a breath of air

i took the boys outside today.  it was kind of chilly, so i got shirts for them to wear, but they had some trouble getting them on, and finally the sun came around the corner and they got to bask in the lovely spring warmth.  then i put all the samples of clothing i’m trying to match at their feet – apron, glove, jeans, workboots, khaki pants, golf shirt, denim shirts.

the first thing i noticed was that all the colors are wrong.  and everybody jumped on my case, because i started mixing up more paint, and they all want me to stop now.  but that’s not a denim shirt color on the home depot dolphin, it’s too green.  and the apron isn’t the same orange.  the glove isn’t the right gray, the jeans are bluer, and the workboots aren’t that brown.  and the golf shirt isn’t that dark.  and the skin tone is both not dark enough and too dark.

the only color that’s correct in daylight are the khaki pants.  whoopee.

so i mixed up more denim shirt color – white with a little ultramarine and even littler black, and then more white.  two coats, the second much thinner.  a coat of this over the jeans.  several coats of cadmium orange hue and white, with a little cadmium red light, on the apron.  it’s closer, they’re all closer now.

i’m ready to start with the undone details – the drill, paint can, paint, electric cord, and tube of liquid nails.  i’ve started with the red of the drill, and will work my way around.

but i’m still not sure what i’m doing with the waves, so i can’t really go too far.  i have to decide on that first thing tomorrow.

sorry for the picture quality here.  the shirt is closer now, with another coat of mostly blue and black with a little white.

the thing i’m debating now is the base of the mckenney’s dolphin.  the pipes are too brown now, and need to go back to black and white gray.  i was thinking of the navy’s tendency to paint everything.  and the engineer’s tendency to paint everything.  and i was thinking what if engineers painted the waves, would they be some shade of gray?

so i’m thinking, what if i paint the waves gray, a really light gray.  and made all the rest of the pipes darker grays to black, with putty colored pressure flanges and red accents?  would that look funny, and would anybody get it?

feel free to comment, telling me what you’d do as an engineer.



2 thoughts on “a breath of air

  1. Jeanne,

    Remember, these guys are going to be in atmospheres where their lighting is florescent, I believe and that will influence the colors. Smart cookie taking them out into the sunshine for that is where your true colors stand out. However, you need to go to the stores where they will stand and see the lighting there. If you can, take the color samples on some paper and lay them out on the floor where these dolphins shall be displayed so that you can get a good idea of what the lighting will do to them. In a situation like this, you need to make sure that the colors are within the same hue ranges, this is more important than getting the exact color mimicking the fabrics. The only fabric which REALLY makes the difference is that of the Home depot’s apron. This you must match and then make sure that the other colors you use are within the right hues so as not to clash with that orange. Granted, orange clashes with everything, but that’s not the point. If it’s a warm orange, then go with warm colors with everything else, if it’s a cold orange then follow suit. This is where the clashing comes is, if you mix warm tones with cold tones then everything looks off!!! Keep with the same hues.

    As to the pipes, go and ask those engineers what they would recommend. However, leave the waves water colors. This is what your eye expects to see. Just like you are trying to work with an imitation of reality, you then must stick with that theme. If you’d chosen to make the dolphins purple or green, then you could play with the water and everyone would get it, but you’ve chosen to be realistic, so stay on that theme. I think that putting some white on the crests would look really good against all the color you’ve got working in these dolphins!

    I must tell you how very impressed I am with your work! It is just FANTASTIC!! I never knew how very talented you are and I am envious of all that you have done!! Truly impressive, my dear sister. I’M PROUD OF YOU!!!

    • yes but.

      i can’t control the lighting. they will be displayed around town for awhile, and that means outside, and where they go for their permanent installations i can’t control either, so i can’t plan for it. because fabric dyes and pigments are different chemically and constitutionally, they will tend to look different under different lights, even if they’re exactly the same color to the eye in sunlight, or in my studio. so other than making it look good outside, i can’t do any better than that.

      as for the color combinations, i tend to agree. but i’m not at all happy with whatever i’ve done to this point looks. since i’m having so much trouble making the veils unstreak, it’s been difficult to cap the waves with white so far. and because i detest acrylic i’m having real trouble innovating my way out of my problem. coat after coat goes on with a lot of time spent on flat nothing as far as results go.

      but i’m switching to daylight painting as of today, and am becoming increasingly desperate to finish, so things should come to a rumbling climax real soon now, and then i can get some sleep and start sorting thru all the other things i need to do.

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