Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lesson 5 in Jane Davies 100 Drawings Workshop

This lesson was about color.

I must say that I didn't so much "struggle" as just not enjoy the first process of laying down areas of color. Laying down sections of color as a first step makes me uncomfortable. I always wonder whether I want hard edges or soft edges, high contrast or low contrast...etc. This time I ignored my thoughts (crazy as they may be) and really just put down paint to deal with later. That being said, once I started the mark making and emphasizing the color areas I loved this exercise!

I am disappointed that overall I did not get much variation in the yellow and will work on that in the future. The pinks and oranges, however show a wide range of hue and saturation.

I almost didn't post this one, but now that it is scanned, It feels successful. The dramatic difference in saturation of the 2 greens creates a great contrast. As I worked with aqua I realized that I have 4 shades that are almost the same. I added the light blue for some contrast. I almost never choose brown on purpose, but I'm glad I did. Even though it isn't fantastic here, having it on my palette made for some interesting paintings later.

In #2, the yellow is more saturated than the other colors and has almost no range in value. There are some marks in the yellow, but they are really subtle.

Starting with #3, I put yellow, magenta, and aqua down on my palette. It wasn't until I had used up all the paint that I realized they were essentially the primary colors!...just done my way.. --smile--
I played with hard and soft transitions here and I like having both in the same painting.


#5 is one of my favorites. The brown colored pencil made that stripe feel like a wooden log. The variations in the pink are wider in range, but there is a little more variation in the yellow than in other pieces.

In #6, I realized that I had been defining all of my color transitions with hard lines so I left some of the pink/blue transition undefined. I enjoy the low minimal value shift between the pink and blue coupled with the high contrast brown.

 #7 is an all-time favorite color combination with orange and aqua from across the color wheel. This has a lot going on in the large orange field that isn't all captured in the scan.

This one has some significant contrast between the red/pink areas and the orange/brown areas along with a wide range of values in the brown section.

The highly saturated chartreuse section makes me happy and I love it against the pink.

For #10, I decided to try a monochromatic color scheme and managed to capture many values and saturations of green. I always say that green is my favorite color, but I find it a challenge to paint with green.

In #11 I explored more gradual transitions. This was an end-of-the-palette clean-up with titan buff that became an analogous study through orange/red/magenta.

All in all, I found this a very successful exercise that made me look to create variety and contrast within my color choices.


  1. Jane's comment from the class blog for my records:

    Jane DaviesOctober 5, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    WOW, Mandy, what a great job you did! Funny that you started out with a lot of resistance. You managed to make some really bright colors (pink!) even BRIGHTER in that last one, and really explore the whole range of Pink. Good development of color in all, and great observations about the colors and their relationships.

  2. To paraphrase: "Wow Mandy! I can't teach you anything because you are already sooooo freaking talented... Maybe when I retire you can take over for me like the Dread Pirate Roberts." 😁