This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
COLOR -WHY? In an age like ours, color is not the luxury it was in past centuries. We are inundated by manufactured color -- surrounded, immersed, swimming in a sea of color. Because of sheer quantity, color is perhaps in danger of losing some of its magic. I believe that using color in drawing and painting helps us to recapture the beauty of color and to experience once again the almost hypnotic fascination it once had for us. Human beings have made colored objects since the earliest times, but never in such great quantities as now. In past centuries, colored objects were most often owned by only a few wealthy or powerful people. For ordinary people, color was not available, except as found in the natural world and as seen in churches and cathedrals. Cottages and their furnishings were made of natural materials -- mud, wood, and stone. Homespun cloth usually retained the neutral colors of the original fibers or, if dyed with vegetable dyes, was often quick to soften and fade. For most people, a bit of bright ribbon, a beaded hatband, or a brightly embroidered belt was a treasure to guard and cherish. Everywhere we turn, we encounter human-made color: television and movies in color, buildings painted brilliant colors inside and out, flashing colored lights, highway billboards, magazines and books in full color, even newspapers with full-page color displays. Intensely colored fabrics that would have been valued like jewels and reserved for royalty in times past are now available to nearly everyone, wealthy or not. Thus, we have largely lost our former sense of the wondrous specialness of color. Nevertheless, as humans we can't seem to get enough color. No amount seems to be too much -- at least not yet. But what is all this color for? In the natural world of animals, birds, and plants, color always has a purpose -- to attract, repel, conceal, communicate, warn, or assure survival. For present-day humans, has color even begun to lose its purpose and meaning? Now that we have this huge bulk of manufactured color, is its use mostly indiscriminate? Or is purpose and meaning still subliminally inherent in color as a remnant of our biological heritage? Is the pencil I write with painted yellow for a purpose? Did you choose to wear blue today for a reason? And what is color? Is it merely, as scientists tells us, a subjective experience, a mental sensation that can only occur if three requirements are fulfilled: that there is an observer, an object, and sufficient light in the narrow band of wavelengths called the "visible spectrum"? It certainly is true that at twilight the world turns to shades of gray. Is the world really colorless, only seeming to become full of color again when we turn the lights on? If color is a mental sensation, how does it happen? Scientists tell us that when light falls on an object -- for example, an orange -- the surface of the orange has the particular property of absorbing all of the wavelengths of the spectrum except that which, when reflected back to our eyes and processed through the visual system, causes the mental sensation we have named the color "orange". My writing pencil is coated with a chemical substance (paint) that absorbs all the wavelengths except that which, when reflected back to the eyes, is "yellow". Is the orange really orange? Is the pencil really yellow? We cannot know, because we cannot get outside of our own eye/brain/mind system to find out. What we do know is that when the sun goes down, color disappears. PUTTING COLOR IN THE BRAIN Given sufficient light to perceive colors, scientists also tell us that the brain's reaction to colors seem to depend on the differences in thinking modes of the various sections of the brain.
Very bright, intense colors (and colors that shine and glitter) draw a response from the so-called "primitive" brain, the limbic system. This response is an emotional one, perhaps connected to our biological heritage of color as communication. For example, many people say, "When I get mad, I see red!" The inverse of this exclamation perhaps describes the situation whereby an intense red elicits an emotional, aggressive response. The main role of the left hemisphere of the brain , is to tag colors with names and attributes, such as "bright blue", "lemon yellow", or "burnt umber", and to translate into words or emotional reactions to color. Additionally, the left hemisphere is specialized for designating sequenced steps in mixing colors -- for example, "to mix orange, add yellow to red," or "to darken blue, add black." The right hemisphere is specialized for the perception of relationships of hues, particularly for subtle linkages of one hue to another. Right hemisphere is biased toward discovering patterns of coherence, specifically toward combinations of hues that balance opposites -- for example, red/green, blue/orange, dark/light, dull/bright. Right hemisphere has another important role in color: seeing which combination of colors has produced a particular color. Given a range of grays, for example, the right hemisphere sees which one is warmed with red, which one is cooled with blue. LEARNING ABOUT COLOR Nearly everyone is interested in color, yet most people have surprisingly little comprehensive knowledge about it. We often take it for granted that we know enough about color to know what we like, and we feel that's sufficient. Yet pleasure in color, as in almost every subject, is increased by knowing something of the enormous body of knowledge about color. Something odd happens when a student of drawing begins to add color to the gray, black, and white of drawing. No matter how satiated by our modern color-loaded surroundings, students focus on color as though seeing it for the first time, almost with the naive pleasure of children. And color in drawing does indeed add a tremendous emotional charge to drawing. For the basic exercises we will begin next time we meet, you will need to buy a few new drawing supplies. I will add to the list of supplies as each technique is introduced. First, buy a set of colored pencils. "Prismacolor" is a good brand, but there are many others. I suggest the following colors:
Black White Ultramarine Blue Cope. Blue Dark Green Flesh Cream Magenta
Sienna Brown Dark Brown Sepia Burnt Umber Yellow Ochre Canary Yellow Scarlet Red Olive Green
Vermillion Violet Slate Gray Sand Warm Light Gray Lemon Yellow Warm Gray Medium Orange
Also, buy six sheets of colored paper at least 9" X 12" or larger. Construction paper is fine, or you may prefer another type of paper. Any colored paper that is not too smooth or shiny will do. Avoid bright, intense colors. Choose instead soft green, gray, sand, blue, or brown. you will need a plastic eraser and a kneaded eraser. Buy a hand-held pencil sharpener, or a small knife if you prefer to hand-sharpen your pencils.
Prepare to have some great fun with color and to perhaps, understand it for the very first time....see you again...in just a couple of days. This will give you time to get the necessary supplies. Then we can move on...
A WHEEL OF COLOR Starting with rock-bottom basics, make a color wheel. The though of this probably takes you back to sixth grade. But, let me tell you that I have often had very advanced students who could not even explain to me the elements of the color wheel! This is insane. After all, some of the best minds in human history have delved into color wheels -- for example, the great English physicist and mathematician Issac Newton and the German poet and scholar Johann Goethe.
Theoretically. blue-violet. aggression. Then say to yourself. Don't argue with yourself. I believe this is the correct placement in terms of the complicated crossover system of the brain.and also to dominance. the visual system. "Does this feel right?" and listen to what you feel. Within the guidelines. in the language of art. follow your intuition. which is controlled by the left hemisphere (stay with me on this one. right eye. redorange. Blue is opposite orange. Next come the three secondary hues -. all other colors are derived from these three. the right hemisphere.are the basic building blocks of color. and blocked movement.yellow-orange. Conversely. then. The purpose. blue-green. The three primary hues -yellow. to set in your mind the structure of color. nighttime. and coolness -and thus also to passivity. And then follows the third generation. the use of complements). . the six tertiary (level three) hues -. carries the connotations of passivity.What is the purpose of constructing a color wheel? Simply put. red. red is opposite green. and forward movement. and the left side of the color wheel are linked to the sun. Those of you who know color wheels will see that I have used the usual order for colors on the color wheel. the left side of an image carries the connotations of dominance. daylight. is addressed by the left eye. Bear down hard with your colored pencils to produce the most intense hues possible. The right side. AN IMPORTANT POINT: have confidence in your color choices! Guided by some basic left-hemisphere knowledge of the structure of color (for example. This knowledge should be learned so thoroughly that it becomes as automatic as 2+2 = 4." Perceived in proper relationship. and blue -. your right hemisphere mode will know when the color is right. it is complicated!) In the language of art. Use your colored pencils to match the color wheel to the right (you will likely need to follow the colors according to the ones listed in the small wheel . and distance. left eye. You can use your color wheel to practice determining which hues are complements. and warmth -. of constructing the color wheel is to set in your mind which colors are opposite each other on the wheel. Most color wheels are oriented in this fashion. and forward movement.orange.born of primary colors. violet. and yellow-green. the left hemisphere. yellow-green is opposite red-violet. defensiveness. red-violet. scanned after the left side. The colors are not accurate on the web). complements seem to satisfy the needs of the right hemisphere and the visual system for completion. The root of the word "complement" is "complete. and the language of art. The color wheel has a total of twelve hues. and right side of the wheel are linked to the moon. The right side of an image. defensiveness. Try out hues on a scrap piece of paper. The left side of an image is addressed by the dominant right eye. arranged like the numbers on the face of a clock. controlled by the right brain. These opposites are called complements. an green -. apparently purely on intuition. In this zig-zag fashion. aggression.
This is the key to success in this drawing. you may want to go wild with color.) Using the perceptual skills of seeing edges. clearly observed and drawn. They often throw together a variety of hues. throwing everything together to see what happens. Ugly color is not the same as discordant color. are to be drawn in negative space.if not impossible -. or use a folding stool to sit on the sidewalk. available in art supply stores.unity. lettering. that you should attempt discordant color by design and not by mistake. using carbon paper or graphite transfer paper.including signs. All details. Let me emphasize. Draw a format edge about an inch from the edges of the paper. spaces. Discordant color is not the same as harmonious color. everything -. This will provide a satisfying color scheme because the color is balanced.Bear in mind that color most often "goes wrong" when students without knowledge of color use too many hues. is an interesting experiment with color. LET'S EXPAND A BIT We have explored complementary color schemes. Having said that. I encourage you to use a limited palette until you have a wider experience with color. LET'S DO AN UGLY CORNER IN A CITYSCAPE Now let us try a cityscape. Two additional ways of arranging harmonious color are monochromatic schemes and analogous schemes. the uglier the better. Create discordant color. lettering. Be sure to transfer your format edge to the colored ground. You will need an 18" X 24" board to draw on. Buy a sheet of brightly colored paper and use every color you have on it. meaning variations of a single hue. street signs. Sit in your car to do the drawing. the most basic requirement of a work of art. A viewfinder and a transparent grid will help in sighting angles and proportions. Remember that negative space. Allow the tone of the paper to be the mid-tones. I will reverse the thought and suggest that at some point. Transfer your on-site drawing to the colored paper. You may be able to make it work -. chosen at random from the color wheel. and even beginning students sense that something isn't working. Choose . Your right hemisphere will always perceive the difference. (Regrettably. Read the following directions before you start: Find your corner.to balance and unify.or you may like it in its discordant state! Much of contemporary art uses discordant color in very inventive ways. perhaps not immediately. draw exactly what you see -. return home and choose a piece of 18" X 24" colored paper or colored cardboard. and girders. One of the great paradoxes of art is that subject matter is not of prime importance in creating beauty. When you have finished the drawing. Such combinations are difficult -. Draw negative space almost exclusively to construct the drawing. such as telephone lines. and relationship of angles and proportions. Go out and find a truly ugly corner. Choose two colored pencils that harmonize with your colored paper. however. Use a pencil to draw the cityscape. Now color it with a complementary arrangement. and an 18" X 24" piece of ordinary white paper. one dark and one light. reminds the viewer of that for which we all long -. but over a period of time.placing great emphasis on negative space. ugly corners are all too easy to find in most of our cities. Monochromatic color.
But there is a positive side. and the colors are lovely -. which are pure pigments pressed into round or square chalks using a minimum of binder. Analogous color is an arrangement of hues close to one another on the color wheel -. in fact. They are quite soft and break easily. and dealing with other technical problems of painting.as clear and brilliant as oil paints. and yellow. blue-green. Lesson #3 MOVING TO A PASTEL WORLD I must warn you that pastels have some serious drawbacks. and green. contending with turpentine. You can buy a basic set of twelve chalks (ten hues plus black and white) or a larger set of up to one hundred hues.. pastels are an ideal medium to provide a transitional midpoint between drawing and painting. Pastels are almost pure pigment.red. So run out and buy a set of pastels and I will meet you back here in a few days. It will be exciting. stretching canvas. are the drawing medium closest to painting.a colored paper and use all the pencils you have in hues related to that color. MOVING ON TO A PASTEL WORLD Your next purchase should be a set of pastels. But be assured that the small basic set is sufficient for the exercises we will do here. blue. spread colored dust wafting through the air." Because pastels come in a wide range of pure and mixed hues. therefore. They rub off on your hands and clothes.. orange. One of the main differences between exercises with colored pencil and pastel drawing is in the quantity of applied color relative to the ground. . Pastels. See you. and produce a drawing that is extremely fragile. a student beginning in color can experience something very close to painting without the difficulties encountered in mixing paints on a palette. Pastel drawings are often refered to as "pastel paintings. We are now beginning to move into the really fun part of learning color. For many reasons. for example.
For the exercise that follows I will use as my model the pastel drawing Head of a Young Girl, by the French painter Odilon Redon. Redon's free use of pastel color in the negative space of the drawing will inspire you to experiement with this medium. Redon's mystical and lyrical work spanned the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. His pastel drawings have been linked to the writting of Poe, Baudelaire, and Mallarme, and all are connected conceptually to Surrealism, a period in early twentieth-century art that focused on dream symbolism. The yellow lizard in Redon's drawing, jaxtaposed to the dreamlike serenity of the girl's head, is reminiscent of Surrealist symbolism. Before you begin: Read all of the instructions. Find a model or a suitable subject. Arrange a light so that the background is illuminated, providing a pale negative space behind your model's head. Choose a piece of pastel paper in any soft color. Pastel paper has a sharp "tooth" to grasp and hold the dry pigment. Redon used a soft gray-blue paper. Choose a medium-dark pastel crayon for the line drawing of the head. Choose three harmonizing light pastels for the light negative space behind the head. Pose your model and draw the head in semi-profile -- that is, with the model turned very slightly off true profile view. Calling on your five basic drawing skills, draw the head using the dark pastel you have chosen. Using your imagination, or using objects in the room, complete your composition by adding objects or parts of objects. Using your three pale pastels, work up the negative space surrounding the head. Use crosshatching rather than filling the area solidly, so that light and air are retained in your drawing. A special point: Look at your three pale pastels and decide which is the darkest (lowest) in value, which is in the middle, and which is the lightest. Then use the lowest value chalk for the first layer of hatches, the middle for the next, and the lightest for the last and final layer of hatches. This sequencing of colors from dark first to light last is the sequencing required for most painting mediums (with the exception of watercolor, which is usually worked from light first to dark last). In working with pastels, the dark-to-light
sequencing helps to keep your colors clear and fresh. Reversing this sequence can result in muddy color. This point will help you see why practice with pastels eases the transition to painting. Complete your drawing with bold colors of your choice. you may prefer to harmonize your color by staying with complements or analogous hues, or you may prefer discordant hues that are anchored in the composition by repeating or echoing areas of each color. Start your drawing now: You will need about an hour and perhaps a bit more to complete the drawing. Be sure to give your model a rest at mid-point in the hour! Try to work without interruption, and ask your model not to converse with you while you are drawing. your right hemisphere needs to be completely free of distraction. When you have finished: Pin up your drawing, stand back, and regard your work. Check the balance of the color. Then turn your drawing upside-down and re-check the color. If any hue seems to pop out of the composition, somehow not locked into the color arrangement, some slight adjustment needs to be made. The color may need to be repeated somewhere, or it may need darkening, lightening, or dulling. Have faith in your judgment and in your right hemisphere ability to percieve coherence -- and incoherence. When the color is right, you will know it! SOME THOUGHTS Way back when we first started the basic drawing series I said that drawing is a magical process. When your brain is weary of its verbal chatter, drawing is a way to quiet the chatter and to grasp a fleeting glimpse of transcendent reality. By the most direct means your visual perceptions stream through your human system -- through retinas, optic pathways, brain hemispheres, motor pathways -- to magically transform an ordinary sheet of paper into a direct image of your unique response, your vision of the perception. Through your vision, the viewer of the drawing -- no matter what the subject -- can find you, see you. What is more, drawing can reveal much about you to yourself, some facets of you that might be obscured by your verbal self. Your drawings can show you how to see things and feel about things. First you draw in right hemisphere, wordlessly connecting yourself to the drawing. Then shifting back to your verbal mode, you can interpret your feelings and perceptions by using the powerful skills of your left brain, words and logical thought. If the pattern is incomplete and not amenable to words and rational logic, a shift back to the right brain mode can bring intuition and analogic insight to bear on the problem. Or, the hemispheres might work cooperatively in countless possible combinations. What we have covered in these lessons, of course, encompass only the very beginning steps toward the goal of knowing your two minds and how to use their capabilities. Once you have started on this path, there is always the sense that in the next drawing you will more truly see, more truly grasp the nature of reality, express the inexpressable, find the secret beyond the secret. It is the neverending quest that is the joy of all artists. Having shifted to a new mode of seeing, you may find yourself looking into the essence of things, a way of knowing tending toward the Zen concept of satori, as described in the quotation of D.T. Suzuki. As your perceptions unfold, you take new approaches to problems, correct old misconceptions, peel away layers of stereotypes that mask reality and keep you from clear seeing. With the power of both halves of the brain available to you and the myriad of possible combinations of the seperate powers of the hemispheres, the door is open to your becoming more intensly aware, more capable of controlling some of the verbal processes that can distort thinking -- sometimes even to the extent of causing physical illness. Logical, systematic thinking is surely essential for survival in our culture, but if our culture is to survive, understanding of how the human brain molds behavior is our urgent need.
Through introspection, you can embark on that study, becoming an observer and learning, to some degree at least, how your brain works. In observing your brain at work, you will widen your powers of perception and take advantage of the capabilities of both halves. Presented with a problem, you will have the possibility of seeing things in two ways: abstractly, verbally, logically -- but also holistically, wordlessly, intuitively. Use your twofold ability. Draw everything and anything. No subject is too hard or too easy, nothing is unbeautiful. Everything is your subject -- a few square inches of weeds, a broken glass, an entire landscape, a human being. Continue to study. The great masters of the past and of the present are available to you through books and even on the web!! Study the masters, not to copy their styles, but to read their minds. Let them teach you how to see in new ways, to see the beauty in reality, to invent new forms and open new vistas. Observe your style developing. Guard it and nurture it. Provide yourself with time so that your style can develop and grow sure of itself. If a drawing goes badly, calm yourself and quiet your mind. End for a time the endless talking to yourself. Know that what you need to see is right there before you. Put your pencil to paper every day. Don't wait for a special moment, an inspiration. Set things up, position yourself, in order to envoke the flight to the other-than-ordinary state in which you can see clearly. Through practice, your mind will shift ever more easily. I have taken this moment to have this talk with you for next week we will move into the nuts-and-bolts aspect of color in which we shall talk less about your hemispheres....but I do not want you to do anything without getting in touch with your "other self". Next time we will go even deeper into color and its properties.....I will be looking forward to seeing you then.
To this point we have talked about color and its relationships to out right-left brain modes. You will recall that when we began this discussion on color, I said that the effective use of color depended upon knowing and trusting our right hemisphere along with a complete understanding of the basics of color. We now undertake the task of understanding the latter. This is a typical left brained activity and just the sheer volume of it may cause the analytical left brain to tell you that it is a waste. The left hemisphere may say, "We have seen all of this before, I understand it, so let's move on to something that doesn't bore me to death." But remember, the left hemisphere thinks it knows all about drawing and painting, however, we now have ample evidence that it does not. So, to listen to our verbal, analytical left brain, and skip this important issue will lead to failure. Let us move on..... Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it....... Earliest Use of Color Man probably became truly different from other mammals, when he began to wonder about the strange, often frightening, phenomena around him, and when he first attempted to control these phenomena. He felt he would have power over anything he could make with his own hands in the form of an image. He molded clay, or carved bone or stone, into forms resembling huge beasts; and he drew pictures on the walls of his
Babylonia. clothing. Indoors. others caused the colors to stick to several surfaces. intricate. thereby. on temple walls. whether they applied to remarkably realistic. The medium they used. Paintings were to make the interior of a house brighter. papyrus scrolls. in which art was created for art's sake. and unconcerned with. mummy cases. spiral patterns of pure ornamentation on walls. the greater his power. As he learnt to roast meat. brown. Some binders proved to be permanent. the bright hues broke up in the blinding brilliance of the sun. The fat acted as a binder: a substance which makes the color. The style was free. intimate homes. and. or at least they used an egg varnish over water-thinned colors. bright colors to paint their statues. In the Far East. Outdoors. the bright colors were easier to see. or deliberately. gum arabic. pillars. and tools. he needed many of them for food. were strictly connected with religion. or shrines. and red. others became his friends. hieroglyphics.caves. The search for permanent colors and binders is still going on. In the less extreme climate of Mesopotamia. other binders for color. like all other features of art. colors were magnificent in garments worn by priests. he found that the fat dripping from the meat gave the soil an interesting and practical quality: the paint this fat created was easier to apply and did not deteriorate the way fruit and vegetable juices and just plain water mixed soil did. Egyptian artists used flat. He believed that he would thus acquire power over all such animals. They had to be used in an absolutely prescribed manner. others turned out to be unreliable. wax. artists employed color on the glazed brick facades of their palaces and temples. He added water to all colors in order to be able to apply them to walls and articles. . He soon found it possible to add color to these three dimensional figures and to outline drawings by employing the diverse colors of the earth on which he walked. Paintings were mostly scrolls of ricepaper. Besides the color he found in the soil. he discovered. Some binders worked on one surface only. and countless figures and objects on the walls of their tombs. colors. glue. Manifestly. such as flying fish. In the course of time. or silk. too. without any religious connotation. Unaware of. the Far East In ancient Egypt. or to bold. and ceilings. Much color was employed in furnishings. the colors were always cheery. and polymer. Thus. Others have vanished or pealed off. The more realistic the images were. The search for color and art in the West began with the Cretan civilization. casein. almost impressionistic themes. was egg tempera. They also had much color in their fantastically ornate and heavy ceremonial garbs. architectural decorations. as far as we know. Such paintings were to be enjoyed in small. accidentally. with only a few traces left in the corners or crevices. and Assyria. the first purpose of color was to make images more realistic. gray. Color appears in human handicrafts since the most ancient times. light and shadow. such ass egg-white. Subtle colors added to the elegance of rich. Mesopotamia. by the light of soft lamps or lanterns. Color in Ancient Crete It has taken Western artists more than thirty centuries to discover all the ramifications of color in every field of art. early man also used the colors of fruits and plants. diversified designs. in black lines with only a few spots of color. the aristocracy. without any personal freedom. some colors remained intact through thousands of years. Color in Ancient Egypt. yellow. they served as picture windows. linseed oil. to imbue them with more magic power. Some animals were threats to his safety. Earth has many shades of buff. green. what we call the pigment. the warriors. adhere to the surface on which it is applied. furnishings for the living and dead. almost exactly the colors man saw in the animals that meant so much to him.
