enjoy the intuitive-ness of this process. Sometimes it ends in a disastrous mush or a chaotic blur but sometimes a gem pops up. Even in the messes, often there's a little something…and you add another layer once again to "fix" it.
Anyway, one sheet of gouache sketches is 2-3 days of short work sessions since it is layered.
After I was working with these shapes for a couple weeks, I decided I wanted to try painting them with a limited palette. That’s where the 12” x 12” paintings happened. Some successful. Some not.
Then I wanted to get even bigger! Would it work to enlarge the gouache studies or would something be lost in that translation? Let’s try! My 1st attempts went quite well. It helped that they were done over old paintings. I LOVE working over old paintings. I’ve started a few on new panels. They are coming along but it’ll take a bit more work to get them to a similar level to the first two.
There was no "final destination" in mind when I started this challenge. I've created paintings I'm happy with and I'm definitely inspired with ideas for more and that is what I was hoping for. I have learned new things AND I have more work to do. That feels terrific. The challenge served it's purpose.
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