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Tom Christopher
03-18-2005, 10:12 PM
Hello artsits-- I watched A. Handell's video for the what seems to be the hundreth time--I keep thinking about his quote--there are many different colors with similar values--I worked on this one today.
I was hired a near by college for their Artist is Residence Program-This past week, I spoke and demonstrated( did a painting in each class) for 14 art classes--I used Mr.Handell's quote in each one. I went to grade schools , high schools and Jr college classes.
The most difficult class was my home town high school--My 16 yr old daughter was sitting in the front row. I don't know which one was more nervous. Anyway I thought I would mention this for those who may be looking for an opportunity to make some extra $ with their art skills.

comments welcome thank You Tom

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Mar-2005/35607-similar_value__3-19.jpg

chewie
03-18-2005, 11:30 PM
wow, that's alot of teaching, and painting! good for you! and the painting, oh wonderful colors!! just love that, juicy zingers of color, i think its exciting, but yet a nice quiet feeling. you didn't mention the size?

Tom Christopher
03-18-2005, 11:34 PM
wow, that's alot of teaching, and painting! good for you! and the painting, oh wonderful colors!! just love that, juicy zingers of color, i think its exciting, but yet a nice quiet feeling. you didn't mention the size?

Hi ya Chewie--this one is 17x 26 inches on Wallis Paper
Thanks For commenting-- Tom

SweetBabyJ
03-18-2005, 11:42 PM
While I continue to hear the "rule" "If the value is right, the colour doesn't matter", I yet disagree. What I've discovered is, "If the colour is right, so is the value." *shrug* I simply experience colour differently than others, while I understand what values are, and use them correctly, to me, they are just another way of describing which colour I see.

"Blue" is the hue; light blue is the colour- as is dark blue, a medium, warm blue, a near blue-black, a white barely cooled by blue.... I describe the colour by the value and the temperature.

It's a lovely piece, Tom- and brave of you to teach to your daughter's class. Which set was the most fun for you- the oldest, youngest or the in-betweens?

Tom Christopher
03-19-2005, 12:06 AM
It's a lovely piece, Tom- and brave of you to teach to your daughter's class. Which set was the most fun for you- the oldest, youngest or the in-betweens?

The class that was the most fun was the one stressed over the most--the 3rd grade class. the youngest. They became so excited -it was amazing. _
Needless to say I have have alot more respect for teachers and the work they do.

Khadres
03-19-2005, 12:09 AM
While I continue to hear the "rule" "If the value is right, the colour doesn't matter", I yet disagree. What I've discovered is, "If the colour is right, so is the value." *shrug* I simply experience colour differently than others, while I understand what values are, and use them correctly, to me, they are just another way of describing which colour I see.


SBJ, I think you've hit upon something that's been bothering me, too. "If the color is right, then so is the value"...makes sense to me and I can't imagine separating the two entirely which makes me a bit stick-in-the-mud when I look at painting with candy pink tree trunks and brown skies (non-dust storm brown skies, that is) just as an example. I can agree that the "value" is "right" in terms of dark to light, but I simply can't appreciate something painted with alien hues unless it's maybe a monochrome piece...in that case everything would be shades of rose or sepia. I CAN see that some paintings done this way are very pleasing as a whole, but definitely not realistic and not something I'm after. The color's that are really there are fascinating enough for me and their values go right along after the hue name...red-orange extra light, medium dark, darkest, pale, etc. I'm probably too limited in my thinking somewhere along the line, but ce la vie, I guess.

Tom, I see where you've used a LOT of the same valued colors in this painting and it works for me, but you also nailed the hues. Handell does too. It's a very tricky business though... Only someone with a LOT of skill can get away with it without it coming out blah. You've done it, tho, and I'm sure the kids you mentored over the last week or two have learned soooo much watching you work! They don't know how lucky they are!

jackiesimmonds
03-19-2005, 03:49 AM
SBJ, I think you've hit upon something that's been bothering me, too. "If the color is right, then so is the value"...makes sense to me and I can't imagine separating the two entirely which makes me a bit stick-in-the-mud when I look at painting with candy pink tree trunks and brown skies (non-dust storm brown skies, that is) just as an example. , I'm probably too limited in my thinking somewhere along the line, but ce la vie, I guess.
!



