Thursday, November 6, 2008
This little work, titled "Foliage Tour", is another 4x6 for the miniature show. I've had in mind to do this painting for awhile. I think it's done, but after things sit around awhile, sometimes I will see something that I want to "fix"... but I doubt it will change in any kind of dramatic way. I do like the light in this one, and have been enjoying placing figures in landscapes. This portrays an older couple on a very relaxed paddle on one of our beautiful pristine ponds during peak foliage season. Those colors aren't exaggerated at all - it really does get that bright.
Painting autumn foliage can be a challenge - the colors are so fluorescent that there is a danger of becoming quite garish if one tries to paint them literally. I wanted to get some of that bright color in here, but didn't want it to be too much. Choosing this slightly back lit composition allowed me to keep it dark, with just the very bright spots of color where sun was coming through. The color becomes a pattern of light against dark, but the greatest contrast is still on the figures (just that bit of light hitting the gentleman's cap, and the lady's hair) which keeps them the focus of attention. Our eyes are drawn to contrast, so a good compositional tool is to intentionally put the highest degree of contrast, sharpest edges and most detail right there where we want the viewer to look. It's just a way of visually saying "Look here! Look at me!" And that, after all, is what we hope to accomplish!