Connecting and Contrasting Shapes Using Value.

Hello Everyone,

I got to thinking today about Irises. I have always been inspired to paint them because of their beautiful coloring, texture and shape. This reminded me of a painting I did for my children’s book Where’s Petunia? In this painting, Location, Location, Location, I featured three Holsteins, which is a breed of large dairy cattle.

By transplanting the cows into an Iris bed I created a beautiful picture and a gardeners worst nightmare. I wanted the image to have fluidity. To emphasize this element I repeated the shape of the cows and irises close together and intertwined. By using these attributes, the subjects become related.

The key to this painting is the connection between the values. Starting with the white, it weaves from the top of the cows to the bottom connecting the light values. The pink in the irises also weaves throughout connecting the dark values in the flowers. The darkest black of the cows helps identify them and is used for maximum contrast. The eye flows through the different shapes where the values are the same. I like how the flowers go off the edge of the paper creating an interesting rhythm to the edges.

More importantly, I liked the idea of the painting and had fun creating it. I did carefully plan out the composition, so I could play with the paint.

What inspires you to paint? Leave a comment and let me know!


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