Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Daffodils & Grapes

These hardy daffodils have held up well under the spot light for three days. After doing the painting of the little cream pitcher with the flowers from my yard, I decided to continue with the theme and do a larger work. Green grapes added balance and variety to the composition, yet remained harmonious. All of this provided a challenge. I started yesterday and thought the painting fairy would visit while I slept and work her magic. Apparently she forgot where I lived because the painting needed a LOT of work today.

I find the color yellow the most difficult hue to work with. First of all, it is very light and the only way to lighten is to add white. With other colors, white is the last paint I reach for as I normally work up the value scale as I work up the chroma scale. This way I am warming the hue and lightening it at the same time. Adding any other hue to yellow, immediately places it in another color family. That is not a problem when darkening yellow, as the darker value will be cooler, therefore greener, &/or duller therefore the complimentary violet. But what do you do to lighten yellow? White is the only option, or is it?

Generally I work with a very limited four color palette, White, Cad Yellow Light, Alizerine Crimson and Ultra Blue. Today, I added Cadmium Yellow. This is a "warmer" and slightly darker yellow than the "cooler" Cad Yellow Light. Using the two yellows provided the extra I needed to have variety in this predominately yellow painting.

As Helen Van Wyk, a fabulous artist and teacher, used to say, "perhaps tomorrow, I'll teach how to make spaghetti sauce". Perhaps tomorrow, I'll paint the fixings for spaghettie sauce. At least they aren't yellow!! Besides, the little heads on the daffs are beginning to droop.

"Daffodils and Green Grapes", Original Oil 14x11
Contact Marie Merritt to purchase this or any of her other paintings.

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