and crowns created an atmosphere of mystery and awe. As great philosophers and theoreticians. the Greeks understood the rules of perspective. in order to make the statues stand out clearly. Above all. one can easily guess that ancient Rome had some popular artists. or at night by flickering oil lamps. was never as great in Greece as sculpture and architecture. bronze. but they did not turn this theoretical knowledge into practice. They left the white marble or yellowish stone of the building unpainted. and also in the city of Rome.many of them backed with gold leaf -. No longer were the mosaics intimate pictures of worldly scenes. sports. Many of the superb figures are known to have been inspired by Attic muralists.the glittering gold halos. and small-scale reflections of their pictorial achievements in the thousands of beautifully decorated vases. which. if any. besides the black glaze on the red brick clay. done with bold outlines. and to make the rooms look fashionable by providing them with elaborate pictures. In the western half of the defunct Roman Empire. The purpose of pictures in color was twofold: to brighten up the usually small rooms. Subtle shading and fine details were of paramount importance. Color in Ancient Rome With their magnificent temples. pigments mixed with hot wax. battles. we have discovered huge numbers of mosaic floors in perfect condition. Biblical personages and scenes had to be viewed from a distance. all executed with supreme skill. Roman apparel and . The mosaic chips are often so tiny that. Their sole aim was to make the supranatural visible to illiterate pagans and Christians alike. and luxurious villas. judging by the similarity of certain themes and craftsmanship. their murals have disappeared. from a few feet away. almost like full color paintings. the shadows between the columns broke up the dazzling white or pale yellow. had color for painting their stone. the sparkle of glass mosaics -. the work appears to be a painting done with brushes. and marble statues realistically. They were usually placed high above the floor. Roman temples. commerce. in a semi-dark place. Practical knowledge came with ancient Rome. business. These pictures were conversation pieces and. The mosaics were situated in rooms where they could be seen and admired like paintings in our own living rooms. less realistic color contrasts and patterns. palaces. whose work all the citizens "in the know" tried to own. painting. like presentday houses in hot climates. as we understand the term. bejeweled crosses. They painted the triangular wall of each tympanum. especially in North African colonies of the Roman Empire. mountains and harbors. We have found many wall paintings in Pompeii. Most of their paintings were done in encaustic. and the flat background of every high-relief on their temples. The mosaics were made of stone or marble in a vast number of colors and shades. a deep blue or red. and more striking color combinations.Color in Ancient Greece Although we usually trace our ancestry to classic Greece. incomparable craftsmanship. Those mosaics depict urban and rustic scenes. rather than stone and marble chips. less detail. mythological and historical subjects. all we have are descriptions by contemporary travelers. however. as well as mosaics on floors. True. Painters of the new era imitated Roman art. baths. the Romans demanded paintings and mosaics on walls. and Herculaneum. The stronger. had only a few windows. Color in Early Christianity The early Christians of Byzantium (Istanbul) worked with glass mosaics. in a great diversity of colors. civic activities. The Greeks. whether those were executed with paint and brush or in mosaics. and basilicas (meeting halls) were transformed into Christian churches. Those vases seldom have more than two or three colors.
garments. turmoil. There was a wealth of detail and increased variety of colors in Gothic painting. Composition. fantasy. these paintings were again on a small scale. the beginning of what we choose to call "the age of reason. Facial resemblance to donors. and coloring each section in the neatest possible manner. Gradually. childlike. by bizarre effects of perspective. colors. erotically inclined aristocrats. Ceilings were torn open. but perspective and proportions were naive. In subject matter. there appeared a belief that life can be joyful. hijacking. mythological. painting served strictly religious purposes for many centuries. the eighteenth century. Individuality in art was at last established. They evolved an amazing knowledge of perspective. artists had assistants and apprentices. attending auction sales. a period of unrest. Powerful personages were not afraid of kidnapping. Technical as well as esthetic knowledge was handed from older to younger men. light and shadow. experimentation.facial expression in Christian subjects. The purpose of art was to delight the middle class taste. With the solidification of Christianity. in a somewhat idealized style. still lifes. ornamentation. The trompe-l'oeil (eye-cheating) method came into vogue after it had flourished in Pompeii and Herculaneum some eight hundred years . Rembrandt van Rijn. were more and more individualized. and in architecture. Protestantism all but eliminated biblical. Done on wood panels. in bright colors. Collecting art. in order to acquire the works of celebrated artists." Dramatic. around the turn of the sixteenth century. was the culmination of all these efforts. became a hobby among those who could afford it. In an age when art was in great demand. is called Rococo. color. flashy paintings were required by uninhibited churchmen. the average. just as clothmakers were always looking for newer and better dyes for the sumptuous garments worn by the church hierarchy and the aristocracy. Still. and restricted artists to easel paintings designed for the walls of small rooms in narrow houses. rugs. and the expanding capitalist class which now had the money that enabled it to live on a high scale. the seventeenth century means the Baroque. Everything seemed to be in perpetual motion. as well as his talent and his skill. and historical paintings. Walls were painted to resemble terraces. Color in the Renaissance It was not until the fourteenth century that artists began to explore new approaches. merely by achieving more and more realism. and they used colors with an increasing artistic freedom. and technique. The High Renaissance. Everywhere else in Europe. genre pictures. a veritable explosion of forms. to be viewed from nearby. There was no limit to subject matter. too. and taste. visually. in his paintings. Colors were as natural as artists could make them. almost literally starved to death. outside The Netherlands. and flattering portraits of individuals and groups were produced in all possible detail. or plain stealing. The second half of the Baroque. correct proportions. first. the unsensational. the Gothic period brought forth daring experimentation in painting. Painters were experimenting with new pigments and binders. the richness of gold embroidery. Landscapes. The one painter who eventually defied this trend. new vistas in painting. Here. and furnishings were now more important than the mysterious quality expected by the early Christians. the artist strived for the commonplace. Color in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries In seventeenth century Holland. You could see the mentality and temperament of the artist. the procedure was largely a matter of preparing a perfect outline drawing. color. the entire concept of a painting. color.
the painting is a milestone in Western art. This so-called academic concept tried to turn all forms of art into a kind of definite procedure. the cold precision of much early Renaissance and pre-Renaissance painting is gone. and still has.before. motion. In the 1820's Constable's paintings. were shown in the exhibition of the Salon de Paris. and went outdoors to paint on the spot. Young French artists suddenly became aware of new possibilities of turning to nature. El Greco. in history. Paintings were again meticulously drawn. Later. In the United States. dreamlike rusticity had. Constable and Turner are generally considered the founders of Impressionism. rather than in the cold sanctuary of their studios. but occasionally they used some other colors to achieve a better light-and-shadow effect in their sketches. and the first quarter of the nineteenth. Its idealized. brown pigment prepared from the secretion of various cuttlefish). or crayon. Leonardo introduced the gentle blending called sfumato. or Classic Revival period. a charm not shared by the spotless nudes and other classicist figures mechanically created by European and New World artists of the Classic Revival period. the rights of man. the right to vote. a concept still in existence. Color in Impressionism There is constant change. Previously. but now it appeared on a colossal scale. or development. and the curious lack of coherence between the two halves of the blue-green background. "The Senate and the People. not at all in keeping with the age in which he lived. when the Classic Revival period was still rampant. used scenes and concepts from classical history to spread the revolution. few people realize that the true significance of Leonardo da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa lies in the fact that the master pioneered in the use of color: there are no outlines in this painting. the right to complain. was not afraid of painting flaming yellows against ominous grays and vivid purples in bold strokes. Color was subservient to outline drawing in this classical period. Painters. red. idealized. Perfect realism of the most ideal kind was the goal. however. Working from direct observation. Every article. was an outgrowth. painters made sketches outdoors in silverpoint. pen-and-ink. the republican form of government. and systematically colored. and mood. a continuous overlapping. usually sepia (a rich. the most "painterly" painter of the Renaissance. Subject and draftsmanship were all-important. The end of the eighteenth century. the Hudson River School concentrated on the beauties of nature. Colors were mostly pure. constitute the Classicist. The Academie Francaise established and promulgated through Europe the belief that great art can be reduced to formulas which any intelligent artist can learn by heart. never outdoors. they omitted small details and concentrated on color. spotlessly clean. despite the many events that occurred in the world of art during the past hundred and fifty years. they added washes. worked in the same style as did da Vinci. . Fortunately. Despite the strange errors in perspective. like all true Englishmen. loved fresh air. Early in the nineteenth century. and other surfaces were merely lighter or darkend shades of the same hue." the abolition of kings and tyrants. as well as writers. the Hudson River School. in a slightly later period. Tiziano Vecelli (Titian). of this Classicism. however. each person had to be purified. John Constable and Joseph Mallord William Turner were painting in England. Color in the Classic Revival Period The French Revolution was predicated on ancient Greek and Roman ideas of freedom of speech. in the first half of the nineteenth century. These men. were executed in the atelier. highlights and shadows on green. All major works. Stepping back to the Renaissance for a moment. more sparkling with colors than anything seen before.
the grass appears green.. frightening. an impression of what they actually saw. recognizable subjects? Now we see them. shout. not only in representational paintings. futurist. This is what we call Post-Impressionism. without blending. unlike in the studio. After all they are here to learn AND they pay me for the leadership. All they wanted was a general effect. proportions. hard. who introduced Pointillism. Impressionists would depict the same view three times on the same day and paint the view again in different seasons. and a red apple appears to be more brilliant if you paint green around it. created marvelous posters by applying uncommon color combinations to interesting. who were accustomed to the subdued. or she. exactly as you have to learn any language. Paul Gauguin went to the South Seas and rendered the natural beauty of Tahiti and its inhabitants in brilliant hues that seemed crude to his contemporaries. Critics and public alike deried and denounced these "paint throwers" as freaks or fakers. though simple drawings. a heart willing to let it all come in. But there's one thing we do see: colors. What happened to prospective. composition. are bewildered.. Artists. That will do for this session but there a few things I feel I should discuss before we go. the deliberate arranging of color as well as forms.. "isms" in art overlap each other. In this quite scientific approach to color. presents a very different atmosphere. and nonobjective works as well. He paints hundreds of blue spots and hundreds of yellow spots with the tip of his brush. You merely have to listen. sunny day. Color in Post-Impressionism Paul Cezanne. color is everywhere. Teaching on the internet. Henri de ToulouseLautrec. Artists who create paintings and people who look at paintings should give their eyes full rein. however. not satisfied with the spontaneous painting of the Impressionists. returned to careful composition. He found that a lemon looks brighter with a blue outline. traditional tones of Classic Revival paintings. delicate. come and go so fast that the critics. Cezanne was the first artist consciously trying to achieve effects by juxtaposing certain colors.. or just speak. snowy. but in abstract. Hence the "history lessons" that I so frequently post. instead of shackling them with brassbound ideas that were conceived before Galieo Galilei discovered that the Milky Way wasn't made of milk! In the next few weeks we will learn the language of colors. baffling. In order for a student to learn about each aspect of art he. lift them up and turn them over and look underneath. without changes. Here we are . repulsive. around the middle of the last century. and the artists themselves. cubist. and from a short distance away.But it was the Impressionist school. The first lesson is to let your eyes be the judge. painted alla prima (at once). the public. now we don't. in order to show how colors change from the cool yellow of the morning sun to the warmer yellow of midday. a finer draftsman and designer than he was a painter. Strong. Examine not only what they are called but WHY we use them. dadaist. trying to put the right colors on the canvas directly. which discarded lines and decided to work entirely in color. Remember that I do not call my site "Art Tips On Line" or "Art Tutorials On Line" or even "Art Lessons On Line". went on with their new idea: color. But you must learn the language of colors. if you will. and a will strong enough to endure the sometimes boring details. They showed how different colors appear on a rainy. The web is a bit different. poetic. Color began to inspire many artists from this point on. whisper. The climax of this search for color effects was reached by Georges Seurat. I usually feel no particular need to explain my methods to my in-house students. colors that sing. the artist doesn't paint the grass green.. color in which the artist achieves results never seen before. All you need is an open mind. Artists became fanatical about exploring the realm of color.but color. entrancing in other paintings. becoming the orange tint of the setting sun. must first understand how we arrive at the present day knowledge. perhaps even nauseating in some paintings.
.looking to learn about art in all of its facets. Does this suggest that perspective in general. by the fourteenth century. Then. therefore. we work on a two dimensional surface. COLOR PERSPECTIVE We know that looking at objects. doesn't seem to have been grasped by artists until the late Middle Ages. all forms look smaller and smaller the farther away they are. like a building in an architectural drawing. without any gradual diminishing of values towards the far background. One might easily think that aerial perspective refers to the often staggeringly beautiful views we have from high flying airplanes. Do not look for a "quick fix" in the pursuit of art. it is better to speak of color perspective. Horizontal lines appear to slant upward or downward. In reality. with every tiny detail carefully drawn and painted. but. rather than from straight ahead. If you are the slightest bit vague on this issue go back to the Basic Drawing series and study again. In practice. We have to observe objects as if they were flat. you should be keenly aware of these facts. Lesson #5 The first thing to do in learning the language of color is to learn all the definitions. Color perspective. visual appearance of whatever we're planning to depict. when artists of the East began to have access to Western art. however. scenery. We speak of two kinds of perspective: linear perspective and color perspective. by the ancient Greeks. If you have not studied my lesson on color terms go back and read the lesson on that subject. because people have so-called "memory pictures" about which we have already talked at length. can be of no real significance? Not at all!! . the blue was the same all over a small section of the picture. political or historical events in perspective helps us determine the total. unless you are referring to a bird's-eye view. as now. expect to spend some time here. The term aerial means everything pertaining to the air. which refers to changes caused by distance and atmospheric conditions. That is best left to the television artists who promote "one size fits all" lessons. they never tried to go beyond them. Then come back and complete this lesson. IS COLOR PERSPECTIVE IMPORTANT? It may be interesting to note that even though a few basic principles of linear perspective were known to Far Eastern artists a long time ago. Color perspective used to be called aerial perspective. By this time in our education. and were able to render three dimensional space in their paintings. the Romans were the first to leave us murals in which perspective was employed with remarkable eye-catching effects. everything around us is three dimensional. and color perspective in particular. the atmosphere. This linear perspective was understood. in drawing and painting. like our paper or canvas. my dear friends. Until next time. over-all image and importance of whatever we are observing. From an angle. In the pictorial arts. All around this small segment of bluish scenery. we usually see things from an angle. I won't bore you with all of those again. Even then. This isn't easy. Color perspective remained unnoticed in the greatest Oriental art until recent times. they think of objects as they are in a diagrammatic form. a round chair or plate looks elliptical. considering all "parts" to make up a "unified whole". Western artists had rediscovered the rules of linear perspective. The knowledge was lost during the Dark Ages. some artists knew more about perspective than others. straight in front of their eyes. In reality. So. a square appears to lose all its right angles. theoretically at least. perspective is the optical. that is. the painting was always equally strong in color. when we first see an attempt at indicating distance by employing blue tones in the far background of paintings... In art.
food. seem bright in the distance. it is the colors. according to distance. or a more definite and complex background. rainy day. Faraway hills and objects are not only smaller than similar objects closer to us. too. the tonal values. At first it's difficult for him/her to believe that the rectangular paper looks different when you see it from an angle on a table. proves that both the gray wall and the orange colored poster in the distance are much hazier than the wall and poster nearby. This illusion of space is dear to the hearts of many abstract and nonobjective painters. but they are also bluish. as long as there's enough light for you to see. worse yet. such as orange and red. WEATHER AFFECTS ALL COLORS On a cloudy. This is important to realize. because greater distances and spatial problems are encountered in these subjects than in figure painting. such as the interior of a room. They simply go by the name of a hue and not by its actual appearance. whatever its nature. DISTANCE AFFECTS ALL COLORS Colors change as much as lines and shapes do. in different atmospheric conditions. or. all colors become grayish. Beginners usually paint colors equally bright. a garden. even in figures and portraits. A beginner in painting sees a newspaper as he remembers it: a rectangular object. however. that create the illusion of depth. as seen from close-by. color perspective may be more vital to the three dimensional kind of painting developed in the West than linear perspective.from diverse viewpoints. or THINK we do. gray on a rainy day. Very bright hues. whether it is a plain backdrop of color. The biggest role of color perspective is generally in landscape painting.as well as forms . They'll paint the red barn. its value. drama. as well as realistic artists. Comparison. as if the figure were merely looking through a hole in a wall or in a curtain. but they are invariably lighter and hazier the farther away they are. no matter how far or how near they may be. the green grass and foliage. manners. Nonetheless.Oriental art differs from Western art just as Oriental music. in the last analysis. and no matter what kind of weather they are painting. in various lights. STUDYING COLOR PERSPECTIVE The mental approach toward color perspective is identical with the approach to learning linear perspective. A background. or the kind of romantic scenery Leonardo da Vinci painted behind the Mona Lisa. in bright sunlight. the background is important. must look like something in back of the figure not as if the figure were pasted on a sheet of cardboard. dark blue towards evening. because. and way of life do. Remember that in earlier lessons we learned that one of the difficulties is that we KNOW too much about our subject. An orange colored poster on a gray wall two hundred feet away may seem just as bright against the gray of the masonry as the same poster on the same kind of wall ten feet from you. and as long as you know what you're seeing. . In fact. Beginners merely paint the sky blue on a sunny day. such as a wall or curtain. Yet a red barn still appears to be red and grass still looks green. Artists must learn to see colors .
All the information you need is right before your eyes. where you notice that houses diminish in size and their colors diminish in intensity toward the opposite end.A distance of a few feet doesn't change colors in a noticeable manner. the farther away they are. better yet. A brown house in the distance looks darker than a white house nearby. meadows. COLOR PERSPECTIVE IN HOUSES AND FIGURES If you know anything about linear perspective. it may literally blend into the sky. trees become vaguer and vaguer the farther away they are. I mean forget that they are exactly the same sets. sunny day. and so forth. the door. you must observe. in a garden. or any . sometimes almost violet." So. This is vital knowledge. In other words. Take photographs of the same view on the two different occasions or. on an overcast day.that comparison is not easy for the untrained eye. in the same order. In a city. and set up one of each next to the other. make color sketches. are in so many colors . rather than fine details. however. Now observe them honestly.red.. and the figure are equally smaller in the distance. but distant scenery resembles something covered by smoke on a rainy day. fifty feet away. EXERCISE IN COLOR PERSPECTIVE Remember what I have often said: "A large part of the job of an art teacher is to teach the student to SEE. The house. The degree of brightness between objects of the same hue decreases with distance in the same proportion as sizes do. or stakes. carry out the next exercise. If at all possible. Don't listen to your memory (left hemisphere) telling you: "They're the same. try to observe the same panorama on two different days: once on a bright. By this.. in such a manner that you can see all the cards clearly from where you are. on any day. another group a hundred feet away. Details of rocks. You must compare a red. and both figures are dressed in red jackets and blue slacks. each color will be lighter the farther it is from you. or gray house in the distance with a house of the same color closer to where you stand. gray." Use your eyes.. Buildings. if there is any way you can. cloudy day. and so do their colors. Take three or four sheets each of red. Each row of hills or mountains is lighter in tone the farther it is from you. The last hill may be just a shade or two darker than the sky on a bright day. covered by a light blue veil on a sunny day. yellow. COLOR PERSPECTIVE IN FOLIAGE Probably the most difficult subject from the viewpoint of color perspective seems to be a forest. or on a fairly straight country road. but not visually. you won't paint a house and a figure as large in the background as you would in the middleground or foreground. or between a winding road and a winding river. and the doors and shutters of both are green. yellow. concentrating on shades of colors. and again on a gray. You can still distinguish between a meadow and a wooded area. the figure farther back can also walk through the door of the house in front of which it is supposed to be standing. If both houses are pink. and many more in southern European towns . The differences in colors are as great as the differences in size.. white. or 30" by 40" in size. houses. the differences in hues and values can best be appreciated on a straight avenue. and black cardboard or posterboard. brown. Set up another group. medium blue.. You need the outdoors for observing color differences. and paint the perspective in colors as well. 28" by 44". a meadow. buff. Each color becomes bluish.they're the same.. close to where you are standing. A view from the top of a hill over a vast panorama is the most striking proof of how hues are affected by distance and by weather. You might lean them against rocks. You know that if a figure can walk through the door of a house nearby. They are lighter and hazier. brown. in the United States. The colors are identical in fact.
You may follow all the rules of linear perspective but still make a mess of your painting by neglecting color values. or something sticking out of the painting. Green foliage and green grass look plain green to the untrained eye. instead of going back deep into the distance. or green to any hue. the closer it comes to you. But there's much more difference between greens than you realize. it's darker according to the nearness or distance! The brightest light on a green lawn faraway is not as brilliant as on the same kind of lawn near you. Not only are colors less bright in the distance. based on an oversight or on lack of understanding. Bear in mind that warm colors appear to advance. rather than in depth as the artist had planned. your forest will resemble a piece of material. Dark sections. However. lighter where the sun hits them. on a road. Compare the tones farthest away with the tones near you. Lesson #6 There are just a few more points I would like to make concerning color perspective then we will move on to color perceptions. And even real holes in the distance must be lighter in value than similar holes nearby. your trees will look like green drapery thrown over wooden hatracks. but reddish. perhaps mischievously.scenery with a great deal of trees and foliage. An artist working in any of these contemporary styles may wish to suggest a big hole.. Art students often paint tree trunks. while cool colors recede. Such color effects can then be utilized for . appear to be holes or gashes in the picture. and the very lightest first. painted just as dark in the distance as similar objects in the foreground. and shadows under the trees in the same colors and values in the farthest distance as nearby. and it will move backward. or look as if someone had pasted bright pieces of paper on it. they're utterly wrong.. I know that this is the part of color that is less attractive and can be a bit boring. They're fine if you want to paint actual holes or gashes. whitish. darker in the shade. they are also more bluish in tone. You must learn to render the diverse shades of green not only lighter and darker. the farther away it moves from you. blue. You have absolute control over colors. yellowish. of course. this is the information you must have in your head and this is the information that you must be contemplating while you are painting. It's easy to see the color differences in unusually light-and-bright-hued young trees. bluish. and it will come forward." as we say. the less intense the cool color. and. Such trees and shadows appear to be standing in one row across the picture. Even the casual onlooker feels that something is wrong with the picture. The more intense the warm color. Add a touch of red. hanging straight down. Look for me again soon. If you don't learn these nuances. Although these facts are most notable and damaging in realistic subjects. a curtain. I will try to "catch up" a little in time as I was rather late getting this lesson on line.. AVOID HOLES AND JUMPING-OUT COLORS Colors in the distance painted as bright as the same hues nearer to you. or on any object isn't merely darker than the rest. or burnt sienna to any color. you can distinguish trees with maroon or reddish foliage. if the dark hue is an accident. It's an excellent method to start your painting by applying the very darkest. Take what we have studied today and try to put it to practice in your art or practice paintings. and paint the shades between the two extremes proportionately. Till then. on a house. grasping and perceiving values is of the utmost significance.. and in-between. A shadow on a tree. orange. however. and grayish greens as well. IMPORTANCE OF VALUES IN COLOR PERSPECTIVE In color perspective. seem to be "jumping out of the picture. Add a touch of white. they're just as disturbing in abstract or nonobjective paintings.
