I’ve recently begun painting on clayboard. I love it. But, may of the juried competitions I’d like to enter require that watercolors be on paper. In response I’ve been repainting some clayboard paintings on paper. “Ompa Rainbow” is a paper repaint of “Big Boy.”
The results of all this repainting have been what I think are often better paintings, though not better in every way. Practice makes perfect is of course part of this equation. But beyond that, looking at the finished work allows me to make serious design choices.
In “Big Boy” the idea was to make the tuba very large by looking up into a sky dominated by tuba. In “Ompa Rainbow” I wanted to make the colors pop. I slid the tuba to the left to give it some space around the bell, but the big change is in the background. “Big Boy” is set against a blue background, resulting in a very cool painting, all blues, greens and yellows. To make those cool colors really pop, I gave “Ompa Rainbow” a very warm background. I also paid attention to color theory. At the top, where the tuba gets blue the background is blue’s compliment, orange. At the base, amidst all that glorious plumbing, the background becomes purple the compliment of the predominating yellow. It’s a very warm red leaning purple though because red sets off green which is the other color sharing dominance in the lower half of the tuba.
I made several deliberate changes when I repainted “Brass Wind and Shadows” as “The Color of Music”. First, I backed up on the subject a little and allowed all the trombone bell to show. The colors are deliberately brighter. I lightened up the shadows. In retrospect I like the lighter brighter colored version better but I think the tighter crop of the first painting works better.
I did very little to the composition when I repainted “Bouquet of Reeds” as “New Orleans Reeds,” but I did deliberately change the mood by intensifying the colors. I also reversed the basic value plan of the painting by making the background light rather than dark. I’m not sure I like either painting better. It’s the mood, not the quality that changed.
With “Jazz Buddies” and “Taking a Shine to Each Other” the later is to my mind a much better painting. With “Jazz Buddies” I intended to really show off the way the bright sun washed away the sax. I think I accomplished that. With “Taking a Shine to Each Other” I went for drama and I got it by really darkening up the instruments and complicating the dark colors.
Prints of “Ompa Tuba” and the other paintings shown in this entry, are available through my print-on-demand shop.