Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Still Life Floral with Cornflowers and Silver Tea Pot on Satin Cloth

"Silver and Satin"

This 9" x 12" floral still life is done with lots of warm lush color and generous paint application. A holiday present of new paint helped me find just the right colors to bring out the satin on the cloth. My desktop printer is down and hence, so is my scanner. The photo is not as sharp as I would have it, but the color is accurate. This painting was painted in a realistic style and has a nice contemporary feel. It will enhance any decor.

Happy New Year! And many thanks to all my collectors to whom I am deeply grateful for their unflagging support!


Anonymous said...

hi, i just learned how to paint recently. do you have some advise on the color relation? i currently doing a still life painting. thks

Susan Martin Spar said...

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. You don't ask easy questions. In fact, color can be so daunting, ateliers don't let students go near it for the first year or two. First I'd have to say that the word "relationships" about sizes things up. Matching color isn't as important as getting the relationships between colors and values (darks and lights) to read properly. So when you see a color that is, say, a value 4 (1 being the lightest)and it is a warm color, and the color next to it is a 3 and has a slightly cooler cast. Then what you want to do is make sure your value 4 color is about the same warmth and value (even if your red is a little different red, if it's warmth is about the same and it's value is about the same then when you go to the adjacent color, you want it's temperature and value to shift to the same degree that they do on your subject. I know this sounds confusing, but it's a lot like playing around with photoshop. If you just move the color saturation bar to the right or left, the colors all become either highly saturated or less saturated - but they all shift to the same degree so that the relationships between them look the same and the photo still reads correctly.

My suggestion for your still life is to keep it simple when you start with color. Restrict yourself to three primary colors and one earth color - say raw umber. Plus, of course, white and black. See how many colors you can get from these few. It will keep your palette simple and your colors will work better together giving you a more harmonious painting. I keep my students on a limited palette for as long as possible before moving them to a full palette. You can try exchanging one red for another or one yellow for another to see how that works. Try to keep your colors either all cool variations or all warm. Use Cadmium Red which is warm red instead of Alizarin Crimson which is a cool red. It has blue in it. Use Ultramarine Blue - it's warm and has red in it so it will harmonize better with your warm red. Use Cadmium yellow which is a warm yellow. These three are a good start. McPherson has some very good books out on color. I'd suggest you do the exercises in them as they are invaluable. Hope this helped a little.