I couldn't possibly be serious. about 1790. How can certain sides of these objects be darker than others. Later on. This shows how totally different viewpoints can. There is a famous story about Earl George Macartney. and do. she said. colored according to the artist's memory. For perfect realism. and we can hardly imagine truly three-dimensional appearance in any painting that has no light and shadow. The Emperor and the Mandarins were shocked at the sight of the portraits. Light and shadow have been an integral feature of Western art for over two thousand years. I asked her why she hadn't painted the shadows. including a Japanese travel folder.once had to paint geometric objects made of natural wood. all exactly the same wood color. Surely. she became almost hysterical. it had to be darker than the other sides. the right-hand side of each of the two objects was in shadow. She grabbed both geometric forms.aesthetic purposes. or. exist. Surely. some paint spilled by accident. in which shadows could undeniably be seen. "What shadows?" she asked.in a watercolor class I taught . and that's the way I paint them!" Suddenly. she left the pencil lines between sides intact. printed in Japan. They thought the shadow on the King's nose was either a natural. tragic defect. STUDYING LIGHT AND SHADOW . I managed to convey to this Japanese girl the Western idea about light-and-shadow by showing her photographs. but the Roman artists knew practically all about light and shadow effects. we must have linear perspective. and in their great mosaic pictures. Japanese pictures are done in fine outlines. But not every part of the world agrees with us. when they are made of the same piece of wood? When I tried to convince her of the existence of shadows. She made a perfect outline drawing of a cube and a pyramid. I understood the Oriental attitude.. Britain's first envoy to China. therefore. The girl declared she didn't know what I was talking about. every side is just like the others. the wood was the same all round. Why. perhaps. A very talented Japanese girl . but what you remember as the truth. They asked if every person in England really had one side of the face darker than the other. When he reached the court of the Chinese Emperor. which was quite an achievement in patience and skill. color perspective.. then painted the visible sides of each. and repeated loudly: "These things are made of the same wood. waved them. You must paint not what you see. as we can see in their often superb murals in Pompeii and Herculaneum. turned them around in front of me. one in each hand. light and shadow. LIGHT AND SHADOW Few fragments of Greek paintings survive. he presented a gift from King George III: several portraits of the British Royal Family.
The highlight is a spot on a sphere. such as wrinkled drapery on the table. don't assume they are dark. Observe cast shadows. the object will appear to be flat rather than curved. When the light comes from the sunny. rather than a three dimensional edifice. On a flat surface. The assumption that the shadow on a red apple is a darker red. Such structures appear to be flat surfaces with some decorations. If you paint the shadow up to the edge. the lightest spot on the red apple may be a pale blue! The highlight may be yellow when seen by artificial light! The shadows may be any dark hue. and leave reflected light near the edge. but . the one nearest to the source of light. Or paint a monochromatic painting. wherever its actually dark. I know that we have covered some of this material in previous lessons. and a white one. and I will be brief this time. I want to know their understanding of light and shadow. the ancient temple looks like a huge neon sign floating against the midnight-blue sky. blue sky. Each of them has shades. the shadow curves according to the shape of the drapery. the highlight is one line along the cylindrical body.Highlights Are Different. but slightly away from it. is cone-shaped on a flat surface. the shadow or light has a sharp edge. Be as bold as you wish. the table. leaving a reflected light. The shape of a cast shadow is produced by the shape of the object which throws the shadow and the surface upon which the shadow is cast. the highlight is just a spot. By removing color from their palette. Study the color of highlights. It is a splendid fantasy. its background. On a wavy surface. On round surfaces. Lights and shadows must be studied like anything else. but you must train your eyes to see what's in front of them visually. When a student applies to enter my tutelage I hand them a tube of black paint. is erroneous. On a cylinder. On a sphere. Perched on top of the Acropolis. for example. One of the weirdest of these is the Parthenon in Athens. Public buildings and monuments are often illuminated by hundreds of spotlights. where its supposed to be light. and so forth. nor the dark part of an article is ever one large mass of a single color. On a round surface. the darkest shadow is not at the very edge. The only time there is absolutely no shadow is when illumination comes from all possible angles. the highlight on the same apple is a lighter red. Learn to notice such extraneous spots in your full color paintings as well. depending on where the apple is. these shades blend into each other. indefinite spots. One of the best ways to study light and shadow is to look at black-and-white photographs. You needn't be photographic. a straight line on a cylindrical or conical object. Apply heavy strokes. The cast shadow of a cone. but its intensity varies from one corner to the other. and with dark gray. Such spots stick out like sore thumbs. Anyone can immediately tell that something is wrong with the picture. the highlight is a line from the tip to the bottom of the cone. On a cone. and ask them to paint a picture using just these two paints. omit small details. Neither the light part. they have only light and shadow with which to portray their subject. Take a black-and-white photograph and touch it up with light gray. such as a table.
in the fifteenth century. even to school children. galloping horses. total effect. such as the Parthenon in Athens. and in color in particular.don't forget the final. what looks right to the average student is wrong to the experienced artist. painting itself is a great illusion: an artist can create an illusion of depth on a flat surface. with their incomparable desire and ability to weigh. This is no small achievement. so that. they changed the shapes of columns until they found a certain curvature and a set of proportions of height and width. observing ability and. while others come up in art only . perceiving color is probably a combination of natural talent. When they noticed that straight columns didn't look straight. and vice-versa. others make an effort to see and study color. and define everything.every type of art. he can depict sunshine. the waves of the sea. we must recognize. doesn't come as fast as I would like. some unpleasant. even though it wasn't. and anything else. The perception of illusions. on a mere sheet of paper or canvas. Still others are perhaps capable of immediate cognition. The ancient Greeks. moonlight. or of colors. through the senses. they built them in their large temples. After all. Vitruvius. through keen observation. COLOR AND PERCEPTION Perception means an awareness of things. Time after time. of forms. EXERCISES IN OPTICAL ILLUSIONS . It requires visual experience. whether they are illusions of lines. the column looked straight. were past masters of controlling optical illusions in their architecture. or by intuition. with the greatest artists. more than in architecture. OPTICAL ILLUSIONS Having dealt with many hundreds of art students. including Leonardo da Vinci. in a convex shape. of books by the classic Roman architect. Optical illusions were widely and most successfully practiced by the architects of the Renaissance. a few are known to the general public. Some of these optical illusions are pleasant. observe. Some people are naturally aware of color. after the discovery. I hear the exclamation: "But this doesn't look right!" or "This looks wrong. others puzzling or amusing. and technical skill. is very significant to all artists. obtained directly. It looks impossible!" Invariably. As in all fields. In painting. One of the most difficult problems is to convince art students that the world is full of optical illusions. hurricane. They used their eyes and their minds. When horizontal steps seemed to be caving in. I know that perception in art in general. and utilize optical illusions. measure. so that they looked straight. rain. intuition. perception. the right sizes for top and bottom of a column.
including the upside down arrows. the man with the tophat seems taller. The reason for the illusion is simple: we perceive the total height. or length. even though he is of exactly the same height as the other figure. some puzzling. Which line is taller? Which line is longer? They're exactly the same. Notice that the vertical line on the right looks taller. one with regular arrows at each end. some odd. instead of observing the lines or figures . Practically everyone is familiar with the optical illusion of two lines of equal length. but many of them fool you unless you know all about them. in contrast with the regular arrows at the ends of the other two lines. the lower one of the horizontal lines appears to be longer. and horizontal line on the bottom appear to be longer. and the tophat. the other with inverted arrows. but the vertical line on the right. This illusion is caused by the inverted arrows at the ends of these two lines. The same illusion prevails in two human figures: If one wears a tophat. the other a flat straw hat. some interesting.Which Line Is Taller? Which Is Longer? We are surrounded by optical illusions.
widening.. Otherwise. many colors. whereas horizontal lines seem to be spreading. We know from Vincent's letters to his brother. He literally saw them. brilliantly illuminated by the sun against a cloudless summer sky. it will look much too big on the dark wall of the house. even though he knew they weren't actually in the sky. Who hasn't seen the optical trick of a white square on a black background. Two colors which give white when combined through a prism are called complementary colors. after I had gazed at a couple of white sailboats. make the window smaller than you want it to appear. Let the physicist pair them all. A bright spot on a dark surface always seems to expand. We'd only be imitating Vincent van Gogh. He employed swirling brush strokes. He also saw swirling forms in the almost tropical sunlight of the Arles region. Look for us to move on in the next few days. Among the most memorable ones I've ever seen were purple and green sailboats floating in the sky. one of whom wears a vertical striped dress. the head will look like a giant. the colors of after-images are the complementary colors of the original objects. Another well-known optical illusion refers to two women. See you then! Lesson #7 EFFECTS OF AFTER-IMAGES Have you ever looked at the glowing orange setting sun? When you look away. If you paint a night scene with a house. in which one window is brightly illuminated by a lamp inside. paint the face smaller than lifesize. you'll see a shape similar to that of the illuminated sign.. when you turn toward a shaded wall. too. paint such after-images? One celebrated artist who did paint them was Vincent van Gogh. you see purple and green suns jumping in front of you. he painted spots in the sky. and a dark purple or a dark blue combination of squares and backgrounds. The woman with the horizontal stripes looks fatter and shorter. that his aim always was to paint exactly what he saw. I am attempting to get caught up a little as I have been a bit late getting the lessons on line. Since there are countless colors. the other a dress with horizontal stripes.. in a later period. and a black square on a white background? The white square on black appears to be bigger. Notice what happens when you stare at a brilliant neon sign for a few minutes at night. When you turn toward the dark sky or toward a dark building. there must also be countless complementaries. and. Artists. This doesn't mean that we ought to paint such spots. We must assume that he painted the dark spots in the bright sky because he saw such spots. Theo. blond girl against a very dark background. but if you want to paint a light-complexioned. as a rule. The illusion lies in the fact that vertical lines guide our eyes upward. merely see the colors of the actual objects. although it's identical in size with the black square. while the dark spot on a light backdrop is visually compressed by the light color around it. only in a different color. after having looked at a bright sunlit building. on the bright blue Mediterranean Sea off North Africa.themselves. The result is the same if you work with a bright yellow or bright green. Otherwise. can we. Some portrait painters like strong contrasts. and every now and then he reported with great satisfaction that he had succeeded in doing just that. According to physicists. A lifesize portrait looks lifesize when painted against a fairly light background. But the after-image effect can inspire us to select our colors according to the fact that a very brilliant form might be . where he lived. or to its brightest feature. Similar spots act like jumping beans of diverse dark hues. Greenishyellow and blue are a pair of such complementaries. These spots and shapes are called after-images. The question is: should we.
with a bright blue sky. photographs. Practically any artist with modest experience knows how to paint an ordinary little landscape. Didn't a blue sky imply a pleasant day? Didn't dark clouds announce a storm or rain? Wasn't the green pasture more pleasing to the eye than the dried-out. or unless you don't mind working like an amateur. titles. a tophat. and if you paint a less bright sail next to it. notes. What may surprise us is to find that some colors have different meanings in various parts of the world. of course. You notice and paint these odd features when working from observation. casein. Surely. a late afternoon scene. the trees don't go with each other. a yellowish orange and a reddish orange. or misplace them. An experienced artist can immediately tell whether you had painted a picture from life or from memory. is far more complicated. painting with the actual scenery. in the same picture. the ground. and thus give the onlooker a sense of life. and undamaged. clean. perhaps a clump of land with dark green trees. no door. Usually. Depicting a more definite theme from memory. brown and green ground. It's fine for a clown. roof. a few trees. One of the problems of memory-colors is a lack of variety and accidental flaws. tree. rock. try to return to the place later and compare your finished. the sky. Above all. for example an early morning scene. between cobalt. and a green umbrella. A smart seamstress doesn't go to a store to purchase a piece of material to match a specific color without carrying a swatch of the required color with her. Such paintings remind me of a clown dressed in striped trousers. or nearly finished. dirty-brown vegetation? Wasn't red the color of blood? Wasn't white the purest possible color? Didn't darkness frighten people? Didn't the radiant sun resemble a huge disk of gold? Later on. or light. Unless you are truly experienced at painting from memory. very dark. we recollect only that distant hills that we have seen were violet in tone. THE MEANING OF COLORS In his endless search for causes. As for color perspective. a patched up lumberjacket. or very light. but have something to refresh your memory when you paint a serious picture. between a blue-violet and a red-violet. and in a professional style. a feeling of vibration. or a landscape as it looks just before a shower. when painting from memory. peculiarities you always find in nature. white clouds.repeated elsewhere in a very dark color. and so on. often incorrectly. Use watercolor. crayon. . a torn sweater. A sound combination of on-the-spot sketches. but cannot invent. and a red farmhouse. reasons. a bright sail will look even brighter if you paint the sky just a little darker next to it. But we remember colors the way we remember anything else: vaguely. certain colors became associated with facts. explanations. man must have stumbled on meanings of colors at an early date. highly polished boots. ultramarine. and in his equally endless hope of finding answers to all questions and meanings in all phenomena. ceremonies. We recall with certainty only the names of colors. and memory will help you paint successfully. It's especially difficult to remember changes in colors caused by illumination. but you wouldn't want to be caught dressed like that. between alizarin crimson and cadmium red. and phthalo blue. There are so many shades of so many hues that it's literally impossible for anyone to recollect each of them. but you forget them. or if you paint a dark spot. make on-the-spot sketches in pencil and in color. when such scenes are painted from memory. and the fact that they are dark. COLORS AND MEMORY Most painters know the difference between two kinds of yellow. events. No wall. or road is perfectly clear.
In more recent times. Scarlet. colors have their connotations. built between 2300 and 2180 B. In the Western world. It's derived from the ancient. and thus. to women of ill repute. as listed in Exodus. heaven. 1 . sungod. by high ranking prelates of the Christian church. mourning. Black is death. actually. the second was red. the color of spring.SYMBOLIC COLORS We have ample evidence that colors began to have special meanings a very long time ago. Isn't white as pure. Gray means colorless. Green may also be water. A great many buildings have their fourteenth floor right above the twelfth.C. because some people surrender for no other reason than to save themselves. We cannot be sure these colors were applied at the time the Ziggurat was erected. White is purity. Scarlet. the underworld. because countless . is also a sign of dignity and high rank. Green also means poison. or whimsical juxtaposing of colors. symbols of heaven and the sun. purple. scarlet. sacrifice. chastity. The textile was often dyed this particular red and. later. and that those meanings were clear to the entire population.or implied meanings . Gold or yellow means the sun. Judging by the use of similar colors elsewhere. both of them deadly poisonous emotions. but it generally means hope. expensive dye prepared from the purple fish (purpura in Latin. they may have been added later. and so are many poisonous sulphates. treachery. because arsenic. however. porphyra in Greek). too. the name of the cloth became synonymous with the color. symbolizing the underworld. and water. yellow is the symbol of a certain type of sensation seeking. Red is the color of blood. rising from a white court. and most people have learnt these connotations in their childhood. it was a kind of Persian broadcloth. Still. and gold are the colors of the priests' garments. A yellow flag on a ship signifies contagious disease. or as empty as black? It's also the color of surrender. many poisons were manufactured in green powder form. in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. and fear. but it's the color of mourning in the Far East. but they are closely connected with each other. though.6. wealth. Here are a few examples: • • Blue stands for sky. Blue. used for tents and flags. Purple is emblematic of rank and authority. a yellow-red hue of very high saturation. it may be more accurate to say that a color has a variety of connotations . Purple robes were worn by Roman emperors and. known in most ancient times. • • • • • • • As you can see. food for humans. Yellow. was black. Symbolical paintings are not as fashionable today as they used to be. This association is due to Revelations XVII. the Ziggurat of Ur. Originally. then came a blue shrine with a gilded top. because a piece of white on a pole could be seen from a great distance. during a reconstruction. hence. desolation. of the meaning of the colors.which the viewer may think of consciously or unconsciously. Green also symbolizes jealousy. there can be no question of an accidental. just as they learn prejudices and superstitions. right on the spot. because the most vicious kind of news was printed on colored (yellow) paper to incite the curiosity of the public. and could not be mistaken for any kind of flag. White means cowardice. One of the most famous edifices of antiquity. destructive journalism. in order to differentiate them from flour or sugar. it represents courage. eventually. cowardice. Nor have we absolute proof. consisted of four main stories. WHAT DO COLORS STAND FOR? Most colors have several meanings. Those hues were selected for symbolical reasons. a color is unlikely to have one rigid meaning. feed for animals. is also applied in an opprobrious manner. figuratively as well as literally. the renewal of life. The first story. however. representing the earth. is green. also represents envy.
Many an artist faces a client who doesn't dare purchase a certain painting. This is a completely erroneous concept. The color of the wall has nothing to do with the painting. but a black gown or suit. And the psychological effect of one color can be very different from its symbolical significance. but he ought to consider color connotations when he paints. severe atmosphere of a museum is softened.orange. perhaps. while the different color appears to open on another vista. We've discovered that a small room looks bigger if painted in light tones. To many people. I stop here because we next discuss the psychology of color. After the experience. a bouquet of fresh flowers is more attractive than a shabby trash can full of waste. Recently. Black may signify mourning.persons consider thirteen an unlucky number. rainy ones.and without gray gloves There can be hardly any question but that people prefer bright. Nevertheless. is distinguished and elegant as well. A few years ago. out-of-place.. a pair of gray gloves. every day. At this point I will let you mull over what we have said. This is a bit of a complex section and I want to give it to you all in one setting. Repetition is the best formula for art. unless the wall color is absurd . however. Paintings on colored walls are closer to us. with cobalt blue . but just briefly. have long since painted the walls of various galleries in different hues: dusty-green. and a subdued necktie. the lighter color gives a feeling of space. light-maroon. a white shirt. colors effect us psychologically regardless of any symbolism. or so it seems. fire and flames will never cease to be fascinating as well as frightening. and would not live on the thirteenth flood. but it may be proper and attractive when the same woman wears it at a gala reception or dance. An artist may or may not be superstitious. I sincerely hope that you are using these lessons in your everyday painting sessions. The generally accepted meanings of colors often have a distinct bearing on one's liking. because the client believes it won't go with the color of the wall. or disliking a painting. There is no absolute definition of psychological effects. They probably imagined I smelled of death. such as a tuxedo. New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art tried the same idea a number of years ago. we find the soft green hue more relaxing to eye and soul. we employ our knowledge in a practical manner. The Metropolitan has redecorated some of its galleries in color and nobody seems to complain. I expect to list another lesson in just a day or two. but people objected to the colors. I thought I was smartly dressed." They shied away from me. depending upon circumstances. when worn by a woman attending a funeral. though. in order to make them more intimate and diversified. rather than the previously universal dull gray or buff or glaring white. Standing in a subway car. blue-gray. I overheard two women whispering to each other: "He must be an undertaker. they were accustomed to the drab uniformity of each gallery. black is invariably the color of death. or in room number thirteen. I was wearing a charcoal-gray suit. and even larger if one of its walls is done in a different hue. The Louvre in Paris. An orange or red gown is loud and flashy. Lesson #8 PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOR Symbolic meanings of colors have psychological connotations. darkness will always suggest danger and mystery.. since people have become adjusted to the idea of color. and so forth. We now paint the walls of hospitals and schools a pale Nile-green. At the same time. You ARE painting every day aren't you? The finest watercolorist I ever knew painted 10 watercolors a day. The dry. he may not believe in actual meanings of colors. and other major museums in Europe. I always wore my charcoal suit with a bright-hued shirt and a very colorful necktie. As we have become more conscious of the pleasant or unpleasant reactions to colors. sunny days to dark.
