Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Thomas Girtin Watercolor

Here's a study in warm and cool by Thomas Girtin (1775-1802). He worked in watercolor and was a master of architecture. He must have been ignoring greens and possibly reds in this painting to make this a study of blue vs. raw sienna.

The values are beautifully controlled, with the the values lightened on the left side of the building, and the darkest accent being the figure and the cow at center right.
If you're in Denver, see my lecture tonight at 6:30 at the Denver Botanic Gardens.


Philip Newsom said...

Ignoring green sounds like a relief! I'll have to try it.
Very informative talk with great visuals at the DBG tonight, thank you. When you signed my book you asked if I was a Denver Illustrators Guild, and now I'm so curious what that is and can't find info in it. Also, wondering about a workshop at the gardens thurs. and fri I thought you mentioned. Looking forwarded to delving into Color & Light and Menzel! Thanks- Philip Newsom

Philip Newsom said...

Another question I wish I'd asked asked about the idea that RYB as primary colors is arbitrary. I always understood primary to mean you can't mix any color to make that color, i.e. you can get green by mixing blue and yellow, violet from blue and red, orange from red and yellow, but you can't get blue from green and violet , or red from violet and orange. So RYB as primaries still makes sense in that way...?

Standby4action said...

I love it when you review art James. Carry on please as it helps me understand how you see ithe as an artist

James Gurney said...

Thanks for coming, Philip, and for the the great questions.

I think it's called the Denver Illustration Salon.

Sorry, the workshop Thursday and Friday is sold out:

In theory you can mix any two colors that are close on the color wheel to get the color that's between them. So you can mix a green and a violet to get a blue, but of course it will be a slightly less chromatic blue than the blue you get from the tube. In the same way you can mix a violet from blue and magenta, but it's going to be a violet that is less chromatic than its constituents. The only hitch to this theory is yellow, which has its purest identity at such a high value in pigments. That makes mixing a yellow from orange and green problematic. Since green and orange pigments are relatively lower in value, they're going to mix more of a dullish brown. However, when mixing colors of light, this isn't a problem. Green plus red light mix to make a nice yellow. I did a post about the idea of using "secondaries" as primaries:

Standby4action, Glad you enjoyed it. I'll do more in future.

Susan Krzywicki said...

This image also gives me a sense of the earth being curved. It just sprung at me: we don't often get a sense of the land forming.

Mike Kloepfer said...

Great talk last night at Denver Botanic Gardens. Someof the topics from your book got the chance to have a little more light she'd on them. (Pun intended.)
It was also great to meet you and have you sign my copy if your book. Your art had a big influence on the trajectory of my artistic career.
I hope we have the opportunity to cross paths again in the near future.
-Mike Kloepfer

Mike Kloepfer said...

@Philip Newsom:
Denver Illustration Salon is a group of illustrators and artists coming together to create a community in the Denver area.
There are all kinds of events and groups, including Plein Air Painting, Zoo Sketch Group, Drink & Draw, and more.
Here's a link to the Facebook page:
For specific questions, Jeremy Aaron Moore is one of the admins, and a great guy. Look him up on Facebook, or you can contact me as well.
Mike Kloepfer

Mike Kloepfer said...

@James Gurney - here's an interesting experiment : try mixing Jaune Brilliant and Chartreuse (oil paints) to get a dead-on Yellow Ochre.
Tony Ryder had us do this in one of his classes, and it blew my mind... when you get the mixture just right, you can't tell it from Yellow Ochre straight out of the tube.
It's amazing what you find is possible, with a little experimentation. :)