In the Gray Zone – Love in Vegas (Online art lesson #56)

Well, I did just what my Daddy always told me not to do – and I did it in Vegas!

Ken Auster demonstrating at the Plein Air Convention

Ken Auster demonstrating at the Plein Air Convention. From the get-go he uses lots of gray.

“Artists don’t use black”  Daddy said, and the black crayola stayed in the box.

But there I was, in sin city, watching Ken Auster squeeze  black right out of the tube in front of hundreds of fans.  As I watched, the lust grew stronger – I was falling  in love with gray.  His grays are  downright beautiful, and most of them are the spawn of tubed black.

The impressionists didn’t use black.    And there I was, craving it.  I FELT A PASSIONATE NEED FOR GRAYS!

I had mistakenly thought that  gray was boring – a necessary neutral to be used (if used at all) as an area of rest and recovery in a busy painting. That seemed about as exciting as nap time, gray’s equivalent,  seems to children.  And even less interesting than a discussion on which way to spell it. (Gray is a color and grey is a colour. Do you live in the US or the UK?)

Ken Auster demonstrating at the Plein Air Convention

Assignment: Spell it either way, but play with gray.  If you don’t have black, you can easily mix it with burnt umber and ultramarine blue. Add a little white.

Add tiny bits of other colors to the gray and study the effects.

We pondered gray in Artful Greens and Malarkey   when I described Irish days as “dove, slate, burnished pewter, silver, slate, nickel, and gull feather.”  Leave a comment about your experience.

Ken Auster deomonstrating at the Plein Air Convention
 Click to enlarge and you will see the set up used for the demonstrations at the convention.
What happens in Vegas no longer stays in Vegas –  the video below will to give you a feel for the  Plein Air  Convention.  It was transformative, and  I’ll be there again next year.

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One Response to In the Gray Zone – Love in Vegas (Online art lesson #56)

  1. OH YEAH, BABY!!! Count me IN, I am going with you next year! …oh, and I do love the warmer grays!

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