One might ask: Can we do something about this color change? Is it
possible to return the leaves to a green hue during the retouching stage
Retouching is commonly used to visually integrate damages into the
surrounding composition using a paint medium that will be easily
removable in the future. Typically, it is applied just over
damage to avoid covering the artist's own brushwork. In this case, it
would involve glazing over the bluish leaves with a thin, translucent
yellow color which would allow Haverman's brushwork to remain visible,
while shifting the underlying color from blue to green.
Actually, we carefully considered this approach—in fact, I even tried
it out on the poppy leaf in the lower left—but in the end, we decided
simply to leave the blue color as is. Haverman composed each leaf with a
variety of greens: some warmer, some cooler, and some more deeply
saturated than others. Trying to emulate each would require too much
guesswork, even with the information from our in-depth scientific study.
Instead, a digital reconstruction of the painting is currently
underway, which will use the data we collected to present a close
approximation of the painting's original appearance. For the actual
painting, Haverman's own brushwork will speak for itself. Our study and
treatment of this painting ultimately proved successful, and I am
thrilled to have played a small part in highlighting this superbly
gifted painter's career and honoring her legacy.
To read the full blog post and see all of the accompanying illustrations, click here.