The object of spring term is to work in monochrome and a limited pallet, expanding on colour as the term wears on.
It's valuable to be able to understand tone before colour, it makes us work harder at composition, and makes us translate colour into tone, and tone is a useful tool in composition along with colour, but we need to separate the two to begin with in order to understand it, and all it's possibilities.Below, are two paintings by Edward Seago of the same subject, but with a different colour bias in each, presumably painted at different times of the day.I have been able to create very similar colours to these copies by using only indigo, cadmium red, and yellow ochre, on both pictures, with a different colour bias on each.This is very useful to know when trying to capture a fleeting sky and rapidly changing light, it would save you rumaging around for exactly the right colours instead of getting what you can out of just 2 or 3.
The first exercise for the beginning of term was to separate out the difference between tone ( dark and light ) with intensity, ( pale to bright ).
We eased our way into this new term by copying the 2 bars of colours using only cadmium red and black.
The 1st bar was neutral, 50 X 50% mix of red and black in a gradating scale from light to dark.
The second was an intense to dark scale from pale to intense red, then adding black to create dark brown to black.
Some of my learners today got some beautiful subtle variations on these combinations.
To consolidate the exercise we divided the group into darks and lights, each reviewing their own and others work, then swapping sides with the benefit of the advice from the other group.
We then repeated the same exercise with small thumbnails of a church scene, dark, light and balanced, based on sides of the colour bar they had painted earlier.
Next week we will start working up copies of Edward Seago's pantings in groups of browns and blues, and following on from that we will source our own reference, or go out on location to paint from life with the same or similar pallet.