Monday, March 21, 2016

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

First off, I have no idea how I even came to choose this subject. The only stipulation for this project was to use complimentary colors. Perhaps it was just me fully embracing my adventurous side and going for another completely outside of my comfort zone pieces. Either way, I really loved painting this. I must say, it feels good to try something I have never considered myself even remotely good at, and end up with something so successful. Of course, there were hiccups, and there are some flaws, but as part of my fresh and freer approach to painting, I just let it go, and accept the piece for what it is.

I started out with permanent yellow medium, straight out of the tube, the added dabs of violet to match the values of my reference photo. I wasn't trying to be exact. Remember, we are still working in shapes. No blending. 

For the scale, I went from permanent yellow medium and violet. I worked my way to a solid midpoint the same way as I did with the previous scales. For this one, however, I added white to another few swatches of the midpoint to show a nice beige tones.

As I came to the foreground, I got into using the yellow mixed into violet shades to make sure it all stood out from the mountain. Normally, the darker values cause an object to appear further back, but with atmospheric perspective, it is generally those foggy tones making up the distance. For this sun soaked mountain, the higher key colors represented the light best.

That foreground was proving itself to be a bit difficult. Perhaps I should have worked out the different values on the reference first (like with the Johnny Cash portrait) Either way, I painted over the foreground with it's lightest value (which was still pretty dark) and started again.

Taking longer to rework the foreground on this piece, I ended up bringing it home to the studio.

What made it tricky, was how dark the wet paint was. That splotch in the middle is actually the same color as what is immediately around it.

Finally making the large rocks look like rocks to my satisfaction, I used straight violet for the silhouettes of the climbers. While violet isn't the same value as black, the vibrancy of the figures makes them stand out almost as much as the mountain itself, without competing with it for attention.

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