In paintings. the sky gray. or painting. but the grass was bright green. UTILIZING PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS IN PAINTING As I have stated before. He thought that funerals must be held on rainy days. that a painting executed mainly in shades of gray. nor is it bad because it happens to convey a feeling of tragedy. and much of it in black. Knowledge and skill are what you learn from teachers. from experience. until your eyes are fresh enough to be able to see clearly. showing people standing all around the grave. you don't want the audience to laugh at it. or try to look at a small corner only. you can employ them at your will. all the umbrellas in black. This kind of painting demands absolute knowledge of colors and their effects. Understanding all the features of your art is bound to help you in attaining your positive goal. One can see the clouds disappearing. On a normal wall. a painting is not great because it is full of happiness. such a painting is based on your knowledge and skill. from the internet. especially because there seems to be no alternative. depressing effect on the average onlooker. turn your painting face out. It resembled an old. home. in the foreground. He missed his mark by miles! I saw another artist. from books. as if hit by the sun. just look. HOW TO JUDGE YOUR COLOR SELECTION There are two major criteria by which you might judge your selection of colors in any field: in dress. If you understand the psychological effects of colors. here and there. for example. visible here and there. you have a better chance of figuring out the ultimate effect. cheerful. employing all the colors that convey an emotion of sadness or despair. The entire painting looked dreary. go ahead. or home for a few days. art is not a haphazard activity. will have a lugubrious. You can put a dress or suit in your closet. and look. Even if you paint spontaneously. discolored theatrical backdrop. take your apparel out of the closet. He painted all the figures. but both of them are well worth trying. The tree trunks were all of the same rusty-brown color. You can shut your eyes when you are home. I've seen outdoor paintings the artist wanted to be cheerful. but the sun is out. a very serious one. a grayish-green. A few days later. You're free to pain a tragic picture. The best idea is to go away for a while. You can turn a painting face against the wall. any painting you like will remain attractive. in the middleground. sparkling blue sky much too dark. from practice. The onlooker felt that it was all a fake. This is the same as with theatrical productions: we have tragedies as well as comedies. Neither of these criteria is easy. But if you write a tragedy. You can be sure. But what happened? He painted the light. shabby. without any depth. with gray highlights. in the distance. rather than merely your natural talent. He painted the foliage of trees in the background just as those in the foreground.woodwork! One doesn't encounter such bizarre color combinations in the average household. deliberately. with hardly any relief from the dark tones. One way you can judge colors is not to look at your work. a play-acting. There was something theatrical about the black silhouette-like figures. the earth. provided that it's in a frame which visually separates it from the surroundings. you can also . The grass was blue-green. paint a funeral. the artist who paints cityscapes right after the rain. dress. you are shocked if it makes people cry. and neither of them is foolproof. with their umbrellas open. If that is what you want. There are artists who know exactly what colors to employ. the way they are usually shown in grade C films. was almost black. Art is not necessarily a joyful activity. and if you planned to write a comedy. A great deal of self-criticism is possible in this fashion. For example. there are some puddles of rainwater. I saw him do the work. and everything looks freshened-up. dull. turn all lights on in your house.
to the dying brown foliage under a clear blue sky. You cannot paint a meadow glowing with red poppies merely by painting the lower half of your canvas green. Here again. There is a challenge in painting the seasons. violet. the sun coming out from behind clouds after a shower. For reasons we have discussed before in these lessons. is a symphony of colors. the world would be absolutely unbearable. through yellow. Listen to them carefully and consider their criticism and advice. Those people may be friends or strangers. he takes a vacation. purple tones. without any delicacy of color. and interspersing it with many bright-red spots. Everything has many hues. orange. but.all carry certain moods with them. rain. values. but one can observe snowy scenery from a house or a shack. and always from life. and should not be practiced without vast knowledge. ranging from still green leaves. Even though tastes are different. One serious warning: don't paint outdoor scenes without a thorough observation of reality. Few artists paint in the open in the cold season. CHARACTERISTIC COLOR COMBINATIONS By a natural association of ideas. Don't tell them anything. don't permit every Tom. But. The other way of judging results is by watching the reaction of other people to your colors. lives as a season of heat. thunderstorm. there is no rock color. The result will look like a red-polka-dotted green textile. complete with heater. He doesn't seem to be interested in any other subject. The seasons have often been depicted in combination with the ages of man: childhood and spring. Dusk. He stops wherever he finds inspiration. You'll find this simple trick is a help. in our memory. the last orange rays of the setting sun illuminating the sky . preferably. you'll notice mistakes more quickly in an upside-down picture than in a rightside-up painting.turn the work upside down. for heaven's sake. and weather for centuries. and Harry to destroy your ego by making devastating. unwarranted comments on your taste and artistry. When there is no snow. Summer. If such general agreement didn't exist. Dick. Artists have been intrigued by seasons. most people in your own circle are likely to agree on what is attractive and what isn't. or invigorating with its bright blue sky and violet shadows thrown on the pure snow. youth and summer. because a meadow is hardly ever the same vegetation all over. maturity and autumn. we think of spring as full of vivid color. These moods are reflected in the coloring. Winter is either depressing with its barren earth. There are the usual differences of shades. has been painting nothing but snowscapes. Winter sports are characterized by multi-colored apparel. We speak of a beautiful sky. the name of a color is very different from its actual appearance. fully grown. and many shades of each hue. A colossal invention. just watch them. COLOR IN PHOTOGRAPHY VERSUS COLOR IN PAINTING One need not tell me of the advancements in color photography in recent years. Watch peoples reaction to your taste and allow them to make suggestions. but just how blue is it? Which blue is to mixed with how much white in order to give us the blue we so admire? And the blue sky itself is not the same blue from top to bottom. In general. He drives around in a glass-enclosed studio. skeletonized trees. they are people whose judgment you consider satisfactory. One noted New England artist that I happen to know. snowfall. dawn. You must go outdoors and paint from direct observation during the greater part of the year. and shrubs. old age and winter. and all equipment built on the good. and even colors. Everything is ripe. painting from memory alone is near impossible. Autumn. old chassis of a car. What is the color of a dirt road? What is the color of an interesting rock formation? There is no dirt road color. In . in a large part of the world.
even though in a highly exaggerated manner. it is not nearly good enough a medium from which to judge a painting.the surroundings from the picture. . The pictures are clear and remarkably beautiful. I've heard of such cases. But beware of the color in such photographs! They are either too blue. that wet earth could be smeared or spread on the rocks to imitate the color of real things. too brown. cheerful. It's nothing less than barbarous to insist that an artist change certain colors in their painting in order to "match" the colors of the room.the art magazine that I publish. so composed in color and design that it should stand by itself. If I have enough time. Shadows in photographs are usually much too strong and lack the variety of shades found in nature. described the many optical illusions caused by colors or color combinations. potentialities. I prefer black-and-white photographs. but they are clearer. but don't ever copy the colors as they are in the photograph. And I know that it is even hard to find film. and limitations of each. consider only one question: is the painting you're doing. A Brief Survey of Painting Media Prehistoric man noticed that the color of the earth was varied. terminology.excludes . trees. Place such reproductions next to the originals and you'll have a shock. and with the great potential. COLORS IN PAINTING VERSUS COLORS IN A ROOMA painting must be a complete entity. The most distressing and damaging difference is between paintings and color slides made from them. and meaning of colors. I've explained the difference between color theories established by physicist and the practical use of colors by artists. A "colorful" painting is not a picture executed in all imaginable colors. Whether you are an artist producing a picture. or to achieve interesting results. such pictures may be helpful in reminding you of certain basic colors of houses. flowers. Expect things to come at a fairly quick pace in the next few lessons. Now I am going into the factual features of the colors: the paints with which artists work. if you're a layman. or too green. I've shown their vital role in perspective. hills. proper in subject matter for the particular place where it is to hang? The frame separates . I've discussed the history. The finest color reproductions of masterpieces give only a vague idea of the original coloring. after a rainfall. I have a few friends who are now jurying shows for publication on the internet by looking at paintings from e-mail! I don't suspect that I need tell you of the problems inherent in this context. and how those optical illusions might help artists to avoid visual mistakes. or the painting you're buying. in peace and harmony. the use. and explain the purpose. if you're an artist. the physical properties. or too red. It isn't necessary to have a painting match your drapery and furnishings in its colors. and. this month's issue includes a group of color photographers whose work is the most talked about of the month. and the color scheme of the room can thus live side-by-side. without disturbing our eyes. Lesson #9 Characteristics of Manufactured Colors Up to this point. Details in them are not obscured by wild colors. There is a great deal to talk about when the subject is color. The color scheme of the painting. but one which looks vivid. or a layman purchasing one. Don't let it happen to you. I am going to describe the materials and media. the theories. I also prepare a color sketch in watercolor or casein. I make pencil sketches and take notes referring to colors. Color photographs remind you of such hues. And don't do it to an artist. As wonderful as this medium is.
Enamel Enamel. .colored substances .Later on. There's much overlapping in the development of paints. before being used as a binder for pigments. Enamel later became a highly-treasured permanent decoration on metallic objects. He discovered. Oil Paints Although oil painting. and becomes waterproof. Tempera At first. was also discovered at an early date. Eggs could also be used upon already painted surfaces as a protective varnish. man applied all colors with water only. in China as well as in France. was introduced in the fifteenth century by the famous Flemish masters. Wax may have been employed as a protective coat over tempera.really a kind of watercolor applied to wet plaster . and have been used in many parts of the ancient world.became hard. Colors mixed with eggs are called tempera. As he began to employ colors on utensils and perhaps on some clothing. enamel was used almost exclusively on jewelry and objects of art. no doubt by accident. was employed by the ancient Assyrians. Hubert and Jan Van Eyck. probably discovered at the same time as glass.was evolved directly from tempera. it also goes back many hundreds of years. when workers tried to make the white plaster walls look less harsh by applying a coat of watercolor. and that powdered colors mixed with eggs could thus be turned into permanent paints. as we understand the term. Discoveries seem to have been made almost simultaneously in various sections of the world. but similar mixtures may be obtained by combining colors with various gums or glues. almost unremovable. probably soon after man found honey to his taste. or skills and knowledge were carried by adventurous persons from one place to another. such as rabbit skin glue or fish glue. how quickly it cools and dries. besides painting on the wall of his cave. Man must have noticed how easy it is to melt wax. too.mixed only with water. a substance which makes them adhere to the surface on which they are used. he found other sources of paint in fruits and vegetables. Fresco Fresco painting . and how well it protects whatever it happens to cover. mostly on bricks decorating the fronts of temples and palaces. Egyptians used it on pottery. as both a binder and a protective varnish. Encaustic Beeswax. but most ancient people realized that pigments must have a binder. At one time. Now. a vitreous (glasslike) compound. and that such paint would become permanent. They realized that water paint is solidified by the drying lime. he found that fat dripping from roasted meat made the earth easier to use as paint . Pigments (powered colors) mixed with wax are called encaustics. enamels are utilized on articles and materials exposed to the weather. Some primitive tribes are still using pigments . that eggs especially eggwhites . Fresco was employed by so many ancient peoples that it isn't possible to tell who used it first or where.
The earliest mention of the use of fast-drying vegetable oils in paintings is in a book by Aetius. gum arabic ( a water soluble glue) is the binder." He must actually be considered the father of all Western watercolor. the paint is applied without much water. First. and casein are almost identical. and you have to mix a color with white if you want to make it lighter. from the eighteenth century to about 1100. Casein can be used as a watercolor but. He recommends nut oil for protecting gilt surfaces and encaustics. The binders in our oil colors are linseed and poppyseed oils. of the use of such drying oils in painting and in varnishing. exactly like oil colors. gouache. not as in transparent aquarelle. did not evolve from these forms of painting. silk and ricepaper scrolls in the Orient. Artists illuminating papyrus scrolls in Egypt. Aquarelle is the direct descendant of the pen-and-ink-wash drawings made by artists of the Renaissance and Baroque. An English artist. Some artists add eggwhite or the whole egg to casein to make it harder. often called transparent watercolor. Johann Alexander Thiele (1685 . a medical writer. usually of an opaque kind. is called the "Father of English Watercolor. when pastels by the Swiss artist. It dries rapidly and is quite waterproof. though. In modern watercolor. which destroys the transparency. the odor was eliminated and casein was produced in tubes.had already worked in pastel. all worked with a water medium. These contain a small amount of wax. Pastel Pastel is erroneously believed to be the invention of the German landscape painter. Paul Sandby (1725 . was known since the most ancient times. manuscripts in the Dark and Middle Ages. Changes and corrections are easy. from the early part of the sixth century of the Christian era. Jean Etienne Liotard. it was marketed as a white housepaint. as I mentioned before. and it had a nauseating odor. Recently. were shown at the Royal Academy in London. The medium didn't become popular until 1775. Polymer . The pigments usually contain some honey. We have much evidence. Watercolor Watercolor. White is used in gouache as in oils.1752). compressed into small. besides gum arabic. An important principle of transparent watercolor is never to work with white paint. rather than with egg varnish. the noted Italian master who died more than forty years before Thiele was born .Some Egyptian mummy cases appear to have been varnished with an oil. tempera. but we're sure that at least Guido Reni. Miniaturists often work with gouache. cylindrical sticks. the charm of the medium. mixed with very finely powered pigment. unlike watercolor. Later. This medium is pure powered pigment. in the 1930's.1797). Present-day aquarelle. one stroke covers another because the color is relatively opaque. used by cabinetmakers as a waterproof glue for at least eight hundred years before it occurred to someone to employ it in paint. Gouache Gouache (pronounced gwash) is an opaque watercolor. Today. Casein Casein is an ingredient of curdled milk. semi-hard pastels have been introduced.
opaque or transparent. are made from cobalt. but dry almost instantly and dry waterproof. A beautiful blue. as they are permanent. Most colors made from these metallic elements are permanent. and inorganic. White is made from lead. and chemical colors. There are four sources of pigments: natural. and they are obtained on the very surface of the earth. Since they have to be mined and carefully processed.A relatively new medium is polymer. water. brown. Polymer is employed in commercial fields as well as in the fine arts. in all brands. Even today. Mineral Colors Mineral colors are obtained from metallic elements. Pigments We Use Pigments are the coloring matter we need for paints.come from animal matter. None of these colors are very brilliant. these colors are applied with water. Needless to say. A vegetable substance. this belief was completely wrong. zinc. artificial. Don't use them in fine arts. . these have to be thinned and applied with oil or turpentine. The colors may be used as they are.a kind of red employed in watercolor . they are costlier than earth colors. Cadmium gives us the most valuable pigments of yellow. a feature which makes polymer paintings or objects painted in polymer literally scuffproof. Some plastic colors are produced with an oil soluble base. in any technique. because they are found practically anywhere. They must be substances which can be powderized so that they can be mixed with a liquefied binder. and an equally lovely violet. The name was applied to them when earth was believed to be one of the four elements constituting the world. and fire. Chromium oxide provides us with a brilliant green. Many of these were used in past ages. It's probably simpler. Lead chromates. organic colors. which are marketed under various trade names. It works on any surface. Earth colors are prepared from various iron ores. Chrome yellow and chrome orange look like cadmium colors of the same names. is also used in aquarelle. but are a must for fine artists who cannot afford to work with colors which turn dark or change completely. carmines . and green. Prepared from mostly diverse combinations of acrylic and vinyl. Earth Colors Earth colors are not really made of earth. and red. in inexhaustible quantities. from which the so-called chrome colors are prepared. Red. though. but many of them (like raw sienna and raw umber) can also be burnt. For example. madder. to list them as earth colors. but we call them earth colors. organic. and titanium. especially. orange. except an oily one. They can be varnished with plastic varnishes. the general name for all kinds of plastic colors. are not permanent. They can be handled like watercolors or oils. was prepared from animals. Organic Colors Organic colors are made from animal or vegetable matter. They range from yellow through diverse shades of buff. to red and violet. Earth colors are lowest in price. the other three being air. thick or thin. however. Most of them are absolutely necessary for every fine arts painter. Indian Yellow (an earth color) can never be as vivid as a cadmium yellow. mineral (or metallic) colors. The only advantage of oil based polymer over regular oils is that the polymer dries faster. but darken very quickly. a procedure which gives us such hues as burnt sienna and burnt umber.
whether the colors are manufactured in the United States or Europe. black . or semiopaque in every medium. If their ingredients are not harmonious. Certain colors are listed as semi-opaque by some manufacturers. polymer. Moreover. certain colors bore warning labels: Do not mix with such-and-such colors! Today. paintings are normally intended to be displayed in the home. In normal circumstances. They may be mixed with any color without fear of some adverse chemical reaction. For a hundred years or so. In our age. chemically created pigments are often more uniform in color and quality than natural ones. All Mars colors yellow. Not at all. now available in each medium. Nonetheless. watercolor. spend a few extra cents. First of all. linseed oil. or blue with zinc white. casein. not outdoors. because we apply it in washes one on top of the other. If you want truly bright colors in reds and yellows. it's possible to go over one color with an entirely different one as soon as the first layer is dry. they'll mix easily with the brush. You might inquire when you buy them. some don't.the main property of each pigment is its opacity or transparency. After all. turpentine. Transparency Regardless of the medium . opaque. Furthermore. often ruining the whole work. Inherent Properties: Opacity. In a good brand. in each medium. red. Otherwise. the inherent opacity or transparency of a color plays an important role in painting. without sufficient covering power. such as trying to cover black with alizarin crimson. like . others call the same colors semi-transparent. or other liquid. Furthermore. which is transparent. and buy cadmium colors. The same colors are transparent. It's of great practical significance to the artist to know which color is opaque. can be transparentized by adding vehicles: water to water-based paints. They looked fine when applied. Both alizarin crimson and zinc white are very transparent. Manufacturers indicate the permanency of each color on the label or in their catalog lists. have chemists to check all qualities of their products. one chemical would react to another one. thus.None of these is truly reliable. each brand may be safely mixed with any other brand. pastel . Some do. violet. There is only one exception: polymer (plastic) colors do not always mix with other brands. gouache. the major manufacturers of artist's colors. chemical pigments were unreliable. you'll find that the paint doesn't mix smoothly. he'll waste time and material on the impossible. Chemical Colors Chemical pigments are born in laboratories.oil. If they are prepared from similar ingredients. the lack of ABSOLUTE permanency means only that a certain color is bound to weaken a little if you expose it to the sun for a long period. and even of household paints. every color. tempera. Reliability. however. copal glazing medium. basic properties remain identical and have to be remembered. In all likelihood. to oils. Before World War I. even these colors are quite satisfactory.are fully reliable. As a result. Although every medium requires a different technique of application. the two terms refer to exactly the same property. such as gel. and destroy the effect planned by the artist. a basically transparent color may be employed as a glaze (a transparent layer. which is halfway between the two. and manufacturers are trying top replace them with metallic or chemical pigments. but that doesn't mean that each color is transparent. There are transparentizers. but faded or changed rapidly. Mars colors are a notable case. it crawls or curdles a little as you try to brush it. Watercolor is called transparent as a medium. all fine art colors marked permanent are absolutely intermixable. Casein dries fast and fairly waterproof. Or you can test them. doesn't necessarily imply brilliance.
or semi-opacity of each color on the label in oil paints. no matter what you do. Each artists must decide for himself which colors suit him. to plan your work according to the opaque and transparent qualities of your colors. transparency. or over blue with yellow. and more reliable. that it will destroy your spontaneity. One point should be brought up. set of colors. that you have a strong white. or yellow spots over other watercolors by using very little water and more paint than usual. For example. Observe what you're doing. Such artists often have to do large panels and they need big quantities of certain colors. in each medium. The moment you mix it with an opaque color. his subjects and his temperament best. Others offer folders and catalogs. Check back soon as we press on to a richer understanding of color. without stirring up the first layer. This is the best advice I. however. of course. brightness. Lesson #10 THE COLORS YOU NEED Let's state at once that there's no such thing as a one-and-only ideal palette. the same colors are opaque. let it dry a couple of minutes. it's important to know its opacity or transparency because you cannot make a transparent color opaque. and covering power. Don't think that this will handicap you. and glaze it in oils or in polymer. Artists' tastes also change in the course of years. paint white over black or blue. the slightest touch of white is enough to turn alizarin crimson into a pale pink. (Provided. without looking at labels or catalogs. in any medium. look at the results. that is. Certain opaque hues are amazingly powerful.colored glass) without any effect. It is. and even general inspiration. artists work with thin. As I've stated before. the same colors are transparent. But you still cannot paint alizarin crimson over black or blue and expect it to look like alizarin crimson. not the very weak. It's necessary. to buy such hues ready-made than to mix them. What does destroy an artist's spontaneity. in which such properties are marked for watercolors as well as oils. orange. you can quite easily paint cadmium red. and messing up the second layer. then glazed it in oils. washes.) Some manufacturers indicate the opacity. Secondly. . In transparent watercolor. Manufacturers offer many shades which can be mixed from other colors. transparent zinc white. In all painting media. or anyone else. can offer you. without changing it. however. then paint alizarin crimson over the white as if it were the original clean support. permanence. They find it easier. The beauty of paintings by old masters is due to a very large extent to the fact that those artists executed an underpainting first. often in tempera. You'll learn from experience. literally transparent. This means that you can go over black with blue. Many artists now do a casein underpainting. others use mostly light ones. important to know what colors are generally accepted by professional artists as satisfactory in respect to variety. therefore. On the other hand. Polymer dries and becomes waterproof in a minute or so. you would need an incredible heap of white to make cadmium yellow noticeably lighter. such as titanium or flake. because there may be a demand for such extra colors by muralists or decorators. because he doesn't understand it. The degree of opacity also has a bearing on the mixing of colors. Nevertheless. is to find some technical hurdle he's unable to surmount. Some artists use dark colors. An experienced aquarellist saves himself a great deal of trouble by planning his work according to such possibilities. You can. it becomes a different hue. because cadmium colors are sufficiently opaque. the use of transparent color as glazes adds depth to your work.
is nothing. and black. because I want the student to get to know paint and how to mix the colors. and the best of them change formulas.the white of the paper on which they work. There are at least two very different yellows: a pale. weighed. Theoretical knowledge is a sound foundation. It's difficult. There are some artists who think that black is not a color.are enough for the physicist. The concept that earth is yellow. and blue . who declared. the color of air. denounced Newton's ideas on color with the same blind fanaticism with which he expressed his admiration for Napoleon. THERE ARE SEVERAL RED. and vermilion (a yellowish red of high brilliance). There are two fundamentally different reds: crimson (a dark. green. encompass vast territories of colors. the other next to darkness. Sir Isaac Newton had enough sense not to impose his theories on artists. but not the ultimate goal. According to Goethe. and blue. Each of these has a noticeably different color. if any. the great philosopher of ancient Greece. and a light yellow will lose its yellowishness as soon as you mix it with any darker color. How can an artist work without white? Even in transparent watercolor. Cezanne. the color of light. having said this. They prepare their own formulas. There are two fundamental colors: yellow. Those of you who have followed my lessons know that I advocate the use of a limited palette. ultramarine blue. initiated by Socrates. he ever tried to obtain red by mixing yellow and blue! And what was the result. formulas. prefers a comparatively small set of colors. plus white. Goethe was also a scientist and an artist. BLUES The names. if not impossible." His statement may be valid for the precise. or medium yellow. one is next to light. The three primary colors . white. the color of fire. "Colors are a manifestation of light and dark. or lemon yellow. the belief in an established law that governs artistic creation and everything else in the world. because they prove what a chasm exists between artistic practice and scientific theory. blue. yellow. cool red). idealized art of his own country and age. the German genius. while others work with six colors: red. A deep yellow mixed with white will never give you a truly bright light yellow. but don't suffice for the artist. they do use white areas . . for an artist to work without cobalt blue. Some artists do base their work on careful calculations. I also realize that once you have become familiar with your palette. may sound naive to us. and blue. YELLOWS. It's understandable that the painter. Where would he keep sixty oil colors? What size palette would he need for them? Certain artists preach the use of only the primaries. green. about twenty-four hundred years ago: "Anything that cannot be measured. yellow. Red was produced when the two extremes were united. even though each of them is called blue. the color of earth. However. if he tried? It's well worth remembering such historical arguments. fire is red. yellow. Rembrandt. red. and playwright. and a deep. But who can measure El Greco. but Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. but he asserted that the artist needs six colors: white. or Picasso? Great artists don't follow prescriptions.CAN YOU WORK WITH JUST PRIMARY COLORS? Now here I am about to run into a problem. and black. Leonardo da Vinci knew that philosophers considered white the receiver of colors and black as deprived of color. blue. and calculated. water is green. yellow. as a painter. time after time. air is blue. but Leonardo was fundamentally right in his view against the philosophers. red.red. Michelangelo. in whatever medium he may work. and phthalo blue." Best known as a poet. but how can you obtain certain shades of colors without mixing them with black? Long before Newton came forth with his theories of light and color. But the vast majority of contemporary artists dismiss this academic concept. It certainly cannot be art. novelist. the color of total darkness. One wonders if. the color of water. where purists never employ white paint. Particularly for the beginning student. you may want to extend your out-of-tube selection.
