|This week's color palette|
We were lucky enough to have some time to explore one of the many natural areas in Northern Colorado this Wednesday, just before a cold front moved in. I actually painted at this natural area last summer during the Paint the Poudre Plein Air event, but didn't explore very much as we were under the time crunch of very warm weather. The area has a very diverse landscapes consisting of quite a few ponds and wetlands. Initially upon arriving, I was attracted to the dried rabbit brush and grasses. The water there is quite still and reflected the sky and the surrounding plant life almost perfectly. There was a downed tree with a beautiful swirling pattern in its trunk. There were also the first spring flower blossoms and various dried seed pods. Remnants of last year's flooding and patterns in the sand along the river were also intriguing. Ultimately, when I came home and examined my photographs, I settled on some river rocks I captured right on the banks of the Cache La Poudre River.
|Cache La Poudre River Rocks|
What attracted me to the rocks while at the river were the interesting colors and shapes, but when I started the work on the abstraction exercise on my tablet (again using ArtRage 4), I decided just to create a line drawing and then disregard the original photo reference entirely. I gave myself a head start with the palette by choosing a harmonizing color for the background. I thought maybe if I wasn't painting on a white background, I would have some sort of direction or that instinct would take over.
Once I had the line drawing on the turquoise background, I had to start getting some color down. I think maybe I was trying to avoid the topic of the stones all together and so I concentrated on the negative space between them, with the warmest colors in the palette to ground the cool turquoise with which I had begun.
Then, I kind of just kept painting until I couldn't find anymore to do with it. I tried to channel my inner child, not thinking too much about meaning or anything like that, just making the shapes, color and texture pleasing to me.