Kate Kern Mundie, Rosemary and Oregano, 10 x 14 inches, oil on panel
I brought home rosemary and oregano from our community
garden. It was so lovely I had to paint it before I could cook with it. The
herbs added a nice smell to cover the normal aroma of oil paint in the studio.
I used a palette of earth
tones and greens. The earth tones were Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Spanish Earth,
and Rosso Veneto . I used Titanium White, Indian Yellow, Ultramarine Blue, Cinnabar
Green, Terra Vert, and Courbet Green. All are Williamsburg Handmade Oil Colors. The red earth colors act as color compliments to the greens. A complimentary color
is the opposite of a color and is mixed from the other primary colors. For
example, red (a primary color) is complimented by green, which is made from
yellow and blue (the other primary colors). Blue’s complimentary color is
orange, which is made from yellow and red. I used two of each color, a warm and
a cool. Burnt Sienna and Rosso Veneto are both red colors. Burnt Sienna is warm
and Rosso Veneto is cool. Raw Umber and Indian Yellow are both yellows but Raw
Umber is cool and Indian Yellow is warm. You are thinking, where is the other blue? When Corbet Green is mixed with a little white it looks blue and works as my cool blue.
I am left handed and arrange my palette with white in the corner and reds
and browns accross the top. Raw Umber could be a brown or a yellow.
Blues, yellow, and greens down the left side. I mix my colors in the
middle. L to R top: Titanium White, Burnt Sienna, Spanish Earth, Rosso
Veneto, (Vermilion- not used) Raw Umber (its dirty with a lot of green in it) T to B
side: Ultramarine Blue, Indian Yellow, Cinnabar Green, Terra Vert, Corbet Green.
You can see on my palette pictured above, I mixed several different greens.
I added Indian Yellow to the group of greens on the left and Raw Umber to the
group on the right. The Indian Yellow makes the greens warmer and the Raw Umber
cools them down.
Background color tests
When I was picking a background color, I needed a color that
would make the greens in the main object, the cup of herbs come forward. The actual
background is unappealing yellowing wallpaper. I did not
want to paint the old wallpaper into my painting. A general rule is that warm
colors come forward and cool recedes. If I used a warm color for the background
it might make the background pop forward. I thought about using blue but thought it was too close to the greens. Spanish Earth is very cool and leans towards purple and the blue family. I ended up using Rosso Veneto mixed
with white. It was the cooler of the reds and complements the greens.