Friday, March 15, 2013

Carving With Color

I hope when you like my paintings, it's for something more than just the subject matter.  In this painting, my love of strong color is just as much the subject matter as is the dock scene.  I began by carving out the whites using the cooler color notes of blue and violet as a relief from the dominant warmer oranges and reds.  I was careful to preserve the white areas while "finding" various dock objects. 

It took me a very long time to be able to use strong colors as dark values.  When I was still finding my way as a watercolorist, I mostly resorted to blues and browns to create the darkest values.  Now I mind the dominant color temperature and reach for a color on that side of the palette to report the darks.  By staying on the same side of the palette when putting down one color over another, you also avoid the problem of creating a muddy area. 

It's also helpful to avoid putting any darks in the corners of the paper away from the subject matter.  Strong color and strong values draw the eye.  Reserve those eyecatchers for the area surrounding the focal point of the painting.

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