Starting with either a toned (imprimatura) or white canvas we consider what our color scheme options might be. The classic complementary theme might have us choosing an opposite color to the main subject ie: the color of the flowers in this study lean towards the yellow/orange family thus the opposite underpainting color choice could be in the blue/purple family. Yet another color scheme could be analogous ie: tints, shades or tones of colors that lie adjacent to each other on the color wheel. In this case the choice has been to emphasize an analogous study: yellow/oranges, yellow, yellow/green, green, blue/green, blue, blue/violet.
Yet another approach is that If we haven’t toned the canvas, we can do a fresh alla prima treatment of the support in varying hues of the color scheme that we have chosen, making sure to cut in around preserved lighter value areas, generally the main subject. We see in this study that the main subject flower shape has been for the most part left unpainted. This is called “negative painting”: successive deeper values painted around objects begins to define them.
HOW TO – Positive Negatives in Oil Painting
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