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llis
12-17-2001, 03:23 PM
What is the difference between value and tone? In a discussion with another artist, I said that it was just a matter of semantics. Some artists refere to lightness or darkness of a color as the VALUE of the color; other artists use the word TONE to describe the degree of light and dark.

Anyone have any other thoughts?

Patrick1
12-17-2001, 04:37 PM
Yes, value is lightness or darkness. A tone, from what I've read, is a color of the same hue and similar value but different saturation (more or less grey).

TPS
12-17-2001, 07:01 PM
My definition is similar to Domer. Value refers to the amount of lightness or darkness of a color. Tone is a grayed version of a color, hence you could have a dark tone of red (a low value grayed red) or a light tone of red (a high value grayed red). Value is usually expressed as being a tint or shade. Tint is a color mixed with white to lighten it, shade is a color mixed with black to darken it, tone is a color mixed with black and white to gray it. Of course with all the color mixing preferences that folks have, a color can be lighted, darkened or grayed by various means; not just the white, black method. But, the basic theory applies.

Having said all this, the terms tone and tonality are indeed often used interchangably with the idea of value. Whether those doing so are aware of the difference is unknown; I suspect it's just custom. It is unfortunate for the student of color to have this variance in terms. I have also seen the term tone used when referring to the color hue; usually by non-art people. The concept of grayness is also referred to variously as intensity, saturation or chroma. This too can be confusing.

I hope my explanation is understandable. Keep on asking. Your creative powers will increase as all this knowledge gets into your practice.

bruin70
12-22-2001, 03:22 PM
i use the word "tone" indiscriminatly. for me, it is an all encompassing word.

Mario
12-22-2001, 11:13 PM
OK, I'll try,,
"Value" is lightness or darkness of the color when compared to a scale of Grey. Is it light or dark? That was easy.
Now, "tone" is probably meant to mean "value" and so the confusion. A very usefull term for color is "chroma"...this refers to the brightness or dullness of the local color...and I wish that I could say more about it but, unfortunately, I have not studied this area enough. It is an area of color that would be VERY helpful to understand. Any comments on this would be appreciated.

sandge
12-25-2001, 02:20 PM
I think it depends on where you're from! LOL

In the UK we use tone to refer to lightness or darkness of a hue. However, I notice through reading posts at WC that folks in other countries use value to mean the same thing.

In order to try to be understood, when I'm referring to lightness/darkness I use the term 'tonal value' in the hope that the maximum number of folks will understand what I'm on about! :D

Einion
12-26-2001, 05:46 AM
I knew I had read something about this very recently and managed to find it. It's from the answer to a letter in the January 2002 issue of American Artist:
"Often the words tone and value are used interchangeably since both refer to the dimension of a color that describes its lightness or darkness, but technically, relations of tone refer to the difference in brightness, whereas relations of value refer to the difference between light and dark."
ŠJane Sutherland

The definition of tone used in pictorial description is by no means uniform so it's no wonder it is used incorrectly at times, for example the way it is used in the graphics industry is very different to how artists generally use it (not to mention it refers to at least two entirely separate concepts when used in different contexts). It is poorly-defined in the painting community too as my definition would be exactly as Patrick so succinctly put it while I have seen it used variously in place of value, tint AND shade. And to top it all off the word tonal really describes value, not tone!

Personally I prefer to describe colour in a way that completely avoids having to use the term although it can sound pedantic, for example when you say, "this is a medium-valued, slightly-neutralised red-orange" to describe Burnt Sienna :-)

Originally posted by Mario
A very usefull term for color is "chroma"...this refers to the brightness or dullness of the local color...and I wish that I could say more about it but, unfortunately, I have not studied this area enough. It is an area of color that would be VERY helpful to understand. Any comments on this would be appreciated.
Okay, you asked for it! Part of the problem with discussing a word like chroma is that the terms used to shape your definition might also be a possible source of misunderstanding. While most definitions of chroma use the words brightness and dullness I think one should be careful to use both, not just say "how bright the local colour is" as used alone it is a potential source of confusion since some people might think you are referring partly or wholly to its value. A better word to define chroma is intensity as used alone it encompasses the core of the concept I think.

For example the top quote would be clearer as "relations of tone refer to the difference in intensity" don't you agree?

