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Choosing Your Own Color Palette

On the Wings of an Osprey

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing Your Own Color Palette

In the next few posts I will be answering frequently asked questions from
students and professional artists about painting on location with oil paints and
discussing how to use colors, values and how to create a personal palette by using
4 colors plus white. I will explore how easy choosing your own color palette
can be as you develop your style of painting. This is aspect of painting included
as an essay in my book that I am writing titled, “Everything You Need to Know
about Plein Air Painting.” For more information, please go my Artist’s posts at
www.StefanBaumann.com

If you want to be Plein Air artist you must be practical about the supplies that
you bring with you on location. Everything that you bring must be evaluated as to
the weight, accessibility and convenience of your supplies. The heaviest items in
your box of supplies are your tubes of paint. It is important to use as few colors as
possible to produce the effects you want and minimize the weight. I have watched
artists on location squeeze out 32 colors of paint on their palettes before painting
their first brush strokes on canvas. Using numerous tubes of paint is a waste of time
and paint, and they weigh a ton! And what is worse is that students wonder why
they are having so much trouble matching colors and why their paintings look so
muddy. If you want to be a plein air artist, you must travel light so that you have the
freedom to go where ever you want to paint, and this means you can’t bring your
“studio” with you everywhere you go.

I have noticed that students frequently don’t understand how to use color or how
to choose a color palette that is their own. Many teachers just assume that their
students have already taken a color class. I invite you to consider painting with a
limited palette that includes 4 tubes of paint plus white. In theory, everything can
be painted with the three primary colors of Red, Blue and Yellow. This sounds crazy
but it is true. Look into your computer printer and you will find three colors of ink
that are used together to create the amazing photos that your printer can print.
What three primary colors should I use? This is part of the wonderful journey of
becoming an artist. The colors YOU choose will ultimately be part of the uniqueness
of your own artwork. I ask many participants in my workshops, “What colors do
you use in your color palette?” Many of them answer that they use various palettes
recommended by art gurus like Richard Schmid or David Levell. When I ask them
why they haven’t created their own palette, many of them look at me with a puzzled
expression. The truth is that many artists haven’t had training in color basics and
they use colors that they have acquired in the past, adding colors that they find in
art stores that are pretty or on sale. Many artists think it is easier to supplement
their palette with a variety of colors or buy premixed colors to save time. But if you
look back in history, there were fewer colors available to the Impressionists in the
1800’s and despite that limitation, they were very successful.
To learn color theory, it’s important to begin with three primary colors, Alizarin
Crimson, Thalo Blue and Cadmium Yellow Light. (Because Thalo Blue is so saturated
and messy, I recommend that you substitute Cobalt Blue.) Then, with time and
patience, you can mix these three colors together and create a beautiful black.
The initial goal of a Plein Air painter is to use only these three colors, black, and
Titanium white and complete a painting from start to finish. After doing this a

couple of times, you will begin making your own choices about what to add to your
palette. For example, you may need a bright red for a truck in your painting, After
you have exhausted all attempts at mixing Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Yellow to
make this red and have come to the conclusion that this combination will not make
the red you want, then, and only then, you can search through the box of colors you
have been collecting and choose a red that will punch up the color. If you believe
that red trucks are going to be a part of what you paint frequently, then include
this color as part of your own palette. If not, toss it back into the box. You will start
seeing that only few colors will need to be added to create the subjects you select
and style that you enjoy painting. You may eventually substitute the first three
primary colors in your quest to find the perfect three colors for your paintings; so
experiment and find out what works for you. Save some backup colors to keep in the
trunk of your car but go on site with as little as you can carry in one trip.
Remember that White is not a color and is only used to create values of a color.
The quality of white paint does matter. I recommended that you use a good to best
quality of white like Old Holland Titanium White that contains both Titanium and
Zinc. The Zinc makes it cooler and balances the warmness of Titanium white making
it a true white. Stay away from Permalba White because it contains less pigment and
produces a muddy color quickly. If you want your white to have a soft appearance,
mix some linseed oil into the paint on the palette.
As for the cost of the paint you choose, except for the white, it does not make any
difference if you use a cheap name brand paint that you find at Michael’s or the
high-end paint like Vasari or Old Holland. They all produce the same effects when
mixed. So save your money to spend on something that really makes a difference,
like buying oil primed linen canvases to paint on.
Oh, yes. The fourth color that I use is an earth color. I could name the one that I
use, but why not chose one for your self. Any transparent brown will work. Now
play, experiment, and always be curious about the outcome. You’re on your way to
developing your own palette and style, and with a limited number of tubes of paint,
you are free to paint where ever and when ever you want.

