I find it valuable to look back at older work and analyze the color elements of the paintings that still have visual impact on me.

Portrait of Nicole, Watercolor Demo, 1985

This watercolor portrait of Nicole was done as a demo for a class I taught.  It was my first experiment with hot press watercolor paper.  My focus was more on the way the paint worked on the surface of the paper than it was the way the colors worked with one another.

When I analyze the color scheme I see that it could fall into the split complementary scheme that continues to crop up when I paint on Tuesday nights at the Todd Wolfe Blues Jam, Purple / Yellow & Red / Green.  The colors missing in this portrait of Nicole are Blue and Orange though they are suggested by the neutralized Blue Purple in the background and the Orange Red of the object Nicole is holding.  The strength of the color is in the intensity of the small color shapes in the foreground, the yellow, red and green.  The larger, neutralized shapes are the foundation and support for the bright spots of color, allowing the pure colors to come forward toward the viewer creating an illusion of depth into the painting placing Nicole’s face in space between the object she is holding and the area of the room behind her.  I am seeing this same visual phenomena working in the Blues Jam paintings.

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