View Full Version : Color Woes, Need Help

05-15-2004, 08:34 PM
I have this painting that I'm having multiple problems with. Please keep in mind that mostly I've just been laying in colors and shapes so it's definitely still in the "ugly stage". Bad photo to boot.

I'm having several problems that are keeping me from moving forward. They are specifically related to color.

Background greenery. I would like to push the background back without muddying it. It has both Phthalo Blue/Cad yellow (green) and (Cad red/brilliant orange) orange. I think it's fighting with the subject so my first instinct was just to glaze it. However, whatever color I thought of using for a glaze doesn't seem to work with all the other colors.

Fence. It needs to be muted and more like weathered wood. I'm thinking a more grey/brown. I don't know whether to go greenish/brown (maybe too much green, though in the photo it's "mossy") or better brownish-grey. What color do I use?

Foreground: Want this to be more the effect of wet cement with an orange reflecton. Again, need colors to use to bring out a wet cement look. The base is Phthalo Blue/hint of cad yellow.

The purple flowers are going to be much lighter and the yellow flowers will be shadowed with Dioxazine Purple which will result in an orangish-brownish glowy color.

ANY suggestions welcome. I've gotten this far and now I'm stalled other than beginning to work on the flowers. It's always the backgrounds that give me headaches.


05-15-2004, 08:38 PM
How does one insert an image into the text (not an attachment)? I'm using the correct tags but it never seems to work.

[ I M G ] without spaces [ / I M G ]

Until I figure it out you will have to click the link. Sorry.

05-15-2004, 08:54 PM
Please ignore that other thread with same title. I did read it but yes, you all need to actually see the painting to be helpful I admit.

Hubby rushed me out the door and I didn't think the post went through. Wasn't finished.

It's not my day. It was raining and the drivway was flooded ankle deep when I got home to discover The cap had broken off the 16 oz. bottle off Karo syrup in the grocery bag. :mad:

05-15-2004, 09:17 PM
Hi Terriv,

First of all, inserting an image into the text...

1. When you go into start new thread there is a blue bar with My WC!; WC!Marketplace etc on it. Click on the down arrow beside Quick Links on this bar. At the bottom of the list is Image Uploader. Click on this and a new window will open up.

2. Click on the Browse button and select the file from your system making sure it is no more than 500 pixels wide and 600 pixels high.

3. Once you have selected the file click on Upload Image and wait.

4. When the image is uploaded the window will change and you need to click on Copy then Close Window

5. Just paste the image into the message using "CTRL V"

Hope this helps.

Now, what I think you are lacking in this pic is a definite light source. If you were to put in some strong contrasts with highlights and shadows it would greatly enhance this.

For the background to recede it needs to be a duller colour, mix some complimentary in with the colours such as red for the green and blue for the orange.

I think the fence will look great if you were just to add some stronger contrasts.

To get a wet cement look, I would think it needs to be a lot lighter and greyer.

Anyway, I think you are off to a great start and with some adjustments going to have a real winner.

Good luck.


05-15-2004, 09:38 PM
Thanks Jo. I know how to add an attachment but it was too large. I have seen others just insert it into the text like you can do on ezboards. When I try that here I just get a link.

Taking in your suggestions. Thank you. I haven't really done any shading at all yet. Was waiting on some color decisions so I can do it all at once. I will have a definite light source. As I said, this is very much still flat ugly stage.

05-15-2004, 11:36 PM
Oh woe. The good news is that I was able to tone down the fence to a nice muddy fence color. I tried your suggestion with blues to tone down the orange leaves and it came out like a fiesta. (Wiped it off.) Then I tried the reds to tone down the green and it looked like Christmas decorations. (Wiped it off.) Now I have a nicely muddy fence and a party going on in between the boards. I want to glaze it all but no color seems to be possible as if I select one that works with green it makes orange mud. If I select one that works with orange, it makes green mud. :mad:

05-16-2004, 12:45 AM
Terriv, don't despair. We all have paintings that do this, but they are sometimes also the ones that turn into masterpieces.

When you are trying to dull the colour, just add a small amount to your premixed colour - so a dab of blue to your orange. Mix this in thoroughly, you should end up with a duller version of your orange. (It will probably also be a bit darker) If you add too much, you will end up with brown. It should be the exact complimentary too. So if you have a red-orange you want to add blue-green, but if you have a yellow-orange the complimentary is blue-purple. The trick is to just add small amounts. You can include the actual complimentary in the painting, but I often don't like the results I get.

What about glazing each area with a different colour. This should avoid the mud effect in other areas.

I hope this helps. If not, why not post the progress so that we can see whats happening. Sometimes what looks like mud to the artist looks great to others.

Anyway, good luck and please keep us posted.


05-16-2004, 02:18 AM
Thank you Jo. I appreciate your patience with me. I didn't want to repaint the areas totally because they have this nice "showing through" effect going on. What I finally did is glaze with BLACK, which is neutral. Didn't think I would do that but it sure seems to have accomplished what I was going for. I think it's making progress now. I'll make a new photo after I get the kids to bed and see what you think. Cheers!

05-16-2004, 02:38 AM
Ok, just look at the background tones. I still have lots of shading and highlighting to do, and all the flower details yet to do. Background better at all?

05-16-2004, 03:41 AM
I think this is looking a lot better. The fence is looking great and the foliage is definitely behind it now. What you could do though, is have some of the foliage poking through the fence. I think that would look really cool.

Really looking forward to seeing it finished.


05-16-2004, 10:05 AM
I like the idea of letting some of the foliage poke through the fence.

The handle on this is GREAT! This is going to turn out really well.

05-16-2004, 11:27 AM
Thanks Urs. I hope it turns out fair. The foliage wasn't poking through the fence in the photo and...well duh. Good idea. What is has that I haven't painted in yet is clover growing through the fence at the bottom.

05-17-2004, 02:51 AM
Some progress. Lots of details lost in the photography as you all well know.