When I was in the fourth grade, I wore an orange shirt with pink pants and orange socks and tennis shoes to school one day. To say I was an absolute nerd was an understatement. Maybe I already knew then what I know now – I absolutely love when orange and pink collide (and avoiding nerd-dom was a lost cause)! It’s also a perfect recipe for a pink peony underpainting. One of the best ways to get a pink peony to pop on canvas is to begin with two of my favorite transparent colors – permanent rose and transparent orange. I talk a lot about the power of transparents in my online classes. They are the superpowers on every palette, from oils to acrylics to watercolors. They’re your hidden gems and they’re the secret to achieving eye-catching color in every subject you paint.
The big peonies I picked up at the market last week have about one more day left before retiring in a heap of petals on the studio floor, but they’ve been the stars of a couple of new paintings already. The pinkest, peachiest ones were created using a beginning layer in clean transparent color all on its own, on a white canvas surface. With transparent orange in the center, and permanent rose radiating outward, I like to create a large abstract shape of bright color before beginning the process of carving the edges and laying in the layers of opaque color to finish the blossoms. You’ll see notes in both colors in the pink peonies in Heart Song Peonies, and even a few of those pink and orange color notes peeking through the blossoms of the white peonies in the bouquet, too. You can see all of my favorite transparents and get a color map of conversions if you paint in acrylics in my new monthly online class, The Joyful Brush! Click here for the colorful scoop….