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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Color, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 500
1. Waterfall and Campfire

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2. The Jungle

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3. Heather McHugh for the Seattle Review of Books

Seattle poet Heather McHugh for the Seattle Review of Books.

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4. Nancy Rawles for the Seattle Review of Books

Seattle Author Nancy Rawles for The Seattle Review of Books.

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5. Sonny Lieu for Seattle Review of Books

A portrait of Sonny Liew for The Seattle Review of Books.

 

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6. Harold Speed Discusses Color and Taste

Welcome to the GJ Book Club. Today we'll cover pages 192-216 of the chapter on "Tone and Colour Design," from Harold Speed's 1924 art instruction book Oil Painting Techniques and Materials.

I'll present Speed's main points in boldface type either verbatim or paraphrased, followed by my comments. If you want to add a comment, please use the numbered points to refer to the relevant section of the chapter.

Veronese—Allegory of Love: Infidelity
1. Veronese analysis
Speed does a diagrammatic analysis of the painting, and notes the large arc formed by the woman's arms and shoulders.

2. Warm and Cool Color
Speed groups the following as cool colors: lemon yellow, green, greenish blue and full blue.
Warm colors include orange yellow, orange, orange red and full red. Purple is on the dividing line.

3. If the colors are very vivid and violent they will tend to make their complementary colors tell in the picture.
Harmony and contrast are not always in agreement. More of one quality makes for less of the other.

4. When the color introduced is of a quieter order, those similar to it in the other parts of the picture sing up in sympathy.
For example, a blue note will bring out all the cool colors.

Seago --Thames Embankment
5. The picture that has a prevailing unity of hue, but is full of color varieties subtly introduced in the tones is one of the most beautiful of schemes.
With all the coal smoke in Speed's day, London subjects were often gray days, mostly monochromatic schemes with subtle color—He advises not to overdo it trying to make a pretty picture. Important to get the sober feeling. The prevailing hue must never be of a very pronounced color, but always in the more neutral range.

6. The selection of too many varieties of colour masses should be avoided....A lavish display is apt to be vulgar. 

Giampietrino Last Supper ca. 1520 after Leonardo
7. Copy of Leonardo's Last Supper. Strong color notes of red and blue brought together in the figure of Christ. 

8. Arrange masses of color so that warm colors are grouped together and cold colors together.
Kind of like shape welding using color temperature instead of value. 

9. "Whenever any composition device becomes too obvious, one's sympathy is alienated."
Speed cautions against making the contrasts too violent, and leaves that for the poster designer.

10. Begin planning your color scheme with the broad idea and let the varieties be added to this large intention.

11. White masses always need very careful designing, as they catch the eye. 

Harold Speed -- The Alcantara, Toledo
12. Toledo bridge. Painted in monochrome, allowed to dry, with color added later. 

Sargent Wyndham sisters.
13. Grouping multiple white masses into a larger mass.
White needs careful observing. Beware of harsh chalky whites.

14. When painting outdoors, it's easier to get the overall color impression, but when painting from imagination, it's harder to invent a convincing color statement.
Beware of using blue too much as a unifier.

15. Good exercise: Start with a black and white reproduction and invent various color schemes consistent with those tonal values.

16. Two sources of inspiration: the study of nature and the study of the best art of all times.
These are also the keys to freeing oneself from the fashion of the moment, says Speed.

17. Page 211. "What a better world we might have if real experts were allowed to control the formation of our habits, and were consulted by those in authority when anything demanding taste came up for discussion."
Speed goes on a rant here. He argues that ordinary people end up preferring art of lower standards merely from habit, because they're not exposed to finer things. His appeal for a cultural elite must have seemed like a reasonable bastion against the artistic excesses of his time, but I don't think such a top-down program would work in free countries, particularly given the penchant for artists to defy authority. 

Today the aesthetic standards are largely defined by commerce. In the USA art lives or dies in the marketplace, with art that sells for higher prices or movies that make big box office results being justified on those terms.

However, the Internet has fostered the growth of a citizen band of book critics, movie commentators, and teachers of form and style. And the Internet has also introduced crowd-sourcing as a new model of funding and distribution. This crowd-sourced check-valve on the arts has changed how and why creators do what they do. I wonder what Speed would have thought of it.

18. Art takes patience to appreciate. 
Speed says, "The mind only opens to the reception of ideas and experiences that are beyond one's present capacity." He says that art takes patience and reverence to really appreciate. He tells the story of the young museum-goer asking him to explain the merits of an old master to him. Speed advocates spending time with older painters and "getting past the brown varnish" to understand its retiring qualities.

