Friday, 31 March 2017

Horse study in gold

oil study of a horse
This was an exercise to see what would happen if I used the smallest number of colours and the smallest number of brushstrokes possible. Could I model form without fussing over detail? Could I make something striking with 3 or 4 colours not including white?
I'll leave you to decide. 
Colours used were Rembrandt Cadmium Orange and Cadmium Yellow Deep and Winsor & Newton Cadmium Yellow Medium and Raw Umber.  The depth of darkness in the raw umber was achieved by applying two or three layers of colour, allowing each to dry in between. 
For brush work, I used a small soft angled shader for the fiddly bits (legs, face, ears, whiskers) but for mostly everything else, I used my fingers or a cotton bud/Q-tip.
I did not use white, realising that white is a false friend and often kills the effect I am trying to achieve. 
Like most people, I tend to assume white is the lightest and thus the brightest colour on my palette. In fact, the illusion of brilliance can also be achieved by careful contrast and using high chroma pigments. Adding white to any colour automatically cools and dulls it, which is often the opposite effect to the one you are trying to achieve.

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