Einion

bruin70
12-26-2001, 06:34 PM
mario,,,as i mentioned,,,i use the word "tone" indiscriminatley. sometimes i'll say "the tone of a painting is warm. or,,,the tone of a painting is reddish,,,or the tone of a painting is dark.

well,,,,so long as I know what i'm talking about. usually, though, whatever the context my phrase is used in, it is generally understood by others. and maybe THAT'S why i use the word so loosely.....{M}

Keith Russell
01-13-2002, 09:08 PM
Greetings:

Art terms from college:

Tint--base colour with white added.

Tone--base colour with grey added.

Shade--base colour with black added.

I would never use the words 'tone' and 'value' as interchangeable. ('Value' applies to contrast, not to individual colours, colour mixing, etc., but to the overall reflectivity of a given area--either within a work of visual art, or in reality itself. 'Tone', however, only--IMO--applies to specific colours which have been mixed with grey. It has nothing to do with the overall value-range of the work, which is often called the 'tonal' range--adding to the confusion.)

Keith.

impressionist2
01-14-2002, 07:11 AM
Keith, That is a great and simple explanation.

In portraiture a "halftone" is a color which has had a "cool" color added ( or a greying color, usually it's compliment) to reduce it's intensity, as the face begins it's turn into shadow.

Renee

bruin70
01-14-2002, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by impressionist2
Keith, That is a great and simple explanation.

In portraiture a "halftone" is a color which has had a "cool" color added ( or a greying color, usually it's compliment) to reduce it's intensity, as the face begins it's turn into shadow.

Renee

no renee. halftone is the area of color is where artists INTENSIFY the color, not cut it.

however, your interpretation is why i tell everyone not to bother with "halftone". its definition, and use is one of the most misinterpreted and misapplied "rules" of painting.

simply stick to the notion of "that which is in light is light, and that which is in dark gets dark".....{M}

bruin70
01-14-2002, 07:06 PM
keith,,,,,

i use the term "value" very, very specifically ,,,,i use the term "tone" generally. it depends on the circumstance, and who's doing the asking,,,ie, what is the tone of that painting? to this, i can answer in many ways;

to an artist i will answer in the KEY in which is painted. high key, low key, etc.

to a casual observer, i would assume they don't know what tone is, and so i answer in their terms.....the tone is reddish. the tone is happy.

renee's reply DOES point out what catagorizing does to artists, especially when taught by people who don't understand either.....{M}

LarrySeiler
01-14-2002, 07:25 PM
I have this in an old old color book somewhere, where the reader/student can analyze nearly every painting with it, and see where a particular artist falls. Movement's and 'isms with painting favor particular areas.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jan-2002/color_tonewheel.jpg


Whites plus color are tints.
Blacks plus color are shades.
The mixture of all three are tones...

The painters that do not use black, by this chart, would rightly I suppose not qualify to be called "tonalists"...as it would require a measure of all three components to have tone.

Yet, values- (ie- light and darks) of a color are possible without black; thus a tone and a value by use of this chart would demonstrate they do not mean the same thing.

Larry

impressionist2
01-14-2002, 07:45 PM
Bruin, Most of my halftone info is from John Howard Sanden. According to him, what you are referring to is a transitional halftone which is more intense as the plane turns.

However, there are also cooled halftones (either greens or blues mixed into the original mix) as one progresses through the face. I mean the whole face can't be made up of intense colors , correct? Yet, those skintones are still halftones until they proceed into the darks.

Well, anyway, it may just be semantics.

Renee

bruin70
01-14-2002, 09:37 PM
and semantics is exactly where an artist should NOT be dwelling.

the problem i see with almost ALL artists is their lack of good definition of values. this can almost surely be traced to complicated thoughts of tone, value, color and where to put them. they just have wayyyyyyy too much going through their mind. the result of which is an overcomplication of the aformentioned schemes. while all this info is good and well, and will serve you fine in the future,,,,

i see lack of clarity of thought, of imagery,,,and the artist weighing themselves down before they place their first stroke to the canvas.
sanden can say anything he wants because he has total control his canvas. however, think for a sec about what you mentioned about "halftone cools" throughout the progression of the skin. can you see the confusion this will raise for anyone having trouble with "traditional" halftones?

color is a personnal thing, yet it invites so much confusion. take charge of you values and you can use ANY COLOR YOU WANT.....{M}

impressionist2
01-14-2002, 09:57 PM
Bruin,

John Sanden is not only in control of his canvas but he is a fine teacher as well as a gentleman. His books are not difficult for the average artist to read and understand.

