Oil paint & Sap Green/Alizarin Crimson palette

Posted by on April 5, 2014 in Misc. Stuff, paintings | 0 comments

A couple of things to write about today.

“Mercy” miniature painting, 4×4 inches, oil on Gessobord

First, I’ve been toying with the thought of using a limited palette of White, Sap Green, and Alizarin Crimson (Permanent). One of my favorite artists, John Larriva, has been playing with variations of this palette for a while, and that inspired me!

Mercy converted to B&W. Interesting! Click on image to see larger version.

Just because I felt like it, I also converted this image to B&W to see how it would look. It’s said that you can tell if the values of your painting are correct if it still looks okay in B&W. I think my painting passed the test (I hope?).

Anyway, about the limited palette: I used Liquitex Everwhite, Dick Blick’s Alizarin Crimson Permanent, and Williamsburg Sap Green. (More about the Everwhite later in this post! 🙂 )

I found the whole experience of limiting myself to just these colors, Sap Green, Alizarin Crimson Perm., and White, to be really challenging! I wasn’t sure I could do it at first. I desperately yearned for a yellow. But after a while, I got used to it and realized that it was starting to come together. It’s a bit like the Zorn Palette (see an example of that here) in that you have to think of warm and cool tones, and not so much about getting the right blue, yellow, or red. Mixing the green and the crimson together will make a pretty good dark (almost black) and it’s amazing how the flesh tones finally start to “click” after a while when you’re mixing. I’ll have to try this again sometime soon.

Okay, the other thing: Liquitex Everwhite! It’s no longer being made! An artist friend was showing me his collection of yard sale oil paints and it was the mother lode for a paint geek like me! Brand new, still in box, never used, Liquitex oil paint! I asked him if I could buy the large 150 mL tube of white, and he was willing. The tube was untouched, unused, and with a copyright date of 1980. And it was still as fresh and as buttery as it was all those decades ago! So I used it for today’s painting.

Squee! Over 34 years old! And still fresh and buttery!

This is a testimony to anyone who wonders—will my paint last? Yes, oil paint lasts for a long, long time. Occasionally you’ll have a paint mishap, where the tube gets a little hole in it  or something, but assuming that the tube is sealed and undamaged, there’s no reason to worry about your paint drying out before its time. So stock up now if you can, and scour those garage sales!

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  1. Things you can do now, to improve your art | Portrait-Art.biz: Geeky About Art - […] palette combination is White, Ultramarine Blue, and Burnt Sienna. If you want a challenge, try White, Alizarin Crimson and…

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