There are so many shades and tones of red. Hot, cool and soft. In the dead center of this eleven-foot painting is a girl wearing a layered tutu, and my intent was to make the skirt a brilliant red. Left to right, the skirt would go from purple to magenta to fiery red, with a bit of glowing tangerine where the light comes through. As I started to mix colors, I realized that no combination on my palette was going to reproduce my vision. So I ordered new paints: quinacridone red, pyrrol red, bright red, mauve blue and magenta.
Sometimes you approach one part of a painting with a "how do I do this?" The tutu was that part. I think I captured the airiness of the fabric, the flounce, and especially the rich and varied hues.
Because this is such a large-scale piece, it has taken a long time. I originally thought that I would get tired of painting it and would want to take a break and mix it up with some smaller work. But each section of this piece stands on its own, so I found I could move about from section to section whenever I got stuck or had to wait for the oils to dry.
The entire canvas has several layers of paint now - some of it seems finished, other parts still need more work. Adding 8 inches to the bottom was so important - it's one of the upsides of painting on canvas tacked to a wall. Where a composition ends can be a moving target.
More detail shots of the painting are below.