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Fall Colors

November 1, 2009

The line between light and shade

Autumn light is so different from that of Summer. It’s bright, too, but it also seems more golden. All this gold in the air makes colors seem less harsh somehow. Above is a picture of the tall fence/screen on the kitchen deck that I painted a dark tomato shade in the summer. At that time the color seemed very bright and I wondered if I hadn’t made a mistake. But I’ve changed my mind now, and really like it — is it because it was bleached slightly in summer’s last big heat? Or, just the Fall light? Hanging off the end-post  is another re-purposed planter in the form of a metal dustbin from the North Denver Furniture Co. The lime green color and triangle shape are really unusual, and its wire handle makes  a natural hanger. Filled with peas-on-a-string in an even brighter lime green it’s a real eye-catcher.


Dry brushing for a textural effect

The side of the fence/screen that faces the deck seemed too red when freshly painted, so I decided to add some additional colors using a dry-brush technique. I use this technique in my fine art painting and thought it would be well suited here. For paintings, I apply the texture through roughly brushing on a base-coat of gesso which, when dry, I paint a solid color. Then I add other colors on top of that one, brushing it on such a way that the paint doesn’t completely cover. This is done by loading the paintbrush with paint then blotting it so that it’s very dry. When brushed against the base textures it doesn’t cover completely, thereby allowing the new top color and base color to interact, since the first color still shows in places. Above, you can see how the weathered grain of the screen’s slats catches the top color in areas but still allows the base red color to show. This allows all the colors to have more depth and be less flat. It’s a great way to hide imperfections by making them part of the overall design. And, by using colors on top of colors in this way, it’s easy to create patinas and add instant age to things like planter pots and other garden items. I’m really happy with these colors and think they look great with the rustic hand-made metal hanging lamp I got at the Long Beach Flea Market.

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