I love the colors of geraniums against the blues of the distant landscapes. This is a painting I did on the terrace of my studio in Tuscany, Italy. I bought some red violet geraniums from a local garden shop, and it seemed they were the perfect accent color for the distant Ligurian hills I can see from my studio.
Read on to learn some of the techniques and principles I used in this painting.
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Techniques and principles used in this painting
The basic color harmony I used was a blue, cool red complementary color harmony. This harmony is always effective in atmospheric landscapes.
I used the most saturated colors in the focal areas, and kept the saturation much lower in the other parts of the painting. For example, the pots were far less saturated in color than the flowers, and a warmer variation of the same hue.
I softened the edges of the pots to emphasize the roundness of the form, keeping a few hard edge in strategic places to help with the eye movement.
The overall artistic strategy was to convey the atmosphere of the hot and balmy day, using as few brushstrokes as possible to create a more abstract quality to the painting. To do this, I spent a lot of time on getting the color spots very accurate. I probably spent over half of the painting time just getting the grays of the sky and mountain the correct value and saturation. That was the key to the atmosphere in this work.
Online painting classes
Here are the online painting classes in the Virtual Art Academy® Apprentice Program that teach the techniques I used in this painting:
- A03 Comparing Values
- B06 What Is Saturation?
- B07 How To Make Grays
- B11 What Are Complements?
- C09 Focal Point And Focal Area
- D08 Atmospheric Value Changes
- D09 Atmospheric Hue Changes
- E06 Atmospheric Saturation Changes
- F06 Thick & Thin
- G07 Planes of the Light & Shade
- H02 Brushwork in Focal Areas
- H07 Contrast of Brushwork
- H11 Complementary Color Harmony
- L09 Hard & Soft Edges
- L10 Cast Shadows
- N07 Lost & Found Edges
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you find it useful. If you would like to get free painting tips by email, please sign up for my free tips newsletter.
If you are interested in a structured approach for learning how to paint, take a look at my online painting classes.
Barry John Raybould
Virtual Art Academy