Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Painting the swamp

Swamp Bush
9 x 12 soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix
Miki Willa
There is a large swamp on the east side of Oahu, the Kawai Nui Swamp. It is currently being restored to its natural beauty. Tom and I went for a walk along a border path on a very dreary day. I was struck by the bush that is the focal point of this painting. Even without the sun, it called out with its brilliant yellow green foliage.
I have always loved certain complementary color combinations. Purple/yellow is one of my favorites. When I ordered paper this time, I ordered a mixed pack of 9 x 12 Colourfix. There is a black sheet in there and that is what I used. I have found that black is a very fun color if you want dramatic paintings. Taken all together, black base, purple mountains, yellow-green foliage, makes me happy about this painting. This is the first painting I have done where the top of the mountain is hidden by the clouds. Interesting challenge.
Having said that, I do think the hill on the right is too flat. I had some contrast in it, but at the last minute decided it was too dark. By the time I got it lightened, I noticed my painting time for the morning was done. I will definitely address this problem soon.


Casey Klahn said...

I like it!

One doesn't focus on the hill so much - I wouldn't "form" it or change it.

Tom said...

Very wonderful painting! The relationship to the hill and mountains is a dilema. I agree about the hill being a little flat. I love the value of it which adds to the aerial perspective relationships of the other elements in the painting. Perhaps a small adjustment would reap enormous benefits. Great job creating the atmosphere making a dreary day lovely is appreciation of nature