I decided to get back to my roots. As I have said before, painting is for paint. When I found myself, contrary to my own desires, essentially painting with enamels, I decided I was wasting too much money, materials, and time. Copper is no longer the cheap material it once was. Paper still, more or less, is.
So I decided it was time to start painting with paints again. And I decided to do a daily fish portrait. This was my first. It was also the first time I chose not ignore color theory. I had, up until now, been fairly disdainful of the color wheel. I had certainly known about it since kindergarten — and maybe that’s the problem, maybe I thought it was for kindergarteners, or the color-impaired — but I’d always viewed it as a kind of crutch. More than that, I thought it was a stricture, something that inhibited, rather than aided, creativity.
Then I painted a truly hideous landscape. I knew that my palette was the problem. I didn’t, however, know exactly how to fix it. As serendipity would have it, I came across a color theory book at the bookstore (which I was browsing while waiting for my Chinese food to be ready next door), which I bought, took home, and devoured.
I painted over the landscape, and decided to do a little dancing around the color wheel. So here it is, fish portrait number one, an exercise in the split complementary palette