Study Time

Munsell Color Studies

Like so many around the world, I am making the best of this time while sheltering in place. It has been challenging for me to focus on a complex painting with all the news these days. I decided that I needed to keep my painting simple yet get a bit of learning and forward progress out of my time.

I have dabbled with the Munsell color system for a while now and eventually stumbled onto the work of Graydon Parrish and Paul Foxton. Both have worked with the Munsell system extensively. I purchased the student book some years back and this past December I finally had an opportunity to invest in the Munsell Big Book of Color, glossy edition.

With my life so completely changing, I haven’t had a chance to do a lot of work with the book, until now. I have these colored plastic balls that I purchased at a thrift store. They were originally for a child’s ball pit and I thought they would be a good challenge for color exercises. So, I have been painting portraits of colored plastic balls and learning how to work with the Munsell Book of Color. I also have to admit, my sphere drawing needs a bit of practice as well!

I have three balls done and three more to go. So far I have painted green, red, and blue. I am going to add a bit of a twist once I have finished the colored balls. I am going to also paint fur balls, metal balls, and texture balls. I thought that would be an interesting challenge. Painting the portraits of the balls is actually somewhat meditative. They are challenging enough for learning to use the Munsell system and not overwhelming in these distracting times.

I will be getting back to painting wildlife, sea and landscapes, and a few other odds and ends. I will be swinging more of my focus to wildlife. I found I just can’t stay away from it. I argued with myself that there are so many fantastic wildlife artists out there and maybe I should focus on something else but, I am giving in to the siren call. I don’t know where it will lead me. In fact, I have no idea what my own personal future will hold with all the changes of the past year and with the present world pandemic. This is a time to go within and listen. Listen to the earth and listen to your heart. Change is in the air and it is time to dance with it.

What are you doing with your time while sheltering in place? Resting, spending time with loved ones, or in solitary contemplation is all good too. Hoping all will stay well and stay safe. It is tough, I know. Take care,


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