Broken Color

Mixing on the palette or the canvas when I’m painting outside on bright, sunny days I’ll see strong color that looks like it’s paint straight from the tube but if I apply pure color it jumps off the canvas.  Other times I’ll see a number of colors on a flat plane and I’ll mix them together on the palette and come up with mud.   A good solution is to combine both mixing on the palette and mixing directly on the canvas.  When I was painting the Pusch Ridge Cliffs near Catalina State Park, the rocks were a bright orange because of the late afternoon sun but there was also shades of violet, red and some yellow-green because of the minerals and age of the rock.  If I were to mix all those variations together on the palette I would come up with mud, but when I mix and apply the value and temperature first (which would be a light value of orange) I could then mix the violet, roughly the same value, and scrub or blend them into the orange.  Some of the colors would blend and some would stay intense, giving the flat area a vibration of color, or broken color.  This way I can control how strong or how neutral the color should be.

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