Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When Dark Gray Becomes White

"Dream of Gardenias"
oil on canvas
10" x 8"

This is my newest oil painting. I took this reference photo way back last summer and have been meaning to paint it. I got the neat reflection of the flower by using a black cloth for the foreground and background with a glass panel on top of the cloth. I wanted a nice dark subtle reflection instead of what a mirror would have produced. It always boggles my mind on how dark the reflection really is in a situation like this. Those lightest "whites" reflected in the glass are really quite dark.

Just to show you what I mean, I made this little color swatch below in Photoshop.

The two gray rectangles are the same color. In fact they are the color of the lightest gray in the flower's reflection in the painting above. When I first painted this the other day, I didn't go quite dark enough on the reflection. The painting looked alright, but not what I was hoping for. I went back the next day and repainted the reflection, pushing the values even darker. I'm glad I did - the end result was certainly worth the extra time I put in. I gotta admit it - I'm very pleased with this one!

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