PDA

View Full Version : Color Temperature


Kitty Wallis
04-15-2004, 12:08 AM
I think color temperature is relative.

For instance, yellow is always warm except, in relation to golden yellow, lemon yellow is cool.

Blue is always cool except pthalo blue is warmer than ultrmarine blue since pthalo blue has yellow in it.

How do you see it?

Dyin
04-15-2004, 12:22 AM
you're quick lol...just saw your answer about starting this! I definately think of it in relation to the other colors I'm using...if the piece is predominantly cool then just about any hint of a warm color, even one that might be considered cool normally, like a blue violet, will come across as warmer, due to the slight touch of red in it. And vice versa. A red violet can be warm or cool depending on the colors around it...and it's exciting when you figure this stuff out! A lot of people think yellow greens are warm but I have used them sucessfully for cool shadow areas in portraits....

Khadres
04-15-2004, 12:24 AM
I think color temperature is relative.

For instance, yellow is always warm except in relation to golden yellow, lemon yellow is cool.

Blue is always cool except pthalo blue is warmer than ultrmarine blue since pthalo blue has yellow in it.

How do you see it?

It DOES? I always thought pthalo was colder than ultramarine and that ultramarine had a smidge of red or violet in it...hmmmm....does this apply to oil pigments, too?

What confuses me is when someone says a red is warm (well, of course it is!) and another is cool (what? they mean something heading towards violet?) Hard to see any yellow as cool, either, except like you say...in comparing two. OK....is Prussian blue cool? When lightened it looks icy, so I always see it as cool.

And then someone starts in with "hot shadows"....arghhhhhhhhhhhh

SweetBabyJ
04-15-2004, 12:25 AM
Kinda like that- but surrounding tones count, too. Even a lemon yellow will sing warm if surrounded by cooler blues, as a warm blue will cool right down if surrounded by warmer oranges. So, yeah, it's all relative.

More interesting to me is whether or not the temperature *fits* no matter what the value or hue- the desert nude I did was very deliberate in tone choice- the only shadows which included a "cool" were on the nude itself- and that was for a reason: To demonstrate that deserts are hot even in the shade.

I've noticed in many pieces, people will highlight with, what to me, is the wrong tone- the wrong temperature. The rule may be warm light casts cool shadows, but the opposite is true for the highlights: Warm light forces warm highlights. That's important to remember.

Kitty Wallis
04-15-2004, 12:45 AM
It DOES? I always thought pthalo was colder than ultramarine and that ultramarine had a smidge of red or violet in it...hmmmm....does this apply to oil pigments, too?

What confuses me is when someone says a red is warm (well, of course it is!) and another is cool (what? they mean something heading towards violet?) Hard to see any yellow as cool, either, except like you say...in comparing two. OK....is Prussian blue cool? When lightened it looks icy, so I always see it as cool.

The proof is in the mixing: If you try mixing kelly green from pthalo blue and lemon yellow you will be succesful since there is no red in either color. If you use ultramarine or golden yellow in the mix you will get brownish green because of the red in those pigments.

I think some people see red as warmer than yellow, if they do, than ultramarine will look warmer to them than Pthalo. I don't know if there is a concensus about this. I've heard authoritative people say conflicting things.

Khadres
04-15-2004, 01:40 AM
The proof is in the mixing: If you try mixing kelly green from pthalo blue and lemon yellow you will be succesful since there is no red in either color. If you use ultramarine or golden yellow in the mix you will get brownish green because of the red in those pigments.

I think some people see red as warmer than yellow, if they do, than ultramarine will look warmer to them than Pthalo. I don't know if there is a concensus about this. I've heard authoritative people say conflicting things.

Oh, I thought your were saying the opposite before. Whew.

I would have to agree that temperature is GENERALLY relative to surrounding colors. So I guess you just mix everything up in the box and don't worry about temp much.

As an aside, I just order a roll of pro Wallis...any tips on how to uncurl it when cutting it up?

Kitty Wallis
04-15-2004, 02:46 AM
As an aside, I just order a roll of pro Wallis...any tips on how to uncurl it when cutting it up?

