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Turtles are known to have originated around 230 million years ago, and like most people, I am fascinated by them.

Every year at the Alton Mill Arts Centre, we are blessed with several nests around the pond, and the artists keep faithful watch over them until they hatch.

Camouflage is a 12 x 12 inch oil on canvas painting of one of our resident turtles and was challenging to create because I used a limited palette of olive green, Payne’s and Davy’s grey, burnt sienna, blush and naples yellow dominating background shadows created from a blend of Prussian blue and alizarin crimson. A tiny bit of bismuth yellow was applied as an accent on the turtle’s head.

Camouflage by Lynden Cowan

The combination of Prussian blue and alizarin crimson as opposed to just using lamp black, is important because depending on the amount of one colour used with the other, it adds depth and a 3D approach to your subject.

Payne’s grey and Davy’s grey are the base colours for the dried grass and rocks surrounding the turtle.

To achieve the under water appearance, a series of very thin glaze was used with a mix of over 90 per cent Liquin Fine Detail and a tiny amount of pigment.

Currently Camouflage is on tour, first selected as one of only 39 pieces into a special exhibit held at the Woodstock Art Gallery and Museum by four judges, two American, and two Canadian.

This exhibition has now travelled to Sylvania , Ohio, and is on display at the Cantricle Center Gallery at Lourdes University until December 22, 2023.

Artists who understand how to control colour are able to convey to the public information, or create certain emotional responses, or influence the viewers perception of the subject.

Painting and learning how to control your colours teaches children and adults patience, and allows them to feel relaxed and comfortable while creating a piece of art. It takes a significant amount of concentration and calls for focus without the stress of studying that tests and homework can bring.

Artists love painting because they can give the perception of depth through layers of pigment applied over a period of time that is virtually impossible to otherwise achieve.

This skill does not happen overnight. When I look at anything now, I automatically understand what colours I need to put on my palette.

Ireally believe that this knowledge should begin with children, and for that reason my grandchildren enjoy oil painting in my studio (4 and 6 years old), and have free choice of what colours they wish to raid from gramma’s supply.

Colour is Life.

Note: If you are interested in purchasing any of Lynden’s art you will find her contact info on the right sidebar.

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