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ColorMyWorld
10-31-2004, 08:15 PM
Oil Pastel Classroom November 2004 - LOCAL VERSUS REFLECTED COLOR
(This classroom will be loaded in several posts.)

Objects can have two types of color:
The actual color of the object, LOCAL COLOR, and colors reflected from objects around it, REFLECTED COLOR.

The best example of this is water. If you put water in a glass and the water was anything other than clear, you wouldnít drink it. Yet when we look at an ocean or a lake, the water is blue. Why? Is it because the blue in water is so faint that it can only be seen in very deep water?
No, water is the perfect example of reflected color.
On its own, water has no color. On a sunny day, the blue sky is reflected on the water and it is this reflected blue that we see.

Now I donít mean to insult you if you know this, but do you REALLY KNOW THIS?
I thought I did until I tried to do an autumn river scene.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2004/48177-Shepaug_River.jpg

I painted in my blue river and started to reflect the autumn tree colors into the water. I just could not get this painting to work. Then someone told me to look really hard at the water in the reference photo. When I really looked with an open mind instead of glancing and seeing what I ďknewĒ to be blue water, I found that there was no blue in the water at all!
Even though the sky is clear and blue, the angle of the sun made it so there was no sky reflected on the river. From where I took the photo, the only refections were the trees!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2004/48177-painting-reflected_water.jpg

So when I really looked, the water was brown and green and orange but no blue. After that discovery, my painting of the river finally started working.

So my point is, if you are like me, sometimes you donít really look at the objects you are painting but instead let your mind fill in what you ďknowĒ.

Look at the photo of the colored lids on the white bowl.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2004/48177-color_study_-Lid-a.jpg


Notice the yellow reflected on the white bowl. And the red reflected on both the white bowl and the yellow lid. Also notice the red reflected up onto the purple lid.

Reflected color is not always easy to see. But I find that taking the time to both see and put it in my paintings, makes me feel that my paintings look more vibrant and real.

Okay, so now to practice what Iíve preachedÖ
Here is a WIP of some blocks made of colored clay.
First, the reference photo.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2004/48177-color_study_-Block-a.jpg

Second, Iíve emphasized the reflected colors by putting the colors I see onto the photo.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2004/48177-local_vs_reflected_exaggerated-a.jpg

The green reflects as green on the yellow block. But the blue reflects as purple. Maybe this has to do with how warm the yellow color is. Or maybe that is just how my eye sees it and you actually see blue in that shadow.

ColorMyWorld
10-31-2004, 08:17 PM
Now for my WIP.
Here Iím starting on the picnic table. Iíve blended most of the areas except the section on the right.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2004/48177-starting_wood-a.jpg

Iíve started putting red highlights onto the end of the purple block.
And putting some purple into the triangle shaped shadow on the yellow block. But then I blended the yellow and purple too much and got mud so I had to scrape that shadow area off.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2004/48177-muddy-a.jpg


The triangle shadow looks better to me. Iíve also put some yellow into the shadow on the table at the end of the yellow block. And some green on the top of the yellow block.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2004/48177-progress-a.jpg

Iíve got a bit of yellow up onto the green block and onto the end of the purple block. I even saw a slight yellow edge on the blue block so put that in too. And a bit of yellow in the table shadow between the yellow and blue blocks.
I put some reflected color into the shadow under the red and blue blocks.
I put some blue and purple onto the red block. I didnít see it in the photo but I thought it might tie the red block in better.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Oct-2004/48177-finished_study-a.jpg


Well, thatís my finished color study.
Iím not an expert on this but I have been trying to train my eye to see colors more clearly. And since I have learned so much on this forum, I wanted to share something I have found.
So even if your color choices are not as bold as mine, I hope that you can see how this might work for you.


Now it is your turn. Choose Lids, Blocks or Balls and do your own color study.

Here is the Balls reference pic from the library.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=25057&sort=1&cat=all&page=2

Dyin
10-31-2004, 10:35 PM
Great job on this Ann!! :clap: That was a really good demo (loved that you had to scrape...that's REAL lol) and you're right, you THINK you know what's there, but it's easy to miss.... :eek: Looks like some great ref pics to work with and I'm definately signing on to this one :D
Thanks for doing this month's class...going to be so fun to be a student!
(here's a cyber apple (')....just in case!)

