Enhance Your Painting With One Simple Trick!

The highlights in a painting are one of the most important aspects. Without lively light, a landscape won't have as much life. Here's one simple trick that you can apply to your highlights to make them glow bight and really stand out.

Oil painting tips and tricks

Try mixing a bright color that clashes with the color of your highlights. It doesn't necessarily need to be opposite of the color wheel. In fact colors that are closer to each other can sometimes work best. 

image shows a bright pink contrasting color being mixed for the yellow highlights within the painting

In this case I'm using white, yellow, and magenta to create a color that's similar to highlighter pink and I used the dagger striper brush for most of this area. The highlights in my painting are predominately yellow, so this color works great. Use this color to apply around SOME of the brightest parts within your highlights.

 image shows sequence of photos that the artist is picking up yellow, white, and magenta paint colors to create a highlighter pink

The colors will instantly clash so I make sure not to over do it. Sometimes in this case a little goes a long ways. I also try to leave the brightest parts of my highlights in place because I don't want to kill the brightness.

 image shows contrasting highlighter pink color being applied near highlights on the painting

Both colors (yellow and pink) are very bight so it's hard to pick up on, but that subtleness is the key. Colors that really contrast each other within the highlights is something we don't always think about and can appear a bit bizarre up close.

 image shows another part of the painting where highlighter pink contrasting color is applied to the highlights on the painting

But these are the types of effects that when we back up and view as a whole, can really create a dynamic and eye catching effect that will draw your viewers in. 

Oil painting landscape helpful tips

When you are adding glazes and highlights over the top of a dried oil painting like this, remember to use a little more medium in your mixtures than what you used in the previously added layer of paint. I used oil paints along with Liquin impasto for this painting. For acrylics, you could use a medium such as glazing medium to add to your paints and accomplish the same thing. 

Watch the entire process above through this video below:


 

 I'm Chuck Black, landscape and wildlife artist based in Southwest Montana.



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