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Color Harmony

Had some challenges getting the color balance right on this work. In fact, I struggled with it for weeks, which is rare, because I usually figure my colors out to the "n-th" degree before I commit an idea to paint.

Peach Palms Up | 48 x 48 in | oil on panel

So why did the color change on this one? I just didn't like my plan once I began committing it to paint. It was too yellow. I didn't realize until I began putting on final paint touches and saw it as too much yellow in the skin tones. And why? Because this composition was derived from an extensive photo shoot I did months ago in New Orleans in a pool with murky water. It yeilded an amazing, etherial effect, which I loved, where the subject seemed to glow in the water. The light reflected off of her skin and illuminated the silt in the water, giving an unexpected effect.

But in my pre-production, I use elements of many different photographs and often (as in this case) dramatically change colors and textures. But I still had a legacy of "yellow glow" on everything. As I got nearer the finished painting I realized my color balance was just way off. I would have provided photos of it in the interim, but the subtleties of color are often lost in these digital photos.

Fixing it required repainting significant areas of the skin tone, ultimately warming it up, diminishing the cool yellow and emphasizing the warm peach tones--which added weeks to the process.

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