Thursday, 3 October 2013

Grumbling About Grey

Well, we mustn't let fame and fortune go to our heads, and the day job beckons. I have been very happy with the number of early visitors to the website, so thank you to all those who have given it a glance. Already, I have made a few adjustments and added a few things here and there and all the latest news will be over there too. So keep posted for new developments and sneaky peaks coming soon.

Anyway, with all the excitement of launching the website this week, it's easy to forget that there is work to be done. Of course, the latest painting is for the ISBA alphabet project and I am at last nearing the end. There are brambles galore, spreading across the page and although there are just a few tweaks on some of the leaves to do, the letter itself is still the daunting prospect.

The ladybird was painted using a mix of
Cadmium Red Deep and Perylene Maroon
with a touch of Indanthrene Blue.

The deepest shading on the leaves used the rich green mix of
Indanthrene Blue, Aureolin and Perylene Maroon but with a
greater degree of blue in the mix. 

The grey that we have been asked to use for the letter is a little on the sticky side for my liking, (no I am not going to embarrass the maker by naming and shaming). Using the colour in some of my practice runs has been a little hit and miss, with streaky tidemarks appearing as the wash dries. Also, I am not really into using pre-mixed greys and gave up on them during the SBA course, in favour of mixing my own neutrals and greys from my palette colours. However, as ISBA would like the project to be complimentary across the whole alphabet, all participating artists are being asked to use the same shade.

Pre-mixed, 'in the tube' greys
against my own mixes.
I always find the pre mixes a bit harsh and
'colourless'. Greys, neutrals and shadows always reflect
 the colours around them and these are a bit, well
My usual method of laying a wash is to wet the area first with clean water, allow it to dry a little, then drop in the colour and manipulate it about until the desired saturation is achieved.  Let's just say at this point, that this particular shade of grey is from a company that I quite like, and I have a good number of their yellows that I swear by in my green mixes. This one, however, is going to take some practice methinks.


Debbie Nolan said...

Jarni - catching up on your posts...hurray about your web site...good for you. I know how hard it is to maneuver around a blog I just can't imagine creating your own web site. I am partial to your greys that you mix. I agree seems like when we mix them they seem much richer.

Janene said...

Jarnie, Your bramble leaves are coming along beautifully! Thanks for sharing your pigment mix for them. I agree with you about mixing one's own greys from the painting palette--it makes much more interesting shades. Have you read Making Color Sing by Jeanne Dobie? She has a lot to say about how the right shade of grey adds zing to a painting. (If you get her book, note the updated paint palette on her website.)

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Hello Debbie, glad you like the site, so relieved it's done now. Do play around with yellows, reds and blues to mix greys, it's amazing what you get.

Janene, thanks so much for book suggestion, I hadn't come across this one before, but I certainly seek out a copy now. :)

Starr White said...

Hi Jarnie, thanks so much for your visit, because now I'm following you too! Lovely blog, wonderful work. Look forward to seeing more :)

Janene said...

PS About the book--Jeanne Dobie is a landscape painter but her explanations about color theory, and how adjoining colors influence one another is really interesting and helpful.

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thank you Starr, great to have you on board. :)

Thanks Janene, I haven't had a chance to look it up yet, but will do. x