It should be noted that there are still artists who believe that black is not a color. and to find. purer than any you might mix from red and yellow. The reason is that extra colors are easy to handle and to carry. If they do use white. all the colors listed for oil. Many of them use white paint. COLORS IN OIL PAINTING: Alizarin crimson Ultramarine blue Burnt sienna Cadmium yellow med. Aquarellists. when you mix one color with another. Not every aquarellist is a purist. in commercial art. whether you buy them in tubes. The same is true for pure violet. The more colors you have. GOUACHE: The palette for casein. the easier it is to work in this rather delicate medium. and complexions are alike. With the exception of white. Nothing is more catastrophic than to use the wrong white. A little experience also makes it clear that a ready-made orange is brighter. RECOMMENDED LISTS OF COLORS Although the basic principles of colors and mixing are identical in every painting medium. or cakes. such as luminous and metallic ones. COLORS IN CASEIN. using white paper. because watercolors are small and light. Phthalo green Chromium oxide green Cadmium orange Phthalo blue Titanium white Cadmium red medium Cobalt blue Ivory black The above set enables you to mix any possible color and shade. and gouache is exactly the same as the one in oil painting. size of tubes are identical too. so the paper shows white. except special chemical colors. like to have twenty or twenty-two colors. and so is mixing. utilize the white of the sheet wherever white is necessary. Names of colors. Yellow ocher Cobalt violet Cadmium yellow lt. If they make a mistake. a few weeks later. It's much better and simpler to start out with a ready-made green than to mix it from yellow and blue. they buy only the finest possible kind. Such colors are not normally employed in the fine arts. or pink. TEMPERA. tempera.It's hardly possible to describe the differences between these hues. eyes. but might be desirable. pans. The subtle. yellow. casein. that the pure white has turned gray. . All you can do is tell their names. occasionally. COLORS IN WATERCOLOR (AQUARELLE): Watercolorists. and gouache are also needed in watercolor painting. To lighten colors. never for mixing. there are differences you ought to remember. they use water or a lighter paint. but only for highlights. but vital differences between colors of the same basic name come out most clearly in the mixtures. they scrape or scrub it out. however. and insists you shouldn't use it. tempera. just as one cannot describe the difference between three beautiful women whose hair.
WHAT YOUR COLORS WILL DO The following descriptions are valid for colors in any medium. and the pastel powder would soon begin to roll off. semi-hard pastels in packets of twelve to seventy-two sticks. violet. blacks. Geranium lake Cobalt blue Burnt sienna Cadmium yellow lt. Hookers green deep COLORS FOR POLYMER PAINTING: Poymer is a collective name for all plastic colors. other shades are available in your art supply store. blues.it's not applied with brushes. as in oil and polymer. REDS . regardless of their brand names.LIST OF TRANSPARENT WATERCOLORS: Alizarin crimson Ultramarine blue Raw sienna Cadmium orange Phthalo green Ivory black Yellow ocher Violet Cadmium red med. and half a dozen semi-hard pastels. Alizarin crimson Cadmium red med.it's still considered one of the painting media. because it's held only by the tooth (texture) of the paper. Hooker's green Chromium oxide green Cadmium orange Phthalo green Titanium white COLORS FOR PASTEL PAINTING: Although pastel is not like regular paint . you ought to have about fifty soft. You just cannot pile pastel up indefinitely. The descriptions are in a sequence recommended for arranging the colors on your palette: reds. Lesson #11 I know that these two lessons are coming quite close together but they fit with each other and I want you to have this information for your records. Save these collars or jot down the numbers. greens. work with exactly the right shade of the right color. As a starter. Please note that all qualities refer to colors made by respectable manufacturers of artists' colors. Chromium oxide green Cobalt violet Cadmium yellow lt. The paper collar on each stick gives you the name and number of the color. Viridian green Payne's gray Gamboge (indian yellow) Chromium oxide green Rose madder Phthalo blue Venetian red Cadmium yellow med. without trying to figure out exactly what color it was. You'd ruin the paper with too much rubbing. browns. but a large number of colors is strongly recommended. Whenever possible. and doesn't dry the way you expect other paintings to dry . In other media. Mixing pastels is possible and necessary. so you can but what you need. exceptions are clearly stated. oranges. In exhibitions. one layer of paint adheres to the other. it's part of the watercolor section. yellows. Soft pastels come in assortments of twelve to two hundred and fifty colors. Phthalo blue Mars black Yellow ocher Ultramarine blue Cobalt blue Burnt sienna Cadmium yellow med. and whites.
and still one of those without which no painter wants to be caught. BLUES Ultramarine blue: one of the oldest blues. even in aquarelle. Alizarin crimson is excellent for glazing in any medium. Rose madder: a little closer to red-violet. Washed or glazed over any color. respectively. thin it with water. as it is extraordinarily powerful.wipe or scrape off the wrong color before applying alizarin crimson. very transparent. Cadmium red medium: the most practical of the vermilion-type reds. Alizarin crimson is a must for every kind of representational painting. with great covering power. without obliterating details. or glazes. you want alizarin crimson to look like itself. That was hardly an overseas import. In casein and polymer. cover the mistake with titanium white. Mixed with a drop of white and/or cadmium yellow. but may be useful in aquarelle. You must have the ready-made orange for purity. It's very valuable in all mixtures where a warm. YELLOWS Cadmium yellow light and medium: both are needed. rather than by ships. theoretically. that is. you can paint a moonlit. then go over the picture with an ocher glaze of the required strength to unify the tones. apply it directly on the clean. or gaslit scene in detail. then paint alizarin crimson over the white. Applied in washes. You can paint cadmium colors over any other color. but cadmium completely covers alizarin. excellent in transparent watercolor. "from beyond the sea. If. For example. it's a yellowish red of medium brilliance. even though. so that the paint won't lose its adhering power. but not used in other media. or dusty yellow of great subtlety. Cadmium red deep is not as bright as the medium red. is another transparent color extensively used by aquarellists. most of the lapis lazuli must have been transported overland by caravans. It's called ultramarine. On the other hand. but add also a drop of casein or polymer medium. It's truly transparent. In aquarelle. and was . is of medium opacity.Alizarin crimson: a bluish red of low brilliance. In oils. in casein and polymer. especially for cool reddish washes. it's another excellent color for pulling together sections of a painting. you know . any addition of a darker hue to yellow males it a different color. Be careful not to add too much cadmium yellow to any other color. mix alizarin crimson with linseed oil or copal glazing medium. In case of mistakes ." because it was produced from lapis lazuli imported to Europe from Asia. in any part of your painting. because you cannot obtain a brilliant pale or lemon yellow by adding white to the medium yellow. it has a good covering capacity. darker than the deepest cadmium red. Made of the metallic element of the same name. and intensity. ORANGE Cadmium orange: a very important color. let it dry. absolutely permanent. and desirable in nonobjective works as well. it lends depth and pulls large parts of a painting together. it can be mixed from cadmium yellow and red.and we all make them. Gamboge or Indian yellow: a slightly greenish. but bright tone is desired. Cadmium red glazed with alizarin crimson becomes darker. Remember. opaque. so much so that it is used almost exclusively in aquarelle. white support. the slightest admixture of white changes the hue RADICALLY! Geranium Lake: a very bright red. add as much water as you wish. but it did come from the mysterious East. Yellow ocher: one of the most important earth colors.
Since violet is a sort of in-between hue . by the way. whether oil. Other blue colors have been. Phthalo (Phthalocyanine) blue: a recent discovery (in relative terms). Despite its darkness and visual power. or water. VIOLET Cobalt violet: a lovely. The same color can be obtained by adding a drop of black to ultramarine blue. and still are available. it rises to the surface. somewhat magnetic metal of the same name. this hue has a slightly violet tint. It's a deep blue pigment with a coppery luster. without its overwhelming and dangerous strength. use violet. but so powerful that it "kills" every color with which you mix it. semi-opaque. A fine middle-tone for foliage. but don't overdo the use of violet. is true for all sensitive pastel shades. Transparent. was made from several plants. by adding cobalt blue and a dash of white. is more uniform in quality. but no pictorial artist can work without it. much cleaner than if you mixed it yourself. lighter and cooler. It gives brilliant sky tones. Turn this color warmer by adding orange or burnt sienna. Like asphaltum. pale green sky of a radiant sunset. and carefully separated into lighter and darker shades. but isn't recommended for fine arts painting. and where you intended to have a slight Prussian blue tone. you find a dark blue spot. for the cool. Prussian blue: an iron-cyanide compound. it's transparent.it goes well with almost anything. ultramarine blue is a transparent color. because it turns blue into maroon. completely out of harmony with the rest of the picture. lakes. mixed with a little white. Ready-made violet can easily be turned darker and warmer by adding alizarin crimson. but quite opaque and powerful when white is added. a warm blue. semi-transparent. discovered in 1710 by a German named Diesbach. ideal for glazing where an overall cool bluish tint is required. Also. mixed with white. Never add cadmium red. opaque hue. and turns warm colors cool. Indigo. especially when mixed with white. cooler by adding cobalt blue and/or . is similar to Prussian blue. often mentioned in connection with atomic power. An earlier generation of students heard art teachers say: "When in doubt. It has to be pulverized. Cobalt blue: made from the lustrous. and other vegetation." The advice is still good. Like other metallic hues. although cobalt or phthalo blue with alizarin crimson and a little white ought to provide you with a nice enough violet. gradually. Like the blue.not too warm and not too cool . I strongly advise you against employing Prussian blue. violet should always be applied with a perfectly clean brush and a very clean liquid. even though it's transparent. turpentine. A beautiful blue. A modern variation of it is called French ultramarine. it's more expensive than earth colors.expensive. and cancer research. Chromium oxide green: a warmer green. It's now produced synthetically. This. and more permanent than the natural dye. and all mixtures in which coolness is desirable. because the smallest bit of extraneous color destroys their delicate tones. On a hot day. which is especially noticeable when placed next to cobalt blue and next to cobalt blue mixed with white. I'd like to sit in a room painted a pastel shade of phthalo green! It's excellent for foliage in the distance. fine for skies. is absolutely permanent. GREENS Phthalo green: similar to the blue of the same name. rather than violet. a cool green of great intensity when mixed with a little white and light yellow. one of Sir Isaac Newton's seven prismatic hues.
blue. yellows. GRAY Payne's gray: a pleasant. occasionally. In its original form. especially for outdoor painting. Everything mixed with burnt umber looks like something made of. in which the black had bled through.with a single "n". not necessarily from elephant tusk. or any other hue. doesn't it? Ivory is anything but black. actually a member of the family of ochers pigments varying from yellow to red . grays of any shade can be obtained by adding more or less black to white. The pigment originally comes from the Italian region of Umbria. When burnt. causing it to look almost black. calcinated. BROWNS Burnt sienna: one of the most widely used earth colors. Burnt sienna mixes well with many colors. especially in the form of an over-all wash. BLACKS Ivory black: sounds odd. and favored by artists who are prejudiced against black. blue. It's very handy in aquarelle when you want to make other colors slightly darker. white. It's transparent. because I find them too strong. but I use it only in watercolor and. is liked by many artists. Needless to say. Both raw and burnt sienna are transparent. The reason for the name is that this color is made of bone carbon. transparent. although too much of it in face or figure causes it to look kind of bloody.found in many parts of the world. chocolate sauce! You can obtain the same color by simply adding black. Only the lovely hands have retained their full flesh tones. I find it superfluous in other media. derives its name from the Italian town of Siena. and modifying them with the addition of a touch of red. Leonardo probably used better pigments in that part of the painting. and some people think that's the meaning of the color. because it's good for certain shadows. or covered with. it turns into a mahogany brown. green. or green to burnt. raw sienna is a cool. Hooker's green: transparent. because I can obtain all imaginable green shades by mixing phthalo green and chromium oxide green with various blues. dark gray. where it was first used as a color. so that it can be used as a wash or glaze when sufficiently diluted. Hooker's green differs in mixtures from other greens sufficiently to make it worth your while to have it. or raw sienna.earth of Siena . I don't recommend either of the umbers. It's a cool black which mixes well with any color you'd like to tone down to . Raw umber and burnt umber: two other earth colors highly favored by many artists. in casein. Many portrait painters lay their work out in burnt sienna tones and go over these with the actual flesh colors. grayish brown. burnt sienna. or went over the underpainting with more glazes than he did the face and chest. when a large variety of green shades is required. Viridian green: also transparent. good for warm shadows on the human figure. available in most media. especially in the shadow under the chin. It is often called Terra di Siena . but the word ombra happens to mean shadow in Italian. the Italian spelling. I find raw sienna superfluous. because I can obtain the same hue by adding a little blue or black to burnt sienna. and literally any other hue. A burnt sienna underpainting is less dangerous than the black-and-white underpainting Leonardo da Vinci did for his Mona Lisa. used in watercolor and polymer.white.
that you need a great deal of it to make a color lighter. As a rule. and this is a handicap in oil painting.this is the most powerful as well as most permanent white known today. zinc white is harmless and stays pure white.what we call a "dusty" shade. the whiteness of which was essential. I advise you to buy the finest white. fills the need for a new white. so as to be able to compare the change. I hope that this will help you to understand what your colors will do for you. uniform. Lesson #12 I know that these lessons are coming fast and furious right now. an artist likes his colors to remain unchanged. or already dry colors on which it was applied. Made of lead. The slower-drying zinc white did not effect the faster-drying. but you obtain a considerably stronger paint. extenders. fully permanent oxides. You can verify the permanence by applying a few strokes on a piece of cardboard and exposing the card to sunlight for a few days. Add a touch of burnt sienna to ivory black. Made of titanium . In transparent watercolor though. but covered sections. Painters accustomed to flake or zinc white have to adjust themselves to this stronger white. and may be diluted with a drop or two of water. so transparent. It also dries more slowly than most other paints. I suspect that some artists avoid black because the improper use of it can create "mud" in your painting. and the innumerable commercial artists who need retouching white. It looks just like ivory black. and textures. technically well-informed and conscientious artists worked with flake white. Titanium white: the most recent discovery. this was the favorite in oils.the metal employed in producing light. However. at this stage of our studies we ought to be accomplished artists with a keen awareness of how to handle our colors. Mars black: the best available black in polymer. In some cases. lamp black is useful. The so-called Chinese white is usually the best. and I know that in previous lessons I have counseled you to be cautious about using it. Zinc white: made of the metallic element of the same name. but extra strong steel for aircraft . nothing but what is guaranteed to remain white. Now I am aware of what purists say about black not being a color. I don't recommend it in any other kind of painting. It may even lend the painting a kind of softness by eliminating harsh contrasts. with excellent covering capacity. with zinc white. so weak in covering power. but I have so many requests to do other series and I need to finish this one in the month of March. Lamp black: a warmer black of very light specific gravity. and not much covering power. Such whites come in tubes or small jars. See you soon. So there you have it. where uniform drying time is a safeguard against cracking. For many non-purist aquarellists. because the specific gravity of a color is immaterial in the medium. if any. however. modeling pastes. In the next lesson we move on into the mixing process and I also want to talk a bit about things like gels. though. many old timers still stick to it as a matter of habit. after they dried. and you have the identical black hue. It's prepared from synthetic. Cover half of the strokes with another card. the yellowing or darkening of white sections in an oil painting may be of no importance. It is. In the past. it's opaque and smooth. Hope you can just print these off and work on . WHITES Flake white: until shortly before World War II.
all over the support. Such three dimensional decorations were covered with gold leaf. You can use it as white paint.a couple of hours in an oil underpainting white. I recommend the polymer . were often carved into the wood panel on which the painting was done. Until recently. You cannot work on an underpainting oil white with anything but oil colors. and. and takes any medium. Still. boar. Here are a few: Underpainting white or texture white: a relatively recent addition to artist's supplies. has become a widely accepted technique. In all cases. The plastic binders allow you to heap paint upon paint. not in one big heap in order to give each layer a chance to dry a little. on the other hand. is an exception. roundish bodies of animals . TEXTURE AND IMPASTO Nothing is new under the sun. thus giving them a three dimensional aspect. then painted in bright. they'll soon crack and fall off. If you apply such colors in heavy piles. mixing it with any color. In modern times. Modeling paste or extender: a great substance introduced by manufacturers of polymer. a quick-drying substance. because it dries faster. The relief created its own shadows when the light hit those murals from one side or another. available for water media as well as for oil painting. and so forth . naturally. IMPASTO. without the danger of peeling off. polymer. impasto was possible only in oil painting. halos. cause the respective paints to adhere to one surface in thin layers only. Wait until the underpainting dries . although applied with water. and casein. Or you can execute the entire work by applying the underpainting white by itself. You can have thorns sticking out of your painting. Some artists make their impasto so thick that it looks like a veritable bas-relief. NEWER MATERIALS The desire for impasto has grown so remarkably that new materials have been introduced which make it possible to achieve impasto effects in any painting medium. Prehistoric man was ingenious enough to utilize the natural bumps on his cave walls when he painted the massive. read the directions on the label or on the sheet normally given with such whites. however. casein. flowers. Rembrandt's Man in a Golden Helmet is a beautiful example.or extender . The binders in watercolor. Don't take it for granted that you know how to work with any material with which you are not familiar. a heavy application of paint. Polymer.them when you can. oil. tempera. gouache. It's even better than underpainting white. Human and animal figures in the surprisingly varied and realistic murals of the Cretan civilization were executed in the form of plaster reliefs. EXTENDERS. The painting technique remained very smooth.then paint over it as if you were working on the regular support. Underpainting white mixed with other oil colors. ETC. but much faster if you work with polymer . trees. remains flexible. Build up gradually. rocks. so you can quickly build up a picture to any thickness. mammoth. This saying was probably old when King Solomon uttered it. makes the colors dry much faster. and develop all kinds of forms and textural effects. impasto. gold ornaments on holy and royal or imperial personages. it isn't unusual to find a thicker application of paint. tempera. and anything else. all through the subsequent periods.bison. if you wish! Create figures. both in tempera and in oils. gouache. while the rest of the picture was painted very smoothly. since linseed oil dries very slowly and retains its adhesive power forever. unshaded colors. crowns. showing repousse work on armor done with thicker paint. The polymer modeling paste .is good for watercolor. crosses. GELS.right over the bumps. where it serves a functional purpose. In the Early Christian era.
the endless play of light-and-shadow. the general principle of color mixing is the same in all media. blue is the color of sky and calm water. Transparent watercolors are made lighter by diluting darker hues with the right amount of water. Mix orange with three times its volume in gel. where could we keep so many thousands of tubes. that there is no single color for depicting lakes. MIXING COLORS Practically everyone knows how to obtain secondary colors by mixing two primaries. they also realize that colors change visually. seas. Let it dry. know that there are countless colors and shades in the world around us and in the private world of an artist's imagination. without diminishing its intensity. jars. within a few hours. introductory sets of colors . subject. that the earth is not the same brown all over. then paint it. grapefruit. It used to be good for oil painting only. Pile it on with your painting knife. Gel: another medium to help you in impasto is gel. since even the small. Don't employ impasto just to show people that you can do it. Mixing these SEEMS to be a waste of time. the lighter the shade. They believe that orange is for painting oranges. pans. or even chopsticks. if it absorbs the color that you want. and this is why we cannot work with more than a comparatively small number of well selected basic colors. and see which one suits your style. It adds volume and transparency to any color. or gel? The answer is simple: try em' all. according to distance. this procedure is better than adding a lot of water to a darker shade. yellow is for painting lemons. because a ready-made light hue has greater brilliance than a color which is mostly water.contain them.in any medium . Even though techniques differ according to media. They also know that a forest is not all the same green. almost without a single exception. or a canary. WHY MIX COLORS? Artists and art students. and personality or temperament best.modeling paste or extender very highly. or cakes of paint? How could we place them on our palettes? This is why color mixing is necessary. a vaseline-like substance known to artists for several generations. however. There is a gel made for polymer. many students go to an art supply store and ask for "flesh color. Before starting to paint figures from life. Which one should you use: underpainting white. and it will still be as bright as it came from the tube or jar. at the same time. You'll also find that polymer gel absorbs any color upon which it is spread. if you wish. modeling paste. now it may be mixed with water media as well. This may be applied to any part of you painting where thick paint would look right. interesting. Most paintings have so many colors that art students at first wonder if it's really possible to mix all those hues from the recommended fourteen or fifteen colors. with one main exception: transparent watercolors. occasionally staggering. atmospheric conditions. you ought to integrate your textural effects with the subject. but now prepared in a scientific manner. an old brush. so that it won't darken or crack. colors can be made lighter by adding lighter hues or white. You can also purchase lighter shades of the required colors. Textural effects are not merely fashionable. Use it where and when it helps you esthetically and technically. Gel may be applied whenever thickness is required. rivers in all kinds of weather." What flesh color? . The more water and the less paint. It is also obvious that no manufacturer could produce the innumerable hues artists need. students think of colors as what their names imply. so that you needn't even paint it. They are really pleasing. In all other media. And if one did. At any rate.
