View Full Version : layers

11-30-2001, 05:16 AM
Hi guys,

I've been looking at that Windsor and Newton site and been learning a lot. One thing I want to ask is to do with opacity/transparency. It would seem to me that most artists would use mostly transparent colours because most artists start with a foundation and layer their different colours on the canvas, and that the more opaque colours would be used for things like iron gates at the front of buildings etc. Is this correct? Let me know, be brutally honest.

Thanks everyone,

11-30-2001, 08:50 AM
Most colors are a mix of transparent and opaque colors. Just think about what makes a color transparent or opaque and take a look at some yellows and some reds and blues. In each color group you will find both transparent and opaque made by various manufacturers using various company color names. (sigh)

I asume that you are talking about oil colors since you are using a canvas and not talking about transparent watercolors or gouche which is opaque, but even if you were talking about watercolors, the colors that are called "Transparent colors" still can lean to having both charteristics of opaque and transparent.

I guess what you really need is to learn how your colors work for you. I would suggest that you take your colors and do color charts so that you could learn how they act. As time goes on, you will learn what color to use where. (sounds simple...but so true)

Sometimes the written word gets confusing for someone new to painting because if you get right down to it, color is a very personal thing. You would think that all painters handled paint the same way...but not true. If you tried to paint with only transparent paint and built up your painting with glazes....that would be one way...but I doubt if many painters only use tansparent paints.

Another way to use your transparent paint would be to use it as a glaze .... for the final step.... to adjust and harmonize your painting.

The best advise is to play with your colors and start a notebook of your own. Buy some paper canvas that comes in sheets like watercolor paper does. Then you can cut this paper to the size and punch as many holes need to insert into a ring binder. Label each exercise you do and you will be so amazed how much you learn. First exercise I would do is making a value chart for each of the colors you have now. Value is very important, even more important than the color you choose.

11-30-2001, 03:33 PM
Thanks Llis,

I think I will take your advice and make myself a little folder and do some playing around with the colours. It seems the best way to learn - by practical application. Thanks for the advice.
Regards - Gina

12-17-2001, 09:43 PM
Keep us posted on your progress. I'm doing pretty much the same thing and really learning alot. :)

12-18-2001, 08:13 PM
Hi Llis
Thanks for the post. I haven't done a thing! I've been waiting till I can afford a class before I get my paints out. I really don't have much talent for it, but I want to learn how to do it. I figure if I start now, before getting any lessons, I'm just going to frustrate myself! But your post has reminded me that I must get some info on some of the Government subsidised classes that are starting at the beginning of the year. I'll have to get my act together as I don't want to miss out.

As soon as I've started, I promise I'll let you know how I'm going.

Merry Christmas everyone,
Best regards,