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Modulating Color and Sculpting Forms

After the base colors are laid in, begin using a wider range of values to establish the light on the forms. Using the Real Oils Short, I expressively painted the shapes and forms of the orchid, without restricting the brushwork to staying within the lines of the sketch. As you work, continue to study your subject, paying careful attention to the light on the forms. I layered strokes—feathering color over color—to build more complex color areas. The direction of the brushstrokes helps to establish the forms and adds dynamic energy to the image. The detail in Figure 10 shows two stages of painting the left flower petal. The underpainting is shown on the left, and the image on the right shows sculpted forms and the highlights and shadows in process.

Figure 10

Figure 10 This detail shows two stages of painting the left flower petal. The underpainting is shown on the left, and the image on the right shows sculpted forms with highlights and shadows in process.

After establishing the general forms, blend colors as you paint. If you keep the Real Oils Short brush pressed to the Canvas and brush back and forth over an area, you can build smooth, blended transitions between colors. If you pick up your brush and touch the Canvas, you’ll apply new color. Figure 11 shows an example of the process I’ve described in the right petal of my painting. The underpainting is shown on the left, and the modeled and blended work is shown on the right. Using the Real Oils Short at various sizes, I painted and blended colors, rendering the forms using expressive strokes, while continuing to focus on the structure of the flower petals.

Figure 11

Figure 11 This detail of the right petal shows the underpainting (left) and the modeled and blended work (right).

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