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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Vibrant Grays on a Cloudy Day

Many artists live in locations where sunny days are rare with not many opportunities to paint outside under a strong light source. We've been told that it's best to paint when the light is good, but maybe that advice is a bit short-sighted.  In fact, just by turning up the volume a little, we can push drab neutrals to become an appealing painting.​​​​​​​
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In the above photo, the scene on the left appears drab and gray.  The one on the right has the hue warmed and the intensity slightly raised.   Although this is a computer tweak it shows how little it takes to add some life to the bleak scene, but with our paint and brushes we can take it much further just by exploring the potential within an intensity scale.
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Let's begin with our knowledge that all neutrals are made of a set of complements.  With that in mind, we can take any set of complement at their highest intensity and by gradually adding one into the other like I've done above, we can create the complete scale of intensities that the two colors are capable of yielding when mixed together.  By choosing mixes from either the right or the left of the neutrals, we can interpret the scene as being in subdued light while creating a compelling painting. 
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