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Roger E
05-16-1999, 02:44 PM
There is nothing more difficult to talk about than color. It is such a personal thing, different for each of us. However, color is what makes our paintings sing, gives them life, and we must at least know the basics. I want to welcome you to this thread and hope that you will feel free to jump right in with any questions or comments.

DelCassi
05-21-1999, 02:55 AM
It's interesting that you make the statement that "color is what makes our paintings sing" because it is a perfect tie-in to my question. I'm interested in the color mixing theories of one Frank Morley Fletcher who was the director of the Edinburgh College of Art from 1907-1923. Mr. Fletcher wrote a book titled "Colour Control; The Organization and Control of the Artist's Palette". I was given a Xeroxed copy of this work a few years ago by an artist friend and finally took the time to sit down and read it. I'm very interested in the theories presented but the problem is that it is an incomplete text. I would very much like to get my hands on the complete book or hear from someone who is familiar with his ideas.

If you are wondering how this ties in with your statement, Mr. Fletcher draws an analogy between music and painting. He asserts that, just as music is composed with notes on the musical scale arranged in a harmonious key, paintings should also be composed with hues on the color wheel arranged in a harmonious scheme or "key". He points out that never before has the artist had such a range of pigments available to him. It is therefore important to discipline oneself in the organization of the palette. He has devised a system based on the color wheel that can facilitate any given color scheme or "key" and a method for organizing the palette in a logical manner to eliminate "hit or miss" color mixing, or as he puts it, "promiscuous mixing across the palette". Carrying the analogy further, once the system has been mastered the artist's palette becomes so familiar that it can be "played" with the ease of a musical instrument no matter what "key" you are in. I know I've made it sound very simplistic, but it really is based on sound principles of color theory.

My questions...have you ever heard of this system, and do you or anyone else know where I can find the complete text of this work?

Thanks. Keep up the good work that you're doing.

DULCINEA
07-10-1999, 10:52 PM
i FOUND THE DISCUSSION CONCERNING THE RELATIONSHIP OF COLOR HARMONY TO MUSIC INTERESTING. i ALSO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN WHATEVER (MORE COMPLETE) INFORMATION CONCERNING HIS PALATTE SET UP AND METHODS.. i HAVE ACCESS TO AN EXTENSIVE LIBRARY SO I WILL GO ON A SEARCH AND SEE WHAT I CAN FIND.. aS IT GOES FOR ME i AM TRYING TO KEEP MY PALETTE SIMPLE SO THAT I AM SURE TO NOT GET OFF KEY.. STAYING IN THE SAME COLR FAMILY.. tHOUGH TEDIOUS i GENERALLY FIND THAT A MONOCHROMATIC UNDERPAINTING IN WHICH I CAREFULLLY STUDY FORM AND VALUE, FREES ME TO FOCUS ON COLOR, INSTEAD OF FIGHT IT.. i AM ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A TEACHER THAT YOU FOR HIS NAME I WISH THERE WAS A WAY I COULD READ THE INFORMATION YOU GOT A HOLD OF.

Michael2
07-15-1999, 03:10 AM
I think the problem with talking about color is that a lot of artists have learned to get the results they want without really completey understanding HOW it happens.

In reality there are many ways to get the same colors. Some easier and some harder. The easiest way to get black is to buy a tube if Ivory Black paint.

My problem with colors is getting them consistent. For example, in my most recent attempt at figurative painting, the subject's arm is a redder and brighter shade then her face and upper torso. It's not a really big difference, but enough of a difference so that they don't match

Drew Davis
07-18-1999, 08:46 PM
The easiest way to get black is to buy a tube, but the easiest way is not always the best way. Few things are, in reality, true neutral in color (and black is especially rare). Light and the color of objects around them bounce and modify the local color of any subject. Colors also shift in lights and shadows, not just get lighter and darker, and just mixing black in neglects that color shift. It helps to mix your grays not because it's easier, but because that way you can tie them into the color harmonies of the rest of your painting.
Besides, not buying black saves you money. You don't really need it that much anyway, so why buy a whole tube when darks are easy to make? Save the tube for graphics in abstracts, or grisalle underpainting.

To avoid color matching problems, it helps to develop the whole painting together. Don't start at the top and work down, or paint a face completely, then an arm. Instead, try putting a given color in many places while it's on your brush. That guarantees a color match.

DelCassi
08-16-1999, 09:40 AM
Dulcinea,

Hello. I was wondering if you dug up anything on our friend Frank Morley Fletcher? I'm still interested in anything else you can find. I'd also like to get you the information that I have since you seem interested. I'm not sure how I can get you this information short of actually typing out the text. Any suggestions?

bruin70
09-06-1999, 08:31 AM
i don't concern myself with color matching. in regards to skin tones,,,take a close look at some masters and you will see several colors. it is what makes their skin "breathe". what they have control of is VALUE. VALUE is the key to great painting. with that in hand, you can use any color short of leroy neiman. all the great portrait artists were tonal painters.
as you progress you will see that it is most important to make the viewer believe you...at that point YOU control how you create order in your artwork. if you're regimented to matching your colors,,,try this...create a basic flesh mix on your pallette. off to one side squeeze out some blue and black for the shadow,,,,some lighter white, yellow or whatever for your light flesh, some red for rosey areas...with these additional colors , mix them toward the basic color mix...you now have the complete flesh range from dark to light there on your pallette, and you can see there how they all relate to each other. if you want to add a green or so, do so in the pallette mix, and simply move it to the canvas