As I wrote in my first blog post, I will now attempt to write about the colour RED. Of course, these are my personal feelings, starting with my advice to use red sparingly, or my contradictory advice, to use it as the main character in the painting (see Canna Lily, which can be downloaded as a digital print).

This is because you cannot hide red.

One painter told me that a touch of red in a painting, where other less brilliant colours dominate, will improve that work.

Some artists sign their paintings with red paint. I have tried to do this, but it only makes me feel shy.

However, no matter how I have used red in the past, I still think that this colour should be handled with care.

To be honest, my favorite red is a 50/50 mix of Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red Medium. If I use red I want the colour to sing out and tell me it is there. Also, no one has to remind me that reds are different depending on who made the brand, the type of paint, goache, oil or watercolour.

Once I set myself an experiment where I painted one canvas blue and the other red and then, through various glazings over, I brought the red to blue and the blue to red.

You can see how that blue painting survived, as the red background to my painting of a Canna Lily, shown here, and one of the paintings you can download as a digital print.

Red was also used to glaze the skin tones on the Musician, which surprisingly made him look more realistic, as though light was dancing off his skin. Red was also used as the ‘musical notes’ in the painting Sisters, of the horses, where the red is more subdued.

I repeat, I like red, but apart from some of my paintings, where it tends to take center stage, I would say that red should be used with care, so as not to deny the colour its true impact.

Red can become the focus, draw the eye to a certain detail. When I think of red, it brings to mind the usual sunsets, hibiscus, red roses, blood, life, apples. But also the red gleam of a black cat’s fur in the light, or the red I see in the dark blue of the pine covered mountains rising before me. Or is it the damp trunks that are gleaming red?

I admit I do not paint natural looking paintings, although I have been known to try. Sometimes my underdrawing is in bright red, an outline, or the colour painted in between too close tones to make the edges sparkle.Here, I won’t go into where the different reds come from, there are many and you can find what you need to frm other sites, such as my favorite Wikipedia.

For, I am, after all, only an artist who, although interested in science and the stars, I am still only wanting to get the painting done, in a way that pleases me, and hopefully you who can download one as a digital print to place on your wall or your morning coffee cup!

Rosemary Allison


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