Your roll will come with a yellow user's guide, wrapped in the wrapping of the roll. If it's not there let me know and I will send you one. Hmmm I should post this. It's hard to describe without the diagram, that's why I'm putting you off.

jackiesimmonds
04-15-2004, 03:06 AM
The proof is in the mixing: If you try mixing kelly green from pthalo blue and lemon yellow you will be succesful since there is no red in either color. If you use ultramarine or golden yellow in the mix you will get brownish green because of the red in those pigments.

I think some people see red as warmer than yellow, if they do, than ultramarine will look warmer to them than Pthalo. I don't know if there is a concensus about this. I've heard authoritative people say conflicting things.

If you haven't visited there, I do recommend a trip to the Colour Forum. There are two schools of thought going on in some of the threads (one I read a while back turned into the most fascinating ding-dong fight!) with one person recommending one type of colour wheel and mixing programme, and another person arguing the merit of that and recommending a different process. Both are good painters! It is fascinating stuff once you get into it.

jackiesimmonds
04-15-2004, 03:09 AM
Your roll will come with a yellow user's guide, wrapped in the wrapping of the roll. If it's not there let me know and I will send you one. Hmmm I should post this. It's hard to describe without the diagram, that's why I'm putting you off.


Good idea Kitty, why not start this as a new thread. Your idea of the tape, and how to fix it, is a good one and the illustration drawing explains it really well.

Actually, tho, I have aso tried using bulldog clips on a board, and that works too. Even on the Pro grade, I found minimal swelling and buckling from the application of underpainting, (tho I did not use loads of water, or even mist it with water - will try that next), so the bulldog clips were good enough.

Marc Hanson
04-15-2004, 03:27 AM
[QUOTE]I think some people see red as warmer than yellow,
...and vice versa. I've read where the true warm reference is actually an 'orange', at the mid-point between yellow and red with no influence of blue on either side.


I think color temperature is relative.
this thread can't be enhanced any further than this statement. There isn't a discussion about hue temperature with out adding the word 'relative'. They can only be judged warm or cool in comparison/relation.

Kitty Wallis
04-15-2004, 03:35 AM
this thread can't be enhanced any further than this statement. There isn't a discussion about hue temperature with out adding the word 'relative'. They can only be judged warm or cool in comparison/relation.

Perhaps, but I'd like to hear from more people about the principles they've been following or the confusions they feel.

Marc Hanson
04-15-2004, 03:51 AM
Perhaps, but I'd like to hear from more people about the principles they've been following or the confusions they feel.

Didn't mean to suggest no more discussion (like that would happen).

You teach and so do I and I am constantly being shown a stick of pastel or glob of paint in isolation accompanied by the 'is it warm or cool' question, before it is added to their image, the true test.

I try to emphasize that unless they put that pastel mark or paint stroke up on the paper/canvas, they can't classify it. By itself it has a generic warm/cool spot on the color wheel, but that doesn't mean much until it is on, surrounded by, or in mixture with other color.

Paula Ford
04-15-2004, 06:37 AM
I can never figure out what is cool and what is warm, except for the obvious ones. :confused:
Paula

Khadres
04-15-2004, 08:03 AM
I can never figure out what is cool and what is warm, except for the obvious ones. :confused:
Paula

Yeah! Like what exactly is mauve? Or worse....turquoise?!?

I would suppose, if laying out a palette to work with, one should line up the chosen sticks and see how they look together?

Kitty Wallis
04-15-2004, 03:02 PM
Yeah! Like what exactly is mauve? Or worse....turquoise?!?


Brief answer, Mauve is warmer than violet and cooler than yellow. Turquoise is warmer than blue and cooler than green.

Marc has a point when he says there is no way to tell without knowing how the color is used, since it's surrounding colors, the whole palette of the painting will determine the temperature of the color in question.

Kitty Wallis
04-15-2004, 03:14 PM
My most solid experience with color temperature was provided by my work with Michael Wilcox's idea, the split primary palette.

