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Cheetahs with a Last Tweak...

The color isn't as true in this photo, but you can see the whole composition, unlike the scans. But the contrast is a bit closer to the photo -- it's weird, you have to see both to see what's really happening in the painting. Or of course see the painting! I am not even going to try to do prints of this one. I don't have an image good enough.

This is what I did to the near cat. Colorix, a member of WetCanvas, suggested on my WIP thread that the backlighting would look even more vivid with just a touch of orangy red between the fur and the backlit fur. That worked. I used white to brighten the backlighting edge of the cat's hip in front of the fire so the cat is more distinct.

I had a lost edge in exactly the wrong place where the cat walks in front of the fire. The highlighted fur looks much better lighter than the fire, and the cat looks more real because of it.

Then I lightly added a little aqua to the lightest parts of the forward cat's fur -- just occasional highlights, and a little red-violet to the most violet part of the cat's shadows. Another suggestion from Colorix, who's got a great eye when it comes to color and getting color effects.

This made the forward cat pop forward and makes her more distinct from the background, without changing the essential feel of the painting. It was the last little finesse touch that helped so much. I love how this worked. athenagrey, I hope you like the finesse tweak too, I could not really go back from it at this point.

It gives the forward cat just a hint of the rainbow, that little fiery red at the base of the highlights. As soon as Colorix wrote that, I rememebered seeing it in dogs in front of campfires... it's one of those things like putting the red at the tips of the flames instead of the base that helps a lot.

Here's a scan with the change:

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 21st, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Wow - Your cheetah's are seriously breathtaking!

(That red on the base of the highlights definitely worked.)
Oct. 21st, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm signing up for a still lifes class by the member who made that comment, nicknamed Colorix -- "Still Life the Colourful Way" -- this is going to be SO fun. Colors needed for the class is a good list just to start with -- all pure pretty hues, I think we will be mixing anything resembling neutrals!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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