Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Monday, October 2, 2017

More Color Games

Here's one with Cad Green, Cad Lemon, Cad Orange, and White. That green isn't as tricky as it may seem. Even with a full palette, one often reaches for greens to mix a cooler part of the skin tone, so there's nothing too surprising there.

The challenge, again, is the fact that with this set of colors, I can't get a really dark value. So again, I have to work within the compressed value range.

The Impressionists often worked in a limited range in the higher key, so it's perfectly do-able. Mine isn't really Impressionist in approach, but still, limiting the value range has that atmospheric feel, doesn't it?


  1. Terry,

    Incredible blog. I found it a week ago and have already read probably 40 posts. Learning a ton!!

    Two questions that still remain, that I haven't found answers to yet on your blog, are the following (maybe good ideas for a blog post?):

    > Whats your methodology regarding thinner and medium - specifically how do you choose the amount of thinner/oil/liquin in each layer, generally, and in what stages. (Given that we all have a general idea of fat over lean).

    > Values: You mention you generally select 4-5 values for a painting to maintain impact/simplicity. How do you choose which values you use in a each painting? Looking at a value chart, do you pick a 1, 3, 6 and a 9 or something like that?

    Thanks again and God bless, brother. Your teachings are a blast and super informative - you're a skilled teacher, not just a skilled artist!

    1. I totally forgot to respond! Sorry, and thank you very much for commenting - I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know your thoughts!

      I'll do more posts re: your questions, but in a nutshell -

      I usually use solvent or Gamvar for initial washes. just thinning out paint to draw on the canvas and do some very, very rough value block in. And also start out with thin paint for the darkest areas.

      After that, I don't use much medium at all unless the paint is feeling stiff. Then I dip the corner of my brush into solvent or Gamvar and mix into the colors. But I'd say, 95% - 99% of the painting is done without any medium.

      That is, if I'm painting traditionally.

      If I'm working on a piece with a lot abstraction (my cityscapes and figures), I start using mediums in the second half of the process when I start slopping paint around semi-randomly. It might be slightly oily, or totally drippy. I don't have a system here, as I rely on the randomness to find accidental notes. I sometimes use Liquin here, too, but not much since I don't like the smell.

      Values. When I'm doing value studies, white is my lightest. black is my darkest, and the two in the middle. I try to distribute them equally. If I were to use a scale of ten, it would be 1 - 4 - 7 - 10 , but I NEVER think of it this way. I just think 1 - 2 - 3 - 4. Much simpler. Just make sure they're equal distant apart from each other. Having them all lined up on the palette and squinting at the piles helps to see which piles are too close in values and which ones are too far apart.

      I hope that helps!