Sunday, 17 February 2013

Limited Palette

Storm Clouds Over the Maldives
Watercolour on Paper
34cm x 24cm (13.5" x 9.5")

Yesterday was my first painting day with the Shelford Group of Artists of 2013.

Tony Slater's topic for the day was painting with a limited palette. This was the same topic as one of the first Shelford painting days I attended - back in April 2011 (see Sarah Jane).

I took the opportunity to knuckle down and paint a subject I’ve been messing around with for the best part of a year.

In March of last year, Elaine and I had an incredible holiday in the Maldives (see Holiday Sketch). While we were there, I took a photo of a spectacular storm approaching the islands.

Since we got home, I've tried to paint more than 20 versions of the sky, but I’ve never got it right. Most of my attempts suffered from being too moody and threatening. Yesterday, I realised that I’d been painting British storm clouds. The atmosphere I wanted to recreate was “yes, there’s a storm coming, but we're sitting on the beach drinking cocktails.”

Tony suggested we select two or three harmonious colours. Initially, I picked a warm colour (Burnt Sienna) and a cool colour (Winsor Blue (Green Shade)). I couldn’t mix a good colour for the cloud shadows from them, so I added Permanent Rose which also helped to spice up some of the details on the platform.

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