More Master Studies - John Singer Sargent

I'm spending more time on these.  I probably won't have the 50 colour and 50 achromatic master studies that are required in the first week of the painting course I'm doing.  However, I find when I put in the extra effort, I learn even more.  All of this considered, I will say for sure:

These studies are extremely educational.

More helpful than I would have thought.  I can't emphasize this enough.  Especially if you colour mix manually (I'm using the HSB sliders, but the LAB ones I find great too - often switching between both).  It's pretty ridiculous how off our default colour sensors are.  These are a muscle that I clearly haven't been exercising, because it's eye opening how the blues for example... are totally not blues.  They only look blue because of the relative colours surrounding them.  I know you may have heard this as an artist or not many many times.  But still.  Try this exercise and you'll be very surprised how localized the colour selections are of artists!

Limited colour palettes seem to be a very great way to go.  I'm definitely seeing clearly now the benefits of traditional painting, especially with oils.  As you build up an oil painting, it often acquires similar-ish hues (due to the paint tubes you've used to mix from).  So once you have a first layer of paint down, everything you put on top of these are being mixed into them, and thus remaining influenced by their partners below.  Quite the synced relationship.

So with all of this said... I think learning painting digitally first is a disaster!  And this happens now more than ever because of the seeming ease of it, and the less intimidating tools.  Noah Bradley posted recently about how oil paints do half the work for you because of the brush textures.  I'll add to this and say that they do even more work for you by blending based on the colours put down first!  This is such a handy way of keeping the colours from straying too far from the subjects themselves, or at least your own unique perspective of them.

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