|8" x 6" Oil on Panel|
This little portrait was painted with a three color palette, plus white. Colors used were: titanium white, ivory black, yellow ochre, and a new color - cadmium red purple.
"Cadmium red purple? Was ist das cadmium red purple?" you might ask. Well, let me explain. For plein air paintings I generally use a split primary palette, with one or two additional colors. Every once in a while I'll search for new colors to substitute for others in the split primary palette. In my search for a cool red alternative to alizarin crimson, I came across cadmium red purple. It sounded like it should work, but it didn't. Alizarin crimson is dark and "transparent" - qualities I need in that part of my plein air palette. Cadmium red purple is neither. So cad red purple became one of those unused tubes of paint that just took up space in my paintbox. That is, until last Wednesday. On that day the lighting, setting and model all had cool tones, so instead of using regular cadmium red, I saw the previously unappreciated cad red purple in my box and thought to try it. I think it worked.
I'm not saying cadmium red purple should be a permanent part of my palette. I probably could have gotten another red to work just as well at last Wednesday's session. But painters should step outside the box they're used to working in and try new things. When something new doesn't work as intended, you might later find it works just right for something unexpected.
For more about portrait sessions, go to "Labels" on the side bar and click on "portrait", "sketching" or "drawing."