Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Warm vs. Cold

With the thermometer dropping, it's getting a little chilly to paint outdoors.
In this little 4x4 inch gouache study I was thinking about warm vs. cold in terms of color temperature, too. The fading warm sunlight only partially melts into the icebergs of the buildings. 

I'm using three colors plus white here: Prussian blue, burnt sienna, and cadmium yellow.

On a different topic, blog reader Jim Douglas asked:
"After following your creative habits for years now I've gleaned you often make a sketch study of a subject then move on to a new subject to make a fresh start. New sketchbook page, new subject. Sketches, especially ones as excellent as yours, can certainly stand on their own as works of art, but do you ever have the urge to develop a sketch and produce a larger scale work based on it? I've only known you to develop sketches into a larger piece of artwork as part of a commission, and I'm curious to know if you ever follow that rhythm when making art for yourself." 

Jim, thanks for the compliment and question. As you say, my sketchbooks are very much an end in themselves, a way of seeing and sharing the world. I'm not doing those paintings to sell, and am making a living in other ways. The benefit of keeping the paintings bound together in sequence in a sketchbook offsets the limitation of not being able to frame them individually on the wall. 

At the same time my sketchbook paintings (maybe I should call them "studies" rather than "sketches") are valuable to me as a means to at least three other goals. One, of course is video production. The instructional documentaries are one of my primary creative outlets at the moment and an important source of income. I'm also looking into ways of publishing those sketchbooks both digitally and physically. And, of course, I do use my sketchbooks as reference when doing studio work. 

And finally, it's funny you should ask about larger scale works, because I just completed two larger separate paintings that will be the subject of the next video. I haven't really shared those images on the blog yet. They're both concept art pieces created entirely on location. Compared to the little sketchbook pages, 11x14" and 12x16" seemed huge. The new video is in voiceover and final edit and will be released in a few weeks.


David Teter said...

Looking forward to your sketchbooks being published James. You have done so many little gems I would guess it could be tough to decide which ones to publish.

Lou said...

Nice little painting James. I've said before I'm a great fan of your experiments with the limited palette. In this one I felt the three colors really worked well together to accentuate the feeling of cold. But I figured I was influenced by knowing the time and place so I made it full screen and asked my wife to look for a few seconds and tell me if it was a Summer or Winter scene. She didn't hesitate in saying it looked cold. I asked what most influenced her and she said the colors, not the subject.
A talented and experienced artist such as yourself could probably produce a winter scene with any three colors. I'd like to think that an artist with patience, practice and many tubes of paint, could really dial down to get specific palettes to suit specific subjects limited only by how much effort they wanted to put into it.
But then all those tubes of paint is kinda contrary to the purpose of a limited palette in the first place. Ah, but the paint manufacturers would love it.

Unknown said...

Very nice painting with the limited palette. I'm so glad to hear that you are working on putting out your sketchbooks to purchase. I will be purchasing them as I'm sure they will be a great reference to study from for a art student like myself.

Thanks for another great post.