too. and the material's actual appearance in space is tremendous. or a drop of each. or for whatever large surfaces they intend to paint. is a major mistake among beginners. for a piece of drapery. stomach. not with your preconceived notions. and stir it into the green. Art students frequently make the mistake of mixing a big batch of colors for the background. or black. Colors are stronger in some brands than in others.but it doesn't look like the real thing. or all of the colors according to your taste. Look. test every brush stroke before adding more paint. an accidental sound. and look again. instead of yellow. different in hue. or the color given it in the factory .) Suppose you want to obtain a lighter red. The difference between the dye used in coloring the material. you must know what you are doing. it looks bluish in the lower left and reddish in the lower right. so to speak. while it makes peach out of cadmium red. White turns alizarin crimson into pink. As a matter of fact. chest. Whatever you mix. whichever gives you the desired effect. cadmium red. Let's say you need a very dark red. or in dyeing textiles. there is no mystery attached to seeing colors. You have to surround the note with others. phthalo blue. cheeks. dip a corner of your brush in light yellow. green. before you obtain what can be called music.the color it has by nature. "Isn't this a good match?" asks the student. the color of flesh! SEEING COLOR DIFFERENCES It takes time for students to discover that members of the same race have a large variety of skin colors. Everything is right in front of you. cool when the sun is hidden. Add more. with pleasing flat colors. or ultramarine blue. Still. Take the darkest you have . At best it offers a POSTER effect. In an abstraction. Look with your eyes. Is it to be brilliant or mellow. but it's merely a sound. each individual body varies in color. Gradually. let's say dusty green. and ask yourself if you are doing the right thing. pinkish or yellowish? Don't just add white to make it lighter. than in the upper right. feet are all slightly. look. Pure colors are normally used in posters only. and artists don't work . take white and add a touch of phthalo green. or black with the corner of your brush. hands. which depend upon the light and the surroundings. warmer when the sun is out. or not so slightly. and how best to achieve the planned. then adding the objects on top of it. they must be correlated with other colors around them. you'll realize that colors are meaningless by themselves. if necessary. it turns gray. we know it has a certain color. and mix it into the alizarin.add a little blue. blue. a rose color. temples. as between notes and music. but cooler red. Watch a wall on a day when the sun plays hide-and-seek behind clouds. you may change any. you'll find a color slightly bluish. reddish. If it isn't the right shade. To mix or modify any light shade. or envisioned effect with the help of color as well as design. The same relationship exists between colors and art. orange.Why. but that dusty green looks brighter. ( I advise you to look every time you do anything in art. lower legs. The color does in fact match the object's so-called local color . add a pinpoint of cobalt. The wall looks brighter.alizarin crimson . By "little" I mean that all you do is touch green. or yellowish. depending on illumination and on nearby objects reflected in it. warm or cool. more yellowish in the upper left corner. upper arms. ACTUAL MIXING OF COLORS Few colors in nature are visually pure. if it isn't bright enough. The very common idea of painting a whole background one solid color. for a table. thighs. For a pale green. you'll have an equally light and bright. You may have to combine alizarin. In all likelihood. You can hit one single note on the piano and know what note you hit. begin with the lightest hue close to it. Then there are the shadows and highlights. You have to learn to observe. By adding white. and yellow for a warm red of high intensity.
opening up a vista of a sumptuous world of color. but a lack of all color. and reflections that break it into many different shades. many artists work without it. try to add another dark hue: ultramarine blue to red or green. but this isn't the way in fine arts. The same varied effects occur when white is mixed into any green. In fine arts. cobalt violet." a fully descriptive expression. A vast array of colors and shades is at your disposal. alizarin crimson to blue. cobalt blue to all your colors. cadmium red turns into peach when the white is added. Black turns yellow into a dirty green. blue. Look at each color as you place it next to. shadows. Nobody recommends the use of plain black over large sections of your painting. Mix the colors on your palette. it has lights. Too much white in any color makes it what we call "chalky. It's possible to mix a pint can of household paint with half a can of another color. and brown can be made darker by adding a little black. in any medium. Rub an additional amount of white into each color. You aren't preparing a pale of paint for painting your kitchen. For instance. you have to add a great deal of white to cadmium yellow before you can notice the difference. papery appearance it has when applied to a large spot. Yellow can be made darker by mixing it with yellow ocher. alizarin crimson becomes pink. but it will no longer be really yellow. to watch the results. Go from top to bottom. After some experience. Although red. or any other color you may have. and so forth. is to experiment. leaving about an inch of space between colors. Add a little red. Even if you do add black. to see how the smallest bit of another color can help or harm your painting. paper. green. Ocher can be deepened with burnt sienna and a bit of black. other colors. but leave about one-third of each stripe intact. As I've already said. where you must be sure to have plenty of paint. and paint an inch of every color you have. white creates entirely different shades out of every blue. add cadmium yellow light to all your colors. yellow ocher. but the final proof is in the painting. phthalo green to all your colors. or cooler. Compare the mixtures with the original hues. A black dress is not truly black all over. and you'll see further interesting variations. you can always change a mixture if it isn't just right. Rub a small amount of white into each color. MAKING COLORS DARKER Making colors darker also has a pitfall. or whatever support you like. weighing each ingredient on a scientific scale according to a prescription. it's usually better to mix it with a drop of some other dark hue too. The wrong color won't kill the painting the way an incorrectly filled prescription might kill the patient. you'll be able to obtain every imaginable shade of every perceivable color. EXERCISE IN COLOR MIXING Here's the most practical and sensible method of finding out what color mixing really means: take a six or eight inch wide strip of canvas. USING BLACK AND WHITE PROPERLY Brought up on the tradition (or superstition) that black is not a color. Now mix every basic color with all the other colors. or on top of.like pharmacists. One of the beautiful features of working in color. blue. or green to make your black warmer. not even Goya's famed "black paintings" in the Prado Museum in Madrid are jet black. Your first idea may be to add black. thoroughly mixed in order to prevent dirty streaks. because such . burnt sienna. and to take away that flat.
and place one yellow fruit on each sheet. cities by day or by moonlight. extra bright on the yellow. Now. each shade. so that he might be able to achieve something original. what they mean to artists in general. EXERCISE IN COLOR EFFECTS You can perform a simple and valuable color test with a package of assorted construction paper. still lifes.be it an old-fashioned melody or a modern work of total dissonance. See you soon. and how best to utilize these sounds in order to achieve the right final effect when an orchestra performs his composition The painter. and rather disagreeable to the eye on the red sheet. If we have sonatas. A composer must know not only how to jot down the main idea of his composition . Replace the yellow fruit with red apples. You might as well . The brightness. and figure paintings. But he also has to know what each color. Set red. The painter. the red apple is hardly noticeable on the red paper. or disagreeable effects depend upon the shades of red. fugues. It's a good idea to try the same fruits on lighter and darker shades of red. and three green pears. the painter works with colors and he has to know how to apply and how to organize those colors so well that the final result should be exactly what he had planned. it's bright on the yellow paper. something that doesn't belong there. It's available in many stores at very little cost and it's most helpful in trying out color combinations for any purpose. yellow. we also have landscapes. can do for him. the dullness. just for the sake of decoration. but jumpy. where. symphonies. on the green paper. and how they can lead to the understanding of more impressive. Lesson #13 COLOR EFFECTS A good artist can paint a picture on any surface. and we have to put something of ourselves into our creations. operas. in any size. in any kind of action. and a few pieces of real or artificial fruit. usually fifty sheets in ten different colors to the package. vegetables. more complex effects. operettas. as if you had spilled ink on your painting. the jumpy. fruits. The painter. we are not supposed to merely copy someone else's work. and quite brilliant on the green sheet. has to know the proper technique of his medium. and tone poems. and put a green pear on each sheet. cityscapes. Next will be color effects. He must also know the sound and capability of every musical instrument he plans to employ. and to yourself in particular. He can paint pictures with no describable or obvious meaning or theme.colors do appear to have been smeared with white chalk. yellow. while it looks flat. has to study all possible effects that are already known. animals. Whatever his purpose. from an ivory miniature to a huge wall or ceiling. three red apples. too. or bright yellow bananas. seascapes. and every combination of these. he must know when. above all. He can make the picture look like a real scene of nature: humans. We have to create our own. and green construction paper next to one another on a table. Watch out for such exaggerations. and 12" X 18" sizes. The fruit will look "normal" on the red paper. Also buy three golden apples. yellow. like the composer. and green paper. like the composer. Such a spot appears to be a big hole in your picture. has a number of ingredients and tools with which to work. articles of any sort. The paper comes in 9" X 12". Remove the apples. Too much reddish blue in a dark color will cause an "inky" impression. The first step in painting is the testing of simple. Look for the next few lessons to come together rather quickly. It's almost invisible on the green paper. everyday effects. and trying to figure out how these are obtained. and green in the paper. unimpressive on the yellow.
The degree of such reflection depends upon the surface of the objects. The red paper noticeably affects the yellow and green fruits. too. both in paper and fruits. harmony is musical consonance. but not in the same sense. white. tuneful sound. what to retain. but major forms and color effects. or give an underpainting in music. because they are exciting. brown paper too. The understanding of colors and color effects is vital in nonobjective painting. and the bottom of the green pear becomes yellowish on the yellow sheet. Remember that you cannot learn shorthand before you know how to write correctly in longhand. but fine artists avoid such flashiness. observe these effects. and the most obvious color combinations are not necessarily the best. Thus. or artificial light. or foreground are reflected in each fruit to a certain extent. Depending upon the closeness of the items. A soft hue might bring out the variety of colors in your fruits in an esthetically satisfying fashion. no recognizable theme in such a painting. while the green paper alters the red and yellow fruits. both of which cause considerable differences in all colors. Try dark blue. a composer can paint. background. in the same arrangement. I am talking about fruits because they're easy to obtain in practically identical colors and shapes. On the other hand. and the sheen of their skins. if you've never seen such tests before. There is a relationship between music and painting. It's easy enough to achieve a strong effect by placing colorful items on a black background. the colors have to speak for themselves. The bottom of each fruit reflects the hue of the construction paper in about the same manner as if you mixed the color of the fruit with the color of the paper. Most fruits have a high sheen. and have rhythm in its pattern of forms and hues. orange. light blue. but the bottom of the red apple turns orange. or juxtaposed to. it's only after you've acquired sufficient knowledge that you can decide what to omit. the yellow reflection in a yellow fruit is hardly perceptible. Many beginners think it's a sign of individuality to omit not only small details. A suede shoe or a dirty shoe. Disharmony or discord is a combination of musical sounds which strikes the ear harshly. the brighter the reflection. Serious representational painting cannot be done without observing the diversity of hues in all items you depict. what to emphasize. The changes will surprise you. argument. what to subdue in your painting. The word . Consider the reflections in the fruits. no matter what your style and subject may be. The glossier an article. The visual effect is so dramatically different that you don't believe you're dealing with the same fruits. pink.try other colors. Don't observe only the general color effect. gray. • HARMONY AND DISHARMONY IN COLOR According to dictionary definition. dissonance. There being no subject. black. Moreover. Composition exists in painting as well as in music. and the colors of paper. While working with paper of assorted colors. depict a mood. noise of conflict. Subtlety is as important in painting as in diplomacy. Colors literally affect each other by reflecting hues that surround them. you can discover which goes well with all the articles you're testing. they also affect each other's hues. expressed in similar terms. similar to that of the human skin. Even if you aren't a traditional artist. Continue the exercise by placing three different fruits on each sheet of paper. different colors. including natural. doesn't reflect colors and lights the way a highly shined shoe does. A fuzzy peach doesn't reflect colors as much as a polished apple. they reflect each other as well as the colors around them. The moment you place three different colored fruits next to each other. a painting can sing with color. and because you can eat them after the test!! The purpose of a test like this is to familiarize yourself with a number of facts valid in every type of painting: • • The same hue appears to be different when surrounded by.
then turn away from the light. harmonious color effects. the parrot.chromatic refers to music no less than painting. National costumes. who felt secure only when each part of their apparel and accessories was merely another shade of the same hue. on the other hand. purple. black. Disharmony is a combination of colors which clash with each other and appear to be jumping out of the picture. black socks and shoes. some of higher. One is acutely conscious of such disharmony and wonders why the artist.man or woman . and even imitate. The exquisitely beautiful plumage of hundreds of birds in the bird house of a big zoo serves as an inspiration for all artists." The easiest way to harmony in colors is to stick to shades of one-and-the-same color. with its loud. just like high and low notes. and change. We deride a person who is "dressed like a parrot. True harmony may. green. And this is a much more interesting combination than. As for colors. Another test requires a living person . and burnt sienna. fashion designers. some of lower values. yellow. buff shirt. I used to know a man who wore a blue suite. burnt sienna. Such harmony is often achieved by selecting different shades of several colors. one day. Consider. the same red. We have high and low colors. The next day. in a strong light. orange. ultramarine blue. so that your eyes glide from one hue to the other without stumbling or without feeling jarred. even though they often object to any change in the prevailing taste. EXERCISE IN COLOR HARMONY Cut 2 1/2' or 3" squares of the following sheets of construction paper or cardboard: cadmium red. or lighter and darker green stripes would offer. You'll find these seven squares quite pleasing to the eye. you might arrange them in other sequences as well. Place them next to each other. Rearrange then as follows: cadmium red. You'll see purple. In painting. where it was carried by the victorious armies of Alexander the Great. ultramarine blue. in the order listed above. and orange worms wiggling in front of your eyes! If you cut several of each square. in proof of a truly universal love for artistic expression. and hat. One nation can appreciate. blue necktie. slightly grayish. is quite harmonious between stripes of a medium. and should. let's say. I've known women. too. Nature offers us many instances of lovely. however. and purple. Look at them for a few minutes. harmony is the juxtaposing of colors which go well together. be found in different colors arranged in a pleasing manner. absurd combinations of colors. dissonant coloring. shoes. Tastes may differ. or that one shouldn't argue about taste. The barbarians of northern Europe bought Greek pottery in ancient times. preferably life-size color picture of a man . The colors are the same. brown tie. the art of another nation or tribe. the interior decorator. decorators. socks. Definitions are meaningful only to people with the same general knowledge. with a light blue shirt. although designs and national motifs are often quite different. black. the same kind of people accept certain standards of taste. folk arts of many kinds flourish in the darkest and furthest corners of the earth. and also many odd. It's unquestionable that people in most parts of the world are aware of them. but. despite the ancient saying that tastes are different.or a good. green. but they appear to be jumping all over the place. He was harmonious all right. orange. he'd show up dressed in a dark brown suite. but without any distinction or elegance. We find ample evidence of the effect of Hellenistic art on the art of India. generally speaking. in a row. lighter and darker red. A cadmium red stripe looks jumpy between stripes of a very bright green. a blue-gray fedora. Love for art is normally as great as love for music and dancing. yellow. The most precise definition of a piano wouldn't be grasped by a member of a primitive tribe never in contact with a civilization in which the piano is an established article. There's also a great deal of similarity between color combinations. or anyone else should have assembled those colors.
or dress might not be the answer. based on observation. and straight from memory. The moon merely reflects the light of the sun with a soft glow. by giving the picture an over-all glaze of the right shade. and everyone feels something is wrong with your painting. and decide to furnish it according to a plan which includes colors as well as furnishings and equipment. or maroon floor. or swatches of textiles. When you receive many compliments from your friends and acquaintances. the noontime sun is a warmer yellow. the setting sun is orange. And when the usual compliments are not forthcoming. the time of day.or woman. The total effect of your painting can be changed as easily as your appearance. look into the mirror. Notice how the color affects his or her appearance. is a distressing hodge-podge. Our large cities are constantly covered by smoke and dirt in the air. gray cabinets. COLOR EFFECTS BY NATURAL LIGHT Natural illumination is provided mainly by the sun. I've already spoken of persons who believe that various shades of the same hue are safe and are a sound combination. a brown. suite. the much-talked-about pollution. or one dark spot where it doesn't belong. the afternoon sun becomes reddish. but you cannot paint by moonlight or starlight. designed by specially trained decorators. A few bright spots may enliven a dark. The color of sunlight varies with the weather. least you lose your mind! The stars never hurt your eyes. everything is veiled by a grayish tone. shirt. the massing of a few colors. if you repeat the color in other objects. however. Offices once had light-buff walls. Place a piece of textile around the neck of the person. that's true. however. There's a very big difference between artistry and artiness. somewhat formal room. On a cloudy. It's not the repetition of colors that make a good color scheme. by making one hue warmer or cooler. Only the parrot is helpless. Any color combination can be transformed into a harmonious one by subduing a tone here and there. while other colors are flattering. and the time of day. just by changing one color. and how much of it. Now these rooms are colorful. Kitchens and bathrooms were once drab. One color may turn a good complexion into an ugly or repulsive one. which is harmless to the eye. although Old World superstition warns you not to gaze into the full moon. you can bet that the color you are wearing is responsible for your success to a very large extent. such as North Africa or Arizona. and the stars are never as bright over them as in the open country. The morning sun is a cool yellow. Color has grown very important in every field. You can see fairly well by moonlight as your eyes become gradually accustomed to it. starlit night. rainy day. dark furniture. Each of the scarves or swatches will have a different effect on the same face. One bright hue is in the wrong place. A room filled with nothing but bright spots. and casts an orange glow on everything it . hopelessly attached to its own feathers. VARIATION IN SUNLIGHT The power of the sunlight depends upon the season. especially in a dry climate. A good color scheme is the one in which nothing jars your eye. You'll need a number of different scarves. WHAT'S A COLOR SCHEME? You want to decorate your home or office. close to the chin and cheek. Others. You can paint the effects of moonlight. the moon. the weather. but the arrangement. and see if another scarf. where you place what. think that the oddest color combination becomes perfectly correct. so that the sun. and you can behold a vast panorama on a clear.
such a light is not like an electric spotlight searching for planes in the night sky. (Perhaps astronauts. the sun is almost directly above your head. balconies. at the same time. thus. comparatively. I've seen this happen. causing objects to have small shadows only. compared with the sun. is at so colossal a distance from the earth. Connect the two ends with a glazed. hazy. quite common among art students. glazing is possible in any medium. ephemeral . Shadows and lights change according to atmospheric conditions. rather than a tangible substance. especially during seasons when the days are shorter.a spirit. PAINTING DAYLIGHT STREAMING THROUGH A WINDOW Who hasn't exclaimed "How beautiful!" at the sight of sunlight streaming into a room through a crack in the curtain or widowshade? A slanting shaft of such light illuminates billions of particles of dust dancing or floating in its path. you may find yourself doing just about the oddest imaginable thing. and. completely transparent tone that doesn't obliterate the space the light transverses. They also grow longer and longer toward evening as the sun goes lower. and our planet is so small.illuminates. windowsills were different on every house! The correct procedure is to lay out all shadows and lights at the same time. The slightest overdoing will ruin the effect. others on the left. wall. but merely make it visible. indistinct on a cloudy day. can notice the fact that the shadows are not same beyond a certain perimeter. from the window to the floor. They are clear and -sharp on a sunny day. The contrasts are gentle and mellow. but not actually. If you make the mistake. Or work only for a couple of hours and return to the same place the next day. where the light creates an image similar to the opening through which it enters the room. It's a challenge worth accepting. In other words. whatever you may see in the room. carpet. but we see only the rays that hit our planet. Squint when observing the shaft of light. You will have a painting in which some shadows are on the right. but requires care and skill. The light may come from the upper left side in the morning. naturally. The shaft of light is bright.) Sunlight moves with the earth. eaves. so that shadows are on the right side of each object. when you believe they are most satisfactory from an artistic viewpoint. Compare the value of this light with the value of each object next to it: furniture. Your hand glows in the light and its shadow is clearly seen on the floor. The sunlight is something vibrating. if you paint outdoors. How can you paint so marvelous a sight? The answer is: observe and render the light without any exaggeration. By mid-afternoon. of finishing one part of your picture before going to the next part. regardless of the motion of the earth and the continuous changing of the shadows. shadows change considerably within a couple of hours. The sun. SHADOWS CAST BY THE SUN The light rays of the sun radiate in every possible direction. This means that the shadows cast by sunlight are all in the same direction on as large a section of the earth as we can possibly see. As you know. and still others in-between. hundreds of miles above the earth. . however. By noon. Paint them that way. that the rays of the sun reaching our globe are parallel as far as we're concerned. You feel like putting your hand into the light to see whether you could break it. the light comes from the opposite direction and shadows are consequently reversed. in the same kind of weather. Show the opening through which the light comes and the spot where it hits the floor or where it hits any other object. Don't paint such light as if it were a solid plank or beam of wood in a bright color. especially in cityscapes: shadows under roofs.
perhaps a few tall trees. turpentine. brass and chromium articles can only be painted with gold or silver paint. Such metallic paints come in jars. or pitchers . observe the reflected images and hues. not only about gold and silver. at best.distort images as drastically as distorting mirrors found in amusement parks do. Don't copy picture postcards of sunsets. They may seem to be dark against the glowing sky. Work with clean colors. have soft. the burning of Rome. represent some horrible conflagration. and what makes the clouds look dark is the fact that they are a cool gray-blue. the art student is ready to rush to the nearest art supply store for what he believes is an absolute necessary metallic color. and change an image only if the metal is not absolutely flat. bottles. shadow. This belief is supported by the fact that metallic paints are available in art supply stores. such as clouds floating in mid-air. Don't paint them as if they were cut out of black paper. A sunset over a calm lake. especially. but without leaving hard edges. Subtlety is paramount in depicting a sunset. is especially breathtaking. fuzzy outlines. turquoise. such paints are excellent for giving your radiators a new look. Show the three dimensional quality of each item by painting the edges illuminated by the glow of the last rays of the sun. They're also recognizable by the way they reduce the sizes of reflected forms and pictures. It's difficult to paint the delicate hues. Shiny metal objects are easily recognized by the way they reflect all colors and images in a somewhat silvery or golden tone. You can paint a raw wood frame in gold or in silver. but the colors they reflect and the manner in which they reflect them. whereas the backdrop. is vibrant with light hues. Roundish shiny metal articles. with the countless hues of the sky reflected into the water. the shoreline. The degree of distortion depends upon the form of the metal itself. Faced with the project of a still life containing highly polished metal utensils. however. the peculiar kinds of . and more or less distorted shapes. too. silver. And. not only because they represent a sunset. and violet. There's something rich and enticing about all shiny metals. The clouds.such as bowls. but. the sky. PAINTING SHINY METAL EFFECTS Shiny metals are attractive to man in real life. to orange. or the Great Fire of Chicago. But nobody will ever believe that such articles are made of real gold or silver. yet rich colors. ranging from the palest yellow. sharp. very bright. You might paint metallic stripes on doors. shiny highlights. depending upon the basic color of the metal. Such cards. What we see in each metal is not really the metallic color by which we know them. purple. through shades of green. It's a vast array of colors. shelves. highlight. and cobalt blue. but because they point the way to abstract or nonobjective arrangements in painting. image. water. their comparative sizes. Also watch objects silhouetted against the sunset sky. cakes. and in various media. None of these objects is black or even a dark gray. clean oil. powder. Many an artist and Sunday painter has tried to render such a scene. naturally. The fact is that metallic colors are manufactured for decorative purposes. or any other medium. Practice painting sunsets over and over until you achieve subtle. . Most beginners in art think that gold. It merely requires acute observation and faithful rendering of whatever you see in such articles: every color.PAINTING SUNSET COLORS Sunset is one of nature's most gorgeous spectacles. Metal objects are especially fine for still lifes. At worst. The extreme intensity and purity of the hues also pose a challenge to your technical ability and patience. actually. The slightest mistake in colors makes your sunset muddy. and by their very strong. size. When painting such an object. It's one of the most universally appreciated splendors of the world. There's no trick to painting shiny metals. they're only a few shades darker than the sky itself. they're nightmarish or ridiculous. and what colors! Yet the dazzling display is never gaudy. vases. The true colors of sunset are inspiring. Flat metals are almost like mirrors. and they are just as attractive in painting. tables. tubes. These will enhance your landscape paintings greatly.
