During each monthly Saturday art mentoring session, Mirja provides a talk or demo on some aspect of art. The following is from February 2016.
An alternative to using a monochrome underpainting is to begin with varying colour masses. This can be a fun method to use when painting outdoors, as well as for doing quick studies when trying out various colour choices — whether using found or imaginative colours.
Below: thumbnail; colour masses; layers; final painting…
Begin with your design plan. Then decide on colour: this is a bright painting, so colours were chosen from the outside of the colour wheel. Initially I thought I would want a violet sky, so I chose a magenta underpainting. For the dark tree areas, violet would create great darks under green. For the brighter green bush area, yellow would keep the green from dulling; same for the magenta flowers. I chose local and analagous colours for the building shapes. Notice it’s all mass shapes. Next I began to lay colours on top, both with transparent and opaque methods. I also used both brushes and knives. The goal was to simplify and avoid a lot of detail.
Tip: You can brighten pink with orange. To maintain brightness for cool colours like blue, don’t mix with other colours. Also, white dulls and cools colour, so lighten orange with yellow and so on.