Welcome to my Art Blog! I paint or draw most weekdays and sometimes finish a painting a day. I fondly call them my "Postcards from Paradise" because it's such a beautiful place the Lord made here for us.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May Challenge: Complements Purple and Yellow

As you may recall, each of us in my Challenge Group takes a turn choosing what we'll paint. This month, member Robin Cheers came up an interesting idea for us: "Paint your subject of choice only with purples/yellows - complements. You can add white lets say, but not black. Only mix the complements to make grays or use them in full color."

So... a painting using only purple and yellow, along with white. This was a challenge I had never attempted before: welcome but a little scary. Turns out, I really enjoyed seeing how much I could push the very limited palette. Plus, I learned a lot.

Since I didn't have any tube purples on hand, I mixed up a batch from Ultramarine Blue and Thio Violet (a magenta pigment). For yellow I considered using a transparent Hansa Yellow but decided on the more brilliant, opaque, and warmer Cadmium Yellow Medium.

I knew I could get a nice brown with my mixed purple and the yellow I chose, and some decent tans using white and little more yellow. Lavender/violet hues were a given with purple and white, but I sure missed using reds and greens.

That said, I was actually quite surprised by how much variety I achieved with only purple, yellow and white. Color comparisons had to suffice for the perceived range since the actual extent of available colors was so limited.

Layering colors worked better than mixing for some of the hues in my painting. I was able to get some fairly intense darks with layers of purple with a little yellow in the mix. And layering a lavender tone over light yellow gave me a pink of sorts. Not a luscious glowing scarlet by any means, but a semblance of pinker flesh tones,more than using just the yellow and purple mixed browns.

(left) "Dancer at the Bar"

Oil on hardboard
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin


I think all the Group's paintings are very interesting and I enjoyed going to each one's blog to read about how the artist approached this month's Challenge. I hope you will too!

(left) "Sophia" 16" x 20" Oil on Canvas ©2010 Suzanne Berry

(French Ultramarine Blue/Alizarin Crimson mix, Cadmium Yellow Medium, and Titanium White)

(above right) "Study in Complements" 8x10" Oil on Panel ©2010 Robin Cheers
(Ultramarine Blue/Quinacridone Red mix, Hansa Yellow and White)

"Sliced Plum on Wood Block"
Oil on Panel
©2010 Jeanne Illenye
(Cadmium Red / French Ultramarine Blue mix,

Cadmium Yellow and White)

“PY Study
Oil on Panel

©2010 Vicki Ross
(Cobalt Violet, Cadmium Lemon,

and Titanium White)


http://www.onpainting.wordpress.com said...

Love your purple dress. This painting is lovely.

Roxanne Steed said...

This is really stunning! I love the skin tones you achieved with this palette! ..really interesting to see how every one carried this out!

David Patterson said...

These are all so wonderful Diana...especially the first one!

vickiandrandyrossart said...

hmmm. you definitely brought something new to the table, glazing! Amazing what a different temperature of purple/yellow can yield...her skin tones are great!


This is one of your best figural paintings, Diana! Great job! Jeanne

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Thanks for saying so, Jeanne. I think so too! I certainly had a lot of fun with it.

suzanneberry said...

Oh Diana, I'm not surprised this sold right away, it's simply so lush and stunning. Bravo! One of my favorites.

Diana Moses Botkin said...

Thanks so much for the kudos, Suzanne. I am hoping I'll get some time soon to explore a limited palette again.

Don Gray said...

Beautifully done, Diana. I would never have guessed the palette was so limited.

Diana Moses Botkin said...

It was a surprise for me too, Don.