Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pigment Soup

No, it's not something an artist makes for dinner.  It's a term Larry Seiler came up with for the mixture of left over paint from the previous painting.  You just get the palette knife out and mix all of the paint into one pile of mud.  It's pretty mud though.  Mine turned out to be a beautiful red grey.  I didn't know mud could look so good.

The first thing I did was tone the canvas panel with the mixture.  I spread the mixture onto the canvas and rubbed it in with a paper towel, rubbing until the surface was a nice light red grey.  I then added a touch of the mixture to all of the piles of paint from the last painting.  This unifies the colors and the theory is that no matter what pile of paint you choose, the colors will all look fine together.  This is all new to me, but it sounds reasonable.

It was a good experiment for someone like me, a color geek.  I am looking at this painting beside the last painting and I can see how the muted painting makes the other painting look that much more colorful.  Using pure and muted tones together in a painting only makes sense.  That's what this challenge is for.  I am learning as I go.

This is painted with Windsor & Newton Artisan WMO paint and is painted on a 5 x 7 canvas panel from a photo in the WetCanvas Image Reference Library.  Thanks to Paula Ford for the photo.  I am happy to say this took less than an hour to paint.  Having the all the paint premixed sure helps.  Three values of each hue and away you go.

Thanks for looking.




  1. Very nice, Doug....soft yet colorful. I like the gradations of color.

    1. It's muted, yet there is still color. You know me, Judi. I usually push the color so this was a little different. Thanks for the comment.