ColorMyWorld
10-31-2004, 11:08 PM
...going to be so fun to be a student!
(here's a cyber apple (')....just in case!)
Enjoy being the student.
And thanks for the apple, I was in the mood for some fresh applesauce!

Pat Isaac
11-01-2004, 08:15 AM
Thanks for this month's classroom, Ann. I think your demo is great and it shows the color problem perfectly. Wow.. :eek: How aabout those Christmas balls. What a challenge...I love your river scene :D

Pat

luv2adopt
11-01-2004, 09:35 AM
Wow! What a great way to teach reflected color! I'm going to have to use this with my students!

steven
11-01-2004, 12:48 PM
:cool:

This looks cool - thinking of doing the same image too, seems like a good exercise :)

ColorMyWorld
11-01-2004, 01:06 PM
Thanks for this month's classroom, Ann. I think your demo is great and it shows the color problem perfectly. Wow.. :eek: How aabout those Christmas balls. What a challenge...I love your river scene :D

Pat
Thanks Pat.
Yeah, I stayed away from the Christmas balls for a reason! :D

ColorMyWorld
11-01-2004, 01:09 PM
Wow! What a great way to teach reflected color! I'm going to have to use this with my students!
Thanks Tina.
You could not have given me a better complement!

ColorMyWorld
11-01-2004, 01:12 PM
:cool:

This looks cool - thinking of doing the same image too, seems like a good exercise :)
Steven, this is the second time I've gone through this exercise. And I learned something each time. Biggest thing I learned though, is that simple subjects do not equal easy paintings!

stonewhiteclown
11-01-2004, 03:58 PM
Wow, thanks for this Classroom Ann! Looks colourful :) I'm jumping in!

Pat, what a great idea about the Christmas balls! Compared to blocks they are easier to get but trickier to paint :D I think I'll start on the weekend.

Pat Isaac
11-01-2004, 04:05 PM
Go for it , Alex. This is a real busy month for me, but I hope to get them done sooner rather than later. :rolleyes: Pat

Dyin
11-01-2004, 07:30 PM
Well, I created my own subject, neither balls, blocks or lids, but it will serve to show color relationships :D . So far it's in the reference stage, may be a bit before I can get it on paper though!

cjkelly
11-01-2004, 08:15 PM
This is a great class - so appropriate for me right now as I struggle with reflected light in my shell collector.
I'll be tagging along for sure - though don't know when I'll be able to get pastel on paper just yet.

cj

ColorMyWorld
11-01-2004, 09:50 PM
Wow, thanks for this Classroom Ann! Looks colourful :) I'm jumping in!

Pat, what a great idea about the Christmas balls! Compared to blocks they are easier to get but trickier to paint :D I think I'll start on the weekend.
Alex, there are a few photos of Christmas balls in the reference library.
I thought about doing them for all of about 30 seconds but the shine on the surfaces was more than I wanted to do.
I can't wait to see you do them.

ColorMyWorld
11-01-2004, 09:52 PM
Well, I created my own subject, neither balls, blocks or lids, but it will serve to show color relationships :D . So far it's in the reference stage, may be a bit before I can get it on paper though!
Okay Sue, now you've got me curious. It wouldn't happen to have anything to do with the apple you gave the teacher...

ColorMyWorld
11-01-2004, 09:55 PM
This is a great class - so appropriate for me right now as I struggle with reflected light in my shell collector.
I'll be tagging along for sure - though don't know when I'll be able to get pastel on paper just yet.

cj
CJ, glad to have you along for the ride. If you feel inspired maybe do a mini-sketch with some shells as practice...

Dyin
11-03-2004, 03:15 PM
lol...no apples! I won't be able to work on it til next week so you'll just have to be patient. :D But I'm happy about the exercise because it's really forcing me to LOOK closely.

ColorMyWorld
11-05-2004, 08:04 PM
Yipee, the weekend is finally here!

I'm hoping you set aside some time to try this classroom.
I can't wait to see some works in progress.

