Thursday, 28 August 2008

Simple Changes

It is amazing what simple changes will do.
In saying that, I thought that I would share this acrylic painting with you.

I had been working on a painting which is named "Cherry-O." This painting on your left is my first attempt that was placed aside to rest. On the morning of a critique evening, I decided it was time to revisit it. Having some idea of the areas that needed work, I sat down with my painting that morning to make a few corrections.

Can you spot the obvious?

Yes, you got it! The shadow area of the painting distracts from the cherries. In particular, the reflective shadow area on the front cherry looks patchy. To keep in the style of the painting, I needed very subtle shadows or merging with transition of colour. The shadow should be smooth and not patchy.

Instead of trying to correct the shadow, I rubbed out the shadow area with some of the background colour. Next, I worked on a better transition of colour in the shadow area.

This process was done slowly in stages with much care and nurture, making sure that just enough shadow colour was present just below or underneath the cherries to prevent them from floating. Even though this was a careful process, pulled together in stages, the irony is that it still took less time to paint the shadow the second time around.

What does it do? Well, my eye is no longer drawn to the patchy shadow below the front cherry and my centre of interest is restored to the cherries.

DecoArt Traditions Acrylic
Phthalo Green- Blue
Quin. Gold
Quin. Violet
Titanium White
Raw Sienna
Ultramarine Blue

Napthol Red
Dioxazine Purple
Hansa Yellow

Yellow Oxide


  1. Actually, when I saw the first one, I thought it was a photo! Then I understood what you explained and agree the second is much better. I really like hearing about your process and how you think your choices through and how you make it happen. :)

  2. I totally agree, i was a little shocked to see it wasn't a photo..keep up the good work Kim, look forward to seeing your forthcoming paintings.

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful words and comments Alice and Elizabeth.
    Take care!


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