Wrapped or discarded

For many years there was no black pigment on my palette. I’ve always been taught to make rich darks from the darkest pigments on my palette. And that works most of the time. But sometimes you just want to dip into a real black — like when you are sketching a lamp post or a municipal trash bin, or in today’s example — a pile of discarded tires. There is real pleasure in diluting your chosen black down to a truly neutral grey, and also layering up to a deep black.

For that reason, I have several blacks in my paint drawer. This one is Peach Black and I love it because it is not overly granulating like Lunar Black. I also love Chromium Black which is a little bit warmer. And a gorgeous warmer grey, like on the utility pole, is the result of mixing black with Naples Yellow.

12 Comments on “Wrapped or discarded”

  1. TonyU says:

    Hopefully you’ve got some happy, bright colours in that drawer too? Or do they all enjoy the luxury of living on your palette?


    • It’s such a grey day today. I went out looking for colour and this is all I could come up with. March is the ugly month here…
      The happy colours come out next month when I teach in Santa Barbara.


  2. Denise says:

    Amazing what you do with the mundane things like old tires and trash cans! I had hoped to have been able to join you in Santa Barbara, but I guess I will “visit” there via your much anticipated posts. Enjoy your trip.


  3. Bernadette says:

    Thanks for the lesson on choosing black. I too was always told NEVER to use black! Only recently have I “allowed” myself to tread where I was once forbidden. Mixing it with other colors gives me a new choice of neutral. It is not always nor often used but on occasion I do indulge.
    I like the color of the utility pole. It’s seems to me that the same color is used for the utility bin.


  4. I’ve never seen a better looking pile of tires! Thanks for the information on black pigments, it’s helpful to learn about pigments from an artist.


  5. Riseup Admin says:

    Thanks for this info on black.  Love your posts and have learned so much from you. No need to acknowledge or reply! Elly Hobgood

    Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS


  6. De says:

    Shari, I admire your talent of painting the mundane in life. This painting reminds me of James Gurney as he also paints the images we accept as “normal” part of life. I avoid blacks too and never found any use for them as when I tried them years ago, they just dulled out when dry. I prefer Daniel Smith’s Jane’s Gray, a mix of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. This can be black to gray and not opaque. I’m hoping Daniel Smith will make Jane Blundell’s “Jane’s black” one day as she mixes pthalo green with alizarin crimson to make her blacks. Thanks for sharing!


  7. This just proves that things that are discarded can be worthwhile. Great capture of the “normal daily scenes” that most people just pass by. I like the grittiness of scenes like this. It made me smile.


  8. Barry Van Dusen says:

    I have ivory black on my palette, and use it alot, but hardly ever all by itself. But your tires really SING, and show how black alone can be very effective! Bravo!


    • Barry, I would love to hear how you use it. I am a late adopter to black!


      • Barry Van Dusen says:

        I use ivory black with various yellows to make olive greens that are perfect for many types of songbirds, Sherrie. Another favorite mixture is ivory black and raw sienna for a natural golden color (dried grasses, etc.). I also find Ivory black useful for softening or slightly neutralizing mixtures – it’s a nice WARM black.


      • Thanks Barry. I love to hear how you use colour! I mix black with Naples Yellow to make a warm grey.


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