Sunday, July 8, 2012

Canna - Learning to Subjugate Color

Today's post is a Canna foliage portrait. You can see from the snapshot below of the Canna bed, that it would be easy to overlook this patch as completely unremarkable. Pursuing the back-lit foliage, I was up close and personal when I noticed the lovely texture of the palm trunk in the background. From then on, the goal was to find some arrangement of foliage that included interesting spaces.

You can see from the snapshot that the foliage is a luminous lime green edged in wine. I am a sucker for color, so naturally took the initial processing in the direction of purple. I was enamored of this version for quite a while (third image below.) and was preparing to paint it in watercolor, when I realized that the values were misplaced for a painting composition. The lightest areas were in the background, while the large shapes were colorful, but too dim to function as a subject.

I went back to Photoshop several times over a matter of months seeking an improvement in values and coloring and eventually arrived here, at this more neutralized version. It was a long journey because I had to fall out of love with purple before I could accept that what worked for this image was to subjugate color, brighten the canopy leaves, and allow the lines to carry the composition.