So when you wrote:
"renee's reply DOES point out what catagorizing does to artists, especially
when taught by people who don't understand either.....{M}"

you are referring to him and a few other excellent artists under whose guidance I was taught.

I certainly know the difference between value and tone and guess what, so do a lot of other artists.

Sanden has an entire page with halftones and how to "Intensify them" " decrease their intensity" "Cool them off", "warm them up", "lighten them" and "darken them". So, it looks as if there is more than one opinion on halftones. Perhaps yours isn't the only right one. Could that be possible?

For me, I respect Sanden's advice and his work and I will follow his and other artists advice whom I respect.

Renee

cobalt fingers
01-15-2002, 11:38 AM
If you look up tone or composition in the dictionary you will find dozens of definitions. This was a good and clearly, thought provoking question...great answers by the way!

Often when people who paint all the time are asked such specific questions a reply like uhhhhhh, wellllllll, hummmmmmmmmm is what you get--because they paint so much they don't really dwell on the words but rather the act and the results.

I read a story written by an artist who had studied along side Sargent in Paris. Sargent was painting in his studio and 6 or 8 artist friends were drinking wine and visiting as Sargent painted. They yelled a question back towards Sarg..."remember that guy"___" who was so good in class...we all thought he'd be great but we never heard from him again...I wonder why; he had so much promise" and Sargent said, "Maybe he found pleasure in other things." and kept painting...

I agree with Bruin

impressionist2
01-15-2002, 02:18 PM
Bruin and Tim,

Okay, Here's the mix for halftones that I mostly use for portraits, straight off John Sanden's color charts.

So, What colors are you two using? Please list the colors you mix and tell me how it differs from mine.

Renee



The Halftones- John Howard Sanden


Halftone 1. A cool halftone, especially helpful as a starting point
in painting receding planes. Combines white, yellow ochre,
cadmium red light and viridian.

Halftone 2. Often used where light and shadow areas meet, this
warm, rich color combines white, yellow ochre, cadmium red
light, chromium oxide green and cadmium orange.

cobalt fingers
01-16-2002, 12:21 AM
I have no list of colors that I think about in this way. One reason I try to paint regularly (at least everyday) is to keep my eye sharp. When I paint a lot I can nail colors precisely the first time w/o much effort. I honestly do this w/o contemplation of the actual pigments that I'm grabbing and tossing into the mix. This is a little weird at demos when I'm teaching because students will have their notepads out and be asking me , "now what did you put with that first color to get THAT color?" I then will stop and say ahh ammmmmmmm oh it was blah and a pinch of blah added the blah that was right next to it.

The act of painting is a wonderful thing when it becomes something fluent for the artist. It is not so much a conscience act as a visual exercise for me. I strive to paint with a sort of "Zen" and enjoy working at undisturbed times. I listen to unabridged audio tapes often while I paint. The paint smearing goes along using a different part of my brain somehow.

It is not unlike the act of speaking when for the most part, words come to us w/o much struggle...at least we don't ask, "now what word will work best next?" I can't speak for Bruin.

blondheim12
01-16-2002, 06:06 AM
Tim,
I totally agree. For me painting is intuitive not formulaic.
Love,
Linda

Davena
01-16-2002, 08:02 AM
Cobalt Fingers wrote:
I strive to paint with a sort of "Zen" and enjoy working at undisturbed times. I listen to unabridged audio tapes often while I paint. The paint smearing goes along using a different part of my brain somehow.


I listen to cd's of thunderstorms while I paint for the same reason.

LarrySeiler
01-16-2002, 08:23 AM
Originally posted by cobalt fingers
I have no list of colors that I think about in this way. One reason I try to paint regularly (at least everyday) is to keep my eye sharp. When I paint a lot I can nail colors precisely the first time w/o much effort. I honestly do this w/o contemplation of the actual pigments that I'm grabbing and tossing into the mix.

