The Little Princess Painting Continues


I’ve added more layers of paint to my Little Shih Tzu Princess Molly. This gives it a more solid feel. I’m using a cool grey blue in the shadow areas and a gentle light yellow in the highlights. Molly’s coat is a very soft wheat color–so in fact it really has neither blue nor yellow in it.

I often use complementary (or nearly complementary) colors in shadows and highlights. Complementary colors are colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, part of learning color theory. This helps give a painting more energy. It adds contrast and gives a painting interest. Blue’s complement is orange. Purple’s is yellow. So in this painting I’m using near complements which provides a subtler contrast and keeps it soft.

Shadows and highlights is what translates into form when you look at a painting. It’s not enough to just add black and white to a color to create the effect of light. That can dull the colors. Using complementary colors, helps some areas to recede and others to come forward which gives the painting the illusion of being 3-dimensional and also more vibrant.