Mike Barr Art Blog
The more you paint, the more you make friends with certain colors. In the end they become as much a part of your signature as your name does in the bottom corner!
As I write I am thinking of several artists I know that have colors that make paintings their own. You are probably thinking of a few that you know as well as your own work in which color signatures are alive and well. Color becomes as much our style as our brush stokes are.
In a way the colors we become friends with become our own artistic gravity. They keep our feet on the ground while we venture to use new daring colors.
So, what do you use for sky blues for instance?
In real life the blues of the sky are many, depending on the time of day, year and position in the sky. There are a number of luscious blues that can be chosen for the task including cobalt, ultramarine or cerulean perhaps? What about Phthalo? Strong inky, stainy blue isnt it - but have you tried Phthalo blue red shade? It has become my favourite sky blue and is a good alrounder. Nice and deep when you want it to be and lightens up really nicely with white and red to get that atmospheric perspective close to the horizon. Not all brands make this color but I know Atelier do with their acrylics and Winsor & Newton do with their water-based oils.
Some colors are like condiments - you've just got to have them on the side of your palette in small amounts to flavor a painting. Phthalo green is one such color for me. An intensely strong color that is unmatched in my book for those green highlights in waves - mixed with white of course. And as for green traffic lights Pthalo Green is the best! Mixed with other colors like red to tone it down it produces lovely natural greens.
What are some of your colour gems?