a hill or a tall building. Highlights on metal are mirror images of the light source. but never straight-edged. If you look at reflections from a higher level. and look again. Reflections in choppy. provided that you are on a low shore.distortions. then pull your brush across the reflections in order to give them a feeling of wateriness. that touched or illuminated a face here. you ought to know how to handle your work by any kind of light. giving the picture an aura of mystery. In silver or chromium. Bear with me. persons are directly underneath the actual objects. such as illuminated windows or lamps. you must know what effect such light has on everything it hits. COLOR EFFECTS BY ARTIFICIAL LIGHT It's practically impossible to think of an artist who'd never be faced with the task or necessity of painting by artificial light. or neon signs play a big role. a hand there. dancing according to the waves or ripples in the water. Look. The brightness of the rippled reflection can be enhanced by painting violet or purple spots on thin lines between ripples. Make sure to ripple at least the bottom edges. If you paint by artificial light. such as the window. Rembrandt had them. slightly darker. A convex part of the same vase enlarges a cherry to the size of an apple. but softer. in a color similar to the reddish sun or the yellowish moon. blue. Reflections of objects. it usually has ripples. all hues have a gold quality. You can simply print off the material and refer to it and DO THE EXERCISES as you can. so that reflected images are not absolutely clear. Reflections of the setting sun or of the moon are often painted. friends. Such reflections are vertically below the sun or the moon.. By sunlight. because images are turned upside down by water. the water reflects the color of the sky. especially when lights of one kind or another. A concave section of a silver vase reduces the size of an apple to the size of a cherry. the sky may become darker than the water. Even if you have no intention of creating a painting in which candlelight. go by what you see. because they are attractive subjects.. Here. What you see are ripples. Colors in reflections are similar to the actual hues. You might paint the reflections fully. but the shapes of highlights depend upon the shapes on which they are seen. everything has a grayish tone. Only the crest of waves reflect some of the sunlight or lamplight. a campfire. the rest may be greenish brown or bluish gray. are involved. perhaps super-earthy lights. or gray veil had been thrown across the entire reflection. you may want to have light effects of your own. reflections of the top part of each item. The edges normally become zig-zaggy. PAINTING REFLECTIONS IN WATER Painstaking observation of values is perhaps even more important in the rendering of reflections in water. as if a very thin green. at least close to your own shoreline. If your subject is a lake or river shore. the reflected images may not be visible. stormy water are never clear. LIMITATIONS OF ARTIFICIAL LIGHT . Although water can be mirror smooth for a while. Lesson #14 I know that these lessons are coming pretty fast. of course. bushes.. Don't take anything for granted. decide which is lighter: the sky or the water. trees.. the water is likely to be somewhat darker than the sky. but toward evening. I hate rushing it like this but there are many people who are looking forward to other series' and I try to accommodate as many folks as possible. but always a little less intense than the sun or the moon. too. seen in the same perspective. In gold or brass articles. but rippled water changes the color considerably. which are. I hope to finish this series by the end of March and we still have a good deal to talk about. such as houses. one ripple below the other. He painted strange. Normally. each reflected image is as far below the water line as the actual item is above the water line.
A lamp hanging from the ceiling hits every object in the room at a different angle. the candle. Lights and shadows created by such a light will also remain the same. candle. It isn't affected by weather. unflattering to most humans. is that artificial light casts stronger shadows than sunlight does. candlelight has its eternal fascination. too. A third limitation. of course. thus causing objects to seem rather flat. but painting such a spot will never look like a flashlight. at least a couple of shades darker. and look at it again by sunlight. artificial light casts shadows in every direction. Even though different types of lamps have different colors. Objects look different in every kind of light. PAINTING LIGHT BY SHOWING ITS EFFECT Light is recognized by its effect. an no artificial light is exactly like the light of the sun. its color depends upon the material which is burning. then by daylight bulb. often terrifying effect on whatever it illuminates. One thing to remember. Every major source of light is so well known that we recognize it by its effect. In order to create the ILLUSION of a flashlight. in art at least. blindfolded. since the most ancient times. prove to be darker (or lighter) than you had planned. or what time of day. is that a painting must be finished by the same light in which it was started. gas. you have to paint the floor. acetylene. You can always count on the exact hue of any artificial light. oil lamp. Begin a painting by sunlight. but entrancing for scenery. ranging from a bluish.Artificial light is any man-made light: flaming wood. with no idea where you were being taken. electricity. you can turn it on or off anytime. almost like the moon. Its second limitation is that different kinds of light have different colors. fluorescent and mercury lamps. steps. You can read by artificial light as long as you are near enough to the lamp. Some kind of artificial light seems to have existed in all corners of the earth. What you thought was the right shade of pale blue turns out to be a greenish gray. harsh white to a reddish ocher. the time of day. it has serious limitations as compared with the sun. except for fluorescent lights which diffuse shadows to the point where shadows practically disappear. Finally. When your blindfold is removed. continue it by fluorescent light. . its lens is a brilliant spot. One is that it remains in one-and-the-same place. First of all. Few art schools have skylight studios and they cannot depend upon the constantly changing natural light. GOOD FEATURES OF ARTIFICIAL LIGHT On the other hand. Gaslight is yellowish. artificial light has some good features. It's literally impossible to match colors by another light. you'll find a mess of incredible patches! Hues you thought were exactly right when you applied them by one form of artificial light. How do we paint such lights? SHOULD WE PAINT BY ARTIFICIAL LIGHT? Many artists are forced to paint by artificial light. man was able to produce quite satisfactory illumination so that he was not forced to go to sleep as soon as the sun had gone down. They're also completely different colors and values. unless you deliberately move it. You must not paint the light. whereas lights and shadows created by sunlight change with the position of the sun. it is effective for short distances only and fades out gradually as you go farther and farther away from it. door. Pretend you were whisked away to another part of the world. No matter how brilliant artificial light may be. because they have no time during the day. Turn your flashlight on in a dark hallway. Pretend that you find yourself in a strange room that has a window. and whatever else in the hallway is hit by the beam of the flashlight. By multiplying even the simplest type of light. but the EFFECTS of the light. the color of a specific type of lamp is known in advance and remains unchanged. Artificial light is reliable. Fire has a fantastic. the seasons. though. all around the source of light. mercury lights are greenish.
The light of different lamps are also different. flashing electric signs. walls. mercury lamps. Lights and shadows cross each other and interfere with each other's effects. because artificial lights are much closer to the objects casting the shadows and because. because you're hit by a brilliant green bulb. you'll notice that none of the lights is just a dab of paint of a definite hue.whether it is a sunny day. but the differences are great. Cut them into the same size. with yellow rays all round. you cannot paint a picture in which lights go on and off. Yet there they are. The next problem is to render people. You can. intensity. You can also suggest their motion by applying spots of bright colors in a soft. and brilliance of lights. each light has a multiplicity of colors. Paint all values and colors correctly. Naturally. a cloudy day. EXERCISE IN PERCEIVING COLOR BY ARTIFICIAL LIGHT Take construction paper. artificial lights don't diffuse as softly as sunlight. cars. with real electric bulbs. Build the various colors up in small spots. PAINTING A CITYSCAPE AT NIGHT Street lamps and brightly illuminated store widows cast stronger shadows than sunlight. almost like a diamond which breaks the light into all the hues of the rainbow. depict the variety of hues. however. Observe and jot down the names of the colors on a simple pencil sketch and try to paint the effect by broad daylight. like a big star. You recognize the source of light by the color. and lighter tones. because there's a big red neon sign on that side. evening. with the exception of fluorescent lamps. or number them and keep a list of what each number signifies. you look as green as a leprechaun on the other side. softly blending into green. headlights of passing cars. signs of all sorts. paint objects exactly as they look in that particular light. If you want to render any of these lights. and windows by these lights. or night.without seeing the sky. afternoon. unless you construct a kind of pop-andop art. by looking at the window . Remember that children always draw or paint the sun as a yellow disc. and leave the paint quite rough. with darker. .you'd immediately know whether the room is lit by electricity. You'll have to try and try again. Something like a halo forms around certain lights. those lavender or purple discs. One side of your face may be orange-red. or by a candle. Basic colors remain recognizable by artificial light. This rough surface will catch the outside light and thus create a really sparkling effect. crossing the rings of rainbow hues. Let me admit at once that this isn't easy. undefined manner. Look at them with both eyes open. cardboard. Rather. about 5" square. and bolder contrasts. then squint-eyed. often with bright rays shooting out in all directions. softer. A window-shopper is hit by the light of the window. Mark the names of the hues and shades on the back of each piece. morning. You'll further notice that colors round the lights also change. or street . the contrasts between lights and shadows caused by the light. and with one eye closed. and anyone should be able to tell what kind of light is depicted in your painting. or blue-green hues outside the halo. there are as many shadows as there are sources of light. You'd know. fabrics of all sorts in different colors and shades. Also. by the sun. reflections. Children don't see the discs or rings around the light. THE IMPORTANCE OF CAREFUL OBSERVATION Spend a little time observing electric lights. the countryside. the street lamp on the corner. Impasto is most helpful for this subject. until you achieve the appearance of glowing lights.
not what you KNOW. however. throwing on all of them a yellowish tone. This softens all outlines. ever. almost elliptical. You can achieve the effect by going over your painting with very transparent glazes of yellow ocher. surrounded by lighter and darker shades of yellow. a green bulb. HOW TO ACHIEVE BRIGHTNESS Don't for a moment think that dropping a bright spot on a dark background gives the effect of glowing light. It may be reflected in a glass-covered picture. your best bet is to paint only the major forms. or at least some of them. one after the other. A few longer lines radiate from the center of the flame in all directions. In rendering such a scene. because it flickers incessantly. You can buy colored bulbs and insert them in the same socket. and if it is rendered with skill. stick to what you actually SEE. so you want to paint them. PAINTING INDOOR SUBJECTS BY ARTIFICIAL LIGHT Indoors." But this is wrath-risking. you cannot possibly see those details in the darkness. compare all other colors and values with the flame. Paint what you see. by the light of a blue bulb. a cool light looks brighter on a warm background. yet never jet black. If your painting is based on actual. The brightest spot can only be the flame itself. in most instances. before your eyes.Look at each piece by candle flame. Almost any household can easily provide these different lights. for you MUST experience them. a red bulb. Everything in the background is dark. Otherwise I will know something that you do not know and that runs counter to the task of a teacher. is that you do not. omitting details. whether a color is red. You'll be able to tell. It's easier to observe objects indoors than outdoors. orange has more intensity on deep blue. acting like a spy. "I didn't need to do them because I understood exactly what you meant. then come to class without having ever actually done them. you will recall that we said that we KNOW too much about things. Don't paint what you KNOW is there. by a small. taking notes. by a white bulb. but you won't ever guess the actual shade of each! *NOTE. Thus. by sketching. The usual response is. It is the same in painting. blue. turning into the lightest possible green round the edges. For those of you who followed through the basic drawing series. careful observation. a warm light is more brilliant on a cool background. fading into darkness gradually. making the glaze somewhat brighter near the candle. I cannot explain to you about these things. Generally. There's a bluish crimson disc all round. You KNOW. by white fluorescent light. that the cabinet in the background has doors. it will look like a picture of a candle-lit room. broken by close knit lines of yellow or yellowish-green. or on blue-green than it has on a bright red . green. The flame of a candle is not a plain yellow tongue connected to the candle by a wick. even suspicious. doorknobs. or in a mirror on the wall. like an accidental splattering of a piece of paper. The dark mass of a piece of furniture may be discernible against the somewhat lighter wall. all the information is right there. each shade by each of these lights. a blue neon sign is literally bluer and brighter on a dark red-violet than it is on a dark ultramarine blue. The fact. brighter near the flame. Try to determine each color. where things move and you make yourself conspicuous. It will only be a bright spot on a dark ground. I have had students who read my instructions about these exercises. Use that as your standard. or yellow. Nor is anything pure white or yellow. There's a bid difference between the two ways of painting. Candle light cannot give sharp edges. and certain decorations. for instance. The flame usually has a blue-violet core. The small candle flame illuminates nearby articles. the problem is similar but more comfortable. all shapes. yellowish electric bulb. In your own home you can light a candle and watch its flame. an orange-colored bulb.
impasto can be most helpful in this subject. Then paint the darks around the brilliant spots. A short person. IMPORTANT AND EXCITING SHADOWS There's no light without shadow. a pale green. because the lower parts are in shadow. floating in midair. A thick. the other to the left.each light effects everything differently.as in a street scene at night . LIGHT CAN BE PLACED IN UNUSUAL POSITIONS For mysterious shadow's. You can make any spot appear like an electric light by outlining it with a pale blue. but we usually think of shadows as something unavoidable. Employ other colors: ultramarine blue with alizarin crimson gives you a dark. The shadow is darkest where several shadows overlap each other. or spiritistic adventure. It's perhaps even more intriguing to see what shadows can do for you in the realm of mystery and imagination. The artist has to have a storehouse of effects. and every item has as many shadows as the number of lights hitting it. especially when varnished. Such a . as exciting as lights are. yet translucent color. roughly applied dab of paint. rather than pleasant. even if few artists practice that kind of art in our times. or from outside the frame. spooks. Add the rings or halos of the required hues. a kind of art vocabulary. and water. In Rembrandt's most entrancing works. Observing shadows in diverse lights is important not only in realistic painting. But that's a great branch of art. Small lights coming from directly above may create a feeling of a face. you have to paint the brightest spot first. It's important to watch the highlights on any color. coming from an unseen part of the picture. In watercolor. depending upon the shape of the article and the position of the light source. but deep shadows. we often encounter such lights. catches the outside light. except. spiritual. mental. with the cleanest paint. Fireworks and fiesta scenes are greatly enhanced by impasto. or even a little doll. depending upon the color of the spot and the color of the background. the eternal magic of romance and make-believe. a very light green on a blue surface. one a little to the right. or the upper part of a figure. but they must never look as if they have been cut out of paper and pasted on the support. or close to. often forming interesting geometric patterns. Yet. in book illustrations.ground. The colors of shadows and lights may be realistic or imaginary. the palest blue on red. too. Don't just paint a drop of white in the center of any object. shadows can be as beautiful. As for the color. When there are several sources of light . Art has always been associated with magic: beliefs. or any innocent article near these lights will appear to have two huge wings on the wall behind. the highlight may be white on yellow. for use in any possible subject matter. a pale pink. perhaps from another world. ghosts. a wall. Beware of painting even the deepest shadow pitch black. They can also be more mysterious. of course. it's often necessary to place the source of light in an unusual position. or a pale orange. These lights softly illuminate unexpected features and introduce transparent. Put two lights on the floor. especially when it is on. blending them before the aquarelle dries. in which we can sometimes discern forms of humans or objects. superstitions. Danger lurks in the dark! Huge shadows are frightening or ominous to adults and children. brush. because any article so illuminated has very tall shadows. Art can also be an excellent storyteller. Experiment with various combinations. The highlight may be off-center. As I have mentioned before. as monumental. A light on the floor creates a threatening shadow. pale green on orange.
of course. paint a drop of water spilled on the table. the West has gone through a great many different styles or schools of art. you never see more than two sides and the top or bottom. visually. Even from a distance. when you look at such a cube from an angle. This. Lesson #15 Many of you will be pleased to know that we are getting near the end of our discussion on color theory and application. and an opening in the wall (of exactly the same size of the black cloth) leading to a completely dark room or cavern. Thus. however. The difference is similar to having two black things next to each other: a sheet of black cloth hanging from the wall. Yet. and the same objects viewed without the glass. simply e-mail me and we will continue one-on-one. You can. . the 1960's saw the introduction of what is generally called Op art. I hope to have this series pretty well wrapped up with this lesson and the next. from light green to deep blue. because they change according to the sky. lakes. It's not the only kind of art. if that drop of water were colorless? There's a big difference between the visual appearance of colors and the basic. proportions. The physicist takes a drop of water and calls it colorless. a truly perceptive eye notices differences between objects seen through the glass. all painted exactly the same light blue. Try to remember this when you want to convey depth in your painting. is the foundation of traditional Western art: painstaking observation and rendering of visual facts. and none of these three visible sides is square. the sun. That's all for today. you still have questions. original. You may not see from a distance whether a clear glass contains water or not but you do see the glass. You couldn't see it at all if the glass were really colorless. As with any of the lesson series. and the clouds. a cube painted light blue is a geometric object with six square sides of the identical size. nonexistent forms. such masses of water are quite colorful. and objects depicted. after you have finished the series. so that the result is a completely three dimensional appearance of figures. How could you. light and shadow.mixture has more depth than a spot painted pure black. We say that water and clear glass are colorless.though not always actually haphazard types of painting. but that's only true in physics or when we use a nice sheet of glass in a window or in a picture frame. they also have colors of their own. Perhaps as a reaction to the seemingly . an understanding of perspective. In large masses. you'll notice that one darkness is flat. for the last hundred and fifty years. both glass and water reflect the colors of their surroundings. scenes. You see water in rivers. They also change according to the depth of the water. and in swimming pools. As a matter of fact. some of which eliminated many of the traditional principles until certain artists painted absolutely unrecognizable. OPTICAL EFFECTS IN COLOR AND DESIGN Whatever is visible to the normal human eye must have color as well as form and size. if. This is true in the same way that there's a big difference between the visual appearance of form as opposed to the diagrammatic shapes by which we remember the same forms. Even in these cases. COLOR OF GLASS AND WATER Above all. Next we will contemplate the optical effects in color and design. though. Neither does the light blue color appear the same on those three sides. what we call local colors of objects. In a normal light coming from one source shadows are created on two of the three visible sides. whereas the other darkness has depth. the sea.
anyway!!) And it's quite true that blue seems to float forward. Stare at the drawing for a few seconds. many of them in another. and spacing. What the anecdote fails to tell you is that Gainsborough used a dark. between the columns and shake hands with the people depicted in those paintings. Josef Albers. The op artist works with color as well as line and pattern. somewhat subdued blue. squares closer to one side than to the other. The squares appear to be moving or sliding. behind the tables.WHAT IS OP ART? Linear and color illusions are all around us. bigger and smaller squares. While artists have employed optical illusions for centuries as integral parts of their subjects. The young man was painted in a blue garment to prove that blue may well be used as the main color in a painting. heard this and promptly dashed off the full length portrait of Master Buttall. sunny side. but the colors of the doors and roofs are different . Albers manipulated these illusions with the help of colors. Painting itself is s great optical illusion. the eye tends to see only one of the forms. some appear to move forward. and makes it the supreme goal of art. According to a clever anecdote. while many other hues recede. playing tricks on our eyes. diverse patterns.paintings consisting exclusively of squares: a few squares in one painting. painted a series he called Homage to the Square . He succeeded in creating peculiar illusions. it is the illusion of life) Many of the large murals created during the Renaissance and the Baroque are so absolutely lifelike that you think they're the real things. others go back and forth. op art deifies the optical illusion itself. He adds the color illusions to the linear illusions known since the age of ancient Greece. You feel you are in a tunnel with doors and windows opening and closing in front of you. drawn in linear prospective in such a way that the tread and riser of each step are visible. An example of this optical illusion is a stairway. The danger of painting blue lies in this optical fact. for example. or farther from each other. We look at two houses in a project . or the two forms seem to be in a kind of constant motion or vibration. cool colors seem to float. We see dark spots jumping like mad when we turn to the shady side of the street after having looked at the bright. in various colors. preached to his students never to use blue for an important section of a painting. One of the best known of these artists. who had a running feud with Sir Joshua. Thomas Gainsborough. because blue floats. A suit. but its a good story. IMPORTANCE OF REPEAT PATTERNS When the eye is fixed on a pattern in which two main forms. squares closer to. There are moments when you're sure one of the squares changes places with another. and/or colors alternate. It seems as if you could walk up the stairs. designs. not a light and bright shade of blue. (We also happen to know that this work was done ten years before Reynolds ever declared that blue must not be employed. although they are the same in size. Sir Joshua Reynolds. sizes. who had very positive opinions on all subjects. (art is not life. or dress makes its wearer appear to be less fat or less slender than he or she really is.and we believe that the light yellow door is bigger than the dark green door.where each house is exactly like the other in size and shape. and you'll begin to wonder if the steps . We now know this painting all over the world as The Blue Boy. These are everyday illusions. This isn't easy to explain. for some baffling reason.
that we can show in colors what time of day the painting was executed. the artist should accumulate all kinds of knowledge.is considered a wonderful way of expressing yourself. early in the twentieth century. PAINTING MOTION The impressionists tried to paint motion by working in a sketchy manner. The sensation depends upon which direction happens to attract your eyes first. One never knows. One side of the spiral is one color. that they can create a feeling of space and air. Clay pots. It's not necessarily meaningless. Artists make sketches of odds and ends. revolving on a pivot. he should be able to act promptly as well. Perhaps you'll discover a way to utilize the revolving effect of the spiraling forms in your painting. It gives the sensation of something being drilled into the ceiling.are going down or up. which takes a large number of pictures over a period of a few seconds on one-and-the-same film. years before artists did "op art". Neither optical illusion nor the idea of motion is new to painters. The Impressionists proved that colors are innumerable. IS COLOR A MEDIUM OF SELF-EXPRESSION? We find pure line drawings on the walls of prehistoric caves and lines scratched by prehistoric artists into flat pieces of bone. wheels of carriages would be shown as overlapping circles or ellipses. because it's creative work. The painter ought to be wide awake and see what's going on in this ever-changing world. lines evolved into admirably graceful spirals that vie in artistry with any decoration created in any of the world's . As I said before. And that's where the painter comes in. EXPRESSING YOURSELF IN COLOR There can be hardly any question about the fact that humans want to express themselves. skill. We know through the efforts of these professionals that some self-expression is ugly. or running with the so-called speed lines. or into the floor. each arm and leg in a slightly different position. of course . There's something fascinating about such seemingly endless motion. some is beautiful. instead of learning about them in a studio. were decorated to resemble basket-weave. without definite outlines. In the aboriginal art of New Zealand. It can show you how a slight change in size. magnificent vases still had rows of such basket-weave design. They may never use some of these sketches. when the time comes. OPTICAL GADGETS AND TOYS Some forms or gadgets of optical art have been employed in window displays to attract the attention of passers-by. You aren't sure. and value might make the difference between a fine and interesting painting and a poor and dull one. One of the best known of these attractions was. for instance. Psychologists. psychiatrists. though. the wavelike spiraling design. emphasized motion. the other side another color. shorter and longer lines drawn across the person or animal in the opposite direction from the one in which he is dashing. and still is. ever. shape. it may well serve an artistic purpose. based on your personality as well as your knowledge. but it's good to have them. material. based on previous construction methods. artists indicate speed. Their idea was very much like the multi-exposure camera. The Futurists. They may give inspiration in some unexpected direction.every branch of art . You might have a subject in which this spiral would fit. that they can be made to sparkle. reaching from floor to ceiling. The Impressionists taught us how to observe colors in real life. They left their form blurred to indicate people and carriages passing by. even if it's meaningless from an aesthetic viewpoint. They depicted it by showing persons and animals with many legs and arms. and psychoanalysts all over the world deal with this problem. Art. and skill so that. Man used geometric patterns in his artifacts. Op art might teach you how to paint more striking effects. if seen from an angle. At the height of Athenian civilization. color. In advertising and comic strips. and temperament.
