View Full Version : newbie needs help!

11-28-2001, 06:00 PM
Hi everybody

I've just joined Wetcanvas. I'm very interested in art and in painting, but I'm new at it. About a year ago I went and bought all the gear and started playing around doing a few oil paintings, but got frustrated because I know nothing!!

So I gave up and put all the gear away. Now I'm ready to go at it again, but I want to do it properly this time. I'm saving up to go to proper lessons (basic drawing class, then a proper oil painting class). In the meantime I'd like to use this site to try to learn as much as I can about the basics. The first thing I'd like to get my head around is the pallette. Remembering you're talking to someone who knows nothing (!) could you please tell me about warm and cool colours and why are they so? Why is blue a cool colour and yellow a warm colour? This is referred to a lot in everything I read, and I really don't understand it. Values. What are values? I'd really appreciate your help.

With many thanks,

11-28-2001, 07:44 PM
Welcome to WC Ginnee. There are many lessons available here that can get you started in the right direction until you can get to those proper classes.

It seems there were recently entire threads discussing the ideas of color value and temperature. Look for them and see the multitude of responses.

Here is my short reply to your question...
There are many properties to color, this is a short and sweet list.
HUE is the color name, such as green or violet
VALUE is the apparent amount of light, is it dark or light
SATURATION (also called intensity or chroma) is the brightness and purity, is it strong and rich or weak and dull
TEMPERATURE (also called thermal) is the relative warmth or coolness; probably derived from our associations with real life situations, thus blue seems cool because of it reminds us of water or ice, and yellow seems warm because it reminds of the sun or fire. There can be much debate about this, as the associations are also culturally based, which of course varies.
DENSITY of the pigment; transparent you can look through, translucent can be seen through somewhat, opaque cannot be seen through.
These are a few to consider, but there are others too, like TINTING STRENGTH, TOPTONE or UNDERTONE, PERMANENCE, etc.

The best thing to do is just dive in and start painting. Then begin studying and experimenting as you go. You will gradually incorporate the information with the practice of painting. Good luck!

11-28-2001, 09:37 PM
Thank you TPS for your reply. It was very useful to me. And thanks for the encouragement. Really needed that!! The info you gave me was very valuable.

With many thanks,

11-29-2001, 03:52 AM
Check Winsor & Newton's site


They make very good paint (in a wide range of lines and colors) and their site has info regarding color and some general painting advise.

11-29-2001, 05:56 AM
Thanks Patrick,
That site is really great. I'm going to have a good study there.


11-30-2001, 07:12 AM
Also, don't forget to check out all the lessons on various topics here at WetCanvas!

You can reach the lessons and articles by clicking on the Channel drop down box at the top of this screen. Or, if you want to start with color theory, check out the "sticky" threads that are in this forum. They contain great information that will surely help you.