Sooz, You aren't "limited in your thinking", it is just that you PREFER to work in a more realistic way. It doesn't mean that you cannot appreciate what others are doing and why. most important of all, It doesn't make them better than you and you less than them. You just dont want to work like that - nothing wrong with that, and there is absolutely no need to put yourself down in any way, which is what your statement does. SBJ is in more or less the same place as you - she likes to work with what she sees, tho I have to say I think she is being a little bit simplistic in her statement, because I have seen her paintings of glass !!!!!! And so have you. Would you call her stick in the mud, or limited in thinking? I think not.

I was once told by a tutor to paint EXACTLY what I see, in that way, I would not go wrong. That meant getting the tones/values right, as well as the local colour.

However, then I began to watch what other artists did with colour. I began to notice what the impressionists did with the colours in their shadows, and in skin tones, particularly; I noticed that Degas painted the skin of his naked ladies not just with pinks and oranges and gold, but also with blues, and greens, but no matter how hard I tried to see those colours in my life class, I couldn't really, but I knew he must have his reasons. I looked at shadows hard too, and although there might have been a hint of blue or purple in there on that grey road, it wasn't as obvious as some artists might make it. I decided to learn about it.

I learned that not all colourists go to the extreme of CHANGING the colours they see before them - like creating pink tree trunks as you suggest - but some do, and they use colour creatively sometimes to reinforce what they want to say about the subject. And some artists happily use the rule "if the tone value is right, you can use just about any colour", and it works - FOR THEM, because essentially, that saying can be made to work. Provided that the colour AND the tone do not destroy the integrity of the shapes within the picture...they sit in their rightful places regardless of their colour - then the picture will work.

For those who have come into this thread, and are perhaps a little confused, I thought I would show some examples where "unnatural" colours have been used. Despite that, the images "work" because the tone values are correct, and nothing looks out of place.

Let's start with Handel. He says, of this picture "in this painting of a woods interior, I used colors similar in value..." I doubt he SAW bright purple in the tree trunks, or brilliant blue, or pinkypurples and lavendars on the path!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Mar-2005/1805-colourful_woods.jpg

And another, lookie Sooz- there is pink on those trunks! ;)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Mar-2005/1805-pink_trunks_handel.jpg

here's a pic where the artist used artistic licence with the colour, for sure:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Mar-2005/1805-js.jpg

another Handel. No way did he see these colours in the sky:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Mar-2005/1805-handel_sky.jpg

nor did this guy see these colours in front of him:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Mar-2005/1805-freeman.jpg

and finally, look at the colours in the shadow of the skin here - totally unrealistic, pushing colour to the extremes, but the model still looks "alive", the colours sit in place well because the values are correct for the area:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Mar-2005/1805-figure.jpg

In all of the above pictures, because the tone value of every stroke is right, it doesn't matter that the colours are not realistic.

This does not mean that these artists are any "better" than those who like to paint in a more realistic way - it just means that they are prepared to take more risks with colour. Sooz, you aren't "stick in the mud" , you just are not quite as experimental in your approach as these guys above. Maybe one day you might be - maybe not - it doesn't matter either way. You are what you are, at this moment in time, and it is NOT good to use derogatory terms like "stick in the mud" or "limited in thinking", they are very negative. Stoppit.
Jackie

ps Tom - apologies for slightly hijacking your thread - your picture is lovely, and I bet the kids all LOVED every minute of your demo. They were very privileged to have you.

haridasa67
03-19-2005, 04:51 AM
Jackie does it again, that's informative, like water in the desert, or a treehouse during floods. :)
Tom, you have always been awesome with colours. I get inspired to be in company of you all artists.
Anoop

Tom Christopher
03-19-2005, 04:59 AM
ps Tom - apologies for slightly hijacking your thread - your picture is lovely, and I bet the kids all LOVED every minute of your demo. They were very privileged to have you.

No apologies needed Jackie, I very much like where this thread is going The question of value came up several times during the week. My choice of colors in the demos was a major source of discussion as well. I could see many of the students scratching their heads when I added blues to the tree trunks and reds to the walking paths and grasses . LOL Tom

jackiesimmonds
03-19-2005, 06:44 AM
The question of value came up several times during the week. My choice of colors in the demos was a major source of discussion as well. I could see many of the students scratching their heads when I added blues to the tree trunks and reds to the walking paths and grasses . LOL Tom

I'll bet the colour was questioned ... we are SO conditioned by the photographic image these days, that it is really hard to allow imagination to soar, and that is what is required ... a mixture of experimentation, imagination, and colour theory intellect, to use colour in a more adventurous way. I reckon it would depend on the age of the kids - the older they become, they more they will question, probably. Little kids are often much easier with the idea of using colour which isn't "real" because they have fewer boundaries and are more uninhibited. Once they become conditioned to the world of photographic realism, photographs, movie, tv etc, they begin to develop more inhibitions.

