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Stepping the Darks

Hi! I recently finished this watercolor of a wedding in Oaxaco, Mexico. It was a delightfully colorful scene. When squinting at the piece, I noticed a strong flag like shape of dark  rolling through the mid-area of the painting separating the subject from the background. I held different values of the background gold color next to the black shape. This created a nice transition and helped bring out the main subject even more – so I boldly painted it. The woman in a red and white striped dress on the right was still so loud, so I diminished the whites reducing the contrast in her dress. The whole painting popped. I call this stepping the darks, as it creates a transition between values.