I'm in this camp with you guys as well Tim, Linda.....though, as an art teacher, I'm a bit like tossing in an instructional tape in a tape player. I can stop...and based upon my learning and demands of instructing think, "okay, now a tonalist does this..." "a colorist, thinks this way..." The Baroque painter had these colors, others not invented, saw light and composition such and such a way, and painted like this..."

So my problem has been the need to have to shut down my mind to find out how I, "Larry" paint....! hahahahaha....

All I concern myself with is setting up a split primary of colors, that is a warm and cool version of each main primary, plus white, maybe veridian, and naples yellow...(which replaces my whites often).

I don't think about it. I see and feel, and its near automatic. I mix rapidly, the color appears and I dab it on. This drives my high school students nuts who struggle for 10-15 minutes to get a color right. When they give up, I mix it for 'em in about 5 seconds, and they shake their heads. (I explain of course the "thinking" that goes behind it, which takes measurably longer than my doing it. I only have to think for the sake of other's asking).

Larry

impressionist2
01-16-2002, 09:41 AM
Larry, and all, I was thinking about this last evening and how I use my description of halftones based Very specifically on professional portrait painters palettes handed down through generations. I surmised that we are all probably talking from very different schools of thought and points of view. That's why I said there's more than one right answer. Formal professional Portraiture is a very specific study.

Finished portraits are like a jigsaw puzzle. There are specific passages to follow. People commissioning portraits, unless they are looking for a specific artist with an avant guarde look, want skintones that not only match the person they want portrayed but must also be ethnically correct, as well as beautifully lit, etc.

That is why 99 times out of 100 with beginning artists on the forums, you'll read someone screaming for help, "Please, how do you paint skintones???" There are so many books based on it. American Artist ran a fabulous breakdown of Sargents palette in an issue two or three years ago and I devoured the information.I read all the Vermeer and Rembrandt books about their palettes and techniques. Perhaps someday I'll just wing it, but in my mind I am still a student of the masters.

It's a great feeling when you hit "zen" or whatever you call it when intuitive painting takes over. However, I am of the school that says , "learn the foundations first". As with the old masters apprenticeships and ateliers, a solid base of knowledge is essential for me.I know how to put a skintone together and the intuitive part is when I am on the side of the face placing the intermingling cools and warms so a sculpted face emerges. It's wonderful.

Also, as far as teaching, one should be able to articulate the basics as he or she goes, so the student can understand the process. Most students ( as well as some intermediate artists) cannot just wing it. Or if they do, all the value and tone gets placed incorrectly.

Renee

cobalt fingers
01-16-2002, 10:24 AM
Renee, I did not and would not suggest anyone "wing it". The ability to paint with some ease is borne of years of study and practice ( of the basics).

LarrySeiler
01-16-2002, 12:05 PM
no argument from me Renee...! Just expressing what its like when I'm painting.

On the other hand, my second graders are able now to help remind each other how to neutralize a color, and how to make one color stand out while subduing another. So, I do teach a curriculum and have a plan.

One frustration is that the art teacher before me did not provide the students a painting experience 'till high school, and then not much. I've been here three years now, and am beginning to see the fruits of it.

In fact, this is the last week of the quarter for the juniors and seniors of painting, and I am posting for comments and encouragements. The first "finished" is Ashley's Seagull and Turf in the open critique forum. Please feel free to comment, and I'll formally invite artists here to anticipate more soon to be uploaded. The students sincerely love and value your looking and posting of comments. Thanks...

Larry
ie, "Mr S"

impressionist2
01-16-2002, 05:11 PM
Tim and Larry,

I am sure both of you are excellent teachers.


You are both showing me what was going on when I took a workshop with Charles Sovek a few years back. Our class kept asking him, "Which colors did you just mix", "What's the name of that tube"?, etc.. We all had our notebooks out and there he was, brushes flying and completing the picture. He looked flustered as he tried to break down in his mind, the components of his mixes. I am sure we broke his rhythm.

He was painting on instinct and we wanted a blow by blow accounting of everything he did.

From the students point of view, and since the time with the teacher is sometimes limited to a two day workshop, we all wanted every name of every tube plus which colors were mixed with what, so in some small way, we could replicate what we were experiencing when we got back to our studios, once he left.

