07 April 2010

Color Study No. 1

The summer before I met Mike, I had fully intended to try oil painting. It's one of the mediums I have not really tested out. The not being able to use water issue seemed hard to wrap my mind around at the time, especially to someone who mainly works in water based mediums. Then I started dating a painter, and became friends with an astonishing number of painters. Hearing about their trials and errors with oil paint, along with the level of expertise that came with years of practice ended up deterring me in some way. It felt so foreign, that I stuck to other mediums that felt more familiar.

On Dirty Window

As I've been painting and drawing more, and want to try new things, I'm thinking of trying out oil paints once more. Using oil based inks for gocco printing and linocut seems much easier to comprehend now. Months ago, when I told Mike I didn't know where to start with oils, he suggested I try some color studies. That sounded like a good idea, so I filed it in my brain and carried it around to revisit later.


One day in February, I returned from work and the light was just setting as I stepped into my apartment. It made the room glow pink and orange, and there were pieces of sunbeam littered throughout the apartment. If there were a day to capture some color, this seemed like the day to start. I tried to get the color of the pink shadows, and the sunlight shining through my now almost dead begonia.

Through Begonias

So I did. I decided to make a 5" x 7" color study, and to try to focus on the colors and isolate the shades to communicate what I had seen. I decided not to try to overthink it, so that it did not become a chore. I'll keep the format the same, and it will probably stay pretty true to horizontal rectangles of color on a vertical frame. It's helpful to have some limitations in my opinion. Endless possibilities can seem paralyzing sometimes. Anyone else ever feel that way?


I will only paint colors that I see on the same day, but can use whatever medium and will try to keep it loose.

Shadow and Light

I want to have a goal of how many to make. I'm at about thirteen right now, but am still deciding how many I want to create. One hundred seems too small, five hundred too large, and I'm partial to odd numbers.

Found Sunlight

So far, I'm enjoying this project, and am finding myself noticing the small bits of color, even if it is a piece of trash on my sad little sidewalk. It's also forcing me to practice mixing colors instead of just using ones that I have, even if they nearly match.

Color Study No. 1

Oil paints will be used, that's a promise. (wink)

Color Study No. 1

I wished it could stay wet, but that's not what watercolors do!


Andrea said...


Lisa said...

Lovely pictures! And I know exactly what you mean by the paralyzing nature of having too many choices. Its why I hate shopping at malls :)

sulu-design said...

Totally agree with you on the too many options thing
I love what you're doing with the color studies, and you've given me an idea to work on shape studies. I've been wanting to draw and paint a bit, and this might be a fun place to start. More, please!

Jessica Nichols said...

This is rad, I'm super happy you are doing this project. It's lookin' good! Love that sun flare, I'm drawn to those kinds of images lately.

ambika said...

I could not love these photos more. When the sun is low in the sky, it just takes my breath away.

& love your latest work--the color studies are awesome.