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The Four Tube Challenge
posted by Cietha Wilson on Saturday Mar 22, 2014
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My husband and I decided to take a short overnight camping trip to a seaside area not too far from where we live. Since the weather was forecasted to be warm and sunny (sorry, it IS California and lest you feel envious we are in a drought) I brought my never-before-used plein air pochade box to try out. I found a lovely spot to set up my tiny tripod and easel overlooking the ocean. The photo shows the view I saw. My only problem was that, due to the small size of the pochade box (5x7), I had to limit my palette of colors. I brought a warm and cool of each primary plus white and yellow ochre. BUT—and here’s where the challenge comes in—I could only open 4 of the paint tubes and forgot my pliers! I was determined to get something down so I mixed all my colors with these paints: white, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium red medium, and phthalo blue. If you have used phthalo you know it is a very strong, temperamental blue and a little bit goes a long way. You can use my photo or, even better if the weather permits, go outside and paint a landscape using those 4 colors. If you don’t have those 4 in you arsenal, pick 3 other primaries plus white, but stick to only those. I found that having to mix all my browns and earth colors with that limited palette taught me a lot.

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