19. Beware the "one better" type.
He might be referring to Cubists and Fauvists, and he makes specific reference to poster designers, all artists in his opinion who strive for effect by making extreme statements. Speed is always a voice for restraint, reserve, and balance.


Next week—We'll continue with Materials on page 217.
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In its original edition, the book is called "The Science and Practice of Oil Painting." Unfortunately it's not available in a free edition, but there's an inexpensive print edition that Dover publishes under a different title "Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (with a Sargent cover)," and there's also a Kindle edition.
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7. Lens Flare for Painters

Whether you call it lens flare (what happens in a camera when you look at the sun) or color corona (a similar phenomenon that happens in your eye), it's a powerful effect that's popular in photography and video these days, but it's also something that has fascinated painters for a long time.

Peder Mønsted, A Winter's Day
The painting above was done in 1918, before color photography would have been in common use, so it's almost surely based on the effect that you can observe with your eyes. However, I don't recommend looking directly at the sun, which can damage your eyes.

The effect comes from light scattered by water vapor and dust in the air between you and the sun. The light is further scattered by your eyelashes when you squint, and then by the aqueous humor and vitreous fluid of the eye. The effect is best observed when you glimpse a setting sun through trees or when you see a streetlight at night.

Try squinting hard at a streetlight and tilting your head to see how the rays tilt with you. Also, try walking through the forest where the sun is mostly blocked by branches and glance up toward the sun as you walk to see how the corona comes and goes.

Giuseppe Pellizza (Italian, 1868-1907) Volpedo, The Sun, 1904
Both Mønsted and Pellizza show the corona with lines radiating from the sun. They also observe a shift from yellow into red. Pellizza breaks the effect into particles of varied color. Note how simply and softly he paints the foreground areas.



Lens flare is easy for digital artists to add, and a little harder for physical painters, depending on the technique. As a photographic effect, it has origins in camera optics. Its artistic use—and overuse—in film, television, and photography is well explained in this Vox video (link to YouTube). Thanks, Dan.
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Related GurneyJourney posts:
Color Corona
How to Get a Feeling of Misty Light
Practical Lights
Light Spill

More of this kind of stuff in my book Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter

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8. Mal De Fleur for Seattle Review of Books

Mal De Fleur for Seattle Review of Books

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9. Illustrator Submission :: Lotta Nieminen

Post by Chloe

Lotta-Nieminen_Walk_03
Lotta-Nieminen_VanityFair_01

lottanieminen_lemonde-01

lottanieminen_heraldtribune-01

Lotta Nieminen’s illustrations are packed with detail, colour and narrative. The bold vector shapes combined with subtle texture and an atmospheric colour-scheme is what really brings this work to life. Lotta Nieminen’s talent doesn’t stop at illustration either. She is also a graphic designer and art director who runs her own studio based in New York.

If you would like to see more of Lotta Nieminen’s work please visit her portfolio.

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10. Nancy Pearl for Seattle Review of Books

Each week I feature a different author portrait in this Seattle Review of Books column "Portrait Gallery."

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11. Harold Speed Chapter 8: Colour

Today we'll take a look at Chapter 7: "Colour" from Harold Speed's 1924 art instruction book Oil Painting Techniques and Materials.

I'll present Speed's main points in boldface type either verbatim or paraphrased, followed by comments of my own. If you want to add a comment, please use the numbered points to refer to the relevant section of the chapter.

Speed divides three approaches to color. They're not necessarily listed in evolutionary order, with a sense of progress toward perfection. Speed acknowledges the beauty of each kind of color, similar to the way that the smaller orchestras of earlier music produced sonorities as valid as the big orchestras of later composers.


1. Primitive colouring
"Consists in simply filling in the boundaries of objects and background with their local colour and expressing the internal forms by the introduction of a little shading." No cast shadows, no colore light. Examples: most Asian artwork, plus Giotto and Fra Angelico up to Botticelli in Europe.
Advantages: clarity of expression.


2. The Brown School
Introduction of light and shade, 3D form. The brown tone is a convention that unifies the otherwise jarring contrasts. Joshua Reynolds (above) states that shadows should be brown color. I've heard this referred to as "brown soup."

The breakthroughs of the 19th century Impressionists were anticipated decades or even centuries earlier by other artists such as Velazquez and Vermeer. In the case of Velazquez, the colors are fairly quiet and neutral, and it's the tone and edges that contribute to the sense of unified vision.


3. Impressionist School
This is an outgrowth of the science of the nineteenth century. One of the key ideas is the dissociation of apparent color from the local color of surfaces.

Another set of ideas had to do with the science of vision, and the recognition that color is a phenomenon of perception as much as it is something external. Goethe was a pioneer in this.

Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, 1836 (Dusseldorf School)

In the realm of landscape, I would also add that early outdoor painters in Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, England, and America preceded many of the color innovations of the more famous French Impressionists.

Painting by Harold Speed
4. Importance of consistency
Speed points out the problem of putting a figure that is lit with indoor studio light into an outdoor background setting. (I don't have a good example of this offhand....any suggestions?)

Childe Hassam
5. Elimination of black from the palette. 
This is a topic that I've discussed in a previous series:
Part 2: Mixing your own black
Part 3: Using black in a painting
Part 4: Is Black a color?

Speed's coverage of it is nuanced, warning of the dangers of the "fruit salad" coloring, but also reminding us of the power of darkness and shadow, which was sometimes lost in impressionist coloring.

Next week—Chapter 8: Colour: Practical
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In its original edition, the book is called "The Science and Practice of Oil Painting." Unfortunately it's not available in a free edition, but there's an inexpensive print edition that Dover publishes under a different title "Oil Painting Techniques and Materials," and there's also a Kindle edition.
Get my book "Color and Light" signed from my website or from Amazon.
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GurneyJourney on Pinterest
JamesGurney Art on Instagram
@GurneyJourney on Twitter

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12. Neon Window Light


The red neon sign in the left window says "OPEN." 


If I were to paint the tubes of the neon sign with bright red paint, it would be too dark in value. So I keep the sign very light in value and paint the effect of the red light on the regions around it. Note how the red light floods the window frame and the back of the guy's head. 

When a light source is both high in value and strong in chroma, one strategy to capture it is to focus on the effect of the light, not on the light itself.


I'm using an ultra-limited palette of gouache: brilliant purple, flame red, raw umber, and white in a Pentalic watercolor sketchbook

Yes, I've been known to accidentally dip my brush in the coffee. 
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Earlier discussion on the blog in the post "Practical Lights"

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13. Ru Freeman for Seattle Review of Books

Each week I feature a different author portrait in this Seattle Review of Books column "Portrait Gallery."

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14. Monkey Mod! Fan Art

After seeing some fan art in a comic book, I decide to do some of my own of the Kevin Cross' character Monkey Mod.

via Studio Bowes Art Blog at http://ift.tt/1OxCYr0

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15. Nichelle Nichols for Seattle Review of Books

Each week I feature a different author portrait in this Seattle Review of Books column "Portrait Gallery."

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16. Ivar Haglund for Seattle Review of Books

This week's portrait for the Seattle Review of Books is of Seattle icon Ivar Haglund. 

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17. Harold Speed, Painting from the Life: Part 1

Today we'll start Chapter 9: "Painting from the Life" from Harold Speed's 1924 art instruction book Oil Painting Techniques and Materials.

I'll present Speed's main points in boldface type either verbatim or paraphrased, followed by comments of my own. If you want to add a comment, please use the numbered points to refer to the relevant section of the chapter.

The chapter on "Painting from The Life" takes up a major part of the book, so let's break it down into parts, starting with the introduction and Painting from the life in two colors.


1. "Painting from the antique [plaster casts] is now much out of fashion."
Fortunately it's not out of fashion any more, and is very much a part of the curriculum of modern academic ateliers.

2. Why it's good to paint from casts before painting from a live model.
Speed explains why painting from plaster casts is a good idea. Skin has a lot of variation in local color. This variation has to be considered in addition to the modeling. Also, hair also doesn't follow the normal principles of modeling. I would add that if the light is placed too near the model, there's a variation in value intensity that also must be considered.


3. "Keep your work as large and simple in treatment as possible."
 This is consistent with Speed's advice throughout: State the broad masses with a big brush first and save the nuances for later.

4. "Reflected lights in the shadows are what give the luminous quality to them, without which they are heavy and opaque."
Speed explains how reflected light usually comes from the direction opposite to the light, making the darkest part of the shadow (often called the "core" of the shadow), just beyond the terminator. This isn't always true, however. If there are sources of reflection or secondary fill lights near the viewer, the core won't be apparent. It's often an artistic choice whether to include it. The core of the shadow is also generally not apparent with indirect, diffused, or overcast light.

5. Painting from the life in two colors.
Speed suggests using blue-black for the cool color. You can mix such a blue-black by mixing some French ultramarine deep with ivory black. On the warm side, you can use Venetian red or burnt sienna. As Speed says, the relationship of warm and cool colors is one of the most important features to watch in flesh painting, or for that matter, any painting.


6. The advantages of painting with limited palettes
"In training oneself, the thing to aim at is taking the difficulties one at a time, and concentrating the whole attention on them....Muddling along with a full palette, and the whole difficulties of painting presented at once, which is the common method, is asking for trouble."

