Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Seeing colour

Drying cod - work in progress

Artists seem to see colour within forms that many others do not see.  If you've seen a beginner's painting, it often has a solid block of colour making up a form, while an experienced artist's painting shows a number of colours that are used to create the same form.

For me, when I look at an image, I see the overall hue and that is often my foundation colour for that area.  Value changes will make that base colour lighter or darker as it moves across the form.  The colours overlap and intertwine.  They reflect light and hide it.  They try to create a cohesive painting where light and colour direct the viewer's eye and provide interest.

Summer Cove - oil study

Within a colour there are what I call "mini colour wheels".  These are colours that have common hues in them that harmonize with the area that I'm painting.  Often they harmonize with the whole painting.  They are the same area range of colours but more or less saturated depending on the form and light.

If you have ever created colour charts you'll be familiar with the range of hues and values that you can create with your palette or what new additions can create.  Everyone has their personal preference for paints on their palette and mix according to what they need.