Meeting Notes, July 25, 2019

Todays topic: Color mixing, gradation, color shifting...can you describe methods that you use?

Celeste: I have learned that changing colors and temperatures throughout a painting (following the planes) is very important...(for representational artists). I am showing some exercises that Za assigns in her class. I am showing some examples and the painting I painted Monday at Soter Vineyard.

Ken: I mix all of my paint first. (I paint mostly in the studio). I might use about 5 colors and black and white. I set them out in a way that I can think about warm to cool and cool to warm. It takes me about a 1/2 an hour to set everything out! I also make sure that I mix generous amounts of paint. I am just back from Alaska! 

Geri: I paint with acrylics. Subtle changes are a challenge -- acrylic dries so fast. I may use the edge of a towel or my finger to provide a gradual shift. I have to "baby it"! I like to put a complement into the shadow. It brings it to life. 

Chris: A tiny bit of complement changes everything. I always pay attention to warm and cool. The color shifts are what make the painting! I am showing a recent landscape.

Jim: I am showing a chart I did awhile back. I got this idea from Michael Chesley Johnson. This chart proves that you can get endless color from just 4 colors. I also painted this color chart using just the Zorn palette. It is amazing how many colors you get from (Zorn) Red, ochre, black and white! I just got this issue of Artist's magazine and there is an article about color mixing in it. I did this painting following the advice and felt that I learned something! I am showing some gouache studies and my painting that I did during the Kat Sowa paint out. (Super-gracious hosts Kat and Dave, we all had a wonderful time).

Mike S: I always like coming here to this meeting when I visit Portland. Recently I visited in St. Johns and decided to to scratch out some gestures..(musicians). I painted these studies. I used simple distinct values and connected my darks! I've taken some workshops with Aimee Erickson. What I especially appreciate about her is that she won't give you pat answers. 

Tim: I like color mixing almost more than painting! (Laughter)! I like using a limited palette. You'll all remember my "burnt plate oil" experiment? I painted this small portrait with the very small amount of "burnt plate oil" that I got from making it! It provided a very interesting effect. I am also showing you this large painting. I very seldom go back into paintings, but I went back into this one and I improved it all together!

Mary: (new! Applause)! I am a you probably all know that we "mix" on our paper. We can create a great effect with different methods of blending. I completed a workshop with Tony Allain. He likes to frame with a white frame and no mat. I framed this in his way, but I think I still sort of prefer the mat! I did this painting for the Lavender festival. 

Wendy: I am still doing watercolor...having only taken it up very recently. I really like it! Color mixing with watercolor is all new to me. I am showing a recent floral. I want to do more florals..see where it goes! I am also showing a landscape that I did at Kat's paint out. (I thoroughly enjoyed my visit was so peaceful and when we sat at the big long table it seemed like we were in Tuscany)!

Elo: When I started painting I watched a YouTube video by Mark Carder. One video was so encouraging because he showed how even if you "goof up" you can still get the color that you want. 
The only color I change to put on my palette is thalo blue. (I alter it, so it isn't so demanding). If I need a lot of neutral I'll mix all my colors together..that gives you a neutral! I did my first "wedding" painting. It is a commission. This is where the wedding was and I've had a few people say "That looks like Thomas Kinkade" --but! *this* is really what it looked like...! (Laughter)! I am also showing a painting I did for the Lavender Festival. (But, I didn't put it in). 

Carol: I put out 2 yellows, 2 reds and 2 blues. I pre-mix orange and violet...but I recently listened to a podcast where it was recommended not to fully mix up colors. Your colors will have more life if you let some of the colors that you are mixing together be a little unmixed! I think I am more successful when I paint small. I am showing three of my small plein air paintings.

Annie: I am showing 2 sketches I did in advance of illustrations that I did for a book. I uncovered these recently and had the realization that I liked these much more than the illustrations that I did from them. I think so much is determined because of the attitude you take when you paint!

Tom: I recently saw a video made by a young artist. It was good. He pointed out that the "primaries" in the print world are cyan, magenta and yellow. He puts forth the idea that colors that are closer to those colors will give great results. I am showing a recent plein air painting.

Tedd: I watched a video where the artist said that when you are mixing color...put away your white while you mix! (Mix up the color you are after and then lighten, but not until you have the right color without white). It's "premature" white that screws everything all up! We all had a great experience at Kats. What a great time. 

Jan: I brought some paintings that I did with different dominate colors. I am also showing some charts that I did..this one was an intuitive version!

Stephanie: When I first saw the question I thought about how light affects everything we see. (I used to be a lighting designer). So color depends on the light source and color is always shifting. Things to think about are the light source on things, the local color, the reflecting light and then there is our own eye and how we see things personally. The mind can get in the way. In the end, it is all up to the artist how they interpret it all. I brought in 2 plein airs from the Womens Forum. And here is my painting of the famous river at Kat's. When I first saw Raphael's painting on Facebook I thought..hey that's *my* painting ! (laughter)! 

Joanne T: Well, I have taken a lot of workshops. I think one of the best "explanations" of color mixing was from a DVD by Scott Christensen called 3 landscape studies. He pre mixes a lot, but that is not derogatory...he then uses those piles as "Mother" piles that he bends and adjusts throughout. I also learned a lot from an artist named Linda Glover Gooch. I've been taking an online class with Matt Smith. He is all about warm and cool. He cleans his palette all the time. He lays his palette out the same way every time but on the right side--that is where he'll add other "extras" (like mauve and thalo blue). Sometimes his extras take up the whole right side! (Laughter)! It is a challenging course and when I want to get a reprieve from this incessant learning...I just paint a chicken! (Laughter)!

Eunice: I've been taking classes online with Dennis Perrin. He has us mix up 5 clear values and we use those as our starting point. He says we are all looking for an "ish" bluish, greenish etc. 


Many of our Alla Prima Portland friends have been painting for 4 days in the Columbia River Gorge for the Pacific NW Plein Air 2019 Competition and Exhibition. The Reception is Saturday, August 3 5-7pm 35 Maryhill Museum Drive, Goldendale Wa

Next Paint Out: "Peaceful Sunday Painting" with Host Joanne Radmilovich Kollman, Sunday August 11 9am. This will be on Sauvie Island (details will be posted on this blog and our facebook page).

Also, Carol Hansen's Paint out (Oregon City) is re-scheduled for Tuesday August 20, 9am. (details will be posted on this blog and our facebook page).

Susan Kuznitsky will host a Paint out on her property in early August (8th or 9th) pencil it in your calendar. (details will be posted on this blog and our facebook page).

Mary Weil will host a Paint out at her 40 acre property (a little past Soter Vineyard) (Details will be posted on this blog and our facebook page).

Tedd Chilless Stoller Vineyard (The show is up until Sept 9)

OSA Call to Artists 2nd Annual Plein Air exhibit:
Call to Artists! OSA presents the 2nd Annual Plein Air Portland Art Show, open to all! Sandra Pearce is our 2019 juror. (brochure below) 
Opens Sunday, August 4, 1pm. Awards presentation at 2pm. Check our website for further details

Upcoming demonstrations and events at OSA:

Classes at OSA:

Check our Facebook page for other resources and opportunities:

The Hiatus Drawing Club:

Next Meeting: Thursday, August 1 Topic: Composition! (We'll never get tired of talking about Composition)...bonus points for ideas and examples of "breaking rules of composition"....Let's discuss!

Congratulations again, Elo Wobig! (First Place, Lavender Festival) Cathleen Rehfeld (R)Juror

(click to Enlarge)

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