On your mark, get set.... aw, you know the rest. :D

Dyin
11-05-2004, 08:59 PM
I promise I'll get started on it Sunday or Monday (my weekend), just had to finish up some other stuff, but raring to go :D

Dyin
11-07-2004, 01:10 AM
I didn't feel like doing Christmas ornaments unless they were mine, and there packed away still, and I only had blue lids, and only had orange fruit and no squares at all. So as I was desperately searching for something, I thought, boy, I sure have lots of pretty colors in acrylic paint jars, too bad they have labels...and then it hit me...paint blobs lol!
I have 5 other blobs going on this, sorry for the lousy pic, but it's night time. The neutral gray background shows off all the colors best. I've already been surprised at how many colors there's been, but it's hard to get some of them over the base color.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2004/19147-color_class_paint_blobs.jpg

ColorMyWorld
11-07-2004, 08:05 AM
Sue, what a cool idea!

Are the paint blobs close enough together to get reflections from one to the next? Too much distance and the reflection are not as noticeable.

Thanks for showing the work in progress.

Pat Isaac
11-07-2004, 10:16 AM
Great idea , Sue. Mine is in the drawing stage...

Pat

Dyin
11-07-2004, 11:17 AM
In real life they're about 1/8 inch apart. I put them on gold foil so it accented the color bounce while leaving no real shadow. I'm glad I took a pic before they dried, though, they're still shiny, but plastic looking now and don't reflect color like they did when wet. The challenge is that a light cerelean blue is on a lot of the colors...you can't put that over yellow or green without it changing color. Even if you lay white in first. So it also teaches how surrounding and underlying colors effect things in painting...you can't get every single effect.

Einharjar
11-08-2004, 01:59 PM
this has been a very informative thread..reflected color is not always easy to discern since the eye is trained to recognise local color. Its one thing knowing abt reflected color and another thing discerning from a reference or life
sam

ColorMyWorld
11-08-2004, 05:08 PM
Sam, Iím glad you found this lesson helpful.
I hope to see you try this.

Dyin
11-11-2004, 04:43 PM
Finally done! The colors just aren't as good in RL..I had to lower the contrast to get the shading on the yellow to show, so really the green and red are deeper and richer :( So...gained lots of experience doing this! The bright yellow and green were made with bright yellow and green as a base, but all the other colors were made with mixing a few colors as I don't have those exact shades in Holbein. So that taught me what mixes will make what colors you buy :D The reflections were a killer to get. I did see the shadow side of things actually pick up more reflections, on the lit side the main color takes over and the highlights pick up some reflection. Since I did this on a reflective surface to get the most light I got no thrown shadows, although in most situations there would be some. Also look at how the darker colors picked up the most reflections. I'd think the light colors would be most affected by such strong colors next to them, but they're not! So I really did learn a lot from doing this lesson, Ann! My favorites in RL are the two blues and the red and purple..they all look as if you'd get your finger wet if you touched them. Maybe it's because the highlights are so crisp on them...white on yellow just doesn't snap. In real life it's a nice neutral silver gray background and there's more room at the top...it actually makes for a fair composition. I'm glad I picked something hard because I really did learn...I'll never look at things the same again!
Many clappies for the lesson, Ann! :clap: :clap: :clap:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2004/19147-Paint_blobs_small.jpg

ColorMyWorld
11-11-2004, 05:52 PM
What a great way to do this exercise!
From your description, you really did look hard at the colors!
Great job with this.
I particularly like the blues. The reflections in them are wonderful.

Pat Isaac
11-12-2004, 07:04 AM
This is really awesome, Sue. It is obviuos you spent a lot of time and thought on this. My favorite is the purple and yellow globs. :clap: :clap:
I have started mine but it is a long way from being finished.lol

Pat

Dyin
11-12-2004, 09:53 AM
It was really strange how much reflection there was that the eyes just wanted to gloss over without seeing. Regular shadow areas have color, but it's the object they lay on and some color reflected from the object casting the shadow..these had lots of different shadows and some were unexpected. Was really a good lesson, if not the best final painting lol!

