Art, Painting, Sketching, Urban Landscape, watercolor

Yellow Warehouse

This warehouse is very near one of the other sketches I did recently.

Yellow Warehouse

I found another comfortable loading dock to sit on and had a pleasant hour sketching this warehouse. Occasionally a jogger or two would come by ruining the whole industrial thing and, to my mind, foretelling the future redevelopment of this area. There are lots of new townhouses and ‘lofts’ nearby.

I’m continuing to do small oil sketches using a limited palette. I’m sticking, for the most part, to alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, pthalo blue, cadmium yellow med, indian yellow and titanium white. I’m frustrated particularly with making cool blacks. I’ve resorted to using pthalo green and prussian blue a couple of times. I used to rely on prussian blue and sap green to make a favorite cool dark.

A comment on his blog from Elio Camacho warned against relying exclusively on adding compliments to a mix to create greys. I think that’s another weak point in my work.

10 thoughts on “Yellow Warehouse”

  1. I really like this painting and your style. Very interesting subject as well. I hope it doesn’t all turn into condo’s and the like!


  2. Hey Bill,
    Thanks for the compliments.
    Since you mentioned a change in your pallet I am going to offer a suggestion. I want you to look at a painter name Anders Zorn. Late 1800’s I think…
    His pallet
    white……yel. Ochre………alizarin…….viridian green….black.
    You will notice NO blue…mix your blue using alizarin, viridian, and black and white. Play with it till you get it right. When you mix it on the pallet it will not look incredibly blue. Now play with the relationship between that blue next to the warms yel. Ochre and alizarin make. Now step back…and you will see the “effect” of blue. This pallet will show you how little blue you actually need in a sky to make an effective blue. The reason this works is because you are painting the relationship between the two colors and how they affect each other. Not only that, you will get away from that cool blue problem you are running into using “dyes”(phthalos).
    Which brings me to another point you mentioned. The value range in nature…forget about it. When you look at a photo of a sunset it never has the same effect on your eyes as the real thing. Regardless of how bright you get those colors. As far as darks… Just paint the relationship between the values….Ask yourself how dark is this dark compared to this light? That will get you started.
    Hope this helps!
    If I have time tomorrow I will paint a couple of paintings with the above pallet so you can see the effect.
    Happy Painting!
    Elio Camacho


  3. Elio,

    I appreciate your visit and am intrigued by your suggestion. I’ve read of several limited palette suggestions but never one that didn’t include blue. And black is often frowned on. I’m anxious to see how this works. I wonder what black you suggest for this experiment.


  4. Bill,

    Mars Black. As far as black being frowned on I would suggest never using black as a dark. Always mix your darks. Also never use black to darken a color. Again mix the color. Keep the amount a black used in a mixer to minimum because it is prone to cracking. With this color a little goes a long way. I use it more to take a little croma out of the color when needed. Some artists use a touch of it in each mixer to create instant harmony.

    In this pallet it is essential color because of the lack of blue. When you have a larger pallet you will use less and less of it. But when you do you will really know just the places to use it.

    I painted with this pallet for one year solid. I could go on and on…more later after I do a few sketches.



  5. Bill, Beautiful sketch. It really captures the moment and atmosphere.

    I agree with Elio’s suggestion re Zorn, a favorite artist of mine as well. Also, it’s not such a bad thing to add black to your palette. We have both studied with Ovanes Berberian, ad he uses blacks in his lights, to make them less raw, as Elio mentioned.


  6. Back to Black!

    I actually took black off of my pallet for nearly a year, even today most of the time it dries out before I get a chance to use it all. In this pallet it is important again because of the lack of blue. I could actually go without black with my current pallet but it simplifies things for me when I do use it. Everyone is different when it comes to pallets.
    For example…I don’t use cadmium yellow light, phthalo blue, cadmium orange, alizarin, quinacridone red, viridian, phthalo green (except outdoors), some of the favorites of todays painters. I actually paint with a very grey pallet. (Mars Orange, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Sap Green, Venetian Red, transparent Red Oxide, ect) I only use two dyes, Rose Madder (which is nothing compared to Quinacridone) and Magnesium Blue.
    When I finally do a blog I will post something about my complete pallet. Everyone should find what colors work for them.



  7. Ed and Elio,

    I appreciate your comments, insights into color theory and the pointer to Anders Zorn.


  8. this is great stuff, man. I’m an aspiring cartoonist/graphic novel designer but I’ve always wished I could sketch well. You have a really nice style.


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