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SS:032 Color Study

After an extended weekend in Michigan and Wisconsin, I've returned to the desert of Queen Creek, AZ. My visit with the MSU Art Department was great and I've officially decided to accept their offer to pursue my MFA with them. I'll be preparing throughout this spring and summer for my responsibilities as a Teaching Assistant. I'm excited to start this program and begin my career as a graduate student.

Before I flew out I was reading the book Color and Light by James Gurney. I had to return the book once I flew in and unfortunately another member had the book on hold so I was unable to renew it. Here's the cover:

If you don't know who James Gurney is you might want to Google his work or find his YouTube channel where he offers an array of short educational videos. I first discovered James on YouTube 3 or 4 years ago when I was searching plein air videos and stumbled on his New York City adventure:

James and his posse take the streets of New York City in an inspiring trip making you want to get out and paint! As a student I always found videos, showing process, helpful in motivating me in and out of the studio.

Since finding this video I've been a subscriber who makes an effort to watch all of his videos. Some like I said are educational and are clips from his longer tutorials that can be purchased. Other videos are stop motion and more about a creation as opposed to teaching. James seems to be an artist who truly takes art into all areas of his life and loves to share the beautiful things he makes. I think following his career the last few years has also given me the confidence to share what I create with my followers and readers online.

Another one of my favorite videos from his channel shows how serious he studies light and form when creating subjects unable to be seen today, Dinosaurs for example:

One of the main reasons I respect the videos James makes is because you can see the effort and time he's put into them to give us a high quality experience. The videography and editing provides an interesting and exciting way to view what he does for a living.

Over the years I've re-watched his videos and each time take away more informative lessons and tips. Lately I've become very interested in understanding color and light, hence the reason I borrowed his book. A video that describes a great tool for painters, also in the book, can be found on a separate channel. Before James Gurney's video I had no idea what Gamut Mapping was. Take a look:

After watching this video on Gamut Mapping I decided I wanted to extend my understanding of choosing color palettes and gaining more control in my process. Luckily I found his book and was able to learn much more than I originally wanted. If your library has a copy of this book I recommend borrowing it! He gives insight into understanding different forms of light, era's of plein air painting, color theory and more!

The exercises he gives in his book inspired me to start evaluating the colors I have and their capabilities. First I made swatches for each color I own straight from the tube.

Total I have 64 unique tubes of paint. I think my drawer has close to 70 with the doubles or three Titanium White's from Gamblin, my most used color.

Once I finished painting the rows I started picking out interesting triads at random. A triad is a three color palette. For this exercise I used small triangles of gessoed watercolor paper.

Before applying the paint I labeled each corner with their color to help organize these palettes. Initially I would only show the color from the tubes and their mixed 50/50 colors. After making two of these triangles I decided why not mix titanium white with each color to help show their range.

So far I've used these triads as practice for my magnets. Last week I borrowed Carla's pineapple for subject matter.

I'm forgetting the triads for each of these pineapple paintings made from life, but if you're interested in knowing send me a comment!

Here's another magnet this time a cloud study using Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Lemon, and Titanium White.

My palette:

Well I hope you enjoyed my latest venture in my studies. I know this is only the beginning for me in color theory. Make sure you subscribe to James Gurney's YouTube Channel! While you're at it check out mine too! Hector's YouTube Channel

If you want to see what other magnets are for sale stop by my Etsy shop!

Thanks for reading!


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