Saturday, March 23, 2013

Like a Mad Scientist...Experimenting With Color

Yesterday, I started blogging about a book I was reading written by Margaret Kessler titled "Color Harmony".  I didn't make it off page 15 because there was such good information that I need to spend time  soaking it all in.  I underlined a statement under the subtitle -Increasing Intensity.  Kessler states, "To brighten a dull or tinted color, add a warm color to the mixture."  This is a bit more complicated than that because we all leaned in elementary art class that  if you add primary colors together we get a neutral color.  Not what we want here so she warns that it is important that we understand the proportions of primary color that each color contains.  The natural thought is if you want to brighten a color that you would add white and to darken you would add black.  This isn't  always a correct assumption.  Adding white to a color will often cause the color to be washed out and to look chalky. I will sometimes counteract that by adding some Naples Yellow to the color so that I don't loose the brightness.

 Adding black does darken but can look unnatural according to Kessler.  Payne's gray can darken a color but can also make the color seem boring.  I've decided to remind myself of this fact by only putting the smallest amount of Payne's gray on my palette when I lay out my colors because my natural instinct is to dip my brush in that color when it would be better for me to use dioxidine purple or ultramarine blue for my shadow colors.

Adding the complement of the color can mute and darken the color.  Adding a warm color can brighten or intensify the color. There is a great deal of information shared just on this one page and I know that it is time to pretend that I'm a mad scientist and cook up some color experiments of my own.  I think I just might take a large canvas and just section it off and do a color study this weekend.  Maybe I will just come out with some "Popping" creations and learn something in the process!

Here is my son, Dr. Jared Townsend-a for real scientist

Here Jared is conducting an experiment but I don't think he looks too mad.

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