Key Discoveries in Practice: Italy, Pianello
Idid this oil sketch in the garden of my studio in Italy. The painting uses the key discovery secondary color harmony. The red-orange of the roof of the barn and the orange leaves of the bushes whose leaves are just turning color at the end of the summer, create a nice harmony with the warm greens of the trees and the foreground grass, and the violets in the hill behind.
One of the key principles of painting is the idea of contrast. You can see that idea here being used in the key discovery of warm/cool contrast that we have talked about in earlier issues. You can create this contrast of course at the macro level, in the large shapes of the painting. But you can also use it in the detailed brushwork. In the detail of the trees and sky, you can see that adjacent brushstrokes alternate between warm red violets and cool blue violets. This adds a completely new dimension of abstraction to the painting that can be quite beautiful.
Another key discovery used in this painting is contrast of saturation. In the detail of the house, you can see the highly saturated yellow and orange color spots contrast with the dark blue-gray areas and with the less saturated green areas. Only by creating this contrast can the color in your painting really “sing.”
To practice and master each of the three key discoveries mentioned, join the Virtual Art Academy® Apprentice Program.