Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Unseasonal Holly - Day 23 of 30 Paintings in 30 days

Unseasonal Holly
3 1/2" x 5" watercolor on watercolor paper

Painted this for an example in a discussion thread on about color mixing. I used muted blue-green leaves framing fully saturated red-orange berries with a little yellow in their bright highlight to show the complementary pop - how to shade up colors without losing intensity was the discussion.

Warm colors can shade up with yellow, either pure bright yellow or a mix of yellow and white, to be more intense. Greens shaded up with yellow look brighter too and keep intensity because yellow's a part of green. Blues and violets shade up best with white or a light blue - in many mediums such as pastels or colored pencils, using a light color instead of pure white will keep saturation better. And of course a muted background makes saturated colors brighter, also a complement will make them pop. So a muted complement really makes them pop and look saturated!

Bright berries. Fun subject even if it's Not The Season. Better than the last holiday holly just sketched out of my head, like how the faded leaves under the main ones worked in the design and I added more leaves than my usual three. Also more berries with an odd  one not in the tight cluster to look more natural. I'll keep playing with this idea, eventually my improvised seasonal card stuff will look better and better!

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