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Old 04-29-2012, 01:48 PM
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Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!

Hi everyone,

Not your typical tulip - I'll have to look up what kind of tulip this is - does anyone know?

I need your advice. This is not as brilliant as I'd like (even the photo is showing it more colorful and brighter than it really is - it's actually kind of a dull orange). I painted this with cad red light for the petals; cad red light mixed with ultra blue for the shadows; and tit white covered with cad yellow light for the highlights.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

You know, as I typed this I started thinking, maybe it's the ultra blue added to the shadows that's dulling everything. So I think I'll try to use a cad red med or cad red dark for the shadows instead. Hmm...

Michele


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Old 04-29-2012, 02:44 PM
ArenaShawn ArenaShawn is offline
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Re: Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!

I think there could be several possible cause here:

1. Cad Red Series always dry a little flat or dull if used alone -- it's really a shame since they look so fabulous when still wet! For a more brilliant orange red, try Quinacridone Red or even Permanent Rose Mixed with a bit Cad Yellow Deep, or mixed with a little Winsor Orange;

2. Cad Red and Ultramarine a both pretty opaque colors. Mixing the two would produce a relative thick and dull color. Further more, Cad Red is a warm red which contains yellow, use it to mix with blue will produce a duller purple. I'm not sure how much of a problem that would be, since the colors in shadoes are generally not so saturated. But to avoid an opaque/opaque mixture, you can try Alizarin Crrimson mixed with Ultramarine;

3. Using white mixed with other colors for the highlights in watercolor would commonly result in an opaque, somewhat dull effect. You can directly use yellow instead, and for the really light part, just leave the white of the paper unpainted as highlights! The white paper would sing beautifully against the thickly painted passages of the petals;

4. I think sometimes the lacking of brilliance looks is not due to a color saturation problem, but a lacking of value contrast/structure. If you take the photo of this painting into Photoshop, and change it into grey scale, you'll see that almost the entire painting, including the background, is at the same value. If you darken the background of the flower, it would stand out more and have more impact, appear more brilliant to the eye. Also, I've noticed that there are hardly any whites left in this painting. Usually, some white areas and some dark areas would make the mid tone colors more brilliant and really sing.

Hope this helps. Happy painting!
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:00 PM
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Re: Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!

Forgot to say - this is acrylic on 8x10 canvas.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:03 PM
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Re: Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!

Arena,

Thanks so much for your tips. Sounds like you thought this was watercolor. Still, your tips are very helpful. I really appreciate the time you gave! :-)

Michele
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Old 04-29-2012, 07:40 PM
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Re: Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!

Michele, I, too, am watercolor and I loved the advice of Arena!

Do try the grey scale. Or, you can squint your eyes and see what she is saying about the values!

I love this style of Tulips!!

Katherine
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:15 PM
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Re: Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!



Here's the greyscale version and you'll see immediately how close the tonal range is - no highlights to balance very few real darks - these contrasts create drama and in between you need a range of mid tones from light to dark

In addition to Arena's good tips, I'd suggest that the green of the b/g does nothing to compliment the orange of the tulips - I should try (in a programme first) a very dark and also a very light b/g and see which you prefer.

In support of your painting, I do like the lively shapes you have - so it's well worth the effort to get the tones right
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:28 AM
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Re: Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!

Your lively shapes make the flower dance across the page.

You're receiving good advice here. I certainly agree about the lack of contrast, for individual flower paintings these really have to be pushed. I always use yellow both cadmium and lemon yellow for the underpainting of the highlights and if you let some of that underpainting show it adds extra sparkle. This is especially true for reds, as I find they can be quite dull looking once they dry.
For the shadows I recommend alazarin crimson with some purple or Ultra blue for the darkest dark.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:18 PM
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Re: Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!

I think it is a parrot tulip, don't quote me on that though...
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:48 PM
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Re: Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!

Katherine - thanks, I did do a b&w in Picasa and realized the background is too much like the flower in value.

Maureen - thanks - I'm thinking I'll do a very light blue/green background on this painting. And then when (noticed I didn't say "if") I paint it again I'll try a very dark green. I tried this both ways in Gimp and liked the lighter background better. Still, I know I'll paint it again, so why not do dark next time? ;-)

Marion - thanks! I like your statement: "Your lively shapes make the flower dance across the page". Wish I could take credit for the comp, lol. And thanks for the color advice. I just love this flower, and on that note...

Michele - can I quote you on that? Just kidding - I'll Google a parrot tulip to see what I find. ;-)

Michele
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:14 PM
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Re: Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!

Changed the background and redid the petals with the colors Arena suggested. Still the pic is slightly more brilliant than the painting really is (but much better than the first version). I think I need to reglaze lightly with the quin red and cad yellow. I think the background looks much better lighter, too.

C&C's appreciated.

Thanks,
Michele

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Old 05-14-2012, 06:25 PM
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Re: Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!

Hmm, looking at it today, I think I might leave it is as. What do you all think? Thanks!

Michele
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:56 PM
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Re: Orange Tulip - Need Advice - Thanks!

Ah, the perfectionist just doesn't give up. Here's the latest and last - going to varnish it tomorrow. ;-)

Michele

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