Saturday, August 02, 2014

Creating Color Harmony in Oil Paintings Using a Limited Pallet

Most beginning painters want to solve the problem of color choice by buying as many colors of paints as their budget will allow. Before buying all of those paints, why not try the limited pallet that so many great artists use and are very successful with. Try these colors: titanium white, ultramarine blue, cadmium red light, cadmium yellow light, and I add one more paint to the list--transparent oxide red, or some companies call it transparent red oxide. I use the transparent oxide red for my darks and grays. By mixing transparent oxide red with ultramarine blue, I get very close to a transparent black. When I mix white with my darks and more ultramarine blue, I get a cool gray.  When I mix my darks with more transparent oxide red, the result is a warm gray. Mixing cadmium yellow light to these darks and grays gives me a whole series of greens. By using this limited pallet, you can mix virtually all of the colors in nature with the exception of some colors of flowers. If you are painting flowers, you may need to add alizarin or some purples. Remember that your computer printer uses red, yellow, blue and black ink. The color of the paper adds the white. The advantage of using this pallet is that you can very easily go back and remix any color that you have previously mixed.

"Tuckered Out," 11x14 Oil on Canvas by Tommy Thompson

An art gallery director remarked that this painting illustrates color harmony. I created "Tuckered Out" depicting a farmer carrying water to his little cabin in the foothills of Tennessee. Country life figures prominently in my paintings because of my childhood. Art critics have told me that my painting style resembles that of the Barbizon school. The Barbizon school of painters were part of an art movement toward realism in art. The Barbizon school was active roughly from 1830 through 1870. It takes its name from the village of Barbizon, France, where many of the artists gathered. Some of the most prominent features of this school are its tonal qualities, color, loose brushwork, and softness of form. The Barbizon painters preserved a rapidly disappearing rural life style and focused on painting working people as they went about their daily life. Two of the noteworthy Barbizon painters include English painter, John Constable, and the French painter, Camille Corot.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ingram Hay Bales

"Ingram Hay Bales," 6x8 Oil on Panel by Tommy Thompson

I painted "Ingram Hay Bales" at a farm in Leiper's Fork, TN. I have conducted two oil painting workshops in the quaint little village that counts among its residents some of the most recognized names in the music industry. We enjoy visiting the area to partake of the delicious food, seeing the pristine farms and viewing the excellent artwork available in the village's galleries.This painting is now in a private collection. If anyone is interested in purchasing a giclee print of this original, you may do so at this link:

Radnor Lake Evening Solitude

"Radnor Lake Evening Solitude," 30x40 Oil on Canvas by Tommy Thompson

Radnor Lake in Nashville, TN, is a favorite painting location for many plein air painters in Middle Tennessee. Members of the Chestnut Group, plein air painters for the land in Nashville, have participated in paint-outs at this lake for many years. My daughter, Michelle Rideout, and I have painted there on several occasions. My latest painting, "Radnor Lake Evening Solitude," captures a view of the lake that is special to many. Giclees of this painting are available in various sizes; email if you are interested in purchasing a less-expensive giclee.

Memphis Pink Palace

 "Memphis Pink Palace," 24x36 Oil on Canvas by Tommy Thompson

After visiting the Pink Palace in Memphis, I painted a 24x36 inch oil of this historic landmark; the original is now available for sale via my web site. Headquarters for the Pink Palace Family of Museums, the Pink Palace was originally designed to be the dream home of wealthy entrepreneur Clarence Saunders. The Museum derives its name from the Mansion's ornate pink Georgian marble facade.

Saunders, an entrepreneur and founder of the grocery chain, Piggly Wiggly, began building the house in the early 1920s, but due to a legal dispute with the New York Exchange, he had to declare bankruptcy, and the unfinished building was eventually given to the city of Memphis, TN, in the late 1920s for use as a museum.

Memphis Pink Palace Museum

The "new" addition and main Museum building is called the Pink Palace Museum. It houses the Bodine Exhibit Hall, exhibiting a variety of special temporary exhibits each year, and permanent exhibits, which include natural science on the first floor and cultural history on the second floor. Notable among the Museum collections are the mechanized Clyde Parke Circus, created during the Great Depression by Memphian Clyde Park, and the first self-service grocery called "Piggly Wiggly," developed by Pink Palace Mansion builder/owner, Clarence Saunders, next to the Clyde Park Circus. First-floor natural science exhibits include geology, fossil and animal exhibits.

Mist in the Distance

I grew up walking through the woods and wading in the creeks around my home in Longview, Mississippi, near Mississippi State University. I had the good fortune to have an uncle who enjoyed it even more than I did, and I enjoyed following him. He took me duck hunting, and generally exploring. I never knew what he would come home with--ducks, rabbits, snakes, and even a donkey. We robbed bee trees and went on wagon trips to the saw mill to get a load of "wood slabs" to use around the wash pot. He was great at telling a tale that for a brief moment you would believe. I miss him but this creek brings back memories.

"Mist in the Distance," 30x40 Oil on Canvas by Tommy Thompson

Friday, January 10, 2014

Setting Sail

"Setting Sail," 36x24 Oil on Canvas by Tommy Thompson 

To find subjects for painting, my wife Marie and I use  a different method of navigating between destinations. We look at a map and if the next town is southwest from the town we are in we turn off the main road and sometimes travel roads that are not on a map. We travel west until we reach a road turning south and then back west, alternating back and forth until we reach the next town. This is what we were doing when I saw a boy with his sailboat next to a creek.  He was afraid to put his boat in the water in fear of losing it. The day was too cold to get in the water and he knew the current could take his boat away. You don't forget this type of scene. Off in the distance is the kind of barn that was a part of my childhood. I am pleased that I was able to preserve this scene in the oil painting, "Setting Sail,"  for many to enjoy.