It's good that a bit of head scratching went on. It will help to remove some of those inhibitions and the beginnings of fixed ideas, when they see what you do, and see that it still works.

J

meowmeow
03-19-2005, 09:12 AM
Love the painting Tom! The color is gorgeous...and it's neat how you do have so much of the same value but then you have wonderful light highlights. It looks like a wonderful place to go wandering into.

Neat thread about color...I have never been able to explain what I do with color but I do know that if I am paying attention and really look I do see a lot of those colors around me. Not as strongly as in all the wonderful paintings Jackie showed, but I don't see just brown in a tree trunk or "white" in snow. I can see purples and blues in the bark. Then again, I am a bit weird! :D

I also see that people are different and some "see" the colors, some add the colors to their paintings and some use use the "correct" colors...they can all work. None are right or wrong. It's what works for you.

SAndy

Khadres
03-19-2005, 10:30 AM
I may have given the wrong impression or at least "over-did" it, I think. None of the examples you showed, Jackie, are really what I'm talking about...to ME, the examples for perfectly sound and the use of blues in shadows, etc. etc. are completely legitimate. What I have a problem with is where the artist uses ALL non-realistic color. For instance, the teacher I had last year scorns almost any "real" local color. Her trees might literally have ALL pink trunks, blue foliage, bright orange dirt road, and ochre sky with nary a "normal" color anywhere. Sometimes the only way you know it's trees is in the shapes. The overall look of the finished piece is very "designer-ish" and quite nice, but definitely not what I want to do althought the VALUES are fine if you take the thing into grey scale. Does that make sense?

While I love the touches of "colors that aren't really there" in the works you showed, they are all perfectly "understandable" to me and probably something I would try myself. If I haven't learned anything else since coming to pastels and the forum here on WC, I HAVE learned that touches of pink in an aspen trunk can really make it sing...but garish ALL-pink and puce aspen trunks, despite correct values, just don't work for me and probably never will. However, they CAN come out quite attractive.

SweetBabyJ
03-19-2005, 11:15 AM
Sooz, I truly think I "experience" colour differently than many people- my brain processes them oddly, perhaps, is a better way of putting it. I have a near-Kodachrome interpretation of colour- each and every colour is there- I can see them all- making up that brown in a tree trunk. I've noticed when I process photos in my editing program, I saturate the colour, and clarify it, and fade-correct it to get the photo to look like what I saw, which was not kinda dull and plain and washed out, but singing with colour!!

I 'member setting up my monitor here when I first got this puter, and how the factory settings left my wallpaper of autumn trees rather pallid. Click a couple buttons and *pow*! NOW the colours' are right. Damned thing nearly glows in the dark.

No one is arguing that values don't matter, and no one is advocating painting in any style which is personally uncomfortable- I'm very comfortable with what I do with colour, and I think it is the fact I see them differently- that I am very sensitive to them- which allows me to make colour sing out without jarring the eye and sensibilities too much. It took me so long to figure it out- I couldn't make colour work right because there were so darned many of the things in everything I saw! I can tell you that, for instance, in a well-decorated room, one "wrong note" of colour will irritate me- really bug me- because, value-schmalue- the colour is wrong! I don't think this means "realistic"; to me, it means harmony- and not harmony of a colour scheme, or palette, but harmony of what I see.

I've a photo I tried to do of lillypads and flowers on the water, tree reflected and stones underneath- three layers of objects. I tried and tried- I could draw 'em, get the depth, get the underneath, get the reflection, get it all- except! Those damned lily blooms. The rocks were brownish olive-greens and oranges, the reflections warm red-browns and "pure" greens with blue sky, the pads themselves yet another near pure green- and they all worked. But those damned blooms were fuschia pink! They DID NOT WORK! They should've been white, or a cream. That "pink" bugged me the whole time I was painting this thing- and I left them for last not knowing why I was trepidatious of starting them. Well that was easy enough to figure out afterwards- that PINK! ruined the whole piece. It was the wrong pink. If they HAD to be pink, they shouldn't've been THAT neon fuschia pink, but a more salmon-y, softer pink. They should've harmonized.

