Sunday, March 20, 2011

Optical Mixing Project - Shoe and Cardboard Box

This most recent project at the Academy was an exercise to demonstrate how to "mix" colors by painting dots of the underlying colors next to one another in the painting, allowing the viewer's eyes to mix them to create another color, rather than mixing the colors on the palette before applying them to the painting.  I learned a lot from this project.  The end result is a more colorful painting than if done by mixing on the palette first.  I doubt that I will ever do another "pointelist" application of the process, such as in the project, again.  However, I'm sure I will find a way to optically mix colors on the canvas to create a more vibrant result.
The process starts with a monochromatic underpainting in which the relative values are correctThe first painting above is painted only in sap green mixed with white.

Initial application of dots of color.  Red and orange dots mixed with the green in the background, applied in the same value as the background green color, creates a muted brown.  The blue and orange and red dots in the shoe, in different proportions than in the background, create the grayed-down blue of the shoe.

Finished Painting
If the colors don't completely mix on your screen, squint!  You'll see it.

Detail of the Box