Delayed Shift

“Red, Yellow and Blue”
oil on gessoed masonite, 6″ x 8″
I find it interesting how there is a sudden shift in seeing in the midst of a painting. I might be painting away and, after 30 to 40 minutes, suddenly see a temperature change in a color or the sudden appearance of a subtle reflected color that I hadn’t seen before in a subject. After the last few days of not so hot paintings, I felt a bigger shift today. ‘Things’ fell into place this morning, though improvement is still waiting for me.
My ‘blog buddy,’ Elio, has helped me raise the bar in my work. I could hear him over my shoulder today (never met him, though) . . . .”tsk, tsk . . .look closer! There is a temperature shift on that side of the red block! That value isn’t thaaat dark! Look again! Watch your strokes.” If you have never seen his work, what he does with a few globs of paint is very unique and special. Look him up . . .he is in the list of links on this blog.
I have come accross a bunch of colored tissue paper in my studio . . .it is perfect for use with a still life set up . . .crumple it . . .flatten it . . .change colors, etc. Today was gray. I was amazed at the warmth of the light blasting into my shadow box against that gray . . .and how the color definition is so delicious in the context of gray (I knew that, but it still excites me!)
Oh! I almost forgot. Sable brushes versus Hog bristle made for some interesting textural contrasts in this piece.
Thanks, EC ! You helped alot today.

7 thoughts on “Delayed Shift”

  1. Mike,

    This a very good piece. You are really starting to see the subtle differences in temp.

    Here is what I want you to look for. When two object meet there is a transitional color between the objects. It is there look for it! Here’s the thing though when you step back you should barely see it. It should only assist in creating the illusion of form.

    Monet said “Painting the color of an object is easy, I want to paint the color of air around the object.” I always thought that he was referring to this transitional color. Here is a painting by Monet at the Legion of Honor in SF.


    Take a look from a distance. Can you see the color where the sky and building meet? Now zoom in. See the orange/yellow he used as the transitional color. See it in person if you can its amazing.

  2. Hey Bud! This that you speak of is at the next level. I am suspecting I should exaggerate the shifts in color. I will be doing that in the next few pieces.

    Am sure appreciative of your coaching!


  3. How far you exaggerate color is a personal choice. These shifts can be minor or exaggerated. I only wanted to point it out because the more you look for these color changes the more you’ll see.

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