Sunday Al Fresco Art Club Challenge, Aug 4, 2019 -- Gamut Mapping

This week’s Al Fresco Art Club challenge was to use a restricted color palette to paint a masterpiece. I chose to repaint “Farmhouses near Bellevue” by Paul Cézanne. I painted this masterpiece two weeks ago, but Artrage failed to save my work. Or maybe I failed to save it. I really don’t know.

This restricted palette challenge was inspired by the “Creating Gamut Masks” chapter in James Gurney’s Color and Light. I created a gamut mask in Artrage with the aid of Aaron Rutten’s Gamut Masking Tool, which he explains in his Youtube video Color Gamut Masking Tool for Artists. Aaron is a cool guy —- I love artists who freely share their knowledge.

Here’s the gamut mask I created using Aaron’s tool. I examined Cézanne’s painting and picked the predominant colors. However, for the sake of experimentation, I intentionally chose to limit blues. Neutral gray serves as blue in this color scheme.

Getting this palette into Artrage was a pain — Artrage for iOS can’t import PSD files. To work around this, I created the gamut mask in Procreate, which does handle PSD files perfectly, then exported a PNG to the iOS Photos app, then imported the “photo” into Artrage. File handling is a tragic affair on the iPad. The idea of using an iPad as a general purpose computer is a joke.

Here’s my attempt to repaint a Cézanne masterpiece. The five swatches at the top of the painting were picked from the color gamut and used for all of the colors in this painting. I did adjust the value of some colors to get some darks into the painting. Overall, I like the mix of colors, a lot.

Sunday's Al Fresco Art Club's Artrage Challenge -- Paint A Cézanne Landscape

Farmhouses near Bellevue, Paul Cézanne

Farmhouses near Bellevue, Paul Cézanne

When the Art Club meets today, I’ll be attempting to paint a Cézanne landscape. I’ll be using the iPad version of Artrage. I’ve decided to use the roller brush because it can cover a lot of territory fast. The other brushes are limited to a size of 100% in the iPad version, which makes them tedious to work with on a canvas larger than 1500x1000. The desktop version doesn’t have the limitation of restricted brush sizes.

Here’s the masterpiece I’m working with, one of Cézanne’s lovely sunny landscapes, Farmhouses near Bellevue.


I spent an hour copying this picture. When I saved the image, Artrage crashed and my masterpiece disappeared forever. Witnesses told me afterwards that my copy was pretty good. Since the accident, I’m a little wary of using the iOS version of Artrage for critical work, but I’m not going to abandon it yet. Lots of programs crash, including Photoshop and Procreated. Artrage offers so many desirable features that I will stick with it, but in the future, I will save often, and export to the Cloud frequently.

In the meantime, here’s a random Artrage doodle done on the iPad. This is a 1536x1536 image.