|"Club Street Arches"|
6"x6" Oil on Gessoboard
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This is a lovely little house right up on Club Street, close to Chinatown. I was finally able to get there during a time of day that had a lot of the houses in this beautiful light. Turns out that time of day is first thing in the morning!
Right now I am finding more growth and development in my art from trial and error and seeing what works than I could learn from somebody telling me how to do it at this point. Mostly this is because I am working on developing my style - that involves quite a bit of inner reflection and study of others that you simply have to do on your own. Your style has to do a lot with three things - your color palette, your brushstrokes, and your subject matter.
My subject matter is slowly growing and evolving, but I'm really trying to define my style more through my colors and brush strokes. To do this, I'm especially enjoying studying other artist's paintings - how they crop them, how they frame a subject, the lighting. Then I look at the color and brushstrokes and figure out what I like, what I don't like. I have especially started looking at other artists for their color handling. For example, I have been struggling and struggling with yellows. How to have them go to shadow without having them look muddy. For the painting above, I took a look at Karin Jurick's painting, "Hot Seat." (Click Here to view/purchase)
Since I was having a rough time with the shadow side of yellow, this was a perfect painting to use for study. She has one small spot that is pretty much black, and another that is a very warm black/brown. But then for the rest of the medium shadows, it is much warmer than I initially tought. I was taught that shadows make colors cooler, which initially you are taught to mix compliments - so that would mean to add blue/violet. And yes, they do, but if you go too cool, too quickly, the color winds up looking muddy and dead.
Karin's shadow is ALIVE. She doesn't define too much, and she doesn't make the shadow just one flat plane, but it the shadow stays nice and warm. It is basically a burnt sienna, and in some places a really lovely red orange. When you use these warmer darks, it still gives the impression of shadows, but the shadows become much richer. Shadows aren't always blue. In any case, since my shophouse was a yummy buttery yellow, I didn't have the shadows go too warm, as I didn't want the shadow to be warmer than the sun-drenched portion. This was a great exercise, and I learned quite a bit.