Cap­tur­ing the Light Key of Na­ture with Color

Camille Prze­wodek shares her tips for de­vel­op­ing color per­cep­tion while work­ing out­doors

International Artist - - Contents - Camille Prze­wodek

Camille Prze­wodek shares her tips for de­vel­op­ing color per­cep­tion while work­ing out­doors

My teacher, Henry Hen­sche has stated, “We can­not see any­thing ex­cept as it ex­ists in the light in which it is seen.” Es­sen­tially, what we are paint­ing then is not the ob­jects or sub­ject in front of us but the ef­fect of light fall­ing on those ob­jects or sub­ject.

When we re­fer to the light key, we are re­fer­ring to not only the light, but the col­lec­tion of vari­ables that mod­ify the light fall­ing on the sub­ject, such as the time and type of day, the pre­vail­ing at­mo­spheric con­di­tions, nearby re­flect­ing sur­faces, etc.

As I ex­plain in my books and in my work­shops, I try not to dwell on the­o­ries be­cause re­ly­ing on them is a sure­fire way to be­come a for­mula painter. In­stead of teach­ing my stu­dents recipes, I en­cour­age them to use the tools I have given them to de­velop their color per­cep­tion. I want my stu­dents to ap­proach their easels with con­fi­dence, but with­out ever los­ing the awe and sur­prise of each new scene.

Glance at Set­ting Sun, oil, 14 x 11" (36 x 28 cm)Both Meadow at Sun­set and Glance at Set­ting Sun are late af­ter­noon stud­ies done in dif­fer­ent ge­o­log­i­cal lo­ca­tions that will also af­fect the light key. One was done in Province­town, Mas­sachusetts, the other in Los Osos, Cal­i­for­nia. I have used dif­fer­ent col­ors be­cause of the dif­fer­ent at­mo­spheric con­di­tions.

Meadow at Sun­set, oil, 22 x 28" (56 x 71 cm)

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