The Raw Umber Experiment

Lately I’ve been painting playful landscapes in heightened colors that are designed to help the viewer feel like they are in an environment completely void of anything serious.  Stepping into these scenes erases all responsibilities to bills, schedules, emails, and people duties.  The brush strokes are largely unblended and the fine details have been omitted to give the eye a break.  We have enough figuring out to do – my hope is that everyone who takes the time to stare will leave the painting feeling light-hearted.

However, not every day is a bright, primary palette, and yesterday I decided to do a raw umber experiment.  Raw Umber, cool brown, or blah brown – they all mean the same thing and are a perfect way to dull the brilliance of any color you’ve mixed.

In this palette raw umber is the base for each color and I chose a simple reference image for the color study.  This photo was taken in California on the freeway to Monterey out the window of a moving twelve person van that included four kids.  No, I wasn’t driving:)   I’ve included the picture here.  It’s really amazing what paint can do to change a scene.  The result is a quieter, less bossy painting, and I'll definitely use this palette on a larger piece.