ART AND PSYCHOANALYSIS Certain psychoanalysts assert they can tell your character and your complexes from the colors you employ and the manner in which you apply them. statues were painted in realistic colors. this supposedly divulges your innermost secret. having introduced the now often-heard motto. It's true that painting is self-expression. the way good landlords are supposed to repaint apartments at regular intervals. If he prefers one way of . during the Renaissance as well. His subject. boats. But the execution itself is never haphazard. the way we eat. studying primitive tribes. or tall. good children. Those people loved color for its own sake. technique are all deliberate. It must be deliberate. In ancient Rome. have concluded that art has evolved for discernible reasons. you supposedly reveal that you hate your mother. In Japan. Many lay people now believe that prehistoric man painted animals in his caves just to express himself. on the other hand. or squirted on the support. or recline. This is a kind of painting in which paint is dripped. colors. act. For example.depiction's of slaves. It's surely easier for an articulate person to express his ideas. pacifying or warding off spirits. thin figures. addressed to art students: "Don't worry about drawing.would be real in the hereafter. A psychoanalyst would charge you three hundred dollars a session for discovering what deeply-buried. or the New York School. especially painting. grays. but so is everything else we do. The idea that art. their belief that we ought to take advantage of all the beauties and pleasures of this earth while we're alive. working with a big palette knife. The colors of the Etruscans might well be considered a true form of self-expression. often witty manner. are the most complete form of self-expression. In all ancient civilizations. Hans Hofmann is generally credited with. perspective. Paint the way you feel!!" The concept that art and self-expression are synonymous has spread far and wide. Obviously. man was always able to depict objects in lines. The fact is that inspiration may be spontaneous. stand. a genuine artist does everything for an esthetic purpose. musicians . they painted every part of a horse in a different hue. thoughts. oral or written. blending them softly into each other. however. with the sole exception of the Etruscans. composition. If you use much green and purple. you may suddenly get an idea for painting or any other kind of art. they expressed their joy of life. is self-expression." Psychologists and anthropologists. SELF-EXPRESSION IN ART IS A NEW IDEA Neither line. including Greek and Roman. that you wish you were shorter than you actually are. or accused of. had to repaint the often unsurpassed portrait busts of their parents every other year. or long bananas. and golden delicious apples. who practiced ancestor worship. cattle. nor color inherently expresses personal emotions or feelings. neatly. also called abstract expressionism. Just express yourself. The ancient Egyptians. and yellows. ancestral problems cause you to paint spots. is very recent and quite misleading. In the Western world. believed that whatever paintings and sculpture they placed in their tombs . talk. walk. his innate desire for beauty. and beliefs in words than in painting. the custom survived until modern times. and other old-fashioned nonsense. color was meant to be realistic in recognizable forms and figures. and. but diagrammatically. but he also liked colors and added them to his images at an early age.greatest civilizations. fruits. statues were colored through the Gothic period. and "to express his decorative sense. Unquestionably. Jackson Pollock is credited with the introduction of automatic art. that is. without any advance idea. opinions. If you work with blues. is all self-expressive. such as magic. Their aim was to paint as many of these as possible. very often. hurled. and behave. without any composition or subject matter. with all the important features shown. and had nothing to do with self-expression as we understand the term today. The way we sit. leaving hard edges and ridges all over the painting. and curlicues. and employed it in a cheerful. Words.
using only the strongest hues and dynamic strokes. But why shouldn't an artist in a wonderful frame of mind slash bold colors on his canvas? . flowers. PEOPLE RESPOND TO COLORS DIFFERENTLY Nobody can deny that people respond to colors or color combinations. Years ago. but different kinds of people respond differently to the same color effects. I felt safe. living in leaky garrets. even though I didn't like my subject. The steel frames of my window truly resembled the bars of a jail cell. the day turned almost dark as night. In other words. you want to hit. I identified myself with my subject. For a farmer. by an association of ideas. After one look at the painting. I watched a terrific downpour from my studio in Fort Lauderdale. but I also felt like a prisoner. The next morning. he created a masterpiece. on the other hand. someone could look at it and find in it the exact mood I recreated in it. especially because individual differences in our reactions to colors are quite frequent. An artist probably won't start a happy subject when he happens to be in a depressed mood. It's art. to be surrounded by shades of gray. but it must still always remain under his firm. If you feel angry. that's because it intrigues him or inspires him. You feel like a man in jail. A good psychoanalyst might still help you get out of this terrible feeling of hopelessness and frustration if you act promptly!" Well. Strangely enough. neglected graves. The buyer took it to Central Europe. while an artist in a mellow mood applies paint gently. colors. Yet. using pastel shades. He resented the Pope's order to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. that would be a different proposition. They cannot go out. A flower garden in full bloom is much more pleasant than a cemetery with gray tombstones. I was thinking of artists of a past generation. like a good writer. My studio wasn't leaky. in a well kept cemetery. It's easy to assume that an angry artist will slash paint on his canvas in huge heaps. though surely not a pleasant picture. not because he has a complex. are more complicated than one might surmise. and many miles away. The rain really came down in buckets. artistic control. she wrote me a letter. bouquets. But lovely old trees. to be sure. The rainwater was cascading down the panes of my casement windows. As a matter of fact. A radiantly sunny day and fresh. without losing himself in it. they don't like to go to a party smelling of rain. enraged though he was. I need immediate help. Although it was afternoon. desperately urging me to dash to the nearest psychoanalyst. and accused his enemies of having caused the Pope to force him to do a job he wasn't equipped to do. for many reasons. An all-day rain is depressing to city-dwellers. identifies himself with the mood of his subject. Nobody can be more temperamental than Michelangelo was. like everything else. but you may become just as vehement and destructive when you're overjoyed. she wrote. rain may mean literal salvation and gray may be a relief from the glaring colors he sees much of the time. This friend was in psychoanalysis at the time. SIMILARITIES BETWEEN OPPOSITES There are odd similarities between our mental and physical responses to diverse causes. He has his own personality. If I had been painting nothing but downpours for the past twenty years. can change the aspect of the graveyard and lend it a feeling of peace. I had expressed my mood. a blue sky peeping through the foliage. someone fell in love with it and purchased it. but he's likely to select his favorite subject matter and technique accordingly. green vegetation make you feel happy and peppy in the city. I didn't need any psychological care. calm. they cannot get a taxi.painting to another. tear. It's also depressing. I was proud that several years after I painted the picture. unrelieved by a single bright spot. seven years later. IDENTIFY YOURSELF WITH YOUR ART A good artist. I painted the scene and it turned out to be a most interesting. and security. That isn't despair or sickness of the mind. He may very well give vent to his feelings in his work. "This painting reveals the most dreadful mood of depression. or crumple something. and showed it to a friend of mine I hadn't seen in many years.
curiously. None of them believed that their work spoke for itself." I told them to paint hatred and love. however. TESTING RESPONSES OF NON-PROFESSIONAL PAINTERS For many years. hatred to others. etc. but they were interesting. the way they feel under the stress of such emotions. without a verbal explanation. and not at all uniform in concept. honestly express themselves in color? Or did they express standard sentiments. "dancing" lines in red. commonplace beliefs. I generally succeeded in proving to them that any intelligent person can learn some basic features of painting. regardless of circumstances. and yellow discs appeared as expressions of love. done in the most naive perspective. A festive mood was expressed in a diversity of manners. often genuinely charming. I feel like painting the town red. They explained that blue was inevitable. pink. IS SELF-EXPRESSION IN PAINTING HONEST? The question is still in my mind: did my education majors really. Yellow zigzag lines with green and orange dots. rather than emotions? Did they express themselves in a personal fashion? Didn't they merely do the expected. A true artist establishes his own mood. red spots meant drops of blood. Many students painted a sort of explosion . for instance. but fully recognizable. One girl painted big red strokes across the paper. Drops of blood meant love to some. or a yellow arrow. It was all great fun but. because most of them lacked artistic talent. but blue replaced black or green. EXPRESSING HATRED AND LOVE IN COLOR Hatred was most often signified by black and/or green. were some of the expressions of being happy. often quite revealing. the students went all out on this project. One cannot overestimate the power of creativity in an artist. with a streak of yellow lightning. sometimes puzzling or amusing. "When I'm in a happy mood. One girl used red spots and a black heart. They never included green and black in expressing love. But many students considered blue the true sign of sadness. To both of them. Several students painted yellow and red flames for hatred. clichés. love was also often symbolized by flames. EXPRESSING SADNESS AND HAPPINESS IN COLOR Another project in this class was to express a depressed mood and a happy one. was the project of "expressing themselves. They constantly worried about failing the course. Working on poor quality paper. in big splotches of wavy shapes. Manifestly. red and blue for love. with a snakelike black stripe in the center. One student painted red spots all over the paper. Sadness was mostly depicted in black and gray. All of them managed to produce pictures representing bowls of fruit. A red heart. crosses or check marks in bright hues.How can you tell from strokes and colors whether the artist was in a joyous or a nasty mood at the time he did that particular work? This is like assuming that a good-natured author could never write a story about war or the Wild West. I taught painting courses for education majors at a major university (most states require that all teachers know a little about every subject) I always felt sorry for these eighteen to twenty year old people. vases of flowers." was her explanation. and that a temperamental writer could never produce a sentimental novel. painted in a big bunch in the center of the paper. every student was anxious to explain their self-expression in detail. because one cannot be in love without feeling blue once in a while. The results weren't exactly artistic. but black was almost always included in one form or another. I found their logic interesting. The greatest success. it would have been impossible for me to tell the difference between love and hatred. and light blue swirls. light blue.black and green for hate. green. with children's poster colors and brushes. rather than the expressive? In many cases. there are more ways of feeling happy than of feeling sad. and even though I purposely asked no verbal questions. not . I gave them complete freedom.
regardless of its realistic nature. This is because it is so personal. Scenes of cruel martyrdom can be repulsive to Buddhists. CONCLUSION There is no subject more difficult to talk about than color. signifies happy springtime in India. Each artist must decide for themselves what colors they are to use in their work. Rather. In this last lesson I hope to tie up a few loose ends and have some further conversation about color and all of its intricacies. jealousy. and how to apply paint with brush. but the older ones as well. My tests with non-professional painters don't prove that self-expression in painting is impossible. Scenes from the Ajanta caves of India are meaningless. yet without acquiring the skill to play the music on some instrument. Art is a language. I hope that in this series I have shown you a few ways that color will behave. Black is a sign of dignity as well as death. Learn all you can. and even ugly to the uninitiated Westerner. I don't think so. it's a group of languages. but you still have to learn it. or in any other medium. all is for nothing. White represents virginity in the West. who abhor cruelty. What we can safely say is this: it's not enough for you to decide to express yourself in color. What you will know must also be based on what man has learned over a . Don't rely on color alone. for example. even if produced by a talented. Not only how to mix colors. just as you learn your mother tongue and any other language. Nothing could be further from the truth for one might well decide what words to put to a piece of music. No. or cake-decorator. and he might well be able to hum the tune he wishes to accompany those words. themselves. mourning in the East. However.because the two extremes may in reality be as close to each other as madness and genius. Subject matter can be mystifying. Biblical scenes are meaningless to persons not familiar with the Bible. and not merely the latest ones. It also means surrender. I am often asked to give formulas for color but there aren't any. or disease in the Western world. art is not a universal language. But if there are so many different ways of expressing the same basic human feelings can there be a complete and absolute understanding of any kind of self-expression. Lesson #16 This week's lesson concludes our investigation of color. this is often taken as a sign that one need know nothing about color since it is all up to the artist. You must also know how to express yourself. You have to learn all of them if you wish to understand art and artists. skilled artist? IS ART A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE? Some people believe art is a universal language. Yellow. and if you want to express yourself in painting in colors. have various meanings. the techniques. a most eloquent one. flitgun. and this is the equivalent of saying that you must know how to paint before you can express yourself. whereas each of them was quite able to express their feelings orally. but in the end it is you who must decide just how you want to make these colors and color combinations dance to the music on your canvas. palette knife. but because of the inability of the students to express themselves in color. It is a form of artistic self-expression and doesn't lend itself to a formula. What we know is based on what we have learnt. You have to know the esthetic concepts. capitulation. the color of cowardice. as I stated before. There's so much else in art. Colors. overcrowded.
Didn't Domenicos Theotokopoulos. techniques all revealed their innermost personalities. NOW FOR SOME NUTS AND BOLTS! As we have said. the novelty. different likes and dislikes. fruits. Self-expression must be natural. unconscious. We study their methods. and his equally elongated portrait of Cardinals? Didn't he express himself when he painted himself among other people participating in the scene? Didn't Rubens express himself. in his plump. the way it existed for centuries. and a mug of beer? None of these artists had ever heard of self-expression. Print it off and keep it at hand. Their subjects. The Mona Lisa isn't a portrait at all. their ideas. We don't know all about those artists. now generally employed. and bronzed warriors? Didn't Rembrandt express himself in the tender. Acrylic A man-made. in the elongated. That smile isn't hers. term. but mature women. mythological scenes forbidden by law in his Protestant Holland? Didn't Frans Hals. None of them ever made an effort to be "different" or sensational. without any effort. martyrs. The term has been spread and popularized all over the world to such an extent that a great many people have become keenly interested in expressing themselves. completely human forms in which he depicted biblical. with exactly the same smile. colors. we must learn the languages of art of which color is one. the virgin. his early youth in his native Crete. They had fewer colors. You are but a link in an endless chain. but their works. synthetic material used in fixatives and polymer (plastic) colors. without having had a name applied to it. Aquamedia. in his strong. It is their works of which we know. This conscious trying is what causes difficulties. and this fact is expressed in the works of all important artists. I feel a need to include a glossary of color terms to help the beginning (and not too few intermediate) artist. You hear about the "mysterious smile" of the Mona Lisa. smaller brushes. ARTISTIC SELF-EXPRESSION IN THE PAST Self-expression is a term introduced quite recently. Each of them just happened to be different. prancing. vividly colored images of saints. not the woman. Artists of the past did not try to express themselves. applied to transparent . The master expressed himself. express himself. He painted every male and female face. originality of this or that feature of each.period of long years. Many attempt to do so in some form of art. or Aqueous media See Watermedia. Jesus. Despite the smaller number of available colors. often enough. we know very little of their personal lives. in their works. Rembrandt's fellow countryman. Aerial perspective refers to the distortions of lines and colors in scenery or objects viewed for a high-flying airplane. baby-faced. or subconscious. Aquarelle Any watercolor in which pigments are mixed with gum arabic. They expressed themselves without any deliberate effort. called El Greco (The Greek). Each artist had different color combinations. It's a standardized face. Aerial perspective Formerly applied to the effect of distance. Be a strong link. it's Leonardo's own smile. It may serve you well when the need arises. Color perspective is the correct. and light on the appearance of scenery and objects. For that reason. but just as many personal problems and complexes as we have. express himself in the superficial. in which he treated human beings with as much emotion as he had for silverware. the Count of Orgaz. different esthetic concepts. boisterous portraits and group portraits. weather. without any individuality. We analyze not the artists. fat men. the works of these masters can be quickly recognized by an experienced person. the kind Leonardo da Vinci liked. except the thirteen men in The Last Supper.
applied while hot. and jewelry. the general mood of a work of art. Fresco Painting in watercolor on freshly spread. Baroque The name of the asymmetrical. Casein A white protein found in curdled milk. Earth colors are permanent. often vehement. In everyday life. even though applied with water. also. in a derogatory sense. Earth colors A large and important group of colors . Pigments mixed with casein are called casein colors. Flamboyant Flamelike decorations.. reviving the idealized proportions and images of ancient Greece. In art. referring to the Late Gothic style. they are low priced. Also. In physics. in any form of art. when mixed in the right proportions. a painting done in such colors. any transparent coat. still moist. finials. mythology. because such pigments are found in most parts of the world. Gothic The period of the late Middle Ages. engraving. Enamel A vitreous (glasslike) substance made in any color. or layer of paint. charcoal. Composition The design which holds a work of art together as an inseparable unit. Also called modeling paste. from various iron ores and oxides. Atmosphere Literally. Gouache (gwash) Opaque watercolor. Brilliance The degree of brightness found in colors. such as the sun or an electric sign. such as linseed or polymer. done in gray tones. then suddenly turn toward a darker surface. Color perspective The correct term for what used to be called Aerial perspective. used as a ground for painting or for creating reliefs. art and period of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Europe. The word is derived from barrueco. wavy ornaments. The pigments become chemically fused with the plaster. employed in waterproof glues and paints. popular in the Classicist period as an underpainting. metal. En grisaille A painting executed entirely in gray tones. now. pigments are mixed with molten wax. the mass of air surrounding the earth. and flying buttresses.the earliest known to man . such colors are combined into white when passed through a crystal prism. we see complementary colors when we look into a strong light. popular on glass. Also anything of a flashy style. Highly favored by the ancient Romans. and light on scenery and objects. on which we see the same shapes. that is. a general term referring to fine prints: woodcut. especially Holland. Such colors are often more uniform in quality and more permanent than colors derived from natural pigments. Spanish word for an odd-shaped pearl. the visible effect of air. Classicist or Classic Revival The period of art from the second half of the eighteenth century through the first half of the nineteenth. lithograph. numbered. individually signed editions. or history. Figuratively. Gesso Plaster (whiting) mixed with a binder. plaster. in the fine arts. Complementary colors A pair of contrasting colors which. Genre Painting or sculpture depicting an everyday story that has nothing to do with religion. Graphic arts All prints made by artists in restricted. Glaze A glasslike coating applied to pottery.prepared from "earth". in Protestant countries. The term was first employed by Italian Renaissance artists. Chemical colors An important group of artists' colors. etc. Used for coating bricks . based on the ideology of the French Revolution. it was reintroduced by artists of the seventeenth century. Cool colors Whitish blues and greens are called cool. Black-and-white Pictures or drawings executed in black pencil. or pen-and-ink.watercolors. often in a theatrical manner. used for heavy applications of paint in any medium. Extender A white paste. crayon. ranging from the zero brilliance of black to the maximum brilliance of white. but in totally different hues. Facade The front view of a building. etching. They become waterproof. prepared chemically. Also used in . with its restless. or a painting done in this medium. usually where the main entrance is situated. featuring pointed arches.in ancient times and later used on pottery. gives a neutral gray. Encaustic A very ancient medium for painting. Also. made of marble dust. weather. because they remind us of ice.
Warm colors Reddish. or the whole egg as a binder. also. Pastels Pigments compressed into sticks. it is oil tempera. Synonymous with color. its freedom from any mixture. Opacity The quality of not allowing light to pass through an object or material. which. usually as compared with gray. . and so forth. Bright and permanent. marble. and colors of coats-of-arms. then glazed over to obtain the final effect. Illumination Decorations in gold. but need not be combined with miniatures. Old Masters used tempera underpaintings. designs. etc. now. and bright colors in manuscripts. parallel lines converging.the darkest . such as bronze. This will pretty much end this discussion on color. I hope that you have enjoyed the series and have received some benefit from our study. Medium 1. Wash A transparent coat or layer of color. I always look forward to a new series and hope that you will join me. applied with varnish and turpentine. Organic colors Pigments derived from animal or vegetable substances. brown. believed to have been introduced by Leonardo da Vinci in his Mona Lisa.water.reference to the craft of printing and publishing. Not recommended for artists. Value The relationship of any color to white . Hue The name of a color. The substance with which pigments are mixed . such as cadmium and cobalt. Impasto A thick application of paint in a work of art. Next week we will launch into a new series. Saturation The degree of intensity of a color. The opposite of transparency. Mineral colors The most expensive group of artists colors. 2. Pastel pictures are considered paintings. any medium can be used in impasto. Applied with water. diminishing sizes. Illuminations may. gradual blending of colors into each other. oil. silver. Receding lines. mostly in powder form. present-day artists often prepare an underpainting in tempera. wax. Sfumato The soft. prepared from minerals. and are grouped with watercolors. tempera is a water medium.color we know. Oil colors or Oils Pigments mixed with linseed or poppyseed oil.. casein. metallic elements. The material through which an artists expresses his ideas and concepts. Red. Tempera Pigments prepared with the white of egg. aquarelle. used with water. or shades of one-and-the-same color. circles turning into ellipses are features of linear perspective. yellowish colors are called warm as they remind us of fire and flame. etc. casein. with extender or an underpainting white.the lightest . Opposite of polychrome. The ingredients added to various colors in order to make them more or less fluid. as a rule. are hues or colors. the work done with them. its full strength. is used in paints. etc. Formerly only possible in oils. Pigment The coloring matter. blue. Heraldic Referring to symbols. Glazing is done on oils or in polymer colors. usually not permanent. green.and to black . 3. Monochrome Anything done in one color. Underpainting A simplified painting done on the support. to cause them to dry faster or slower. pink. enamel. Intensity The strength of a color. Linear perspective The visual appearance of lines and shapes as distorted or changed by distance and viewpoint. or in underpainting white.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.