This palette calls for two of each primary, a warm and a cool. Choosing those pairs of red, blue and yellow and working with them to check his assertions and to increase my color mixing skill and understanding has been very enightening for me.

pampe
04-15-2004, 04:40 PM
ouch...this subject gives me a headache which is exactly why I need to read it again and again


I am still befuddled over the "arranging your color by value" concept.....

NOW I have to know the temperature too????


*watercolors are so much easier*

*mumbling and crawling away to study color*

eileenclaire
04-15-2004, 08:43 PM
Thanks for starting this thread! I am trying to learn about color. I think I'm more confused after reading this though! :confused: I started out thinking that red, orange, and yellow are warm and blue and green are cool. From what I've read here, the temperature of a color is relative to its surrounding colors. But how does knowing the temperature of a color help me? My question is, how do I apply this knowledge in a painting.?

I do children's portraits, and in the skin tones I believe I've only been using warm colors. I've seen others using cool colors in the shadows. Would that change the warm and cozy look of my children's portraits if I do that? I'd love it if someone could explain to me, a person who has little color knowledge, how knowing the temperature of a color can help me to make a better painting.

Khadres
04-15-2004, 08:47 PM
ouch...this subject gives me a headache which is exactly why I need to read it again and again

I am still befuddled over the "arranging your color by value" concept.....

NOW I have to know the temperature too????


I hear ya, believe me!

But, see, we got it made in here with excellent teachers all OVER the place! Might as well ask the questions while we can! If anybody can explain arcane stuff like this to nitwits like me, these guys can! Now, if we can just get 'em to include illustrations! :D

MonicaB
04-15-2004, 09:59 PM
But how does knowing the temperature of a color help me? My question is, how do I apply this knowledge in a painting.?

I do children's portraits, and in the skin tones I believe I've only been using warm colors. I've seen others using cool colors in the shadows. Would that change the warm and cozy look of my children's portraits if I do that? I'd love it if someone could explain to me, a person who has little color knowledge, how knowing the temperature of a color can help me to make a better painting.

My question exactly! :D

Marc Hanson
04-15-2004, 10:18 PM
Thanks for starting this thread! I am trying to learn about color. I think I'm more confused after reading this though! :confused: I started out thinking that red, orange, and yellow are warm and blue and green are cool. From what I've read here, the temperature of a color is relative to its surrounding colors. But how does knowing the temperature of a color help me? My question is, how do I apply this knowledge in a painting.?

I do children's portraits, and in the skin tones I believe I've only been using warm colors. I've seen others using cool colors in the shadows. Would that change the warm and cozy look of my children's portraits if I do that? I'd love it if someone could explain to me, a person who has little color knowledge, how knowing the temperature of a color can help me to make a better painting.

Let's try.
You are right that red, yellow, and orange are warm, warmer than blue and green. And, bluegreen is cooler than a yellowgreen, a redviolet is cooler than a red orange. In each case the cooler version has more 'blue' ( the coolest color outside of white) than yellow in it. I like to consider yellow as the warmest color. It reminds me of the sun, how much warmer can you get? More technically an orange right smack dab in the middle of yellow and red would be the warmest color as red or yellow can have a blue bias if not right on the money. For example Lemon yellow and Cad Red deep have a blue bias, as compared to Cad Yellow and Cad Red Light, both are respectively warmer, less blue.

I do children's portraits, and in the skin tones I believe I've only been using warm colors. I've seen others using cool colors in the shadows. Would that change the warm and cozy look of my children's portraits if I do that?
Warmer colors do evoke more of a feeling of warmth and comfort. This is a good reason to understand temperature, it can be used to alter the mood of a painting. Hence Picasso's 'blue period', not the most joyfull paintings that he did. Follow with me here while I try to explain a practical use of temperature in your case.

Why is this important? Let's say that you are working on the shadow side of a face that is lit by a strong warm light. To give the most dimension to the modeling of light and shadow, it would be best if the shadow mixtures were 'COOLER' than the 'WARMER' lit side, mixtures. That doesn't mean that the shadow colors are all violet or blue, it just means that the shadow colors are more 'influenced' by blue or violet than the lit side. If you took the shadow color in isolation it may very well look like a warm color. It is the COMPARISON of that color with the color in the light that matters, the light just needs to be warmer than the shadow side.