I think this thread is interesting since I am learning from you, the teachers point of view, and perhaps I am showing you an insight on what it's like for some of your students.

I am the type of artist who has to know every color in a mix. When I look at color I am saying to myself, how many colors are in there and how did they mix that, to get that color. That is why, when I say "portrait halftone" I can give you the actual breakdown.

Renee

henrik
01-16-2002, 08:00 PM
Renee, I used to think that way too - "what is in the mix", I found it very frustrating - art becomes like an advanced "paint by number". I am self taught, and eventually I got the hang of color theory - but had to think hard to be able to mix what I wanted. Then, finally working on the computer editing images I started seeing hue, saturation and value as separate things, and that did it for me - now I feel much more liberated and I can do much more with color on the palette/infront of the canvas - things I learned by experience from using the computer.

What I found so problematic with the set mixes (as an example trying to use Helen Van Wyk's color recepies) is that they only work in the setting/scene where they are presented.

Mario
01-16-2002, 08:29 PM
Impressionist2, would you please give us some of the details of Sargent's palette that you "devoured"? thanks:confused:

impressionist2
01-16-2002, 08:46 PM
Henrik, I have only been painting with oils for about six years. I still have a lot to learn about color theory which seems endless and formal portraiture in itself is exacting, not to mention the fabrics and backgrounds. Thank God I love every minute of it!




Mario, I am going to save my typing fingers this evening and give you the exact date of the American Artist issue it appeared in instead. It was August of 1999. Hopefully, you or a friend or your local library will have the copy. Or you can always back order it from AA.

Just a quick taste includes that Sargent regularly used mars and cad. yellow; viridian and emerald green, sometimes mixed; vermillion and mars red mixed and/or alone; madder , ultramarine, or cobalt blue;ivory black, sienna and mars brown. There are many more colors mentioned on his palette and other info in the article.

His mediums were poppyseed oil for the white paint and linseed oil in the darks. It also discussed his brushes , his application of strokes and his varnishes. The article is a keeper... and yes, it was yummy!


Renee

cobalt fingers
01-16-2002, 10:15 PM
:clap: I think students should go home with a full notebook and a head pounding from the store of knowledge just received. I can't speak for the many other artists listed but I, and I think most teachers will slow down and answer the specific questions. It slows us down and that's fine we have all the time it takes -don't we.

Mr. Schmid has never sent me a dime for all the artists I've mentioned his book to but he knows color and speaks of charts at length.

LarrySeiler
01-16-2002, 11:05 PM
Originally posted by impressionist2
I am the type of artist who has to know every color in a mix. When I look at color I am saying to myself, how many colors are in there and how did they mix that, to get that color. That is why, when I say "portrait halftone" I can give you the actual breakdown.

Renee

I'm sure you are this way now. I can tell you how I was 12 years ago, which is different than who and what I was 20 years ago; yet both quite different from who I am now. This is who you are now...that's not to say that as you work out analytically and intuitively what will work best...you will register some confidence having in fact learned what works best. Knowing that, you question less and less what needs to be questioned. That is actually a necessary progressive growth in-built thing of human nature. Learning one thing, and a thing well enough so that it will eventually slip more and more into a reactive rather than proactive response makes "new space" available to pick up more understanding.

A pastor/minister may experience more and more new things that young couples want incorporated into their wedding vows and ceremony. It may all seem unique, until the pastor has done weddings for 20 years. He eventually sees patterns which the mind compartmentalizes and categorizes to simplify his coping skills and abilities. He begins to anticipate and accomodate even before the challenges present themselves. In short, he becomes an old hat at this game and nothing rattles him.

We learn in time that change is the only constant....and it is humbling. In fact, we may argue for a particular pigment mixing method...but in five short years our painting style or philosophy might change making old things learn impractical and therefore obsolete.

As I was saying...I could teach my students and adult students a Renaissance palette and method. It could be a Baroque or Roccoco direction. Impressionist, post or expressionist. This is because things can be learned. I can only speak for myself, I could rescue my students...but, I let them struggle.

Part of me finds it amusing, because it brings back memories. Also because kids can be funny. They often want the easy way out, but the "art appreciation" side of art ed curriculum would call us to let them struggle enough that forces engagement and effort. This would provide respect that art is not done easily.

