Colour Notes – 10 Minutes To Better Painting – Episode 7

Colour Notes – 10 Minutes To Better Painting – Episode 7


break out your pocket watch and your paintbrushes it’s time for episode 7 of 10 minutes to better painting I am your dubiously credentialed host Marco Buchi let’s dig right in writer Hunter s Thompson said life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously this episode is about color notes which falls under the category of taste it can be difficult to craft a lesson around taste but bear with me here’s some work by Richard Schmid a painter known for expressive color look at any of these paintings up close and you’ll find that the objects are made of not flat colors but a whole array of color color notes can help your paintings gain an extra layer of life as is so often the case with art’s life comes through variety let’s see if you agree here’s the original painting and here’s a version where the color notes have been removed there’s nothing wrong with either of these but if you ask me the color notes help elevate a picture to painterly Heights these colors just have an attraction to each other like positively charged ions negatively charged ions I should have done research on ions forget the ions the idea is you start with a flat color and you introduce variations on it keeping your values close and your edges soft helps the effect stay together if I tried it with hard edges and contrast e-values it doesn’t look so good also by allowing the original color to dominate we can still tell what local color the object is alright let’s investigate some of the actual mechanics behind these color notes here’s a sampling of the original yellowy greenish base color and here’s a note of purple now to get from one color to the other using the hue strip I have to slide from here all the way up to here that makes it appear that there’s this huge chasm between the two colors and you might be timid about making such a big move but actually the distance between these two colors is not that great in Episode five I talked about how color harmony can be based on grays and color notes directly applies this theory our first color was here our second color was here if we completely decide traded both of those the resulting color is identical even though there are two different hues so allow me to offer you a different way of looking at the color space we have our two colors and let’s flip one of these boxes around in this configuration we can join them and now through the gray we can link any two colors we want but before you get all excited there are still some questions that need answers for example how can we keep these color notes organized just how far can you stretch this whole gray thing how can you trust your own taste enough to know what looks right you know like what matters and what doesn’t this is where I need a good analogy yep no not ions oh I know I went wine-tasting in France this year and my wine educator taught me that the drinking was step three of a three-step process the drinking is where you apply your tastes there’s no right or wrong you just go with your fancy and you like what you like that applies to color notes as well but to inform your whims the first two steps were all about gathering context for instance the color and opacity of the wine can give you clues as to its structure like its approximate age the type of grape you know useful information to have if you’re serious about wine in painting its values that give you your structure notice that most of those color changes are just not evident in a value study don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a variety of color means changing your values sporadically no it’s a simple value structure that gives you the leeway to be more playful with color and as you can see Richard Schmid in grayscale agrees ok back to our list here which I have updated for our purposes the next step was smelling the wine this is when you start to gather information about little flavors it might have I feel like this is similar to the overall temperature of a light source here are some common light sources on the degrees Kelvin scale but you know forget about degrees Kelvin what matters is that different light sources give you different starting points from which to explore color for example in the context of sunset light your starting point might be way over here but you aren’t just stuck in that one spot you’re free to do little hue shifts to neighboring colors and when you do these little neighboring moves I find you often keep a similar saturation you could also venture toward the gray pickup a few color notes as you do and pop out into the blues these grays by themselves are a little coolish for sunset but because they’re linked to those initial warms they can really work as accent notes however if you were to forsake that connection and venture too far your painting will look less like color notes and more like a color cacophony a more neutral light source will have a more neutral starting point perhaps allowing this kind of exploration so armed with context we can finally indulge in the wine any volunteers to do the drinking look everyone the interns back hey no hard feelings from that last episode we’re cool right okay well drink up buddy while the intern is drinking delicious wine let’s look at the delicious notes in this Zhou Ming Wu sunset painting the sunset colors are rooted in saturated reds and equally saturated neighboring colors a little further back he moves toward the gray exploring notes in this range and in the very back he continues that trajectory finding gray notes that work in context with the warms up front the shadows received their illumination from the environments ambient light and the color notes here follow a similar path only in a totally different area of the color wheel color notes can come in endless combinations so it’s up to you to explore and find what suits your taste and just remember if you ever get stuck you can always go back to steps 1 & 2 check your context make sure you haven’t gone overboard oh my god the interns wasted this is not good just get off the screen wait a second hang on there intern okay stumble around again stumbling is another way to find color notes so long as your context is well understood you’re stumbling will be contained and all kinds of color relationships can happen this way who would have known that being impaired could possibly help art I should have seen that coming well switch to water everyone because we’re headed to part two let’s do a little color study of part of that richard Schmid painting my intention here is not to do an exact copy rather put my focus on building similar color notes I’m starting of course with a basic value pattern not thinking about color just yet the structure needs to be there before I can build on it so here I’m just tinting the canvas to give me something to work out of the main light source in this painting is a cool overcast so tinting the canvas slightly warm will help some of those neutral cools punch out just a bit more but it’s not just cool colors I’m playing with you can see some neutral oranges neutral pinks even some neutral Reds there now this is kind of a rapid-fire stage I’m just throwing colors on there and exploring not taking any choice too seriously yet I need to audition the colors before I can make any decisions the value is what ensures that the form stays solid then when it comes to the color notes I have to just use my taste do I like a certain passage or do I not now contextually because the light is coolish i and richard Schmid are favoring cooler notes in the light you can see as I get into some shadow areas now I’ll switch to favoring warmer notes in fact one of the things I love about the Schmid painting is that some of the neutral warm color notes in the light for instance some of those neutral oranges those same hues are brought into the shadow only they get a little warmer more saturation it’s an interesting way of carrying a color note from light to shadow in this case and as a results you gain an extra layer of structure a subliminal sense that there’s a method to the madness which in my opinion is always nice there’s also these tasty saturated notes of blue in the light and equally saturated notes of red in the shadow they’re used sparingly enough that it doesn’t look like the wall is blue or red to me they read as accent notes and really are abstract color choices meaning they’re not related to the fact that is a house the physical subject ceases to matter past a certain point those saturated blue and red color notes are related more to the overall color design of this painting there’s just something pleasing about how they magnify the more neutral versions of themselves now I just like to say that there are other factors that can contribute to color notes things I didn’t cover in this video like the physical texture of something atmospheric perspective color is such a deep subject and this lesson is certainly not meant to be the end of it but I have found that for me it’s the quality of the light more than any other physical phenomena that drives most of your color decisions so anyway I’m at a stage now where everything is in and I’m consolidating my color choices colors I don’t think fit I will just paint right over them or maybe an area has too many color notes so I’ll smooth it out a bit this process can take hours as every little area is connected to every other area so I’ll stop right here you know I used to look at good painters palettes and think man what a mess but now I know what we’re really looking at here is a map a map that charts the color notes in the painting but these maps don’t look technical or intimidating to me they look fun I often look to the painter’s palette as evidence of the sheer joy that can come with mixing color you know you can explore all these different color notes before committing to them now digital painting removes the necessity for having a physical palette like this so if you’re a digital painter who’s never tried mixing traditional pigment I say give it a shot you might be pleasantly surprised at how it can nurture a love for color well that’s it for today and I’m she’s how much wine did you drink I’ll call you a cab just give me your address okay is there someone who can come and pick you up this is not where I saw this lesson going [Music]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *