Now we’ll have a talk about tones.
Tones can be very confusing But I’ve simplified it.
I’ve simplified it down to let’s just think about three colors, red, blue and yellow.
And by the way, many times when I’m looking at crimson, I call it red and burnt sienna,
I call it red because they’re the reds in our landscape.
Often a yellow will be yellow, I call raw sienna yellow also because that’s the yellows
in our landscape. And the blues are all blue.
Now, let’s kid we’re making a landscape with some little trees.
We’ll have some mountains, lovely mountains, there’s the mountains, okay.
And here we are, that’s our eye level, not that it matters.
And here we are standing here and we are big, okay that’s us.
ok. Now between there and us there is a lot of
air. And as the colors go through the air, they
get to here or here or here or right down here say, they all mute into the same color
here. ON A NORMAL DAY THAT COLOR CAN’T BE ANYTHING
BUT GREY. Because red and blue and yellow mixed together
make grey. It might be a brown grey or a red grey or
a blue grey or a green grey or a purple grey but it is grey.
And that’s the color there. Often it looks very blue.
So here we have a bright red and a bright blue and a bright yellow.
When you get there they’re all grey, so when you get half way between here and there, they
still cannot be this bright red. They are ‘red grey’ ‘blue grey’ and ‘yellw
grey’. They are not the same color as what is here.
If you want to paint your landscapes successfully you must not put this color halfway between
you and the mountains. That’s all there is to it.
If you want to paint successful landscapes we exaggerate the perspective and exaggerate
the tones to make things look further away. So the more color, the more red or the more
green or the more yellow you add to this middle color, you are lessening the perspective or
the three dimensional look of your painting. So try to find a happy medium where it doesn’t
look too pale and it doesn’t look too bright, but it looks just right.
Now! here is a bright green leaf, right in front of you.
These colors are bright green when they’re right in front of your face.
When they move away from you they’ll end up the same color as down here, they’ll end up
grey blue. Very pale, possibly the same color as the
sky. When they’re half way, they’re not green any
more. So, we might use a green up here that holds
a lot of this color. But down here it holds just a little tiny
bit, it fades very quickly. When it’s close to you it’s very green, okay
that’s obvious. When it gets to there it’s not so green, that’s
halfway between you and the mountain. When it gets to the mountains it’s pale grey
or it’s the same blue as the sky. When it’s here, when it’s close to you, it’s
reflecting all the lights. There might be a yellow flower next to here,
this leaf will also have yellow in it because the light is reflected onto here.
But when it gets down here, halfway between you and the mountain, all those reflected
lights have gone. It’s just one dull boring color, and that’s
is, the color can change. Okay! so it should be obvious now to you that
dark greens are here, pale greys are here and a grey there with a little bit of the
dark green is halfway between you and the mountain.
It goes away from you like that. Now there is other things involved, there’s
different times of day, morning noon and night. Often people say ultramarine blue in the morning,
cobalt blue in the middle of the day and Prussian blue at night.
Okay, that’s a good enough rule. In the middle of the day you might have cadmium yellow and
cadmium red. And at night time you might have lemon yellow
and crimson and in the morning you might have vermillion which is almost orange and um – chrome
yellow or something like that. But the thing is, when your mixing your colors
between there and there you should use all the same colors.
If this comes through here and you’ve got a bit of a red day , you’ve got a bit of the
red here and the red coming through here, and there’s a bit of a red here.
You don’t pick up a purple and paint your trees here, unless you’re painting ornamental
pictures. If you’re painting ornamental pictures you
can put whatever you like in them. But if you want to paint landscapes properly
you need to use what is called a limited palette. And the limited palette is, you make your
mind up what color it is going to be, cobalt blue, Prussian blue or ultramarine blue.
And you use those colors right through your painting.
So if you use viridian green, you use this green here, you do need a tint of it right
back here near the mountains. It’s no good just stopping the viridian green
there, you do need it right through everything as it comes towards you, as the trees come
towards you. You need these tones so the whole picture has the same tones all the way through
it. You can’t stop have way and have a different
tone there. I know we do it, we do it all the time, it looks terrific, but it’s not
the way to do it. Okay, you’ve got a cobalt blue day. Use cobalt
blue right through to here. You can use phthalo blue in your sky because
phthalo blue and cobalt blue are so much similar it doesn’t make any difference.
So we work on what is called a limited palette and your limited palette will have your red
your blue your yellow. You put them together and you need a color
like the soil and of corse if there is a purple tree there you might need some purple to go
in there. But your tones are all made out of those colors
right through here. When we get to here you need to get your yellow down to a very musty
looking grey yellow. That’s why we use raw sienna, it’s so much
easier. So, burnt sienna for the ground at your feet, raw sienna for the yellow when
it gets that far and all the other colors are the same and viridian it is for these,