You are on page 1of 2

How have Barbara Irvine in Dragon Day at

Colpoys and Alan Smutylo in Harbour Entrance

created appropriate moods by the colours they
have used?2


Barbara Irvine (1922-1990)

Dragon Day at Colpoys, c.1990
Oil on canvas 86 x 92 cm
Gallery purchase with funds from the estate of Lois Dowkes, 1991

Allen Smutylo (1946 -)

Harbour Entrance (Newfoundland South Coast Outports), 1984
Oil on canvas 65 x 92 cm
Gallery purchase with donation from Lillian Fleming Estate, 1986

How has Sarah Robertson lessened

the coldness of the landscape in Blue

Norval Morrisseau (1931 -)

Soul Floating in Cosmic Sea 7/134, n.d.
Silkscreen on paper 65 x 83 cm
Gift of Roger Rowan, 1996

Colour can also manipulate space,

bringing far objects nearer than they
really are. How has A.Y. Jackson
accomplished this in his painting
Algoma? 4

Sarah Robertson (1891 1948)

The Blue Sleigh, c.1924
Oil on canvas 48 x 61 cm
Bequest of Norah de Pencier, 1974

Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery

840 First Avenue West, Owen Sound, Ontario. N4K 4K4

Art is Elementary, MyMy

Dear Dear
exhibition on theMy
of art
March 8April 21, 2002

An educational exhibition about the Elements of Art

using works selected
from theexhibition
Permanent Collection
An educational
A project
of using
the Education
Team, Collection
about the Elements
of Art
the Permanent
Art Gallery,
8 Memorial
April 21, 2002
Owen Sound
A project of the2002
Education Team
Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery in Owen Sound

1There are many, but Morrisseau, is a good example 2. Warm/ Cool Colours, 3.Uses warm colours on the blankets and skin,
4 Warm colours in background come forward

Colour is the particular hue that is seen when light is reflected off of an object. Of all the visual elements of art, colour has the most immediate impact
on us. Our reaction to it is complex, and has been a subject of considerable
study by psychologists. Some responses to colour seem to be universal: red
is upbeat and exciting, while blue has a calming effect. Other responses are
determined by the culture we live in: black is the colour of mourning in
some societies, white in others. An artist can use these responses for
emotional or symbolic effect.
Colours are often referred to as warm or cool. Reds, oranges, and
yellows are so called warm because they are associated with fire and the
sun, and are reminiscent of warm places, things, and feelings. They appear
next to each other in the spectrum and on the colour wheel. Greens, blues
and violets are also adjacent in the spectrum and on the colour wheel, and
are often associated with cool feelings and temperatures.

The degree of lightness or darkness of a colour is termed its value. Light colours are referred to as high in value, dark colours as low.
Black, white and all the greys in between are distinguished only by value. They
are often called neutrals.

Questions to think about when looking at COLOUR:

Why did the artist choose these particular colours?

There are three primary colours: colours that cannot be created by

mixing other colours, but when mixed produce all the other colours. They
are red, yellow and blue.

How do the colours make you feel?

The three secondary colours are obtained by mixing equal amounts of two
primary colours: red and yellow make orange, red and blue make violet,
and blue and yellow make green.

How are the colours combined? How do they react with

one another?

The colour wheel is a tool for organizing

colours and representing relationships among them.
The basic artists colour wheel consists of the three
primary and three secondary colours. However, by
mixing adjacent colours on the wheel, it may be
expanded as far as the eye can discern the differences.
Complementary colours appear directly opposite each other on the colour
wheel. A primary colour is complementary to the secondary
colour opposite, which happens to be the mixture of the two other
primaries. Red is complementary to green (obtained by mixing blue and
yellow). Complementary colours produce very strong contrasts when placed
next to one another. It is not surprising that red and green are associated
with Christmas, and yellow and purple (violet) with Easter, because the
high impact of these complementaries is appropriate for festive decoration.
Nor is it surprising that advertisers take advantage of complementary
contrasts. A certain well-known brand of detergent comes in orange and
blue boxes.

Describe the colours used. ( bright, dull, warm, cool, vibrant)

What is the dominant colour of the work?

Is there any symbolic use of colour?
Is the colour scheme realistic?
How does colour affect the light perceived in the work?

Lets have a look at how colour has been used by artists in the exhibition.
Can you find a painting in the exhibition that
contains all the primaries and secondaries? 1
Often an artist sets a mood with colour. Colour has an effect on our emotions
and reactions to situations, people and of course, to works of art. We are drawn
to warm images, and stand back from cool ones.