Monday, September 1, 2008

The Silver Bowl
34 x 30 Oil on Linen

I think of my palette as my piano. The colors are arranged from white to black. Each artist can use whatever colors they like but should set them out as if they were the keys on their piano. White at one end followed by the next highest color in pitch, or value as artists call it, then proceed down through the middle range of colors and finally the darks and then black. It would be impossible to play the piano if the keys were not arranged in a logical way and you couldn't find the note you want to play. So it is with painting. It is impossible to mix the color you want if you don't know where it falls on the scale from white to black. Mix your light colors at one end of the palette, keep the richness in the middle, play the dark notes at the other end. If you can control your palette from light to dark mixing color will be as easy as playing scales. At the end of the day your palette will tell you how well you've painted. If it is beautiful and organized and harmonious then your painting will be too. If your palette is a patchy confusing mess then your painting will look the same. Someone recently sent me this quote from Robert Henri, "Dirty brushes and a sloppy palette have dictated the color-tone and key of many a painting. The painter abdicates and the palette becomes master".....

1 comment:

Walter Lynn Mosley said...

I like the beautiful, soft harmonies in this.