Sunday, September 8, 2013

Light through the leaves

I have a never ending Fascination with light filtering through trees. Here is yet another attempt :) It is 18" x 24" acrylic on canvas
Click here to see a larger version

There is a basic problem with trying to paint light with pigment. In real life you can have very light AND very colorful. In pigments, you add white to go lighter, which makes the color less saturated, less intense. It's a fun challenge!
Some things I do to try:
Value Contrast - You can only go so light, so you have to go darker with the things around the light to make it seem brighter.
Temperature Contrast-Usually you will want the light to be warm, except moonlight! But I haven't tried that yet :) To warm up a very light color, it seems to help to put cool colors around it. The contrast makes the light seem warmer.
Saturated color - It also seems to work to put spots of very saturated color around the light, here I use orange on the tree trucks and some neon greens in the leaves
Transitions - You can see the splashes of sunlight on the forest floor because you can see the same plant in both shadow and light.

Anyway, just some things I have come up with - what works for you in painting light? I'd love to hear!

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