Study in composing values #2

Continuing my series of studies in composing values with a cluster of sunflowers as the subject. This is the most complex image I’ve painted so far. After blocking in the shadow and light families I felt pretty wiped out, and took a break until the next day. I’ve always been a Power Through! type, whether it comes to a job or a personal project. But I’m working on relaxing that mentality somewhat, while not letting the days slip by without progressing toward my goals.

composing values study of sunflowers Jan-24-2019
I wasn’t sure if I’d pull this out of total-chaos territory, but the accents of cooler colors really helped pull this composition together.

Taking a break for a day on this study really worked in my favor and I came back to it on day 2 with more confidence and enthusiasm about it. It also helped to have some notes written out from Dianne’s lesson. Writing out the steps allowed me to think more logically about the process, which is useful to me at this stage in my learning. It’s super easy to get overwhelmed by a subject this complex, but taking it step by step alleviates some of that and gives a path forward rather than bouncing all around. For example, by putting the dark colors in first, it keeps white out of them so that they’re richer. By adding colors with white later on in the process, it pulls them forward and enhanced the illusion of depth.

I used white sparingly in this study, since the reference image was overall very warm. It allowed me to play with cooler accents and contrast of warm and cool. It’s funny, but my single favorite part of this one is the swipe of grey in the center of the lower left flower. It’s so small but I just love it! I’m on the lookout for more opportunities to do things like that.

composing values study of sunflowers Jan-24-2019-greyscale reference next to study
Happy with my value check! (Reference photo on the left, my painted study on the right)

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