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Angie's Art Lesson 2--Tulip Painting
Planning a Painting using Colour, Composition, and Design
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Purple Tulips
I wanted to paint this bouquet of purple tulips that had come out last spring.  However I wanted to have the flowers in a verticle position and I wanted to have a more exciting vibrant painting than the all purple group of flowers that I had here.
Purple Tulips I decided to zoom in to the central area and to use the open tulip as my center of interest.  It is important to make sure that the center of interest is located in one of the quadrants away from the very center of the painting.  I cropped the edges off the image to make an interesting verticle composition.  I also placed the extra yellow tulip in the gap between the flowers to provide a place to add the opposite colour to the two painted purple tulips.  I think of the tulips not as drawings of flowers but as shapes that I can use to create a jig saw puzzle of small, medium, and large shapes in my composition.  These shapes I can use to lay down a variety of pleasing colours throughout my  painting.
colourful tulips
See the large painting
In order to make the composition more vibrant and exciting I used complementary colours on the colour  wheel for the tulips and leaves.  Complementary colours are opposites on the colour wheel.  The purple and yellow tulips are opposites.   When complementary colours are  placed beside each other they create a lovely glowing vibration that we see as exciting.  Whereas in contrast neighbouring colours on the colour wheel ( and orange) are called analagous colours and their use in proximity creates a harmonious, restful feeling.  The red tulips are complementary to the green of the leaves and so add more colour vibrancy.  For the background  I used a mixture of the purple and yellow and allowed them to mingle a bit.  When opposite paints combine they create a greyed down version of the colours.  Being more neutral they offer a welcome place for the viewers eye to rest from the colourful bright tulips.  This is why the painting seems to work so well.
Colour Wheel
Now have you noticed which colours I didn't use on this painting?  If you said blue and orange you're right.  This painting wouldn't have looked as good if I had introduced the 3rd primary colour blue and its complement orange.  Sometimes it is better to stick to a limited palette of colours.  I chose to avoid the use of orange as the yellow tulips, with orange, and the red would have created a more harmonious restful feel by using analagous neighbouring colours whereas I was looking for dynamic vibration in this painting so chose instead to use opposite, complementary colours with the red/green and purple/yellow pairs of colours.
Drawing of Tulips
Click on Drawing
You may print my drawing of tulips to create your own painting. Click on the image to blow it up.  Then right-click on the image to print or save to your computer.   Please make sure you add the bit of the yellow tulip on the left side of your painting that is missing from the drawing so you have that area to place the bit of complementary yellow tulip that you see cut off the left side.

Happy Painting!!!  Happy Spring!!!

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