creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Color Restriction: An Ode to Winter Whites

I know from experience we can get overwhelmed by all the choices presented us in creating new artwork, we sometimes want to throw everything we've got into it; all the colors, all the techniques, all the possibilities. But too much of a good thing can muddy the overall look of a work. We think of the word "restriction" in a negative and limiting fashion, but sometimes it helps bring clarity and focus to the art.  Much can be done with a limited palette, particularly in regard to colors. When you impose limits, you define the perimeters of your work, which guides the process and allows you to get the most out of it.

Winter is one of those glorious seasons that strips away much of the color in the temperate climates, offering up an opportunity to enjoy the starkness and pave the way towards a burst of color and life come spring. Winter forces us into limits, especially when it blankets everything in a glorious blanket of white snow that to some people is an annoyance, but to others quite magical.

Many famous artists have made a name for themselves by painting stark white canvases, which at first glance are straightforward, but at further examination offer a fine amount of variety in the detail. So try limiting yourself in some manner, whether in color, in your building materials, or subject matter.

The following are pictures from recent travels back to a good old Iowa winter, which convey a very limited color scheme of winter whites:

In the meadow we can build a...

Back alley icicles

Geese along the Iowa River
An ice flow
Wing over Iowa landscape

A river winding
Do you catch my drift?

Don't eat the yellow snow!

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