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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Tips for Painting Lavender!

'Impressions of Provence II'               8x10               pastel              ©Karen Margulis
available $165
I love to paint the lavender fields of Provence! Today's painting is one of my demos for my Patreon group. We are working on composition and this is an example of a 'L' composition.  I took liberties with the reference photo to make a more interesting composition.

Here is my demo board. Below the photo I am sharing a post about painting lavender from my blog archives. I hoe you enjoy!

Scroll back and forth between these two lavender paintings below. They both depict the same place! Yet they look so different from one another. Why? The conditions were completely different for each one. The top painting was done under a slightly hazy day around noon. The bottom painting was done when the sun was low in the sky during the late afternoon.

What differences do you observe? 
The time of day, the weather conditions and the quality of the light source (the sun) changed the way the colors appeared.
  • When the sun was directly overhead around noon the light is generally cool and there aren not much in the way of shadows. The light is flat. The purple color in the lavender appeared cool and looked blue-violet and even blue. Since it was hazy the lavender was softer and seemed more grayed.
  • We went back to the lavender in the very late afternoon. The sun was lower in the sky and even though the sky was still bright and still blue.....the landscape was beginning to take on a golden/orange glow. The warmth the sun touched everything and changed the colors....the purple color in the lavender was now much warmer and looked red-violet. There was also a yellow green and a bronzy orange green look to the foliage. 
Observation in real life is important! Being aware of the time of day and the weather conditions will help your paintings look more authentic and believable. If we aren't paying attention we might allow our logical thinking part of our brain tell us that the lavender is purple. Period. Just in crayon box purple. We need to override this part of our brain and take into consideration the way the light changes the way we see color!

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