That's what I mean about getting the colour right- not realism, not "interpretive"- but making the colours you see harmonize with each other within the piece, itself. For me, one "wrong" colour can ruin a piece- not its value, nor even its hue- but its colour. Blue shadows on skin? No problem. Green in blonde hair? Easy. But carrot red hair on a tanned-skinned figure? No- THAT doesn't work. It quite literally offends my eyes- whether in the real world, or in a painting.

So some of it may be a matter of taste, and some of it hardwired in. Me, I don't bother trying to figure out the whys anymore, I just paint.

Edit: Here it is in a nutshell: The Colorado sky. It's blue. It's so blue it can hurt your eyes. It is unashamedly, absolutely, blue. Nowhere else (and I've been all over the place) is the sky quite so BLUE!! But if you try and paint a sky that colour- that blue- it doesn't work- it is tooooo overpowering- it is tooooo BLUE!! The only way to make it harmonize correctly is to either a) desaturate what you KNOW you see, and make it a lesser blue, or b) pump all the other colours until they aren't overpowered. *shrug* I generally choose the latter- that way, I know I got the "essence", if you will, of the scene which drew me in the first place.

Alisa
03-19-2005, 11:39 AM
hello:) have'nt posted here in a while but wanted to chime in.

If you want to better see dramatic colors, try studying dramaticly lit images. For example...I was in a little prayer chapel, it was dimly lit. On the alter was a huge metal cross, it was backlit with a red light that came up from the floor. Staring softly at that black metal cross for a bit, the black eventually turned an electric blue. Very dramatic, very "real".

Or try going outside at the end of a sunny day, the time of day when the sun is going down and everything turns golden...to my eye all the shadows are purple and lights are gold.

just some thoughts:)

Alisa

jackiesimmonds
03-19-2005, 12:58 PM
What I have a problem with is where the artist uses ALL non-realistic color. For instance, the teacher I had last year scorns almost any "real" local color. Her trees might literally have ALL pink trunks, blue foliage, bright orange dirt road, and ochre sky with nary a "normal" color anywhere. Sometimes the only way you know it's trees is in the shapes. The overall look of the finished piece is very "designer-ish" and quite nice, but definitely not what I want to do althought the VALUES are fine if you take the thing into grey scale. Does that make sense?

.....ALL-pink and puce aspen trunks, despite correct values, just don't work for me and probably never will. However, they CAN come out quite attractive.

Yes, they can come out attractive, but what you need to realise is that they are, in fact, nothing to do with trees, or shapes, but entirely to do with colour. That tutor of yours had a different start point to yours - she was purely interested in creating colour excitement. This is what she needed to explain - or perhaps to realise for herself - and if she was determined to get everyone to work in the same way, then her course should have been called "exploring colour" or "experimental colour" or something of that nature. (?was it?) Then you would have been quite clear what she wanted you to do. To expect people to fall in line with HER concept of what is "right" in painting, is totally inappropriate, if it was a general painting course.
Whatever - I still maintain that you must not use terms which put yourself, and your ideas, down, in any way. We are all learning, all the time. We know what we know today. We none of us know exactly how we will grow and change as artists tomorrow- that's the fun of it.

SBJ - I am not sure that you see colour differently to other people - but you may be more highly tuned-in to colour than most - and they may get to where you are eventually. You also have very highly tuned "taste buttons" - so if a colour offends you, you feel the need to change it, or remove it, or whatever. Other people may well paint it simply because it is there, and will not feel that it "clashes" in the way that you do, because to their eyes, it doesn't clash. I remember feeling slightly peculiar when my mother would put certain flowers together in an arrangement. then, I could not tell you why - I just knew it bothered me. I'd say "Mum, those flowers just don't go together" and she would say "don't be daft - all flowers go together, they are natural and beautiful". She could not see any clashing colours at all.

So - I would contend that even if your colour knobs are set to a higher frequency than most people's, nevertheless, you understand values all right.

