Pat Fiorello - Art Elevates Life

Art & Inspiration from professional artist and instructor Pat Fiorello. Pat is known for her romantic landscape, garden and floral paintings in oil and watercolor. Her paintings often depict beautiful places like Italy and France. Pat teaches painting workshops in the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. She is passionate about inspiring others to include art in their life. Whether creating it or simply appreciating and enjoying it, there are so many ways that art elevates life!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Color Charts

In concert with the "flower challenge" described in my blog posts the past 2 days, I have committed to take on building a deeper understanding of mixing colors. I've been painting for 16 years, done numerous watercolor color studies and even teach a workshop on "Understanding Color for Watercolor" but I have never done the infamous Color Charts with my oil paints.

The paint colors are pretty much the same between watercolor and oil and even properties, like transparent vs. opaque, are consistent but in watercolor you use the white of the paper to get lighter values and in oils you add white paint ( or other light colors) which is a whole different animal.

I learned about the Color Charts several years ago from Richard Schmid's excellent book "Alla Prima" Richard first did them 40+ years ago when he was learning to paint and says they were invaluable. It  is a time honored approach for understanding color that dates back to a Flemish tradition for teaching painting.

You basically mix every color with every other color and then add white to have create 5 different values of that color. You can do as many as you want but to keep it manageable, I'm following Richard's approach with just a dozen colors. I have substituted a few colors I use often for a couple of his that I don't use that much or were similar. There will be 13 charts in all including this first one which is just unmixed colors straight out of the tube, then lightened 4 more values with white.

I'll share my approach and learnings over the next few weeks as I go along and my next blog will be on materials I'm using in case you want to do this along with me.  I plan to do a short video of the study once it's done, so stay posted for more to come.

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