Monday, June 3, 2013

Sometimes Life is Pretty Black and White

but I have a tendency to use both colors way too much when it comes to painting.  I have been trying to learn more about color and so I'm really studying the book titled "Color Harmony" by Margaret Kessler.  Ms. Kessler addresses the use of white and black on page 15 where is says that, "If you lighten a color, you reduce its intensity. But, if you do this with tubed white (a cool color) without modifying it with hints of warm color, the result looks chalky" and regarding the use of black or paynes gray to darken a color, Ms Kessler cautions that the result may look boring or unnatural.

Now I do know this and yet this head knowledge sometimes escapes me when I'm in the "Zone" and I'm thoughtlessly dipping my brush too often in both the white and paynes gray.  Repeat after me....Highlights from the sunlight are not really white and shadows cast are not really black or paynes gray.  That is just my lack of understanding of color and letting my preconceived idea of how things appear rather than real observations.

A good example is that of a recent painting I did that I'm calling "Feisty Fowls".  I took the piece to my painting lesson with my friend Lily Adamczyk for a critique and as usual there were a number of corrections that needed to be made and just like homework I took the time to make the suggested changes.

Here is the BEFORE:

Corrections made:
  1.  removed the darkness from their faces. I had used paynes gray...BAD! BAD! BAD! I used burnt sienna and dioxadine purple mixed with the red to give the darker tones to their faces
2.  removed the white...BAD! BAD! BAD! on the edges of the combs and used orange as the highlight instead
3.  brightened the grass with a glazing of thinned yellow green
4.  removed the intersection of the background hills that put the second rooster in the cross hares or bulls-eye.
5.  brightened the stones and squared them up to give them more of the appearance of a stacked stone wall


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