I'm ready to share more insights on color mixing Russian way. I think it's a great title for a workshop :-)
There is not secret that for the last 2 years I probably took at least 20 workshops with the best living Talents . Some of them are simply outstanding modern American Artists and National Treasures , but not good teachers, in fact many of them just have been silently painting, while we all were watching them , trying to comprehend the process and made sense of how to apply all this visual information to own creative needs. But one individual basically turned my whole artistic soul into direction so natural and native for me! A Russian/Armenian artist which name I won't mention as he is extremely private.
He didn't really talk to much, but his vision and painting style was a pure magic! Since applying his principals to my creative process I became more happy with my art. I wish I could go and study with him for the whole year. And may be I will one day, but now I'm on the mission to completely submerged to and teach those principals to my students. His work is soul and heart of REAL Russian Impressionism. Just a few of his principals are :
Initially blocking in colors using a strong primary or secondary hue which is two steps darker than what we would ultimately want to end up with. From my understanding from the beginning we are not really worry about establishing value relationships . We simply applying high chroma thin washes with a limited value range without using a white. Please note, if you must to indicate a large light passage, say, clouds in the sky, or a white table cloth in a still life, his approach was to first substitute ochre for that white, knowing he would return to the passage in question during the finish and lay a cool or warm white on top. He painting all his values darker using grays for the darks , and then raising them up, made all the color rich and beautiful.
Hold back lightest lights and white of a ground until the last minute . And using a thin wash to tint it a specific hue early on if it becomes necessary. This isn't all that different from the idea of laying in an ochre, just reserv the white area for a later finish. Leave the lighter areas untainted by white paint as we work out mid- to lower value relationships so we don't have to contend with errant white getting into those darker passages. And when the darker values are established then he mixes in white as necessary, working up from the mid-values towards highlights, which usually become the thickest of all. This was a common approach used back in the 19th century. Perhaps not so much now, but certainly back then. So, the painting will have transparent darks, semi-opaque mid-values, and opaque lights. it's better do in one setting " alla prima", for the most part. All of the above is consistent with " Compressed Values" term! That was my Lesson 5 subject! Here you can see the step by step process I just described . Note - No Pure White Applied to this particular painting !!!
and.. the final result : it's for sale : $ 500.00 and free shipping as always :-)