Using limited palettes is like living within a strict financial budget, where you're forced to account for every expense. It forces the painter to get the most out of the limited resources, and encourages clean handling.

"Fine coloring usually results from a simple palette the range of which has been fully used. You are forced, by starting with two colors, to find the utmost that can be obtained with them." Later when you use a full palette, you won't be seduced into using too many bright colors.

7. "In flesh, seen under an ordinary indoor aspect, the half-tones are usually the coolest colors, the warm being in the shadows and to a lesser degree in the lights."
I'm always a little skeptical about such hard and fast rules, but this is a good one to think about and experiment with. The Bouguereau detail at left shows a very nice distribution of warm and cool colors, with slightly cool halftones and warm colors in the shadow and the forms and hollows of the form. I suspect that subsurface scattering and the peculiar qualities of how skin reflects light may be a part of this principle.


Next week—Chapter 9, "Painting from the Life," continued.
-----
In its original edition, the book is called "The Science and Practice of Oil Painting." Unfortunately it's not available in a free edition, but there's an inexpensive print edition that Dover publishes under a different title "Oil Painting Techniques and Materials (with a Sargent cover)," and there's also a Kindle edition.

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18. Portrait: Dayne & Minka

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19. A cloudy contemplation

Here's a recent commissioned piece. The simple brief: a landscape of hope, meditation, emergence.

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20. Judy Blume for Seattle Review of Books

This week's portrait for the Seattle Review of Books is Judy Blume. 

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21. karolin schnoor

VA1 dove texturedladies4 fashionsketch workshop1 babushkadollkit1

karolin schnoor is a German freelance Illustrator and designer, who uses screen printing as an integral part of her illustration practice. Inspired by a love of colour and pattern her illustrations can be found in magazines, stationary, calendars and mugs with a vast array of products to purchase in her Etsy shop. Some of her clients include; Harper Collins, Creative Review and The New York Times.

To see more from this artist visit her website.

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22. Color Charts Through History

For centuries artists have explored ways to map the universe of color. Each kind of chart reflects a different conception of color. Here are a few examples, from a selection by The Public Domain Review


"A chart from 1746 by Jacques-Fabien Gautier illustrating his theory that the primary colours
are black and white, with red, yellow, and blue being secondary. Colours were thought
to be drawn out of the shadows by the presence of light – Source."

"Philipp Otto Runge’s Farbenkugel (1810). The top two images show the surface
of the sphere, while the bottom two show horizontal and vertical cross sections –Source." 
"Johann Heinrich Lambert’s three-dimensional adaptation of
Tobias Mayer’s triangle, featured in his Beschreibung einer mit
dem Calauschen Wachse ausgemalten Farbenpyramide
(1772) – Source."

"Page from Priced catalogue of artists’ materials : supplies for
oil painting, water color painting, china painting … and
drawing materials for architects and engineers, manual
training schools and colleges (1914) – Source."
Captions quoted from: The Public Domain Review. See more at their post Color Wheel Charts and Tables Through History
More about color systems in my book: Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter

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23. New Blue Pigment Discovered


A new non-toxic, inorganic blue pigment has been discovered by accident by chemists in Oregon. They were experimenting with electronics materials that they mixed with manganese oxide and heated them to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, when a batch suddenly turned a brilliant blue. 
"The new pigment is formed by a unique crystal structure that allows the manganese ions to absorb red and green wavelengths of light, while only reflecting blue. The vibrant blue is so durable, and its compounds are so stable – even in oil and water – that the color does not fade. These characteristics make the new pigment versatile for a variety of commercial products."
 Read the rest

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24. Value Stepping for Depth

Das Geroldsauer Tal bei Baden-Baden
by 
Johann Wilhelm Schirmer (1807–1863) 
This painting by Johann Wilhelm Schirmer uses value stepping to achieve depth and atmosphere.


In the foreground there's a full range of values used to model the foliage. The leaves and branches are painted individually, with considerable variation of value.  


In the middle distance, all foliage is divided into masses of light and shadow, with the shadow rising to the mid-range. The warm greens in the light side are grayed down as the distance increases. Shadows get cooler as you go back, and detail in the shadow is greatly reduced. 


In the far distance the values step back even further. Light and dark values become very close. In the last range of hills, they merge into a single tone just a shade darker than the sky color.

When painting landscapes in oil, it helps to mix batches of each of these value steps on the palette and make sure they progress evenly.
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There's also a double gradation going on in the sky. More on Sky Gradations on a previous GurneyJourney post
and more of this kind of stuff in my book Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter


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25. Treading Water

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