Summer is still here. The outside temperatures make that quite clear. Though I’m not a plein air type of girl and regularly paint inside where there’s air conditioning, I often find myself needing to paint in response to the heat outside. In other words, I need to paint cool.
So…. what is painting cool? Stripping down to your underwear (or your birthday suit) when you paint? (Maybe.) Putting your easel and your feet in your kids’ plastic pool? Misting yourself with ice water? Physically, all of these would indeed cool you down, but that’s not what I mean.
For me, painting cool means two fairly simple decisions. Choice of colors and choice of scene.
Think about it. We are very influenced by colors and composition (i.e. the scene). Our brains equate certain colors with temperature and time of season. We indeed often feel what we see.
Want to beat the heat? Want to paint cool? Mix up cool blues, some blue grays, various shades of purple, some pinks, some colors that evoke the many shades of white… then paint a cold snow covered treeline, a barn in winter, a figure bundled up with the hint of flakes falling, mountains with their highest peaks covered in snow. Or, as I did above, paint a frozen lake. Even the colors of autumn will get your brain to imagining cooler days and nights.
Painting cool works. At least until you open the door and walk outside. One more thing, this winter, when you’re actually cold… paint warm.