BeckyMc
11-14-2004, 08:43 PM
Sue, I really like your paint blobs, what a clever idea!

I had to pick something which I probably have no hope of ever completing. I chose the Christmas ornaments, which I've had a lot of fun with, especially since I've been using the LeGrandes on them. This was an excellent reference photo for this lesson. This has been a great exercise in looking at color and painting what's really there. My main problem was the more I painted, the larger the ornaments are becoming. They're almost outside the bowl now and the blue one appears to be floating in space. Someone needs to take my irridescents away from me, which I couldn't tell until I took the photo.

I also took a crooked photo and did an odd crop to try to compensate. C&C welcome!

Sennelier on Canson, about 10x12

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Nov-2004/45982-DSCN0334.JPG

Dyin
11-14-2004, 09:04 PM
Becky, this came out great! Bushes in landscapes always do that, as I add color they go rounder teehee. You have great reflections and I like the way you did the bowl. Great job!!

ColorMyWorld
11-14-2004, 09:33 PM
Becky, Iím so glad you had fun with this class. I can see all the wonderful reflections in this painting! And you did a great job on the glass bowl.

I donít think the blue ball looks like itís floating. But if it does to you, maybe add a blue reflection on the glass bowl right where the ornament would be sitting on the glass. I know there is nothing there in the photo but sometimes we are more accepting of things in photos than in paintings so a painting may need to embellish to read as true.

For you ornaments get bigger, for Sue itís bushes, for me itís heads. When I put people in a landscape, I keep fiddling with them until their heads are too big!

Pat Isaac
11-15-2004, 07:59 AM
Becky, these are great. :clap: They look so shiny and the glass bowl is wonderful. I agree, with putting a little blue on the glass next to the blue ball, if it helps.
I was going to do this pic also, but decided I would never get it done. Not that I will get the one I'm working on done either. lol

Pat

k9artisan
11-16-2004, 07:11 PM
Ann,

This was a great class! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. It really explains reflected/local color well.
~Amber :clap: :clap: :clap:

ColorMyWorld
11-16-2004, 09:07 PM
Ann,

This was a great class! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. It really explains reflected/local color well.
~Amber :clap: :clap: :clap:
Amber, I enjoyed putting it together and I'm glad you found it helpful.

BeckyMc
11-16-2004, 10:10 PM
Ann and Pat, I'm trying the blue reflection on the bowl - I'm also toning down my irridescent adventures. Everytime I look at the reference photo, I see more bits of reflected color that I missed. Will try to post an update this weekend. This exercise has been so much fun - I used a viridian green for the bowl and was surprised how much I liked it!

LOL - Sue and Ann - It must be some sort of round objects phenomenon! I found that I do the same thing to heads, Ann. I started a portrait of my daughter and her head just kept growing. I was working on Wallis and I ended up scraping it off, after the skin tones became mud (this was before the skin tones classroom!!) Now that I know what I'm doing, maybe I can control myself! :wink2:

ColorMyWorld
11-16-2004, 10:28 PM
LOL - Sue and Ann - It must be some sort of round objects phenomenon!
I think it has to do with what object will annoy me the most if it gets bigger! Then of course, that's the one that does! :(

Dyin
11-29-2004, 12:26 PM
hey...clock is ticking, y'all! Any more homework to post? :evil: :p I want to thank Ann again for doing this month's classroom... :clap: :clap: :clap:

Pat Isaac
11-29-2004, 04:18 PM
Yes, the clock is definitely ticking.... :eek: I have this classroom started and I will finish it , but first the portrait. This is a great classroom, Ann and I'm sorry I didn't get to finish on time.

Pat

Dyin
11-29-2004, 05:12 PM
Pat...the thread will be around and we'll all come look when you get to post it :D

ColorMyWorld
11-29-2004, 09:07 PM
Yes, the clock is definitely ticking.... :eek: I have this classroom started and I will finish it , but first the portrait. This is a great classroom, Ann and I'm sorry I didn't get to finish on time.

Pat
Pat, it's okay if you don't finish by the end of the month. But I do look forward to seeing how you did this classroom!