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Sketchbooks, Valuable Artist’s Tool

                                                                                “Curious Bear” by Stefan Baumann

 

At our camp near Coulter Bay, on the boundary of the Teton National Park, there was a curious bear whose name is Number 399. When I captured my first glimpse of Number 399, I grabbed my sketchbook to make a quick sketch on paper knowing that I could later transfer it to canvas. The bear stood for a few moments among several fallen tree trunks before lofting away to another campsite. While he stood there, a burst of wind made his fur ripple like waves on water, back-blowing his thick winter coat.

The National Park Service gives bears numbers to identify each bear, keep track of their activity, and to monitor if any bears are interacting with park tourists in an unpleasant manner. Every bear has its own personality and interacts differently with members of the human race. Number 399 is a popular bear at the campground. Rangers and park visitors liked him because of his natural curiosity about people, and as a result, many park tourists enjoy seeing this beautiful four year old, honey-colored grizzly. He likes the attention and poses for pictures, and he has never been cited for unruly bear behavior, although his natural curiosity makes a few campers a little uncomfortable as he wanders from campsite to campsite.

The following day after I sketched  Number 399, I learned that a hunter, who had just killed an elk, shot the curious bear three times and killed him. The hunter apparently was worried that he might have to share his kill with the bear. This was a poignant reminder of the value of sketching in the moment as the opportunity presents itself.

Artists have not always carried their paints and canvas with them on their travels. The practice of painting on location is a relatively new concept in the history of painting. Many artists prefer the traditional method of sketching their experiences in a sketchbook. Artists can draw models or objects of interest, jot down notes and observations about a subject’s shapes, colors and unique features, or work on ideas for upcoming paintings in their sketchbooks. In this painting, “Curious Bear,” I worked from a sketch that I drew of the bear that visited our campsite. Having only seconds to jot down ideas, I worked on an idea for a painting from my sketchbook and notes the following day after I learned that the bear had been shot and killed. This is an example of why it is valuable that artists always have a sketchbook and a pencil or pen ready to sketch and write notes and observations.

I recommend using a book that has about 50 sheets of plain paper with a spiral spine, and urge artists to carry it with them everywhere and make a point to draw at least three drawings a day. It is not necessary to invest in expensive journals with upgraded paper and leather binding displaying the artist’s name in gold leaf. Although these can be impressive, the fancy journals are intimidating and rarely, if ever, used. Don’t think of your sketchbook as a holy relic. It is just a book with pieces of paper. The real value is not the book itself; it is using its pages to practice your sketching and to journal what you are thinking and feeling daily about the world around you, with the possibility of capturing a precious moment that later can become your next great painting.

                                             _____________________________________________________________________

Plein air and alla prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world. He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly American style used to paint the Western landscape. He can be seen plein air painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks are the very best on the market.

 

 

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September 5, 2014 Orland Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Stefan Baumann or Kris Baxter
800.511.1337
[email protected]
[email protected]
Image of Stefan Baumann (2314 x 1878 .jpg file)
ORLAND, California (September 5, 2014) Local artist Stefan Baumann introduces a collection of 50 of his oil paintings in a show titled, Reverence: An Artist’s Tribute to Nature at the Orland Art Center in Orland, CA at an Artist’s Reception on September 5, 2014 from 3pm to 7pm. The public is invited to attend the festivities and meet the artist. Stefan Baumann’s show will run from September 1 – 26, 2014, and the Gallery is open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1pm to 7pm.
Stefan Baumann is a gifted award-winning artist and art instructor who offers oil painting classes in Redding, Mt. Shasta, Medford and San Jose. He also has a PBS painting show called “The Grand View” that can be seen locally on Saturdays on KIXE Create TV. He offers a free eBook containing his artwork and articles about painting on his website at www.stefanbauman.com.
The Grand View Studio is located near Mt. Shasta, California 96094. For more information about Stefan Baumann’s exhibitions, classes, programs, and workshops, please call 800.511.1337 or visit www.stefanbaumann.com or call Kris Baxter at 530-925-0034 or email her at [email protected]

The post September 5, 2014 Orland Press Release appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

The Path Less Traveled

The Path Less Traveled Original Oil Painting by Stefan Baumann

40×30 Oil on Oil Primed Linen Canvas Stretched on Wood Bars

Signed

Lower Right – Baumann

Artist’s Comments

Journal: May 13, 2008

This is day two of my journey into the Cascade Mountains near Mt. Hood, Oregon. I camped near the edge of a river that leads down to the Columbia River. I took a crooked wooden walking staff and my trusty compass, and set out into the wilderness following a trail that was made by passing dear foraging the forest. I made my way through the wild berry bushes, with thorns tugging at my pants and vest. I followed the stacked rocks searching for the twist and turns of the trail. Hikers call these stacked rocks “Trail Ducks.” They are rocks that previous hikers have stacked on top of one another to inform other hikers where the trail is located.

