Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Seduction of Color

This blog is about values-lights and darks and how they affect the structure of a painting. To get depth, contrasts, thus excitement in a painting in working with color, beginning artists get tricked into the beautiful colors. I teach them to stay in the value structure- lights and darks of a painting, starting with darks then moving into lights. With such beautiful color as above, taken during my class last week, it is very easy to become seduced by such rich variety of color, as in the picture above left. The mature artist knows they must first grasp the values or notan ( a Japonese term meaning light and dark harmony) structure as my friend Barry from Virtual Art Academy would say. This notan understands the darks and lights and how they interweave to form an interesting pattern (or not as the subject would display). On the black and white photo on the right, notice the light coming down from middle, then lightly touching the rose in the middle. Nice shadow in front of the vase. Now if this pattern isn't pleasing, adjust the notan, perhaps by darking the rose, the background, or vase, etc. The rich, beautiful color afforded in the still life is a no brainer--beautiful rich variety but the studious artist must hold back, do a value study or take a black and white photo.
Note a new workshop is at Folsom Art Association in 'October 14-16, 2010. Sign up now. One last note is interplay between warm and cools. Does this have a good balance? I think it does, although I might purposefully grey down some of the warm temperature in the background, maybe add a light blue or grey blue to tie into the Vase in the middle. More on warms and cools later. Just saw the impressionists museum last thursday in SF at the De Young museuem--fantastic show, try and see it.

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