Monday, May 12, 2008

Painting a Rich Black Color According to Me

I am aware that not everyone reading this may be a painter, so I thought it may be interesting for some of the non-painters to see how I get a rich black color for my night time paintings. I'm still working out a formula, and it varies slightly each time. That said, for this corn field painting I used a mixture of Golden Van Dyke Brown, Liquitex Transparent Raw Umber, Golden Raw Umber (These three colors are all real dark, rich browns), with Payne's Gray (a near-black Blue hue). This gave me a semi-transparent dark, warm black. While the paint is still wet (not much time for acrylics - on a thin coat it is five minutes tops), I could wipe out some of the highlights. This mixture of paint leaves a nice gold-brown/black stain when it is wiped out. After this is dry, as stated below, I will be putting a transparent glaze of Payne's Gray with a little Raw Umber over the entire surface - again wiping out the highlights. If all goes well, that should do it for this particular painting.

In some of my past night-time paintings I would also alternate glazes of dark Blue/Greens (Payne's Gray and Hooker's Green mixtures) with glazes of rich reds (I prefer the Windsor and Newton brand red pigments). As you can see I go through a lot of Payne's Gray and Raw Umber. I also don't have exclusive brand preference - I think the Raw Umber in Golden Paints is darker than its Liquitex equivalent, but I often buy both because sometimes I prefer a more neutral tone. I would say in general though, I use more Golden and Utrecht paints than other brands.

Golden - Van Dyke Brown

Golden - Payne's Gray
Golden - Raw UmberLiquitex (PDF)- Transparent Raw Umber
Utrecht - Hooker's Green

Windsor & Newton - Cadmium Red Deep
Windsor & Newton - Alizarin Crimson

1 comment:

Erin said...

just found your blog and am enjoying it immensely, I am fascinated by aerial photos and the question of peak oil and how the structure of our country will change in the next twenty years. . .and your work.

But what I thought I might add to this entry is I just found out that Golden is making a new acrylic called Open that takes much longer to dry, it is supposed to be compatible with their other acrylics. Haven't played with it yet, but thought you might find use for it with your paintings.

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