Colour harmony is important for the pure enjoyment of the artwork. The colours of sun and sky, for example, and classical, harmonious, joyful hues are evocative of late spring, Wordsworth’s poem “Daffodils,” French décor and gayety.
This is one of my favourite small oil paintings. Note how the green is more of a yellow-green than a true hue of green. The yellow warms toward a yellow-orange in parts, and this becomes a close colour harmony of yellow-orange, to yellow, to yellow-green. The true opposite to those hues (colour) would be violet.
I chose a blue. This wasn’t a perfect split-opposite colour harmony, but it is one I like. As it’s not a perfect colour harmony, it works best that I kept the blue slightly subdued at a mid-chroma or colour intensity rather than at a full, high-chroma, intense blue, as that would have been visually jarring.
Nature is a good teacher of colour harmony. Rarely do you see colours clashing in nature.
By subduing the blue with white to form pastel tones and with its near opposite, yellow-orange, I formed subtle greens and greys, depending on the balance of blue to yellow-orange and white in the mixture. I do not use black in my flower paintings.
In my Dreaming Billabong novels (written under the pen name derivative of Kathryn Shell—Ryn Shell), I have Lesley Fife’s bedroom in the Fife homestead decorated in the colours of blue and yellow. Lesley’s daughter Emily loved waking up to this cheerful colour scheme.
Maybe I’m the proverbial cockeyed optimist, but I defy anyone to be perpetually miserable when surrounded by clear blue sky and golden yellow flowers, unless they happen to be allergic to the blooms.
I used one of the best stretched Belgian-linen canvases and professional artist, Maimeri Puro oil paints to create this work. The back of the artwork will show the quality of the canvas. Look for close weave in the fabric.
Can you pick, straight away, which colour I altered from nature?
I titled this painting Roses from a Friend as they were a gift to me from one of my students. The students watched me demonstrate this one step-by-step. As I have said before, one of the focuses of this lesson is to think of tone and shape more than colour. You can alter the colour, and the painting will still work as long as the light and shade pattern is correct.
I illustrated my point that it doesn’t matter if you change a colour, as long as the light-and-shade pattern is correct, by changing the leaf colour from bright green to tones of gray.
Colour hue isn’t all that relevant as long as it is harmonious. In the next photo, the image of the painting has been colour-enhanced using a computer photo program to create blue-green leaves. The painting isn’t better or worse for doing that; it is just a different colour. The success of the painting is in the mastery of painting the correct tonal values in the correct shape and proportion to each other, or in having mastered tonal painting.
This Ryn Shell rose artwork was completed in Gouache.
I'm expecting boxes full of bulbs from the grower, unsold stock from the Melbourne Garden Show, and bargains for me. I'll love painting the flowers in spring.
Hundreds of sightseers pour through the gates at Canberra's Commonwealth Park for Floriade when the festival opens. Floriade is Australia’s biggest celebration of spring. This iconic Canberra event, showcases one million flowers in bloom throughout Canberra’s Commonwealth Park
Every year they plant more than a million spring flowering bulbs. This year they have beautiful weather for the opening weekend, much to the delight of the event's manager, Matthew Elkins.
"With the event, we can also provide a bit of business to people outside of Floriade with people busy and coming down to visit ACT," he said.
Floriade is on, Saturday 16 September until Sunday 15 October 2017
While Canberra residents and interstate visitors are enjoying Floriade, I am delighting in the abundance of spring flowering bulbs in my own garden in Northern Victoria. I'm also able to grow most of my produce.
I make a trip into the Dandenong Ranges at this time to enjoy the mass displays at the bulb farms and give that my garden is established, I need to resist the temptation to purchase more of these beautiful plants.