Blackness

It's a summer night. What words do we use when we try to characterize the sky on a summer night? Dense? Humid? Deep? How do I describe the blackness with paint pigment? Do I use Mars Black, which has an innate warmth, or do I go for a cooler, inkier black that suggests depth? Neutral Gamblin Chromatic Black? The icy coolness of Payne's Gray? Or do I go with a Mars base, and then wash a cooler transparent layer over it? Should I use a mixed black instead; a combination of blues and Alizarin and Thalo Green? The old advice is to keep your darks thin when painting in oil, and your lights thick, but I've seen artists break that rule.

Here is the very raw start of Rita's, an ice cream shop in a suburban town. As a viewer, you are standing in the parking lot, adjacent to a busy thoroughfare. Figures will appear on the lower left, eventually.

Rita's, © 2016, work in progress

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