Keith Pfeiffer, Kitchen, oil on 12×12″ panel, 2020 (sold) I met Keith Pfeiffer when he took my recent Thursday class “Drawing and Painting the Effects of Light.” I love the paintings he made with the ideas presented in class. I spotted this painting on his Instagram page during the class. I asked him what his strategies were. This is a teacherly way of saying “How the heck did you do that so good?!?” Keith complimented my class by quoting the lessons back to me. Here is how he got that window view to glow: Detail of Keith Pfeiffer’s “Kitchen” “I focused on complimentary colors and chroma* contrast. I really liked how even though it was brighter inside, the outside seemed to glow more so I knew I couldn’t get that effect with value alone. I made the kitchen have a yellow orange hue but I wanted the complementary color scheme to be a little subtle, so I made the kitchen very fairly low chroma with subtle hue shifts throughout to give vibrancy to the otherwise flat walls. What eventually really made it glow was the blue hue shift on the sink. It’s still roughly the same value as the rest of the counter but it still showed that the outside was effecting the inside. The glow also got a lot more punch once I added small shapes of dark values throughout what was a pretty flat (honestly boring) painting, such as the window frame, sink, cabinet edges, most importantly the really high chroma dark trees outside (thank you Phthalo Blue). Also adding the reflection of the light bulb on the window frame made an interesting area where two opposing light sources fought over who gets to glow.” Detail of Keith Pfeiffer’s “Kitchen” “Also also also, that blue glow on the wall on the right side was probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever painted haha. I’m still not convinced it looks right.” *In the class, the word “chroma” was used to refer to color intensity. High chroma colors are bright saturated colors. Low chroma colors are dull neutrals. When Keith says there was chroma contrast, he means he put a bright saturated color next to dull neutral colors in its complement. These two strategies have the fantastic effect of producing glow, without using value – the glow effect was not produced by putting darks with a light. You can see the same painting with the color saturation removed completely below, to see how the glow effect disappears. Keith Pfeiffer’s painting, with the color removed If you find this anywhere near as interesting as I do, you have two options this quarter: take a class with me, or take a class with Keith. Classes start this week, so you have a matter of hours to make your decision. Hope to see you soon! Upcoming classes with Ruthie V. – Abstracting the Image starts Thursday! Upcoming classes with Keith Pfeiffer – Digital Painting starts Wednesday! Detail of Keith Pfeiffer’s “Kitchen” The Seattle Artist League. We are your window to glowing success. Yup.