Lighten Up On Shadows

For years I was confounded by dense, colorless shadows in my oil paintings. How could I paint thick, dark shadows without killing the perkiness of the colors I used to make up the mixtures? Taking a tip from French painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, I began adding a touch of white into dark colors like ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, phthalo green and some of the deeper purples. The colorless, pitch-like look inherent to these colors is now transformed. And to make this process a bit easier, I pre-mix these shadow colors and store them in empty 35mm film canisters or discarded paint tubes.

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