Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Creating a Painting to Match a Room's Decor

September sun fully risen over the Atlantic
     I have not yet planned a landscape painting specifically to match a room's decor. However, I do not necessarily try to duplicate the hues I see in a scene either. Since I sometimes determine a painting's color palette in advance for my own creative reasons, having an "assigned palette" may not be too different. So, when a beloved daughter-in-law asked for a painting to blend with the warm tones of the remodeled master bedroom in their Jacksonville Beach home, I was honored by her request and started planning. The room is painted a rich, warm yellow with bedding that quietly introduces orange and a soft sea-foam green, and Ashley wanted warm tones like orange and yellow to predominate in the painting.
About 15 minutes before sunrise

     So, blue sky and lush green vegetation are out--an Atlantic Coast sunrise is in. Why a sunrise rather than a sunset? Because here in Jacksonville, Florida, the sun rises over the ocean and sets over land. Although I have some nice ocean view photos taken around sunset, they lack rich, warm reflections in the water because the sun is setting behind the viewer over the land. 

Before sunrise looking north, showing morning mist
     Creating this painting does scare me because sunrise and sunset paintings seem quite difficult. They can either be gorgeous or can be so dramatic as to look phony, and I have avoided trying one so far. The other scary part is that this painting will be the largest I have undertaken to this point--in other words, a true learning experience lies ahead. I claim to love learning experiences, right?!?
Before sunrise, looking into heavier mist to the south

     These photos are of a sunrise we saw from a beach house weekend a little south of Jacksonville Beach. I plan to (carefully) intensify the warm colors somewhat, maybe with more clouds and more reflections in the water. A Google search for images of Jacksonville Beach, Florida sunrises has offered some possible modifications of the sunrise I personally saw and photographed. Of course, I would never paint directly from someone else's photos--just gather a few possible ideas to enhance my own original composition. As slowly as I paint (and given that I have a couple of other smaller projects in the works), you may not see the finished painting for a number of months. But I would love your suggestions for meeting the challenges of painting a sunrise. Please share!

     By the way, I know that many artists reject the very idea of creating or choosing a painting in colors to match decor. At home, I personally hang paintings or other wall art that we love, whatever the color scheme; landscapes in particular look fine anywhere in my view. However, I completely understand that many people like to complement or match a room's color scheme and will enjoy giving the challenge a try--especially for our fine son and his wonderful wife.

Question of the day: How do you feel about choosing art works to match the colors of the decor in a room?  



  1. I am a color aficionado so I like the idea! Like you, however, I just hang art that I like, no matter the color scheme!

  2. I like your approach, Sherry--seeing the value in both views on this question. Thanks for coming and commenting, as always.

  3. I am late to the party, but the photos are beautiful and knowing you, the painting will be beautiful. I think if you love a painting it fits in anywhere. I'm sure many people buy a painting to compliment a room. Great challenge that I am sure you are up to. My friend Regina does lots of skies, mostly in pastel. You might want to look them over. http://reginaburchett.com/

  4. Thank you for your interesting comments, Jo, and for the introduction to Regina's work. It's great to hear from you.