Here's why it matters-

This is not a rule, but in general COOL colors are more likely to recede in the picture plane and WARM colors are more likely to come forward. Or the cooler of two colors are more likely to recede. So on your face for example, if you are having trouble getting the plane of the jaw up against the base of the ear to set back in the shadow properly, by cooling the mixture more it will recede in space and give more of the dimensional modeling that you are after.

Here's what I think confuses most people. There are warm 'warm' colors and 'cool' warm colors. Orange and red are on the warm side of the color wheel. But red is closer to blue than orange is, so orange would be considered to be a warmer 'warm' color than red is.

Conceivably you could paint a child's face using yellow-orange for the lit side and red as the shadow side, with a touch of red-violet as an accent( an analogous color sheme).You'd still be using warm color for the portrait, but the red, which is cooler than the yellow-orange, would recede and become shadow.

Hope this helps -

eileenclaire
04-15-2004, 10:54 PM
Marc, that was an excellent explanation, thank you so much for taking the time to explain it! I have a much better understanding of it now. I think your students are very lucky to have you!

Kitty Wallis
04-16-2004, 01:10 AM
Here's another way to look at it. If painting were a musical instrument it would have many voices, many ways to create contrast, like an organ or an orchestra.

One way is value, dark to light contrast. One way is hue, colors have different intensities, opacities, they interact with each other making each other quiet down or sing. Contrast can also be achieved thru temperature. As in Marc's example, creating a shadow in the portrait with temperature as well as value. The light and the mood can be described more powerfully if temperature is employed.

You can make a red dazzlingly bright by alternating strokes of cool and warm red. Think vermillion and fuscia. Or you can tie together planes, dimensions in an abstract, creating space with temperature. And on.

These effects are in addition to the semantic load of a color, it's emotional meaning.

MonicaB
04-16-2004, 09:06 AM
Wonderful explanation, thanks. So, does that mean if the light on the face is a cool light, the shadows should be cool also? Are there any "rules" for creating a balance of cool and warm in a painting?

Khadres
04-16-2004, 09:20 AM
Here's another way to look at it. If painting were a musical instrument it would have many voices, many ways to create contrast, like an organ or an orchestra.

These effects are in addition to the semantic load of a color, it's emotional meaning.

I'd be interested in knowing more on the latter subject, too! I'm rating this thread...these discussions add a LOT to the everyday critiques and how-tos on the more mechanical aspects of art in general and it's kinda fun to explore more than just surface technique.

Thanks, Kitty and paintbox1!

Marc Hanson
04-16-2004, 09:51 AM
Wonderful explanation, thanks. So, does that mean if the light on the face is a cool light, the shadows should be cool also? Are there any "rules" for creating a balance of cool and warm in a painting?

In general, if the light source is cool the shadows are warmer. And if the light source is warm the shadows are cooler. That's why portraits painted under north light(cool) have warm shadows.

Here's the acid test- Take a white piece of paper into the lighting situation that you are questioning. Hold the paper so that part of it is in the light and part of it has a cast shadow on it.

Both the color of the light and the color of the shadow will become immediately apparent and should answer any question about what the temperature of the light and shadow is, and how you should be painting it.

There are no rules...but it is more pleasing to not have a 50-50 split of anything in a painting. That includes cool/warm, light/dark, sharp/soft, large/small, and so on. If a painting is mostly warm in tone, enough cooltone to balance the warm is a good idea. Too much of anything is boring, but not illegal!

Kitty Wallis
04-16-2004, 04:58 PM
I'd be interested in knowing more on the latter subject, too! I'm rating this thread... it's kinda fun to explore more than just surface technique.


