Friday, June 15, 2012

Bright Summer Light

Bright Summer Light
28 x 22"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault 

This painting was in the Family Tree show last month. I hummed and hawed about putting it in because I had painted it two years ago and, although I liked it, I wasn't as enthused as when I first painted it. I have learned so much about colour since then (and have so much more to learn) that I felt it could be better. You can see the original version below- the bark of the tree used to be much more blue/gray overall. 

 (original version)

The day before we hung the show I decided to throw caution to the wind and try to make it a painting I was excited about once again. I made up glazes of warm colours: Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Indian Yellow and Magenta and then I lightly built up layers of washes on the tree trunk. As the tree warmed up and became less gray/blue, the sky actually appeared more blue and the distant trees became more green. It was very exciting to see it change. It was a light bulb moment of sorts... the whole effect of complimentary colours working together to enhance each other right before my eyes! When I showed my mom (who always loved the painting) she said, "Oh, you made the trees more green" - she was quite surprised to find out I hadn't touched anything but the bark. I also lightened areas in the dark shadows for more variation, but that change may not show well in the photo.

Learnin', it never gets old!


Barbara Muir said...

True dat! It never does. Love the painting. And I loved it before too. I guess I am just a sucker for your beautiful work.

XO Barbara

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

Yes, you are another lover of learnin' aren't you? :)

And you are awfully kind toward all the work I put out there... it is appreciated (and likely not always deserved!)


Barbara Muir said...

Are you kidding me? Always deserved girl. Come on now.

XO Barbara said...

Yes! Wow the leaves look more green - from the contrast of the orange/red I suppose? cool. LOVE the bark : )


Nicki said...

Thanks Monika! Yup, I think it is from the added contrast/complimentary reddish orange colour.