This painting was done with my second Grab Bag Palette. These colors were a bit harder than the first Grab Bag Palette that I picked last week. My colors this time were Raw sienna, Winsor Violet, Permanent Green Light, and Oxide of Chromium, plus White.
"Hard at Work", 8" x 10" oil on linen, 2008
I have a larger painting of this scene in the works, with my normal palette, but I wanted to give this one a try with the limited palette colors that I picked.
This gentleman was plowing his piece of this field while his wife walked along dropping corn into the rows. I usually don't take photos of people up close like this without permission. I asked this couple if I could shoot some photos to use for paintings, and I paid them for the privilege.
Wow! Just amazing. Even without a yellow to work with, you created the feel of strong sunlight. This is beautiful.
You are incredible, you rock! This is just beautiful. You're going to get a big head with all this praise but you deserve it. Barb
This grab bag palette really worked in the painting, Frank. It is beautifully vibrant and "alive". It will be interesting to see the difference between this color palette and your usual when you finish the larger piece. Love this one, though!
Found you off Silvina's blog. What a terrific amount of info. on color you have on your blog, and great plein air work!
Thanks Kathryn. I was looking for that yellow more than once. It was a real challenge this time. I'm glad to hear that you think the feel of the sun is still there.
Gosh Barb. I don't know about that.
Don't worry about the big head. Praise makes me kind of nervous not inflated. The attention to my work makes me want to work harder on the next ones though.
Thanks for all of your comments. They mean a lot to me.
Hi Joanne. Working with these new palettes has opened my eyes a bit to some new color possibilities.
Thanks for your comments on this.
Hi David, thanks for commenting.
You have some quality paintings on your blog as well. I lurk around over there once in a while.
It's nice to know that you stopped by.
The effect of the heat glare has really communicated in the way the colours work. Very atmospheric.
Thanks Julie. You know, once I had that color/ value board worked up I knew that those colors would work with this scene.
Wow Frank, it turned out great! I really love the contrasts of light and shadows here! It is really beautiful.. and to think you were working with color you don't really like, that's amazing.
I love the horse with the white face too, his markings are so beautiful.
está padrísimo Frank!! ;o)
Frank--I studied this in the larger size and can see how you fit these unlikely colors in. I, too, would like to see the larger version. Maybe the photo as well as I'm sure you had to make some interesting choices to get from "there to here." These posts of yours are fantastic--and this is a great painting. Jack
Gracias Alicia. You know, those colors were not so bad after all. Wish I had some yellow though.
I like that horse a lot too, and the light and dark in shadow made it interesting to paint.
Hi Jack. It was a good subject for these colors. I had mostly cooler colors on the palette and most of the action in this one is in shadow.
I'll put up that larger one when it is done. I may work on something else before I finish that one. I am at the stage where I am just looking at it in a frame to see just how detailed I want to go.
As always Jack, thanks for checking in. I look forward to you getting back down here so we can do some painting.
no way! you did not do this painting with those colors??? ok, now you are just showing off! kidding! for real, i am in awe, you really should consider a career in art! Ha! Am i a joker today or what? GREAT GREAT painting, what i like about these grab bags is it really demonstrates how a limited palette (no matter the colors) can unify a painting, really keep it together. mixing colors may take time, versus just buying a tube color, but the effect it creates is unbeatable. so what's up your sleeve now, can you top these?
Oh Christine, that's a good one, career in art! What are you nuts? Blogging pays much better.
I appreciate your humor. I'm in still laughing about your comments.
Limited color sure lends itself to harmony doesn't it?
OK Frank, here's your next grab bag challenge: a regatta of hot air balloons in full color. Your colors: raw umber, flesh, viridian and ivory black. I'm convinced somehow you could make it work. Great job!
Don, you are joking right?
That is exactly what I was going to paint.
Can I borrow your tube of flesh?
Aw, man...I agree with Christine, now you are just showing off. But seriously, if you pull off the flesh, viridian, black and raw umber challenge, we are going to have to blindfold you to even out the playing field.
Really, this is a nice piece, and Christine is right, the limited palette lends unity, and not to make you "nervous" but obviously there is a little "something more" there too (experience, hard work, etc). Thanks for the inspiration (as always)
Hi Faye, I was not serious about attempting Don's colors, but I may have to look into it now.
