The Value of Color
In this painting, I really wanted to push the mossy, tree covered steps leading up to the shrine and contrast them with the brightly lit building. The gate, though strong and red, feels secondary to the entrance receding into the blue darkness behind the statue. I always like to push colors, but I think it’s especially important to use colors and contrasts to lead the viewer’s eyes through the painting. If I had allowed the shadows in the building to fall away into a duller dark, I think the gate would have become entirely the focus and the place where the eyes would not only rest, but be caught and held. Now we go directly to the strong blue in the center of the painting, then wander over to the gate, follow it down through the foreground steps and tree, and back to the entrance.