Friday, October 5, 2007

Another way to say "apple".

On the left, shadows were created with sap green with the cadmium red medium local color of the ball. Highlights were created with white. At right, the same ball shadowed with alizarin crimson and manganese violet, and highlighted analogously with cadmium red light, cadmium orange and white.

Something I came across while reading:

"Back in the nineteenth century, artists were just beginning to become acquainted with the bright, bold colors handed to them by the new science of pigment chemistry. The Impressionists began to experiment with new ways of portraying color and light. Here's our painterly colorist contemplating his apple: "Why darken that apple across the color wheel toward it's complement, leaving me with dull and lifeless neutrals, when by moving around the color wheel, I can achieve a shadowed value while maintaining vibrant color (chroma) ?"

Starting with local color, say cadmium red medium, our Impressionist grabs his brush and begins to darken it with..alizarin crimson! Even darker with manganese violet! Encouraged now, the artist highlights the opposite side with cadmium red light, cadmium orange, and cadmium yellow. Suddenly that apple explodes with color."

I really felt this was somewhat of an example of a painter trying to maintain high chroma in their painting. They were tired of dark, old pictures. This artist was not using strings of chroma of a single hue, as Graydon teaches us, but, he was thinking.

I was wondering if we could post pictures that show how we used to paint with color strings, and then the same object done in string chromas? I think that people who visit this blog would "get it" a bit quicker when they see examples of how absolutely beautiful their painting can be, as they learn and apply what they learn from Graydon's Color Wheel and Painting System. They could see the difference between how they are currently using color, and the difference Graydon's discovery produces.

Moving from left to right, in these three balls, only the intensity/chroma has changed, not the value. (Don't you love what the correct chroma string can do to a simple object?)

* Above picture from Color Theory Made Easy - Jim Ames


graydon said...

On high chroma objects, the shadow will pull towards purple-blue and the lights toward yellow. One has to analyze this, and I haven't with the large Munsell glossy edition. I did the exercise with Michael Aviano, yet we had no objective standard to understand or mixtures. We simply tried to replicate what we saw. I might wonder how much pull: does the highest chroma 5YR red pull to 2.5 YR in the shadows and 7.5 YR in the lights or is it more 4YR in the shadows and 6YR in the lights.

As far as this quote. Its hard to reproduce it because the paint names and the hues they produce are vague. But there is huge potential in experimenting with color: does consciously manipulating certain aspects of nature make things appear more appealing or, even, lifelike?

Scott said...

Painting with strings of chroma is like playing chess: You need to think a lot before moving, but, actually making your move takes just a moment.