You are very kind. I try to keep it inspirational and interesting, but most of all fun.
Have you been painting this week?
As usual, I enjoy your subjects and colors and painting. Thanks for stopping by my food blog! Do you do paintings of food?
Thanks Paz! It was a treat to find your food blog.
I have not painted food in a long time. I did a commission once for a restaurant. Abstract paintings, and I based the colors on photos of food. I find that a well arranged plate of food has the same balance of colors as a good painting. I was also looking for appetizing colors to use in the paintings.
Did you have something in mind?
Ahhh! Interesting! No, I didn't have anything in mind. I was just curious to see any painting you've done of food. I can only imagine how good it looks, since your other subjects look terrific. So, just curious. ;-)
love the bright flat light.
great how you put those complex legs in shadow.
i don't call it a limited palette
it is more like a concentrated palette...
That is a good subject to keep on the back burner Paz.
I may have to try something along those lines before long.
Hi Rob. I like that. Concentrated palette.
Thanks for the kind words.
I'm glad you picked up on the grouping of the legs in shadow. It is not like I moved them around or anything. But I liked this photo for that reason. It turned a jumble of complex stuff into one large shape.
Wow! amazing. Frank you're taking away all my excuses for bad painting.
This is a beautiful painting limitations or not. Wonderfu.
Question, how come some P.A. painters tone their canvas and some don't. I think I see white, untoned canvas peeking through on this one.
Hi Silvina. I would say that to tone or not to tone is a personal thing.
I usually take a few panels with me when I paint out, and if I see a use for a toned canvas, I will use one. Sometimes I want to use some transparent paint and white reflecting through that suits my needs better. I often have some of the canvas showing through, so if I don't want to see my toned color, white is better there too. On the other hand, if my subject has a lot of green or blue, a my sienna toned board with a little showing through helps keep the painting from being too cool. Another reason for that sienna tone for me is to help show how warm the light is, even in my shadows.
One more reson for having a tone would be to start out with a mid tone to judge values against.
There are lots of reasons for and against. It would be a good topic for a post.
I'm jealous you got to take a class with Nathan Fowkes. His figures/ portraits are great, but I would like to get some instruction on those amazing gouache landsketches he does.
really wonderful painting. I sometimes paint with a peculiar, limited palette and I'm almost always happy with the result. I'm far too careful most of the time.
Thanks Eric, I appreciate it.
I think that you chose some excellent limited palettes, or as Rob said, concentrated palettes.
The colors you are using now is perfect for that story.
I'm trying to break out of the careful zone this year. Keep my work from getting stale.
Frank, wow, thanks for the info!
Re: Nathan's class, you can go on LAAFA.org and see what he is currently teaching or get the school's phone number and ask if he'll be teaching a landscape painting workshop soon. I know it's too far for you to attend a 10 week course.
I really like your brushwork on this one, and what a great subject
Just shows you how you CAN get there with the most unlikely palette. Beautiful.
Thank you for visiting my blog and more so for your welcome comments which I SO appreciate. I always welcome a critique from you Frank, because I know you KNOW ;)
hmmm... Flesh, viridian, black and raw umber. I'll bet you could pull it off.
PS. Flesh is a color I never bought, although my first really good teacher used it in her landscapes.
Thanks Simon, I appreciate that.
The idea was to use up some old tubes that I never paint with, but I may need to go buy some flesh just to try this one out.
This is great, Frank! (Love all the comments, too.) :-)
I feel lucky when I get good comments. It adds a lot to the post.
I am still looking for a tube of Flesh.
I'm only just beginning to explore your blog but I've bookmarked it for hours of color exploration. I use a fairly limited palette now but I've got a whole box of paints from the past that I've named "The Oops Bin"...They're colors that are too expensive to throw away, but not used once I realized how much I could mix from a few. Now I know how I can put that "Oops Bin to new use for summer fun and discovery along the way. I especially appreciate your posts on the colors as they relate to the value scales. Thanks. I'll be back.
Hi Jennifer Y.
Thanks for visiting.
Yeah, I have a box of old colors that I think I may actually end up using now with a few more of these grab bag palettes.
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