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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Sunflower: Painting Yellow and Defeating the Dullness

Painting yellow flower was not my favorite thing. I used to ruin my yellow flowers with ugly shadows. Eventually, the glowing brightness of the real yellow flowers was lost.

Thanks to Sharon Tingey who shared her secret mix of colours in her demonstration and her Facebook post, I found a solution to my frustration of painting yellow flowers. And I hope she doesn't mind I write here how her great tips help me.

I know from experience that yellow flower is not as easy as red, pink, purple, or orange flowers to deal with. I used to stick with W&N Cadmium Lemon or Cadmium Yellow Pale for yellow flowers, whose result did not make me happy. I felt that the more layers I put to built shapes and shades, the less bright the yellow became. It was very tricky for me. A very tiny amount of wrong pigment in the mix would turn the whole flower dull. And the mistake was hard to hide.

But the misery ended after I watched Sharon's demonstration and saw how well she did her sunflowers (which won Gold Medals in RHS London Botanical Art Show 2014!). I bought and tried the same paint she used. And I felt very grateful that she shared her recipe! It was Daniel Smith Hansa Yellow Light (HYL). As you can see in the photograph above, which compares yellow colour chart, HYL is the brightest among other yellow colours I use. The DS site claims that the paint is cleaner, more transparent and brighter in chroma than Cadmium Yellow Light. Also I guess because HYL uses a single primary pigment, it helps us avoid a dull gray resulting from hidden complements when mixed.

A mix of HYL with W&N New Gamboge or Quinacridone Gold or and Perylene Maroon (for the darkest) really captures the brilliant yellow petals of sunflower.

And below is a scanned image of my Sunflower illustration. I hope you like it! :)

18 comments:

Sharon Tingey said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wonderful results! Glad you found my 'recipe' useful :)

shevaun said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a beautiful sunflower!! It's so good to see you back painting again. I agree... yellows are so difficult!

Ariadne said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Very beautiful! I hope you have settled down in your country now!AriadnefromGreece!

Lena Timofeeva said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks a lot! I'm doing different kind of lemons last month and I understand the point! For now the best mix I found is transparent yellow as main color and indian yellow or yellow ochre for mixes (all W&N), but I'll try DS!
What mix do you use for cold bluish green in this sunflower leaves?
Very nice!
I love your illustrations very much and thanks a lot for your blog!

Polly said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Eunike ths is a wonderful post, so helpful. And your sunflower is just gorgeous!

dweedy ananta said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Cantiknya ^^ jadi pengen save gambarnya, boleh?

Janene said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Now I can't wait to try some bright yellow flowers--thank you for the tips (and Sharon too). Your sunflower is gorgeous!!

Shelley Whiting said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

The sunflower is very lively and realistic. Fabulous job.

Eunike Nugroho said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Sharon Tingey Thank you very much, Sharon! for your very inspiring demo, tips and this kind comment. xx

Eunike Nugroho said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@shevaun Indeed, yellows are never easy. At least for yellow sunflowers, Sharon has shown the way :)

Thank you for your comment, Shevaun. I wish I have more time to paint like you :)

Eunike Nugroho said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Ariadnethank you, Ariadne! Yep, finally and somehow we have settled down here. *Still need to furnish and buy several white goods to fill the house tho' :p

Eunike Nugroho said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Lena Timofeeva Thank you for sharing your experience. I am sorry I can only reply your question now. I use Daniel Smith cobalt teal for the bluish green. I hope it makes sense? Cheers.

Eunike Nugroho said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Polly Thank you, Polly! Glad you find the tips helpful. Sorry, I don't write my blog frequently :(

Eunike Nugroho said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@dweedy ananta Makasih. Gapapa kalau mau disimpan :) Kalau diunggah ke situs lain, tolong disertakan saja sumbernya. Salam kenal!

Eunike Nugroho said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@JaneneThank you, Janene! I hope you don't have to wait until summer to paint something yellow :) And I wish it'll turn out great! :D

Eunike Nugroho said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Shelley Whiting Thank you, Shelley! :) really appreciate your time to leave this kind comment :D

paintthebluesky said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

mbak eunike, saya mau tanya dong :
gimanna tipsnya mewarnai bidang yang agak luas pakai cat air biar warnanya tetap konsisten? (terutama untuk warna gelap/pekat)
terima kasih

Eunike Nugroho said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@paintthebluesky Sedikit tips untuk mewarnai bidang yang luas:
1. Pastikan kertas tidak melengkung jika basah, yaitu pilih kertas cat air yang tebal dan direnggang/rentangkan di papan datar dengan baik.
2. Siapkan campuran cat yang banyak, lebih baik lebih banyak daripada yang kamu butuhkan.
3. Pakai kuas besar, kuas flat lebih mudah.
4. Papan diatur miring agar cat mudah turun ke bawah.
5. Sapukan kuas dengan gerakan yang teratur dan konstan.

Coba browsing di youtube, mungkin ada video yang mempraktekkan teknik itu. Semoga membantu.