When my son was a very young boy, he would find a specific feather and give it to me to keep. I’m not sure how he knew I liked feathers – I don’t even know why I like feathers, but I do. It may be that we had a parakeet with beautiful blue feathers and when he lost one, I would keep it. But through the years I have this little collection . . . that now even my husband will bring me one when he finds them. I have kept them on my art desk for years and years and all through the years of moving from state to state, the feathers have traveled with my art studio items. I don’t do much pencil sketches, I usually just paint with watercolor or oils. Today while taking a break from my designs again I had fun sketching a feather and decided to share them with you.
As the sun was shining through the studio window it really brought out the iridescent colors on this feather.
I carry my camera everywhere. In the car, in my purse and on the counter for quick fast capturing moments of fluttering birds, quick lizards as well as those slow-moving moments of a growing flower. The other day we had an early morning storm with thunder and lighting and heavy rain. Of course, I grabbed my camera and tried to capture what I was experiencing. It never shows up on the camera as it does standing there in real life, but at least I captured the moment. After posting some of the photos on Facebook I realized how beautiful it captured colors that I actually didn’t see with my eyes. I saw the normal pouring rain collecting on the ground and the darkness of the day at 10:00 that morning, but now I see these beautiful blues behind the dark silhouette of the trees. These are colors I want to remember and learn to use when I set down to paint. So . . . thought I would share some photos that really inspire me as my mind prepares to create on canvas.
I copied patches of color out of the photo and placed them on different back grounds such as black, tan and white so that I can see what values make the colors stand out the best. As I analyze the colors in this photo, I find different shades of green, blues, Blue-greens, but I also saw a dark lavender. It is what I call, “hidden colors” and if you are not careful when looking at nature, you will completely miss those colors. I found the dark lavender in the mud between the green grass and the water on the ground. It is the color of the mud/dirt. I know this is a dark picture and I will probably never paint this scene, but I learn a lot about color from it. I also don’t physically pick the colors apart when I want to paint something that inspires me like I did for this post. I do it in my mind as I search for those “hidden colors” and think – ah there’s the magic! I will add more to this post with brighter scenes in a day or so. Need to fix supper right now. :)
Take a look at this photo of a horse. It looks like a beautiful brown/rust colored horse. I have made a second photo on which I have put color patches on it to show you where I find those “Hidden colors”.
I have added color swatches as an example of where I have found those colors that make it fun for me when I paint. When I invent my paintings from my mind or heart, I have learned to add this interest to my art.
Colors that I have found on the horse that can help me and interest to my painting.
All these shade of color are from reflections such as the green foliage by the horse or the way the light shines around the horse. The blue sky above brings blue hues and burgundy reflections on the actual brown and rust colors of the horse. Don’t forget the highlight around the nostril. If the color was pulled from that area, you would also find light lavender and light blues with a touch of white. This is how nature inspires me. I love color!