9. Nov, 2016


Now we come to the nitty gritty of any painting. Colour. It is the illusiveness of colour that separates the Masters from the rest of us mere mortals.

Atmosphere:    In my very humble opinion it is the colour of the “atmosphere” that makes or breaks a good painting. So, what is atmosphere? Water vapour, dust, pollution, smoke, pollen and many more elements go to make up the atmosphere and the closer to the ground, the denser the atmosphere is. It is therefore obvious that further away from you the object you are painting is, the more atmosphere you should add. This is very, very important. For this painting I have chosen the following recipe: Into a large pile of white I mix a small amount of Cerulean blue (about 5% that of the white) and a touch of Burnt Umber (about 2%). This makes a very clean atmosphere and it is this that makes Scotland so popular amongst most artists. You must always have a pile of “atmosphere” colour on your palette board when working on a particular painting.

Shadow:   Shadows are cool spots and for this reason we are using blue in this painting. The recipe is equal amounts of Cerulean Blue and Burnt Umber. No white. This shadow colour must, as with atmosphere, always be on hand to dip into when needed.

Light:  Large white into which you mix a tiny amount of Alizeran crimson (1%) and an equally tiny amount of Indian yellow. This too must be available at every session.

So to recap: “Atmosphere” colour, “shadow” colour and “light” colour must always be on your board ready for action. You can experiment with these elements but the colours I have chosen for my basics are proven and a good base to learn from. Again, Good luck.