Pulling out last year’s sketchbook, I was inspired to paint from a drawing completed in Wailuku, Maui. I started out using paints already on my palette: ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, raw sienna, sepia, and alizarin crimson. These colors, except for the red, made for a lot of gray. Yet I felt I had achieved some of the spirit of this old Hawaiian town. Why? First, because the painting was done quickly and loosely, and secondly because it appeared colorful.
But if you cover the red figure with your hand, it is actually a very gray picture!. Oftentimes, as in this case, a background of gray can make a bright color pop even more. If I had used more color, the painting might not have captured the town’s rustic and unpretentious look.