Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Using Warm and Cool Color Complements

7 x 10 soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix
Miki Willa
When I first saw this rusted hulk of a barge, I knew I wanted to paint part of it as part of my small spaces series. The challenge of getting the sense of what I was seeing onto paper kept me from trying for a few weeks. I wanted to capture the sense of long service in a climate harsh on any metal surface. There was little direct sun the day I took the photos, so I didn't have many shadows to worry about. Only the rusts and blues.
When I set out, I decided to limit my pallett to my yellow/oranges/burnt umber and blues. Those were the colors I saw in the barge. I wanted to make sure that greens did not appear as I layered. Unfortunately, the photo shows greens where there are none in the original piece. I started out by making bold strokes (as bold as you can get in this small size) of various colors within the pallett as I saw them. I put the blues next to the rusts and kept building.
I had so much fun doing this painting, I completely lost track of time. I only wish the photo was more accurate.
Tomorrow, look for another in my coastal series. I want to try and apply the techniques I used in this painting to a landscape.

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