Sunday, February 5, 2017

Working with reds

Floral 5
I wanted to try another imaginary floral, this time with reddish flowers. I went with greens just to use the pair of complements, and the orange  and pink bits to extend the range of the reds, but I was hoping to work in some blue somewhere. I worked up to it with blue-greens in the background, then some touches of cyan in the flowers. At the very end I added a few small spots of darkened cobalt right in the center. They are barely visible, but they did have the effect of perceptibly enhancing the color balance.

I never realized how complicated it is to make pleasing compositions from my imagination. I think next time I'll spend a bit more time in the rough blocking-in color-blob stage. But even in a painting with no real detail, it's hard for me to imagine how it will look as a finished piece, and I'm guessing that I'll be playing with a lot of these before I start getting the hang of painting without a reference.

The part I had the most trouble with was making a pleasing pattern of darks around the flowers, and I had to play around with them quite a while, and I think that's why I put the background figure in. Along the way I realized the flower arrangement didn't seem balanced, until I added the smaller dark red flower in the center. I wasn't sure what color I should put in there, but knew it shouldn't be the same red & orange shades as the others. When I put in the dark red, I liked how it added another shade of red in the mix.

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