I was in the studio of my oil painting artist friend the
other day and she had a really sizeable bucket filled with oil paint tubes
sitting beside her palette. Some of the tubes were so squeezed out and folded
up that I wondered if there was anything still left in them. Others were plump
and brand new, never been touched.
|Sailboat, Solheimsviken by Marc Dalessio, 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.
I noticed that the oil painting art tubes that were pristine
happened to be several tubes of black
and white. I asked her about this and she said that using black and white is
boring when it comes to trying to adjust color. Instead, she seems to use
everything but black and white to get where she wants to go when putting oil on
I gave this comment a lot of thought, and it has become one
of the oil painting lessons that I cling to. In the past, using black and white
has really tripped me up. I would get to a point where I thought I could only
adjust color with black or white, and I might end up getting the lighter or
darker effect that I was looking for, but I always lost a little of the color I
wanted as a result. When painting oil paintings, I need to remember that there
are ways to get the color you want without black or white, and here are a few
color combos that do just that.
For a rich, deep "black," try to mix sap green and dioxazine
purple. Ultramarine blue plus burnt umber will also give you a vibrant black.
Another combo is permanent rose and viridian, which has a purplish tinge to it
that can be warmed up with Indian yellow.
||Simone by Marc Dalessio, oil on linen, 1999.
To get lighter, try adding a bit of titanium buff and a tiny
bit of Indian yellow or yellow ochre. You can also combine cadmium orange,
cadmium scarlet, a bit of ultramarine blue to titanium white for a light mass.
For more oil
painting lessons look to oil painting resources like Patricia Watwood's Figure
Painting: Realistic Skin Tone and C.W. Mundy's Mastering the Dramatic
Still Life. After seeing how they
approach their oil painting art it will be no surprise why our video
workshops are our customer favorites! See for yourself and enjoy!