Oil on canvas, 7″ x 5″

When I started this it was to try out a new paint I had just made, but as I expanded the swatches and added more colors it began to look like a forest, so I named it after a place in England I’ve read about called Puzzlewood.

There’s a system to how I placed the swatches. Look at the far left column and go down to the 4th row, in the center. That’s orange ochre. The square to the right of it is the same paint but brushed thinly, and then to the right of that is a 50/50 mix of orange ochre with titanium white. So every color I used is a set of three swatches that includes one full strength, one thin, and one mixed with white. Above the orange ochre I mixed increasing amounts of lemon ochre and for each step I repeated that pattern of also including a thin swatch and a swatch with white. Below it I added burnt sienna dark.

Now look at the next set of three columns. The pattern is reversed so the swatches with white come first in the 4th column, then the thin swatches in the 5th, and full strength in the 6th. In the center I started with malachite. Above that it’s mixed with lemon ochre again and below it’s mixed with viridian.

The next set of three columns goes back to the first pattern. Venetian red is in the center, and it’s the paint that I had made just before starting this painting. This is actually where I started from because I didn’t plan out all of this before starting. Above it is a mix with lemon ochre again, but this time it’s different because the very top set is actually just straight lemon ochre, with none of the paint from the center mixed in. The bottom set is straight German earth. Again, I hadn’t planned out everything at this point, so the top and bottom swatches of the center column set is the only place that I actually used paint straight from the tube for either a top or bottom set.

Columns 10-12 start with viridian in the center and mix upward with more lemon ochre and down with burnt sienna dark. The last set of columns has burnt sienna dark in the center and goes up with lemon ochre and down with German earth.

Puzzlewood Guide

So here’s the list of each color I used and the brands-

1. Orange ochre – PY43, self made with pigment from Natural Pigments
2. Italian lemon ochre – PY43, Williamsburg
3. Malachite – synthetic malachite, self made with pigment from Kremer Pigments
4. Venetian red – PR102, self made with pigment from Natural Pigments
5. German earth – Natural PBk11, Williamsburg
6. Viridian – PG18, M Graham
7. Burnt sienna dark – PBr7, self made with pigment from Natural Pigments
Titanium white – PW6, Williamsburg

8 thoughts on “Puzzlewood

  1. I appreciate your explanations of your process and thinking in many of your posts. It helps me since I am such a neophyte when it comes to painting and color theory.

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