Pat Isaac
02-09-2005, 04:49 PM
I know I am very late on this, but the idea really intrigued me. I was going to do the ornaments, but there was not time then. However, I did start a piece last fall that I just got back to and am going to finish for my upcoming show. I thought it would be good for this classroom. Here is the beginning. Senneliers and Holbeins on Spectrum colorfix, lt. cream. It is about 15"x 15". I will post more as it goes along.
Pat

ColorMyWorld
02-09-2005, 11:19 PM
Pat, this is a wonderful subject to do for reflected color.
Iím looking forward to seeing progress updates.

Dyin
02-12-2005, 11:56 PM
I know I am very late on this, but the idea really intrigued me. I was going to do the ornaments, but there was not time then. However, I did start a piece last fall that I just got back to and am going to finish for my upcoming show. I thought it would be good for this classroom. Here is the beginning. Senneliers and Holbeins on Spectrum colorfix, lt. cream. It is about 15"x 15". I will post more as it goes along.
Pat

This is really going to be cool, Pat! Can't wait to see how the fruit come out colorwise.

Pat Isaac
02-13-2005, 10:56 AM
Thanks for taking a look, Sue. Better late than never and I will be working on it most of this coming week.

Pat

Pat Isaac
02-21-2005, 10:51 AM
Here is an update to the fruit in the bowl. I am having a problem deciding on the background color, dark, light or both????I may also be cropping it some more.
Pat

CarlyHardy
02-21-2005, 04:10 PM
The only thing you might want to do is soften the edges of the shadows in the right lower corner to keep the eye focused on the central subject. You have the same decision I did with my lemons painting. After I got the lemons and plate working, my background seemed too flat and the stripes solved the problem. You might just want to bring up the color a bit for better harmony with the subject. I love the fruit! Beautiful color and form.
carly

Pat Isaac
02-21-2005, 05:29 PM
Thanks, Carly. As you can see I've tried out several color combinations and have since done more. I'll post more this week.

Pat

ColorMyWorld
02-21-2005, 10:23 PM
Pat, these fruit are turning out wonderfully.
The reflections on the pear and in the shadows are great.
What brand of OP did you use? It has a very creamy texture.
For a background, what about a warm wood going from dark to light?

Pat Isaac
02-22-2005, 08:45 AM
Thanks for the suggestion, Ann. I'll try that out today and post again. I use Sennelier and Holbein. Probably in equal amounts. I love the rich buttery feeling of the Senneliers and now that they have new colors their palette has increased. I like all the hues that Holbein has and they are a little harder so work better fo some things. This is on AS colorfix paper.

Pat

k9artisan
02-22-2005, 09:09 AM
Pat,

I don't know how I missed this one, but I am glad I finally saw it! It is just lovely! I love the darks you got and the bowl's colors. Just gorgeous! I think an unfinished abstract background with both dark and light would be nice, but that's just me. Really nice!
Amber :clap: :clap: :clap:

Pat Isaac
02-22-2005, 01:57 PM
Thanks, Amber. I'm working on it.

Pat

Pat Isaac
03-03-2005, 08:51 AM
Okay, I think this is just about finished, though I am still thinking that the background might need something else, like texture. Hmmm..

Pat

Dyin
03-04-2005, 03:12 PM
oooh, Pat...almost missed this! Lovely color! :clap: :clap: :clap:

ColorMyWorld
03-05-2005, 09:34 AM
Pat, this turned out lovely!

Pat Isaac
03-05-2005, 10:50 AM
Thanks, Ann and Sue. I'm still looking at the background and debating....

Pat

E-J
03-05-2005, 01:34 PM
Pat, this is beautiful! The background is just right - subdued enough not to detract from the subject. Lovely work!

stonewhiteclown
04-20-2005, 07:59 PM
Hi Pat! I, too, somehow managed to miss you beautiful still life! I love it! Backgroung looks nice to me. We should keep everything simple, right? :angel: :D

Pat Isaac
04-21-2005, 03:59 PM
Thanks, Alex. I am framing it next week and putting it in my upcoming show. I didn't change the background. I have 20 pieces for this show and I'm still scrambling to get a couple finished.

Pat