Color Matching Problem

It was only after I finished today’s painting session and I looked at the photos did I notice that I have a color matching problem on this painting.

Every day I mix up new colors. Oil paints usually stays wet for a while, but certain colors will dry overnight. My current palette is made up of colors that dry overnight so this forces me to re-mix colors for ever session.

Mixing piles of colors daily can actually be good training. It is a constant reminder of color theory and I can experiment daily. But the problem remains of inconsistency in colors mixed overall.

If you look at the work I did today on the chest and abs under the arm you can definitely see that this whole section’s color is a bit off. The area is a bit more orange now and not enough color variations like real skin.

For most artists the initial reaction is to retard the drying time of the paint. I’ve tried this before and I thoroughly dislike it. When adding any medium to oil paint it becomes much more fluid and I lose all impasto. This is a personal preference, many artist paint beautiful works with oil paints thoroughly mixed with mediums, but this is not for me I like the consistency of Gamblin oil paint right out of the tube.

I think the best way for me to get my paint mixtures more consistent is to go a similar route as Daniel Greene. He mixes his paints every session but he has a method and mixes the same exact piles every time he begins to paint.

Daniel Greene’s Palette and mixtures

The problem I see with this method is the waste of paint depending on subject. I watched a video where he would mix the same palette every session, but in some sessions he would only use a tiny portion of all this paint. That is just too wasteful for me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hoard my paint I put out more than I use each session but I’m sure there is a way to do this without mixing so much.

I think what I’m going to put into place is sets of mixtures that I can choose per subject. I’ll have to spend some time each session trying different mixtures and taking notes on which ones work best and why. Through this I should be able to pick mixtures for each painting or even each section of a painting.

Color Matching Problem
Color Matching Problem
Color Matching Problem, setup

Session Details