Before you read any further GUESS THE SIZE OF THIS PAINTING. I will give the answer later in today's lesson.
This watercolor of a flower market in Paris was done on Claybord by Ampersand. It is a very slick surface with no texture. I found painting on it was fun because I could move the paint more easily and lifting out was also much easier. When I first went to Paris years ago on a painting trip, there were flower stalls and flower markets all over the city and, sadly, most of them are gone now. It is too bad because they were a glorious and colorful addition to the city. I decided to place the figures in the upper right corner so the emphasis would be on the flowers which take up about 85% of the composition. Also, by placing the figures at the top, they are naturally smaller than they would be in any other location. The further you go back in the painting there is less detail in the flowers and yet I used plenty of detail in the figures and trees.
When painting the flowers I was reminded of Claude Monet who said "painting is just placing bits of color next to other bits of color." Working with color temperature is a way to use the same colors for different effects. For example, there are several groups of yellow flowers and yet they appear different because some are cool lemon yellow and some are warm cadmium yellow. For the red flowers, some are rich cadmium red and others are cooler because the red is mixed with violet. In this painting I used color temperature at random rather than only using warm colors in the foreground and cool colors in the background. I like the way the white price cards on stems cause the viewer to move more slowly through the flowers but I decided writing the prices on the cards would detract from the flowers and make the painting too busy.
Looking at this painting now reminds me how much I enjoyed wandering the streets of Paris where all the visual delights abound around every corner. What was your guess for the size of this painting? It is 4 x 7 inches. Happy Painting! Dennis Pendleton