Before embarking on painting a picture, it’s an excellent idea to do some preparation to guide the path of creation the work takes. Too often, people dive right into the painting process, attempting to create a finished product without any clear ideas of the artistic obstacles that lie ahead.
Clarity can be brought to your artistic intention by taking the time to do some studies, which are simply “rough drafts”, which can be used to explore ideas of composition, value relationships, and colour, among other things.
The examples above are a student’s exploration of some ideas for a landscape painting using four different strategies to work out the idea. Each of the four examples is done using a limited range of colours.
The first: A study done focusing on warm/cool relationships and value using ivory black and burnt umber.
The second: This was done using a limited range of analogous colours (colours next to each other in the colour wheel). It’s based on a green, yellow, orange. Analogous colour combinations are inherently harmonious due to their proximity to each other on the colour wheel.
The third: This study was painting using a low chroma (dull) triad. In this case the paints used were ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, and yellow ochre.
The fourth: A complementary colour scheme using alizarin crimson and viridian green.