The background of this large, tropical jungle flower painting will be done loosely with a different mixture of colors that will create light. I will use a large amount of soft mixing white with my “sunlight” hues which include yellow ochre and cadmium yellow with some sap green. These will be the background tones that will serve as the basis for my palm fronds and background jungle foliage.
With the next session I will tackle the rest of the background and perhaps the bottom sections as well. This phase is a preliminary background. Once the entire background fills my canvas I will paint more sunlight colors, more layers of palm fronds in greater contrast and I will bring in more extreme highlights. What I will be looking to create next is a balance of color and contrast.
I decided that in this painting that I want my background to have more designer colors and hues to make the piece more sophisticated. Tropcals can be in danger of looking cheesy if not done with thought. I give credit to the tiki era of the 50s and 60s for creating a sort of faux visual culture that represents the Hawaiian Islands. For the last decade of my painting career I have striven to paint tropicals with the same sophistication as any other subject that collectors would find worthy enough to hang as an original on their walls, in any room of their house. Given the fact that this mural is for an interior design project and the fact that it is brimming with brightly colored flowers, I wanted to create some decor balance considering the people who will be viewing this work. Most of the people who will see this mural installed will have very urban sensibilities and will likely enjoy very contemporary spaces.
Tropicals can add a beauty and a sense of feung shui to a space that brings feelings of relaxation, happiness, peacefulness and growth.
The image below shows how my first background color mix without palm fronds.