Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tippette #10 - Ironwork

Tippette = Snippet of a Tip (in watercolor).  One per day...during April...right here!

Painting Ironwork

In a historic town like Charleston, we're fortunate to have black iron gates and fences that I often include in my paintings, and sometimes I feature them straight on (by this, I mean they're the focal point).  It's important to not rely on black when painting this subject, or you'll end up with a very boring (flat) rendition indeed! 

Remember, painted ironwork is reflective (especially if it's black or "Charleston Green" which is what it's called around here).  It reflects whatever's around it.  The sky, the green landscape, brickwork and so on. Include those reflections and you're on your way to a much more interesting finished piece.  (For the deeper, darker colors of the iron, I might use any of the following, as appropriate:  Payne's Gray, Indigo, Ivory Black, Lamp Black, French Ultramarine Blue, and Alizarin Crimson).

"Charleston Rhythms" by Helen K Beacham - Available
In the detail below, the gate is open, catching the light.  It's therefore lighter than the S-curved section it's attached to, which is in shadow.  And, by paying attention to that, you create interest for your viewer while also contributing to that sense of AERIAL PERSPECTIVE that we always strive for.

Detail of "Charleston Curls I" by Helen K Beacham - Sold.
Don't rely on a cookie cutter palette of colors when you paint ironwork.  In the detail below, you can see I've used a lot of greens in the iron, whereas in the one above, more blues are evident.  It just all depends on what's being reflected!
Detail of "Charleston Curls III" by Helen K Beacham - Sold.

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