Today I’m going to tell you what I’ve found to be a big secret to getting more depth and dimension into a piece. That’s to use multiple colors or multiple shades of a color on one part of your painting.
The thing is, nothing in nature is all one color. Everything has shadows at the very least and things that are shiny reflect other colors around them.
Take this girl's dress, for example.
I had to put in streaks of blue and yellow besides the base pink. Without that, and the different whites that I used, I would not have been able to achieve the shimmery effect I was going for
Water is another prime example of this. Unless it’s murky and disgusting, water is very reflective. What I’ve done here is take all the colors that appear in other parts of the painting and brought them into the water.
To give you full context, here's that complete painting.
This is a perfect opportunity to point out that things that are white, are not really white. As you can see here, I used lots of yellow, purple and gray in the shadows on this polar bear. Not only that, but for his body, I used a pale yellow instead of straight white.
Also, sometimes I use colors that don't seem right in my head and have great results. Sometimes glazing just a touch of blue, or green, or any other nonnutral color over something can give it a little extra added depth. I used this method in the ropes on my painting "Orangutan Hanging Out",
and in the squirrel's fur in my latest painting, "Squirrel Among The Palm Branches".
Last, but not least, when painting anything black and shiny, I almost always incorporate some blue.
Here's that concept demonstrated on the dog Tyler's nose,
and Shantih Beeman's tie.
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Painter of portraits and wildlife