Friday, November 12, 2021

November 12 Color Temperature: Compared to What?

We've had some fun this week following Jane Blundel around the fascinating world of color mixing, a fitting end to our ten weeks with a definite emphasis on color in general.

I'd like to take one last look at warm and cool colors. Here are some images to consider  for an exercise that involves choosing a limited palette. Begin by selecting two colors, one warm and the other cool. They don't have to belong to the same hue family. For example, you could choose Prussian Blue and  Yellow Ochre. The colors are cool and warm only compared to each other. They have no intrinsic color temperature. 

To make this part easier, choose colors that are distinctly warm and cool when compared to each other. If it's hard to see the difference, use compliments.

 In  the picture above, let's say you chose to work with blue green and yellow orange.

Ask yourself , "What is the warmest thing in the scene?" The yellow curb? OK That's where you should use your warm color in its purest form. 

What is the coolest part of the image? The sky? I agree. Use the purest form of the color you chose to be cool for the sky. Everything in between your warmest and your coolest will be a mixture of warm and cool.  Got it? Good. Now read it again,  No hurry

Have Fun!


Saturday, November 6, 2021

November fifth Triad Playtime

This week we'll experiment with limiting our palettes by selecting only 3 colors, the primaries; red, yellow, and blue. You'll need one of each to make a triad, such as Ultramarine for the blue, Raw Sienna for the yellow and Burnt Sienna for the red. Any way you want to combine your colors is ok, as long as you only use the three colors you start with. The idea is to duplicate the colors in the photo as closely as you can. If your color keeps coming out wrong you may have to change one of the colors in your triad and start over.

Many realist artists, including Sargent,  Zorn and Wyeth used limited palettes all the time, and most of the rest of us have explored the process now and then to take advantage of the cohesiveness the technique provides. I'll post a couple of images to choose from, but feel welcome to use one of your own.

The palette I'm using in this example was one Sargent favored. The color choices would make a pretty good version of this photo, though he would have gotten stuck on that sky. It changes color as we go from left to right. What would you do? Try it and see what happens. 

The image below looks challenging. Do you think you'l need a red?


Here, to make that purple light below the bell tower on the right you might need two colors only. Hmmm.

Can you see why you will definitely need a piece of practice paper? Depending on the triad you choose it may not be possible to make all the colors in the image. It's best to see that before you get too far in a painting. If your triad can't make an accurate version of the image you'll have to go back to the beginning 
and switch to a different set of primaries. Or just get as close as you can and accept the result. You'll still see the cohesiveness we're after.