"These effects are in addition to the semantic load of a color, it's emotional meaning." ..Kitty

I'm not sure how to talk about emotional or semantic meaning of color. Here's an emotional example:
I did a self portrait, intending to rid myself of the anxiety I was feeling that day. (it worked) I found that yellow green was the emotional color for the highlights and red for the shadows, expressing my fear perfectly. To me.
I didn't know if the viewer would understand the meaning. Most did.

Semantic, meaning each person's personal take on a color, based on their experiences, education, genetics?
A tree, the grass, a frog is always green. What color is a dog? Do red checks mean food, apple pie or italian restaurant?
Semantic meaning is often an inner knowledge we can use by convincing the viewer otherwise, like Kat's example of a tree trunk that isn't brown. What thread was that in?

Dyin
04-16-2004, 05:05 PM
Kitty...maybe you should think about starting a new project where everyone can explore color temperature and mood...it's not hard doing a project, some ref pics, a few examples of what the project goals are and defining the parameters of qualifying work. Would be a fun project!

Khadres
04-16-2004, 05:16 PM
Can't recall offhand, but I understand what you're saying. Where I might have some small quarrel is with the standard theories like blue being restful and purple being depressing, etc. etc. I think those are exactly that...theories based on the relatively small sampling of people involved in the studies. For a long time, nobody in their right mind dared paint their living room in bright colors...we went through an entire generation in muted tones so as not to disturb anybody (The Beige Generation?) As you say, every person has their own personal relationship with colors....yellow is a happy color to me as long as it's relatively buttery....too railroad station and it loses it's appeal to me. The only reds I like are those edging toward orange with no purple cast and yet I love lilacy tones. I like muted greens, brash ones, unless handled by an expert (you, for instance) usually puts my teeth on edge and I loathe "hospital" minty green except in mixture with other earthier ones.

Now, that's just me, but my attitudes about colors do influence what colors I use in my art work, can't help it. My question is whether we need to worry about what the "average" viewer thinks or is this one area where we can truly indulge our individuality? I guess what I'm wondering is....just how far, if any distance at all, should we go to make our work match the sofa? Probably we shouldn't worry about it at all, is my thinking, but I suppose there are artists who've gradually become aware that the average Joe just does not relate to his/her personal palette. Which could impact sales, I suppose. How does everyone else in here let the supposed theories of what people like or dislike in colors influence their choices, if at all?

And, for that matter, just how accurate ARE those theories anyway? And don't they change over time? We call the colors of the rococo period "saccharine" nowadays, but they were all the rage at the time. Just like the color beige.

Dyin
04-16-2004, 05:31 PM
Geez, you ought to host an art talk show, Sooz, you ask the important questions! :p Well, I'll throw my theory at you...we paint for ourselves but I think a huge part of painting is wanting to share your vision. So in a sense it's important to understand how things work and what will be pleasing to the eye so you can communicate your vision. And yet, if we gear everything with an eye towards selling only...what are we selling, our soul??? In a sense that's how I look at it. So I try to strike a balance. I'm lucky because I don't HAVE to support myself with my art, so that has to be taken into consideration. I don't chose to do many commissions but if my bankbook relied on it I would. Having said all that I think it's important to follow your muse and work on trying to appeal to a certain segment of the public. You can twist and bend your art every which way to please, but in the end not everyone has the same tastes. And if we all try to please others at the cost of our creativity, in the end we will have no inspiration because we have stifled and killed it.
When I paint it's all about me, the only place in my life it can be, I think. I chose everything...from subject to composition, color and amount of detail...and I do consider whether I am painting something that will please other eyes, but in the end I'm compelled to follow my vision.

Kitty Wallis
04-16-2004, 05:33 PM
How does everyone else in here let the supposed theories of what people like or dislike in colors influence their choices, if at all?


I vote for thinking of colors as tools rather than as folks we will or won't invite to our parties. All colors are useful, precisely because of how they make us think or feel.

A color that sets my teeth on edge is very valuable to me for the 'edge' it can give a color that might be too sweet used by itself, like making tangy jam instead of simply super sweet jam. Think sour monkey green and sweet pink. And that's for a pleasant work. How about a painting that is all about anquish?

So I'm not thinking of whether I like a color when I choose it, but whether it has the guts to do the job.

