"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What colour is that again?

I moved away from the face of the subject today as it still a bit tacky from yesterday.  Painting fabrics is one of my favorite things to do but the concentration necessary to catch all the changes in hue and value, to say nothing of the folds and creases, can be exhausting. This 
represents several days worth of work. Today I spent time on the lower section and after only two hours I had to quit. I have always had limited energy stores and it is sometimes a detriment to how quickly I move through a painting. If I force myself to continue past a certain point I begin to make mistakes and they have to be fixed in the next session so I have learned to listen to my body and stop when I'm tired. I am always amazed by this tiredness...it feels the same as spending time doing heavy physical labour.

The palette for the colours in this shawl are Titanium/Zinc White, Naples Yellow (W&N), Naples Yellow Hue (Gamblin...a very different, brighter yellow than the W&N), Yellow Ochre,
Burnt Sienna, Olive Green, Viridian Green, and Cerulean Blue. The embroidery colours are a separate palette than includes Radiant Magenta, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Cobalt Violet, and White. I pay special attention to the colours inside folds as they can not only be darker but more intense and often reflect light in unexpected hues.  Painting fabric is not a matter of finding the colour of the material and then just adding white or black to make the shadows and highlights. All fabrics, even pale ones, are full of colours and temperatures and
spending time mixing those colours adds to the tactile sense of the material and its seeming reality to the eye. As I mentioned, finding and mixing all those colours, that are usually in small amounts and many areas right next to each other, can be an energy sapper...but if it also weren't so much fun I wouldn't do it:-)


  1. I appreciate your sharing your feelings about your painting, Karen. I am beginning to understand why I come away from my easel or table with such tenseness in my neck from the intense concentration with which I paint.

  2. It's so beautiful. SO wort the effort.

    I wish I had the time to paint again. I love to paint but don't often do it. My writing tends to take center stage these days.

    I can't wait to see the next stage.


  3. Karen, I love your thoughtful (and intense) approach to this piece, and it's obvious that you've both seen and responded to this delicate fabric with sensitivity. Well done! Thanks for stopping by Brush and Baren earlier this week so I could find my way here!