Saturday, February 21, 2015

Just some thoughts about color

I talked to my old classmate today and we talked about the school and if i was happy now after three years.

It got me thinking back to the time i had at the pre-art school i went to before.
What i really enjoyed about painting was to explore things.
Be it some kind of light phenomena  or something. But it was always in a very enthusiastic and scientific way. I wanted to learn and figure out what i saw in nature.
After three years at the school and the last year of painting still life and the model.
I started to feel i wasn't learning anything anymore. It was just another still life or just another model. My problem with the figure i realized was the limited palette of mainly 2 colors in the red family. (burnt umber+red umber)
I wanted to paint what i saw. And what i saw was yellows and greens.. and red of course. So today I went ahead and put some yellow ochre pale on my palette. And everything was great. I was having fun again.

I understand however the benefit of using a limited palette. Especially in a school situation.
I also understand that with color everything is relative.
Let me explain. We have on our palette, burnt umber, red umber, venetian red, black, white.
Shadows = burnt umber
Dark halftones = burnt umber/red umber mixture
Light half tones = red umber/burnt umber mixture
Red accents = venetian red

So when you use venetian red in the knees, feet, hands, and head. The red umber will look quite yellow in comparison. So as a whole the lights reads as quite yellow.
Also red umber looks quite red straight out of the tube but does change towards orange/yellow when adding white.

If you however add yellow ochre on your canvas. The red umber would look red.
Anyway. I think that with yellow ochre I could achieve a more accurate representation of what I saw.


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