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Harvesting Color and Mood

by Niki Hilsabeck in Recent Posts
It’s funny how color has such a strong impact on the mood of a painting.
“Bitter Harvest” 6 x 9 Pastel on paper
Fall is normally a happy time for me: the weather is cooler and the local scenery comes to life with blazing complementary colors.  I’m not sure why I used the color scheme I did for this piece–it may have had something to do with the fact that these were abandoned pumpkins, and they looked a little rotten on close examination.  I ended up using cool lights and warm shadows, which made the outcome a little garish.  I enjoyed the contrast as I painted though.
I have wonderful pictures of our local pumpkin patch, and have created a few paintings with happier color schemes.  I used two of them for some online art lessons this month:
“Pumpkin Pair” 6 x 9 Pastel on paper
“Harvest Time” 9 x 12 Pastel on Paper
To me, fall is beautiful because of all the naturally complementary colors: deep blue skies, warm orange pumpkins, red and green leaves on the trees, dry golden fields with purple shadows…both as an artist and a native Californian, I think the best time to be out looking for things to paint in Southern California is during the fall season.
If you’d like to teach (or try) some fall-themed paintings, check out my lessons on Bright Hub:

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