Reds in the Shadows

Working on the shadows now

Working on the shadows now

Aut lux nata est aut capta hic libera regnat.

The light is either born here, or, imprisoned, reigns here in freedom.

Inscription in the Archiepiscopal Chapel at Ravenna

Mark Rothko is an abstract expressionist painter who still intrigues me, particularly in his discussions of light in the shadows.  As I inch closer to completing this winterscape watercolor of Hermann, Missouri, I’m struggling with the storefront shadows and row of parked cars.  There will be more shadows creeping across the street.  I am not sure how it happened, but in a mindless moment, I introduced a plethora of neutral grays into the building facade shadows, and I don’t like them at all.  Today I decided to experiment with some red washes over those gray regions–Alizarin Crimson, Quinachridone Red and Pemanent Rose.  I then introduced some Pthalo Turquoise in the same areas, hoping to replace the gray deadness with some kind of living color.  I feel that it’s starting to improve.  The parked vehicles in the shade are also proving a challenge, and I’m trying not to repeat the same mistake with neutral grays.  There remains a significant puddle of ugly gray above the parked vehicles that I still have not decided what to do with yet.  In good time.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


2 Responses to “Reds in the Shadows”

  1. Xraypics Says:

    I had to go back to the previous post to find the differences, which are quite subtle, but there’s clearly a much warmer atmosphere in the shadows on the front of the buildings. Contrast has also intensified. I think there is some exposure difference in the two photos because the grey roof also seems to have coloured up a little, though you don’t mention it. That row of cars is beginning to look great. So much detail, but you don’t over do it and it’s not fussy. I’m beginning to like this picture very much. Tony


    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you so much, Tony. I’m happy with the way these shadows are starting to warm up, and so far am satisfied that the vehicles are coming out OK. Yes, there is an overall exposure difference (I haven’t changed the roof). I use Photoshop to try and get the new areas I’m working on to match with the actual watercolor, and sometimes what I do changes the other parts of the image. That is not intentional–I’m just not too good with Photoshop. Thanks so much for your continued encouragement. You inspire me.


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