Lori Putnam (“Bold Brushstrokes & Confident Color”) is a master when it comes to color. A big part of this is because she knows what’s important to keep from her reference and what she can push artistically. In this week’s Fresh Off the Easel, Lori talks about the choices she made in her latest piece, “Downtown Charlotte.”
This photo was taken near where I live.
Any time I want to push luminosity in a piece, I work to keep the shadows and the lights very close in value. If I made the shadows darker and pushed those further apart, I would create a sense of drama.
But in this painting, I chose to see just how light I could keep the shadows and still retain a clear light/shadow pattern.
This is the way this day felt in downtown Charlotte, Tennessee, last fall ... cool, crisp, and bright. Getting the block-in correct on the first pass is crucial to keeping a piece fresh and confident.
By neutralizing the colors in the fall trees, the small red barn in light seems more colorful. Manipulating values and saturation are two ways to express bold color and capture the emotions of time and place.
Learn more about how Lori thinks through her paintings by checking out her video, “Bold Brushstrokes & Confident Color.”