J

Khadres
03-19-2005, 06:21 PM
Yep, you're right, Jackie. Everybody's different and that's a good thing and allows for a wide variation artwork which appeals to a wide variety of tastes. And the class I was taking was "Beginning Pastels". I think the thing that threw us students was her obvious "disappointment" if we painted anything with "normal" colors. Green trees were "mundane", etc. Most of us were just trying to figure out how to get something recognizable with soft pastels. NOW I would probably have fun trying it her way, even if it's not my "thing", but then it was just dampening to the beginner spirit.

Kathryn Wilson
03-20-2005, 01:04 AM
Huh - but I DO see all those colors, Jackie! I have seen a sky exactly like that, and I do see pink trunks and blue patches here and there. I'm not sure whether I am actually "seeing" them, or my brain is interpreting what my eyes are seeing, if that makes sense.

I looked at a pine tree trunk yesterday and I could swear that the algae growing on it glowed turquoise - :confused:

jackiesimmonds
03-20-2005, 01:39 AM
kyle consider yourself lucky. I know from experience as a tutor that the vast majority would not see that turquoise!

Tell you what guys...boy, do monitors vary. I just looked at this website on a sony laptop which has a special black screen, and the colours of Chris's pic, and the pics I showed, look completely different to my monitor on my desktop. Chris - yur pic looked even better!

hmm. might have to invest in a new screen.

Jackie

Kathryn Wilson
03-20-2005, 07:42 AM
kyle consider yourself lucky. I know from experience as a tutor that the vast majority would not see that turquoise!



But that was not always so for me - it can be taught! It's almost like the world has turned into a color wheel for me - I actually study things from a distance and then up close to see what colors show up. Or maybe, as old age creeps in, my eyes are changing - :D

Tom Christopher
03-20-2005, 08:00 AM
Tell you what guys...boy, do monitors vary. I just looked at this website on a sony laptop which has a special black screen, and the colours of Chris's pic, and the pics I showed, look completely different to my monitor on my desktop. Chris - yur pic looked even better!

hmm. might have to invest in a new screen.

Jackie

I know I finally broke down this year and purchased a new monitor --the colors are way different than the old one. When I was shopping for the monitor, I had the salesperson go to my website so I could look at the colors--I could swear the colors varied from brand to brand as well.
Tom

meowmeow
03-20-2005, 08:19 AM
One thing I know about monitors is that you have to calibrate them...you are supposed to calibrate them once a week! Yikes! Well, I do it once in a while...it isn't easy for me, although I am not sure why. But I know it makes a big difference.
But no matter what, it is very true that we are proabbly all seeing different things. Best not to ponder that too much! :D


Sandy

tURBOCAT
03-20-2005, 08:38 AM
Tom -
Failed to post a note on earlier visits.... very nice, such rich colors. Very cool on your teaching, I think that's terrific.

Love the discussions on color and value. It's very fun and challenging to look for the colors within the colors. What's really there? What can you push further? I've read so much lately (this is sorta' related) that many of the masters used greens in the skin tones,,, I just tried it for the first time and it works!)

Lots of color out there - thank heavens!!

Johnnie

Mikki Petersen
03-20-2005, 06:13 PM
Tom, your painting is exquisite once again and it is because of all the great color you incorporate. I never look at your paintings and think any color is out of place. Guess you are doing something right...make that everything right.

Mikki

Oriane
03-21-2005, 10:16 PM
One of the great joys in life to me is being able to see colors no one else seems to see. I see purples in shadows other people call grey, and greens and turquoises glittering in puddles and birdbaths. I never can imagine how others see a landscape that's green and brown and maybe a bit of yellow, and I see rich reds and yellows and touches of pink and silvery blue. Maybe it's because I've always been interested in art, and been in love with color and how it affects everything around me since a very young age. Maybe Monet was like me, and he really did see the blazing blue in those poplar trees. When I was a little girl I saw a group of his "multiple" paintings (pictures of the same subject at different times of day, I believe it was the Rouen Cathedral series) and I remember being joyous that someone else knew that white wasn't white, but pink and blue and green and purple all mixed up and shattered into spots and reflections.

I also remember being yelled at by a teacher in elementary school because I painted a sheep on a paper mural that the whole class was doing, and my sheep wasn't white like all the other childrens' sheep. It had different colors in it which were actually the tones and shadows. She said "sheep are supposed to be white" and I knew that wasn't correct. Nothing is ever just one color. But she didn't appreciate my correcting her and the sheep was painted over white and flat like all the other sheep.