I asked a 5 year old boy, while he was watching me paint, 'what's your favorite color?' After circling me and looking at my work and all my colors, he said "All of them."

Kitty Wallis
04-16-2004, 05:38 PM
Kitty...maybe you should think about starting a new project where everyone can explore color temperature and mood...it's not hard doing a project, some ref pics, a few examples of what the project goals are and defining the parameters of qualifying work. Would be a fun project!

I like this idea, but it will take me awhile. I have a glitch in the progam I was using to post my work. I have to wait for another lesson from my son. If anyone wants to pick this up, go for it. I'll participate when I get going again, it shouldn't be more than 3 days. Meanwhile I'm all talk.

cjkelly
04-16-2004, 05:44 PM
ooohh Sooz, I think you've opened a whole new can of worms with that one...

I just want to add that I am finding this thread immensely helpful. I've read a lot about colour temp theory, but the concept of temp in relation to the surrounding colours in the painting is definitely making sense right now.
I have a long way to do before this becomes automatic - I'm still at the stage where I get myself lost checking off all the other stuff to make a balanced painting :rolleyes: :D So I may very well neglect it for a while before it comes back to me....but I'm certainly glad it's being discussed.
(I'll be printing this out later)
I would certainly find value in a colour temp project ;)

cj

MonicaB
04-16-2004, 07:56 PM
Just to note -- one problem is that color symbolism changes according to cultural interpretations. While white -- in America -- usually signifies new or pristine (white wedding gown, etc), in other cultures it signifies death.

http://www.wired4success.com/colorsymbolism.htm

http://psychology.about.com/library/weekly/aa031501a.htm

http://library.thinkquest.org/~50065/art/meaning.html

Kitty Wallis
04-17-2004, 01:10 AM
Just to note -- one problem is that color symbolism changes according to cultural interpretations. While white -- in America -- usually signifies new or pristine (white wedding gown, etc), in other cultures it signifies death.
[/url]

Thanks for those links, Monica.

Are you suggesting we try for a universal language in color? I hope not. I think that understanding the culture where a piece comes from is the job of the appreciator, along with all the other attributes that make a work of art valuable, expressive, etc. Each of us cannot hope to hit all the possible bases with our work or it becomes generic.

Back to color temperature, does it change with culture?

Kitty

Khadres
04-17-2004, 01:25 AM
I guess that's what I was playing devil's advocate about...who wants to even TRY to hit all the possible targets when it comes to color? And yes, color attitudes are very cultural in nature. As Monica said, white means entirely different things in different places. We grieve in black, usually, but elsewhere yellow or white honors the dead. You are right on the mark when you say understanding the culture the work of art came from is important to fully understanding the work. But that goes for more than just color, too.

MonicaB
04-17-2004, 10:51 AM
Are you suggesting we try for a universal language in color?

Heavens no. :D I think we just need to be aware of the different possible interpretations. Trying to "please" everyone would drive us all mad. . .

Khadres
04-17-2004, 04:58 PM
Heavens no. :D I think we just need to be aware of the different possible interpretations. Trying to "please" everyone would drive us all mad. . .

I'm ALREADY mad, or at the least nutty...don't need any more incentives, thanks! :rolleyes:

Khadres
04-17-2004, 05:06 PM
I just started reading a book I got for my birthday which is part of the reason for my interest in all aspects of color right now. Who else has read this?

Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay (Random House)

It's a delightful journal of the author's world journeys in pursuit of the history and origination of artists' colors. The book is organized by...what else...color. A blurb on the back says, "By the time you read 'Violet', you'll have traversed much of the world..." It's fascinating and very well done. No pictures in this one, tho.

I'm going to add this title to the Books and Video Reviews thread, also.

PaulaCT
04-17-2004, 06:25 PM
I just started reading a book I got for my birthday which is part of the reason for my interest in all aspects of color right now. Who else has read this?

Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay (Random House)

Oh, how funny. I got this for my birthday, too. And yes, I love it -- I keep it by my bedside to read of the occasional evening.

