Thursday, April 8, 2010
Original oil painting 18x24"
by Susan Roux
When in doubt, use purple.
These words of advice echoed out of my mouth to my students last night. They were received as a wonderful proclamation of wisdom. In all fairness, with the color palette we use, it does hold true.
I love how different artists have their own favorite color. They've learned to incorporate it into every painting. Their ability to manipulate it and make it "sing" reaches beyond others. They've studied it and tried it in every situation. It becomes more like a in-depth study on that particular color. For me its purple.
I don't have a painting that doesn't include it. Naturally I teach it to all my students. The first time I have them block in a tree with a purple underpainting, I get a lot of strange comments. Purple trees? By the end of the painting, they become lovers of purple as well. They can see its value and appreciate its many uses.
I find it universal. I don't paint with browns. Yellow ochre is the closest brown on my palette. Rather, purple becomes the substitute. Mixed with yellows, it neutralizes. As a dark in greens, it holds such depth and excitement. With blues, well its just real pretty...
So when in doubt, use purple. It works nicely with everything. It gives your painting a shot in the arm. There's a deep richness that it brings to your art. No wonder it was the regal color of kings robes. It holds the property of standing above the rest. Its interesting and noticed, yet can be so understated. Don't underestimate the power of purple!
It belongs in the sky. It belongs in water. It belongs in the trees and in every dark portion of a composition. Once you unleash the power of purple on your canvas, you will have to agree. When in doubt, use purple.
Magenta runs a close second. Though not quite as versatile as purple, it energizes and accompanies it very well. Try some in your trees next time...
So here is my completed painting. The sky has been warmed and the weathervane added. Thanks to Roisin O'Farrell's email telling me it looked finished to her, I took it easy to preserve the feeling I'd already captured. In her words, "I wouldn't touch it. It's charmed the pants off me, just as it is!" Thanks Roisin. Sometimes we need to here it from someone else. STOP!
It felt so good to paint...
Happy painting and have some purple on me today!