Silvery Day, Summer Jan 17, 2010

When teaching classes, I often return to the same locations to paint. Sometimes, as in this case, I taught my class at the Santa Barbara Bird Refuge. The criteria was to paint a painting using a limited palette. This constrains the artist, making him/her have to make decisions on how to paint certain shapes, masses, and details within the composition, but using fewer colors to represent what they may be seeing. It is not about painting literally, but interpreting the subject poetically.

My colors: White, Ultramarine Blue, Alizarine Crimson, Burnt Umber.

From what I recall, the sky had been gray that day, but by using white, with a little Naples Yellow, a touch of Alizarine Crimson, and a smidgen of Ultramarine Blue for contrast, it warms up the sky, and makes it more dramatic. Working with a limited palette increases the tonal harmony of the painting.

Silvery Day, Summer 14x12, oil/Board
Painting subject to prior purchase