I usually push all my paintings to utilize the full value spectrum. Meaning that include both super darks all the way to super lights in my compositions. This is easily done with beautiful transparent pigments that have a full mixing range. I believe I have a decent handle on high contrast, black and white values.
Part of stretching myself as an artist, has been to not get stuck in one particular methodology, subject matter, or color preference. High contrast will continue to provide the bones for my designs, but it’s time for me to explore halftones, or the gray middle values. There is a beauty of nuance found in the gray, that fine-tuned senses can enjoy. So once again, I’m finding myself embracing “gray”… value, that is. I am, after all, a colorist.
With this little plein air study, I used a lighter more opaque palette. Beloved Cobalt Turquoise for my blues, it also mixes stunning saturated greens. Crimson Lake red, for my warm reds, Anthraquinone red to mix with the turquoise made lovely, but not-too-dark shadow violets. With all that sunshine, in needed three yellows: two opaques, Cad Yellow Light, beloved Schmincke Mussini Naples Yellow Deep PBr24 (which is actually Chrome Antimony Titanate, a staining, opaque yellowish brown pigment that is sometimes used to replace the original Naples Yellow or Chrome Yellow, both of which are highly toxic); and transparent Rembrandt Aureoline, which is a greenish yellow, about the value of yellow ochre, but very transparent and becomes almost pure yellow when mixed with white.
My painting board was more absorbent than I expected, giving the paint a sort of dry brush feel. There is also quite a bit of sand that got mixed in as the wind was blowing. The lack of deep shadow gave it the airy full sun feel I was going for. Painting on the beach was a divine, though challenging, experience. My little Guirrilla ThumBox was just the perfect solution!