This step is all about examining your reference photo and Color Mapping.

This is the tricky part for some people and does take some practice but once you’ve got a handle on it, you’ll start to see the whole world in a different way. You won’t just see blue sky or green grass anymore but you’ll begin to see in all the colors of the Crayola Crayons!!


What you need to do now is take some time to review your reference photo and ask yourself some of these questions. Where is the light coming from? What colors do I see? Yes, the petal is yellow, but is there a nuance of orange and red or even green or blue? Are there subtle lines and/or shadows? Often with flowers there is a slight halo around the edges where the petal curls ever so slightly and catches the sunlight. These are all things you need to notice and implement in order for your picture to look more realistic. When you have determined some of these things you’re ready to begin.


Color mapping is laying out light versions of colors you want to include in certain areas to create a map for you to follow so you don’t get lost. So using the sharpened Light Yellow Glaze and following your reference photo, drop in some color in all the areas that are the strongest highlights. Although I haven’t done so in this image I would include the leaves as well so we create that warm underglow. Then fill in, with a light touch, all the rest of the flower petals with the Light Cad Yellow, including the center of the flower, as this will contribute to the glow in the red center. You don’t need to be overly concerned at this point as to how well you apply the color but try to get good coverage using only a light touch.  As you progress you will really incorporate your color in the direction or flow of the flower shapes.Yellow_Flower_Highlights_edited-1

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