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Saturday, May 09, 2015

How I discovered the Missing Color

'Flowers for Mom'              5x7                pastel              ©Karen Margulis
painting available on Etsy $50
It wasn't very exciting. I tried to use the secret of green to make it more interesting. I did an orange underpainting and added a few purple flowers. It still felt dull to me. It needed to go back to the drawing board.

What could I do to make this little wildflower painting more exciting?  I considered putting more emphasis on the white wildflowers. They all had soft edges so they didn't stand out from the grasses. I could choose a few to clarify and make them stars.  What other options did I have?

Back to the drawing board
 What if I chose to downplay the white flowers. I recalled the wonderful fields of poppies and bluebonnets that I recently saw in Texas. Maybe it would be better to introduce some red poppies into my meadow. So I did.

Still missing something
Now I had red poppies and hints of white flowers. It was still missing something. Bluebonnets! Of course my Texas Spring landscape needed some bluebonnets.  I still didn't feel the painting was finished. I decided to emphasize a few of the poppies. That helped but it was still not there.

What did the painting need? I remembered that the meadows were also filled with tiny yellow flowers. That is the missing color....Yellow!

The missing color was yellow
I sprinkled a few yellow flowers and finally felt good about the painting. Why did the yellow flowers work? The yellow, red and blue created a triadic color scheme. Now my flowers felt balanced. This led to automatic color harmony. It just feels complete.

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1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

That is striking! It's the first thing I saw looking at it - the primary triad in the flowers. Agree the yellow is absolutely necessary!