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StudioSense: Purples and Greens

A few days ago I cycled along the dirt roads south of Saline. Scattered thunderstorms were threatening, making for a dramatic sky backdrop to my current pastel painting. When I returned to "civilization," I took Bemis Road east toward Platt Road in Pittsfield Township to get a glimpse of a barren corn field. Here is the reference photo:

I was attracted to the variety of colors and the cloud structure. So time to do a pastel painting!

I wanted a simple composition so that it wouldn't distract from the colors of the field and sky. I chose a purple pastel and alcohol wash for the underpainting. Given that purple includes the red hue, I thought it would be an interesting contrast to the green trees as well as a neat backdrop to the orange hue of the field.

I then added some red to the green areas of the landscape (I had to add the direct complement of green I guess)!

Then the fun begins. First, I worked on that dramatic sky:

Next, as I add the local colors of the scene, they appear to "pop" against the dark purple and red background:

I had the liberty of choosing some of my most obnoxious greens! Here's the final version of "Bemis Field."

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