View Full Version : Croton - WIP

07-18-2007, 12:59 AM
Okay, I got new canvases today and new inspiration. This is another one of my photos from our May Florida trip. I love Crotons and their geometric shapes and lovely colors. I've tried to crop the photo so that it's following the rule of thirds compositional arrangement.

I've a ways to go yet with shading, glazing, contrasts and details, but I'm happy with the start. It's 12" x 16" wrapped canvas.


Selahs art
07-18-2007, 01:37 AM
Nice start


07-18-2007, 03:14 AM
yes ... nice start ... will look forward to watching its progress ... i've taken pictures of crotons too with intent on painting them one day so i'll be taking notes !! ... :)

chammi kaiser
07-18-2007, 05:10 AM
Celeste. It is looking really interesting. Like the comp very much. Looking forward to the progress.

07-18-2007, 08:43 AM
very good start, I know you will make it a great painting. You always do. Jan

07-18-2007, 10:54 AM
Lookin' great so far!

07-18-2007, 12:52 PM
Thanks gang. The more I look at it, the more I realize that I'm going to have to do some creative manipulation as that lower yellow leaf which is solid like that in the photo really pulls the eye off the canvas. A couple of approaches I thought would be to shade the lower half trying to bring the eye back up or introduce the green color blocked sections like in the other leaves. What do you think? Even though it's primarily solid yellow in the photo, not sure if that's working for the composition.

07-18-2007, 03:16 PM
I really like the way you used the rule of thirds in your composition. Good thinking to use shadows and glints of light on the bottom leaf to bring the eye up into the painting. I'll be back to see your progression. :)

07-18-2007, 04:00 PM
how about checking out some other references and use the patterns on another's leaf ? ... of course one that might belong to the same kind of croton

Charlie's Mum
07-18-2007, 04:58 PM
I agree about that leaf Celeste - because it's also a major size in the comp.
I feel it might be good to concentrate the brightest yellows near the central area ....... so darkening and adding some pattern to the leaf might well help.

I'm sure you'll resolve it :D

07-18-2007, 11:40 PM
Celeste, my crotons, (real ones,) are far redder than the one you painted. The ones planted in the front of my house are mostly red, even the newest leaves. The biggest, oldest leaves are all red. I think yours is too yellow.


07-19-2007, 12:43 AM
Good points everyone. Thanks for the botanical feedback too Cami. Here's my reference photo:


I also played around with "Paint" for a few minutes tonight and laid geometric shapes over my painting just for fun:


I did help me realize how beneficial it is to keep the yellows strictly to the focal point area. Who knows where I'll take this! Hope to paint tomorrow.

07-19-2007, 01:28 AM
as i'm inclined to do ... i played with that leaf really loosely ... suggestively ... just to see how it might look if that leaf looked more like the others ... just maybe lighter ...


squint and use your imagination while looking at it !! .. :lol:

07-19-2007, 05:55 AM
Off to a great start.

I rather like the bright yellow leaf, it tends to be a visual entry into the painting in my eye. Like a road or path. I swear one could paint crotons the rest of their lives and never get all the variations of this plant. From green, to yellow, to orange, red and spots of so many colors, they are a wonder.

07-19-2007, 08:14 AM
Thanks Violet. That was fun wasn't it, playing with the photo?

Howard, they ARE wonderful plants! I knew I had to paint one. I too liked the variation that the solid form provided. Maybe just subduing it a bit at the bottom so ensure it does actually lead the eye to the focal point you think?

07-19-2007, 08:45 PM
I believe I've finished this one now, lest I overwork it.


As you can see, I reduced the size of that lower leaf and darkened the color so that it's not quite so dominating in the composition. I just need to paint the sides and varnish and call it done (unless someone thinks there's something to that might improve this).

07-19-2007, 09:13 PM
I can't think of a way to improve this! It looks iridescent. And I love those reds throughout.

07-19-2007, 09:50 PM
Thanks Linda. I like the reds too.

07-19-2007, 10:04 PM
You have a terrific eye for what works, Celeste. Great finish on this!

07-19-2007, 10:14 PM
It looks great!!

07-19-2007, 11:25 PM
Thanks Ann and Tracey.

07-20-2007, 12:00 AM
i feel that bottom leaf is too plain ... and too predominant in it's plainess ... i would have liked to see pattern on it and suggested colour ... but that's just me ... :)

07-20-2007, 12:38 AM
Looks great Celeste. I like the touches of blue and rose/pink.

07-20-2007, 01:06 AM
Celeste I love all the blues and reds that you added, really makes the painting pop!

07-20-2007, 01:43 AM
You are in your element here Celeste.You have a really good eye for floral macros.Nice work!!

07-20-2007, 01:57 AM
well, now I know what crotons are!!! lol

Beautiful Celeste, and I just love that wee bit of blue in amongst the red and green.

07-20-2007, 07:53 AM
Thanks everyone. If you check out my blog there's a definition of Crotons. They originate in Malaysia and the Pacific Islands. Little did I know the endless varieties of the plant. Howard, you're right, one could paint these for a lifetime and not run out of possibilities!

07-20-2007, 10:12 AM
Celeste - This is a very interesting peice. Love the colors and the change you made to the composition. Don't laugh but I looked at it turned on it's side (right edge on the bottom) and I liked it even more. Ha! I had to go to the store and look at how these things grow from the center. I've never had one but they're awfully pretty! Wonderful painting.

07-20-2007, 11:33 AM
Thanks everyone. You know this composition was challenging from the start with trying to crop the photo so that the focal point was right. I prefer to have my focal points pointing into the canvas rather than out of and when I took the photo the central body was on the left sweet spot, therefore pointing out. So, when I look at it turned with its right edge at the bottom, it takes my eye off the canvas quickly, but that's probably just me. :lol: I think I tend to be a little bit too conventional when it comes to compositional "rules". After all, this is art, right?!

That's so cool that you went to look at the real thing Gayle. Take a look at this link to see some of the endless varieties of this beautiful (albeit toxic) plant: http://images.google.com/images?q=Codiaeum+variegatum

Violet, I do hear what you're saying about the plainess of the leaf. I just felt that reducing the size and cooling down its color would be effective at pushing the eye up to the focal point. This is a very busy painting to my eye and just thought that it would be nice to have a resting place. Also, it was beginning to get overworked and worried that I'd really mess it up if I did too much more.

07-20-2007, 11:41 AM
Celeste, this is a wonderful painting. The colours just sing, not to mention the composition. :clap: :thumbsup:

Val. :wave:

07-20-2007, 11:43 AM
Great reds and yellows! Dynamite finish!!:clap: :clap: :clap:

07-21-2007, 12:41 AM
Celeste, It came out real nice. I like the way you've changed it. The colors are much better.
Now it has your touch and that's what I believe was missing from the first wip.