"When I paint I try to have one foot in my unconscious mind and the other foot on the ground. If I fall over I start again. " (Anthony Wait)
I have been mixing a lot of paint lately, tube after tube. Different color combinations and medium experiments continue as I think about the ways that paint can be manipulated. One thing of interest: at what moment in the process of a painting you choose to mix the colors can make a big difference.
Mixing most of the colors I think I might need with a knife on my palette before I start painting is new to me and it has a lot of advantages.
1. It keeps the color clean, clean, clean! No brush, no contamination with an unwanted trace of the previous color.
2. I usually mix extra, or at least enough, paint in a pile.
3. This is a big help: I can see a comparison of the values and color contrasts before any paint is applied. I can change and edit them while they are side by side in a small area on my palette.
4. The process of mixing the color is so enjoyable all by itself that it’s great to just give oneself the time to spend just doing that.
Look how beautiful the palette of colors for this painting is here, before I started applying the paint to canvas:
And how cleanly the paint went onto the linen surface:
This paint was applied with a knife and then smoothed here and there if needed with a brush. Some areas were brushed if I thought that was a better effect. I am looking for clarity and simplification.
It is easy to do this in my studio, but it is also possible to do this en plein air out in the landscape. It just takes a lot of discipline not to just jump right into painting when you are outside and the light is changing quickly! Try it anyway.
If you have good luck with this method, feel free to leave a comment on my blog and let us know how it works for you. Click the link to go to Blogger if you got this in an email, and comment at the bottom of this blog. Happy mixing!