I decided to step away from the path and make a new trail, my own trail, not marked by deer or other hikers before me. This would be my own path, without signs or markers that will lead me to a place where so many have ventured before. I followed the river to an outcropping of boulders along the falling waters and sat down under the shade of an old black oak tree. The air was full of magic and electricity and the cool spray of the falling water dampened my head as I cooled down and relaxed. I imagined Lewis and Clark wandering in this very location during their exploration as they searched for a new route to the Western shores of America.

I reflected on my own life and my life as an artist, I wondered “What If.” What if I had never picked up a brush to paint? What if I was born in a city and not Lake Tahoe? So many things sculpt our life’s journey. Much of what happens to us are just coincidences, timing, the people we meet, and choices we make. If I had I chosen another path, would I have had the opportunity to inspire so many people, or would I be writing code on a computer? All I can say is this; my life and my chosen path has brought me to the magical possibility of inspiring millions of people through my art, through my classes and workshops, and through my PBS television series, The Grand View. This possibility to “Touch, Move and Inspire” people around the world to enjoy and create art and inspire others to do the same, happened because at an early age, I made a choice to travel The Path Less Traveled.

Provenance

Currently held by the artist

Price

$9,600

If you wish to acquire this fine original oil painting or if you have questions about this painting, please contact the artist at 415-606-9074 or email him at [email protected]

Shipping

The price of this original oil painting includes shipping.
This painting will be displayed in Stefan Baumann’s One Man Show titled: “Reverence: An Artist’s Tribute to Nature” at The Orland Art Gallery in Orland, CA from September 1 through 27, 2014.

 

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Reverence: An Artist’s Tribute to Nature

Stefan Baumann’s Art Show, “Reverence: An Artist’s Tribute to Nature”

Artist Stefan Baumann captures a view of Asilomar at the Plein Air Convention 1013. Baumann demonstrates plein air painting as a guest VIP of Plein Air Magazine. This event was an important place to be if you are going to be a plein air artist.September 1 – 26, 2014  at the Orland Art Gallery in Orland, CA  The Artist’s Reception takes place on Friday, September 5th from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Gallery.  Stefan Baumann is featuring more than 50 oil paintings in his “Romantic Realist” style of painting with luminous effects of light that bring the paintings to life.  Please come and  meet the artist at the Reception and view his collection of artwork painted on location and in his studio of wildlife, the National Parks, western landscapes, Native American dwellings, and wonderful magical locations from painted from his imagination.

The post Reverence: An Artist’s Tribute to Nature appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Final Views of the Convention and Point Lobos

                                                “From the Shores of Point Lobos”

I would like to add some final views and impressions about the Plein Air Convention that I attended last week and plein air painting at Point Lobos.  First, the Convention was inspiring and informative, and I look forward to participating next year. Because this Convention is an artistically rich educational and experiential event, I encourage all my painting students in The Grand View as well as viewers of our PBS show to attend next year’s 4th Annual Plein Air Convention, April 13-17, in Monterey, California.

This is the last of three plein air oil paintings that I painted during the convention. “From the Shores of Point Lobos” is a view of Point Lobos painted from a secure perch overlooking the Monterey Bay seen through trees that partially blocked my view. Point Lobos State Park is not usually open to groups of people painting on location, but this year they made an exception and opened it to our group of painters and allowed us to paint in this beautiful California State Park. For artists who like to search for secret places to paint, Point Lobos has hiking trails that follow the shoreline and lead to hidden coves and vistas with tree-lined headlands and rolling meadows that make ideal compositions.

                                                                                  ———————————————————————–

Plein air and alla prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View: America’s National Parks through the Eyes of an Artist” and author of “The Grand View: Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world. He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism and he the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly an American Style used to paint the Western Landscape. He can be seen painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks are the very best on the market.

The post Final Views of the Convention and Point Lobos appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Sell Paintings for Profit

In this video on YouTube, Stefan Baumann discusses how to sell paintings for profit in a competitive marketplace.

Please enter text here…

 

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Be Prepared to Paint

Ashland Barn” by Stefan Baumann

 

Last week I was traveling in Medford, Oregon, prepared to paint with my brushes, paints, and canvases in my truck, when I took an unexpected turn off the freeway onto a quiet country road. It had been raining and a magnificent cloud formation with impressive effects of light covered the sky. I drove by an old pear orchard, and noticed a beautiful pear tree covered with blossoms that had an old barn as a backdrop. As I came closer to the tree, the sky opened and a beam of sunlight lit up the metal roof on the barn creating a dramatic moment of contrasting lights and darks. I pulled over quickly, gathered my painting supplies, and began mixing my foundation color. An artist must always be prepared to paint when inspiration strikes. A writer has sharp pencils and paper in a shirt pocket to jot down notes. A cook always has a collection of spices in his kitchen ready to create the next culinary extravaganza. The artist must have supplies at hand to be able to catch the moment of inspiration and transfer it to canvas. A travel bag outfitted with these basic essentials will serve you well whenever you want to create: red, yellow, and blue paint, a palette, canvas, brushes, turpentine, and paper towels. Like a good scout, it pays to be prepared for anything.

