bouquet still life with striped cloth

Black can be a particularly challenging color to use.  It is very bold and rich.  It’s so absolute in value that it’s hard to create an atmospheric effect using it.  The black in this painting is mostly composed of dark browns made from burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.  It breathes a little.  But I want the mystery of the very darkest background.  In this painting and in some others, I have explored the sensation of an atmospheric deep shadow.

All the other elements serve some role in striving after that effect.  Its size also participates in the experiment.  It’s a largish picture, measuring 44 x 34 inches.  I want to create a life-sized feeling of the space.

6 thoughts on “flowers in the darkness

  1. Beautiful! The black ‘breathing” backdrop makes a dramatic contrast to all the color unfolding below. When I was a child I liked to outline the colored shapes in my drawings because it made them more distinct and dramatic. They didn’t seem finished until I did that. I still like that dramatic effect and the way it makes the color pop.

  2. Thank you, Deborah. Yes, effects that make color more intense are appealing to me too. Color is a powerful thing, wonderful to explore in all sorts of ways.

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