View Full Version : New WIP C&C Please

05-19-2015, 12:14 PM
First of a series I want to work on - Desert Blooms
16 x 20 on Colorfix
I'm having a problem - when I photo in gray scale there doesn't seem to be enough contrast between the orange/yellow flowers and the background. Should I darken the greens in the fields or lighten the flowers? Ideas?




water girl
05-19-2015, 06:42 PM
I can feel the warmth of the sun here. What if you used a lighter value of orange and yellow in your flowers and some cooler shadows in your rock formations? You might want to consider applying some of the dark green into the foreground and adding some of those lighter, warm colors to the trees' green foliage to lighten their value. Check out the work by our Randy Smith. He loves to paint the formations in the southwest and Zion NP, in Utah. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1258092

05-19-2015, 09:04 PM
Of course it is up to you, but I think you have enough contrast in this painting so that the yellow flowers stand out. Paintings need contrast - but contrast can come in three forms: value, color temperature and color intensity. Your painting has plenty of the last two, so, no, I don't think you need to worry about value contrast in this painting.

Converting your paintings to grayscale can be helpful, but, as you can see, it can also be misleading.

Here for example are a couple Monets - who often used color and not value contrast in his paintings.


And the grayscales:


Hmm, the red boats almost disappear, and the second painting is one big mass of middle value! So, grayscales can be helpful or they can be very misleading. I wouldn't use them to judge the painting unless you feel you have a compositional problem.


05-20-2015, 08:16 AM
Thanks, I see especially on the second Monet - almost no value contrast at all when converted to grayscale. That happens to be one of my favorite Monet paintings but I had never printed it in grey scale. I think a number of my attempts at painting go in the direction of color contrast rather than value. I tend to be more of a "bash it with color" guy. Probably has a lot to do with the artist I was working with on my acrylic paintings.

05-21-2015, 08:47 AM
It would push the rocks back if you made them lighter and with slightly less texture......because Aerial Perspective WOULD make them lighter, no matter what the photo says...photos often do not accurately portray aerial perspective. anyway, you can use artistic licence to exaggerate the distance in this way.

Then, a very important tip for you. Using "Overlap" will help enormously. As soon as you use this technique, the viewer recognises that one thing is in front of another. Look:


When the flowers "hit" the base of the rocks, it is hard to discern that the flowers are in the foreground. The rocks could almost be sitting on top of the flowers!

In this way, you "explain" the foreground, middle ground, and distance.

with slightly lighter, less rich colour in the rocks, they will settle even further back for you.

05-21-2015, 10:06 AM
Thanks Jackie - I'll will rework the color and the overlap on the flowers