Too Much Color!

I finally went overboard, even for myself. I found a beautiful dark crimson/maroon coleus leaf that in parts was so dark and rich that it looked black. I had gathered some other prospects for painting at the same time. One of the first things I do after collecting is  preliminary drawings. I did this for several of my leaves to prepare myself for color. When the time came to do the coleus leaf it was long gone. It looked like a crumpled up crispy piece of tissue paper. So I decided to do it from memory and make it up. I wasn't sure where I collected the leaf and I was getting tired of doing green so I figured this would be a good time to work on reds. I don't consider this colored pencil piece to be a failure….just not an accurate botanical! I always tend to go bold and a bit over the top with color, but I think I went too far today! I have tons of layers on the paper. I didn't know that I could layer colored pencil onthis thick. I used oranges, pinks, reds, purples and green. What I do like about it is, the color is very rich. I wanted to go darker to create form  and to that I used the complement which is green. I got some interesting almost black shadows. The leaf was dark like this in places, so I was happy with this part of the drawing. I think  I went overboard with the orange and pinks. This is a good example of why I should work from life and not from memory. Color memory can be developed but subtle details can be extra hard. Working from color photographs can help….. only if the film processing and lighting is accurate. There are 2 solutions to this problem: 1. Work from life or 2. Make quick, accurate color notes and work it out before you go to a final.  I am not too worried about my crazy colors i this piece since I am not doing a final painting from it. I am having fun and this is part of the challenge. I have 17 more leaves to go and I am having a great time.


This leaf is available in my Etsy Shop: BugsBeastsBotanicals