My abstracts have been based on earth tones lately (Abstract Forms, Landscape, Action Wall Shadows). I found a wonderful, if unexpected, combination: cobalt blue and quinacridone nickel. Together they create an earthy variegated green/brown.
Today it occurred to me that I have been neglecting the secondary colors. I added chromium green to my palette. I thought, “Chromium is one of the elements on the periodic table; since chromium is a solid and it comes from the earth, I can use it as an earth tone.” Well… even if this logic is a bit faulty, it pushed me to try something new.
I began today with wet paper and a wash of quinacridone nickel. I love how this glaze spreads evenly across the paper. I was surprised that the streaks of chromium green were so bold. However, it did not yield any dramatic effects as it diffused into the earthy yellow background. I brushed some cobalt blue along side the green. The interface between the blue and the green also wasn’t too exciting. I splashed in some bismuth yellow to the wet paper. This lighted the area it contacted, but became barely noticeable after the paper dried.
I applied another wash of clear water and carefully painted cadmium red adjacent to the green. I carefully avoided painting over the green areas, but allowed the red to overlap the quinacridone nickel and bismuth yellow. The result was a range of coloration from red to orange to yellow-orange.
The design element that appeals to me the most in this study is the deep green curves that surround its red compliment, and the more subtle tones that are closer to green on the color wheel.