Being prepared to paint does not take the work and discomfort out of painting on location. If we remembered all the obstacles we may encounter outdoors, such as the weather, changing light, difficulties with sketching and composition, inhospitable insects, and changing temperatures, we would probably talk ourselves out of it and never do it again. If you boldly go where so many would never go, be kind to yourself. Have reasonable expectations of what you can accomplish. Give yourself applause for venturing outdoors to try your best to paint what you see and love. You can always wipe it off after you give your best effort. Or you can remember that painting, as in any art, requires practice to learn how to do it. Without the struggle, successes would not be as valuable and exciting.

What stops you from painting? Sometimes artists worry about not painting “good enough,” negatively compare themselves with others and feel inferior, or are embarrassed or ashamed because they cannot paint the masterpiece that they dream of creating. Knowledge comes from practicing and making mistakes, as awkward and frustrating as it is, and artists must be willing to make 100 mistakes on their canvases before they can begin to know how to paint well. Try not to judge your success by the finished piece. The experience that happens in your imagination as you paint is what counts. As you intentionally practice the discipline of painting, remember also to enjoy the pleasure of painting by exploring the possibilities of what you can do with color, shapes, composition, and light. At the end of the day, sharing your imagination, feelings, and experiences through art is worthy and important as a way of communicating and connecting person to person.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

Plein air and Alla Prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas, capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world. He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly an American style used to paint the Western landscape. He can be seen painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs, filmed on location in the National Parks, are the very best on the art instruction market.

The post Be Prepared to Paint appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

The Drag Rider

Original Oil Painting by Stefan Baumann

20″ x 30″ Oil on Linen Canvas

The Drag Rider Painting Label

Framing

Framed in Black /Gold and Wood with a 24k gold leaf  over wood  27×37
With name plate  (Stefan Baumann, The Drag Rider)

Signed

Lower Left  – Baumann  Monogram GV  Date: 14

Provenance

This painting by Stefan Baumann won the Annual Red Bluff Western Art Show and Competition’s Blue Ribbon and took First Place in the Painting Division with a painting of a cowboy on horseback wrangling a lost calf back to camp as the day comes to an end with  beautiful lighting effects of the setting sun in the background titled “The Drag Rider.” This original oil painting was conceived and painted from the artist’s imagination in his studio near Mount Shasta, California.  The powerful story told in this painting is about the dedication of this weary drag rider (a cowboy whose job it is to find the cattle left behind), who perseveres and brings the calf back to the herd as the sun sets.  Baumann states, “I painted this painting as an homage to the courageous cowboys who helped to settle the American West by providing food and a way of life through the cattle business.”

Price

$4,800

If you wish to acquire this fine original oil painting for your collection of art from the National Parks, please contact the artist at 1-800-511-1337 or email him using the contact form on this page.

Shipping

The price of this original oil painting includes shipping.

Gallery Representation

Held in the personal Gallery of the Artist

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January 30, 2013 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Stefan Baumann or Kris Baxter  

800.511.1137

[email protected]

[email protected]

RED BLUFF, California (January  30, 2014) Local artist Stefan Baumann won a Blue Ribbon and took 1st place in the Painting Division at the Red Bluff Bull & Gelding Sale’s Western Art Show.  His landscape oil painting titled “The Drag Rider” tells the visual story of a rider on horseback rounding up a calf that was lost in the high chaparral.  This painting  dramatically portrays the end of a day in the life of a cowboy with Baumann’s sensitive and effective use of light throughout the painting.  Stefan Baumann is a gifted award-winning artist and art instructor who offers oil painting classes in Redding, Mt. Shasta, and Medford.  His PBS painting show called “The Grand View” can be seen locally on Saturdays on KIXE Create TV.

The annual Red Bluff Western Art Show takes place at the Tehama District Fairgrounds and features selected works of painters and artisans in an exhibition of the “American Western Lifestyle and Its People.” 

Image of award winning painting (6.3 Mb pdf file, RGB image)

Image of Stefan Baumann with painting and blue ribbon (2314 x 1878 .jpg file)

The Grand View Studio is located near Mt. Shasta, California 96094. For more information about Stefan Baumann’s exhibitions, classes, programs, and workshops, please call 800.911.1337 or visit www.stefanbaumann.com, or call Kris Baxter at 530-925-0034 or email her at [email protected]

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