A painting by California artist Kim VanDerHoek ably demonstrated the artist’s prerogative to look closely for somewhat unexpected colors in a scene to strengthen a piece. The painter explains how it happened. 

VanDerHoek was painting two interesting vintage planes, but their shadows on the ground gave her a challenge to tackle.

“The shadow had quite an evolution,” she reports. “A good portion of it was obscured by weeds and other things on the ground. I needed to clarify the shadow shape for the sake of the painting. My color choices grew out of taking a step back and evaluating what was needed in that passage. At first the green shadow shape certainly did its job. However, it is such a strong shape with importance, and plain green didn’t look very exciting. I decided to play with the color transition between the shadow and the ground in the light. I chose lavender to incorporate some of the color from the background trees and also because it was a nice counterpoint to the yellowish ground. After that it still needed a warm color between the shadow and light. Orange seemed like the best choice to place next to the yellows in the ground and the yellow in the green shadow mixture. It also worked well against the blues in the second plane.”


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