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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hiding, 22" X 11" watercolor & fluid acrylic

Hiding by April M. Rimpo
This painting  makes you spend some time searching for the lead character.  Enjoy the abstract and see what you find. While you do that, let me tell you about the color scheme and technique I used.

Below is the color scheme I chose for the painting. This is a tetrad, which is a combination of four colors.  In this case, it consists of two sets of complementary colors. My goal is for the predominantly golden/tan tetrad with purple and cerulean/pthalo blue complements to make the foliage an interesting abstract.  I included some greens which were created by combining the blue with the yellow and golden pigments.  I find pthalo blue creates beautiful greens when combined with nearly any yellow pigment.  By using the same pigments, the green shades are cohesive with the other colors.

I used my favorite site,, to select the tetrad.  This site is free and is a wonderful resource for playing with colors before beginning a painting.  Once I've selected the colors I then select my watercolor and acrylic pigments and often do some color swatches to ensure the pigments play well together without creating muddy colors.

Since yellow and purple can easily lead to mud I decided to use fluid acrylic for most of this painting allowing the yellow to dry before coming back in with purple.  Since acrylic doesn't change after drying, these colors can be used during separate painting sessions without them blending together.  I used watercolor with the acrylic to add color shifts that I couldn't achieve with the more limited set of acrylic colors I selected.

OK have you found my hidden star?  He is using his camouflage to hide in the foliage yet he has a great view of the world around him.  I wanted this painting to emphasize the concept of hiding since this critter loves to hide.  I abstracted the foliage enough to make it readable as foliage without details that would make you focus on any one part of the foliage.  The only part that is detailed is my mystery star, but he is camouflaged in the ground cover and partially hidden behind the plants above him. 

Have you found the cat?  By shifting the color of the cat to include non-standard purples the camouflage is enhanced. The same purple is used with varying color shifts in all the shadows throughout the painting.   Let me know if you found the cat before I told you.

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I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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