When I get in my own zone, that is painting for myself...my focus is so intent, so intune with the fleeting moment, the spirit of the place...that if I found it necessary to think and ask myself "now, what color mixes with what to get the right value?" I would lose valuable time to engage the moment. What I do is similar to a sport. The closest thing I've ever done with art that is like a sport. Nature as my sparring partner. It requires immediacy, and often sends others sniffling back to the locker room. Not for the weak of heart. Plein air alla prima has simply limited options for me here in the northwoods.

I am not making an argument that one way is better than another, just what works for me and what I feel I have to do to stand up to the challenges. I also do respect that my students are newbies and have to learn. I pride myself as being a good instructor and give what is needed. On the other hand, if you walk up to my while I'm in my zone painting and say, "wow, neat color and value right there. How'd you mix that?" I'd be like, "huh? ....www hat? Ummm....I dunno. Er, let me see!"

Hope that better 'splains that!

More power to what works for all yooses!

Larry

impressionist2
01-17-2002, 07:46 AM
Larry, Well said. I am sure you are right and in, who knows how many more years, much of this information will settle in and because of the repetition, I will finally spend time painting in that wonderful intuitive zone. Looking forward to it.

The one thing I hope doesn't happen, is losing a lot of my passion for art. I feel that art is like a fabulous book that I can't wait to get back to. Each day is a new chance for discovery and each painting is an opportunity to solve a mystery.

A lot better than 10 years ago when I first got started with pastels. Back then, a lot of paintings hit the garbage. Now, I know that problems can be worked through and I actually enjoy that part.

This thread has been a good dialogue and it's what I suspected.... that we were all just speaking from a different viewpoint.

Btw, Larry, I bought the entire E-Z Go easel setup, backpack, etc. for plein air painting. Their products are on the Sun Eden website. It's a somewhat mid range alternative to the Soltek easel .


Tim, I bet Mr. Schmid doesn't know that you are recommending his book, Alla Prima, to so many people. I am sure if you wrote him , he would send you some money-Hah! :D Those charts were even a bit much to someone like me.

Renee

nyartist
01-17-2002, 01:25 PM
Phyllis:Lots of us use the words value and tone interchangeably. A "tonal" painter is one who paints using values to turn form as opposed to using colors to turn - or create- form.
For example, when painting a head a tonal painter would use different values (ights and darks) to make planes of the head recede. A colorist would use different colors (combined with values) to make the same planes recede or 'turn'.Which are you??

llis
01-17-2002, 02:05 PM
Originally posted by nyartist
Phyllis:Lots of us use the words value and tone interchangeably. A "tonal" painter is one who paints using values to turn form as opposed to using colors to turn - or create- form.
For example, when painting a head a tonal painter would use different values (ights and darks) to make planes of the head recede. A colorist would use different colors (combined with values) to make the same planes recede or 'turn'.Which are you??

Well, I guess you would need to put me in the category of student.

Thanks everyone for your answers. So much is learned by our discussions.

cobalt fingers
01-17-2002, 05:13 PM
powerful brushwork, I'm not sure I got all the image...is it cropped, does everyone else have the lower part?

LarrySeiler
01-19-2002, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by nyartist
A "tonal" painter is one who paints using values to turn form as opposed to using colors to turn - or create- form.


I'm not sure I quite get this statement. How is it that using complimentaries to darken a color is not a "value?"

If a value is the degree of lighter versus darker, and if I can use a color to make another color lighter or darker. Its almost like you are saying tonalists use values, but colorists do not. WE both use values, but the colorists comes from tweaking what he/she understands color capable to do.

I can create values that turn form, by mixtures of complementaries. A red with a bit of green will darken the form and turn it; will create different planes. It will do so without negatively affecting the character of the color that colorists would say- using black to create value would. In the colorist's mind, black used to create value is a tonalist device.

