Sunday, April 25, 2010

Single Daffodil

This was done for the Wet Canvas Floral monthly challenge (to see this challenge & all the entries, click here). Our task was to produce a daffodil painting (any media) in a square format. The square format was the actual challenge (although painting with yellow is also a challenge I think, which I'll talk about in a bit). I could have done a rectangular painting & cropped the photo to be square, but that wouldn't necessarily give the painting the balance & composition necessary for the square shape. My only thought was to do the single daffodil in the full square shape, and using my usual grid method, I sketched the basic shape into place. Ok, challenge #1 accomplished.

The background can prove to be a challenge to some people, but as a rule, if the focus is the foreground then I blend (blur) out the background. I used assorted green shades in a random scrumble, but tossed in some darker blues to add depth. A dark, blended background will make the foreground pop. Ok, challenge #2 accomplished.

The next challenge, and what I consider to be the toughest one, was working with yellow. I find that yellow can be very overwhelming, especially if a lot of it exists in the painting. Since this was a macro of the daffodil, yellow was the dominant color. I must admit, I painted & repainted this quite a few times. The first time, I did Cad Yellow with White. When done, the yellow shone out like it was neon - but that wasn't the look I wanted. Ok, repaint the petals in white, then use the yellow, with touches of Indian Yellow to subdue the neon. This seemed to be closer to the look, but still too "yellowy" for me. Plus, the Indian Yellow worked good as additional shading, but not as the base color.

Now came the washes, and with acrylic's I have embraced washes & glazes as my main method for adjusting the colors & producing depth. Using a faint, very pale olive green with white, I started to blend into the yellows with the green. Hmmmm - look got better. Then a darker shade of the same green to add more depth to the petals. Oops - things go to green. Back to very pale greenish white, leaving a little of the darker green areas. Ok, the look got a bit better. Finally, a very thin wash of Cad yellow over all. (now I had no whites in the petals). This gave me a base to go back in, with white (and the slightest blush of yellow) to put in the lightest highlights.

I am calling this done, but honestly feel that it could use a few strokes of a dark color - especially in the center area - to give it a bit more depth. I may work that in one of these days (like I said, nothing I have is ever done - LOL).

This is acrylic on 8 x 8 canvas.

1 comment:

AutumnLeaves said...

I think this came out beautifully, Nancie. Love the greens in there and they do indeed help tone down the yellows.


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