Tuesday Tips

Agave Shadows #2 Watercolor painting by Rachel Murphree

Agave Shadows #2, done first wet on wet. 11″ x 15″ Watercolor. Available. Click on image to view larger.

Here’s a painting that will be framed and for sale at my show at the El Paso Art Junction, 500 W. Paisano, on August 28, 2015.  It’s called Agave Shadows #2.

I thought on this Tuesday, I would pass on some tips that I’ve run across recently and that have connected with me. Maybe they will with you too?

When painting foliage and flowers, the leaves facing the sun or backlit by the sun are a warm yellow green. The leaves facing the sky are more bluish because they reflect the blue of the sky. Shadows formed by branches above shading a branch below are made with an extra layer of the existing color of the underneath branch.

Cast shadows (the shadows formed when an object blocks the sun and casts its shadow onto something else) have hard edges except when falling over a plane or over a change of surface. Think a curb, for example.

The shadows should have the blue in them that you chose for the sky. So, there are a lot of blues. some cool, some warm, some medium in value, not warm not cool. Whatever blue you’ve used in your sky is the blue you should use in your shadow. It will keep your painting consistent and enhance the color harmony of the piece.

I plan on posting some tips weekly, to refresh my own memory and knowledge, and to help other painters on the journey.  I’d love to hear what you think, or what tips have resonated with you recently or in the past.

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