When Roger Ebert reviewed Girl With a Pearl Earring, he asked, "... did you know that the color named Indian yellow is distilled from the urine of cows fed
on mango leaves?" Oddly, because of the Finlay book, I did know that. Moreover, I knew that mango leaves being so vile that no sane creature would eat them voluntarily, the unlucky cows are force-fed! I love arcane knowledge.

Here are two more books in the same vein -- The Primary Colors (no, not the political novel by 'anonymous'), and The Secondary Colors, both by Alexander Theroux (Henry Holt and Company). Essays on, you guessed it, blue, yellow, red, orange, purple and green, respectively. So incredibly rich, like chocolate truffles, that I can only read bits at a time. Here is a tiny sample:

"Green is a color that in the depths of its chromal motion somehow always manages to whistle up another, gray or blue, yellow or lavender, and in that regard always reminds me of Simon's insightful remark to Victoria in Noel Coward's Shadow Play: "Everything smells like something else."

Delicious.

PaulaCT

Kitty Wallis
04-17-2004, 06:40 PM
"Green is a color that in the depths of its chromal motion somehow always manages to whistle up another, gray or blue, yellow or lavender, and in that regard always reminds me of Simon's insightful remark to Victoria in Noel Coward's Shadow Play: "Everything smells like something else."
Delicious.
PaulaCT

Delicious indeed.

pampe
04-29-2004, 01:37 PM
now that you have morphed into book:

try

THE PRIMARY COLORS (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0805047018/ref=pd_sim_books_3/002-0657772-3115269?v=glance&s=books) by Alexander Theroux

and he did THE SECONDARY COLORS (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0805053263/002-0657772-3115269?v=glance) also

GREAT stuff!

fun reads both

Khadres
04-30-2004, 08:31 AM
now that you have morphed into book:

try

THE PRIMARY COLORS (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0805047018/ref=pd_sim_books_3/002-0657772-3115269?v=glance&s=books) by Alexander Theroux

and he did THE SECONDARY COLORS (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0805053263/002-0657772-3115269?v=glance) also

GREAT stuff!

fun reads both

Would you mind, when you have the time, giving a short review of these in the Books and Video Reviews thread? That way, members looking for a good read on color will be able to find these more easily. They definitely sound intriguing!

pampe
04-30-2004, 09:36 AM
certainly


DONE

Laura Shelley
04-30-2004, 12:26 PM
Of all the artistic subjects I've been reading up on over the past couple of years, I think color is the one that starts the most violent arguments, even more than abstraction vs. realism. :)

Maybe color is the most emotional component of painting. It's hard to get really worked up over value or composition. But many people who put out books or websites on color seem tightly wedded to their own theories, to the point of savagely attacking those who don't agree. It's almost religious in tone sometimes. Is it any wonder that artists get confused?

I also find much enlightenment in the split-primary idea, since that has a lot of practical application when mixing real pigments. Abstract ideas of "true primaries" are all very well as philosophy, but I'm looking at a tube of paint or a pastel stick, not a philosophical construct.

One of my personal theories about artistic color preferences has to do with "seasons"--you know, having your colors done by a fashion consultant. According to the season theory, each of us has a color personality based on skin tone and hair and eye color. Usually, your favorite colors by instinct will be the ones that look best on you according to your season. Whether you prefer a blue-red or an orange-red depends on whether your underlying skin tone is a cool blue-pink or a warm gold.

When I was a little girl, about five years old, my family moved to a new house. I wanted my room to be painted pink. My mother went to the store for the paint, but when the room was done, I didn't like the color. I couldn't articulate it at the time, but it was just the wrong pink. I wasn't comfortable with it. Years later, I realized why--my mother is an Autumn with golden undertones, and she likes peachy pink tending to orange. I am a Summer with cool pink skin, and I like rose-pink tending to blue. If I hadn't already had artistic tendencies, that might not have mattered so much, but I had to live with the wrong pink for five years! :)

Now that I've had some training in color, I'm better at picking the color that works instead of just the color I like best, but I still instinctively reach for those cool pinks, blues and purples first.