Look at my landscape paintings, all done without black. Without mixtures that are tonal. They do not show values?
http://lseiler.artistnation.com (go to "Landscape" portfolio)

Again...go a page or so back here in this thread, and refer to the model I uploaded. If you drew an eliptical circle around "Color" and "White" it would be done without going thru the middle "Tone." My current painting style can be assessed this way. All styles can be analyzed using this model, and you can see where the Baroque painters fell predominantly, the Impressionists, Fauve, etc; The example below may need some adjustment concerning Rembrandt and Sargent, but I quickly threw it together so you can see how this model works. You no doubt could use it to evaluate your style, and other artists. -Larry
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jan-2002/tonewheel_examples.jpg

impressionist2
01-20-2002, 07:47 AM
Larry, I think it's more that colorists certainly use value in everything, but also use color. What would a painting be without successful values? While a tonalist uses muted colors so that value is the Main factor. A verdaccio would work great in this case.

From the Metropolitan Museum of art ( the caps are mine for the highpoints):


Tonalism, an artistic form popular from the 1880's to the early 1900's, was a phenomenon more than a
movement in American art, a convergence of styles occurring in the 1880s and acquiring a name in the
mid-1890's. It was chiefly manifested in landscapes executed with soft painterly application and MUTED COLOR HARMONIES.

Tonalism had two major branches; the American followers of the French Barbizon school, including
George Inness and his disciples -- and Aestheticism, exemplified by the works of the American expatriate
James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Tonalists tended to follow one style or the other, or combined features of
both. Some Tonalist works were also influenced by Symbolism, the French literary and artistic movement
that favored imaginary and psychological experiences over reality. With its European roots, Tonalism
seemed sophisticated to post-Civil War Americans eager to demonstrate that they had "taste." However,
Tonalism was regarded as a truly American tendency, and was seen as being patriotic.

Tonalism was identified long after many of its representatives had established themselves. Indeed, it was
following the death of George Inness in 1894 that Tonalism assumed a voice, in the landscape painter
Henry Ward Ranger. Ranger's insistence on 'tone' in painting was essentially an antimodernist defense of
the Western painting traditions. With its DARKISH PALETTE , Tonalism countered the high-keyed expression of
sunlight and shade in French Impressionism. Tonalism was, in short, one of the swan songs of
nineteenth-century American academicism.

LarrySeiler
01-20-2002, 09:06 AM
I certainly don't disagree with that assessment Renee! In fact, I rather like how you summed up colorists. Values plus color.

As I've said a number of times, my past 20 some year emphasis prior to the last six years of alla prima plein air was detailed wildlife paintings/images. At the same time, the major influence for those works were earlier copied studies of Rembrandt and Frans Hals...and the Baroque manner of creating drama with their stage-like lighting.

My example here is my own Snowy Owl with Hungarian Partridge, and shows my more tonal past. Subdued color, use of black, and emphasis on tone, darks and light. It carries a somber mood. Emits a nobility of the bird. Only thing now though, having allowed my eyes to see color as is out of doors and understanding its connection to representing "life"...this work does not breathe as it could, IMHO...

The piece was a major winner in a very prestigious wildlife art competition, worth some good $$$...and instrumental in helping me develop as an artist. -Larry

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jan-2002/snowyowl_partridge2.jpg

impressionist2
01-20-2002, 03:22 PM
Larry, that's a beautiful painting. I have collected owls for years, although I admit that when I learned of the American Indian's view of the owl, I didn't display them quite as prominently as before. Their belief is that the owl calls your name right before your death! Yikes! :eek:

What an eye opener plein air work is, correct? I remember my first day out by the harbor, all set up with my new equipment. Even brought an umbrella just in case. I had the tent stakes secure that come with the EZ Go easel and my brushes were at hand as well as my paint. I brought more than one canvas because they were small and ofcourse, I would be able to pull off two or three that afternoon! Hah! :rolleyes:

Then I began. Did the layin. Wait a minute. Why does that horizon look off and that tree isn't all the way over there. Things don't look right! After a half hour struggle ( still on the layin) I began to see how all that open wide space wasn't going to be so easy and I hadn't even seriously started to paint!

Then the painting began. Oops, there goes the cup holding the turps. Rats, cleanup time. Darn bees! What? ( people have stopped to chat with the artist) Yes, I have been painting for a while and yes, thank you, it does sort of look like that tree, ( I guess) Will I include the chessmen playing by the shore? Maybe, if I can stop the sun from blinding me. Perhaps I'll just move the whole setup over five feet. :(



Finally, the sun is starting to set and what the heck is this on my canvas? Doesn't look like anything I have ever painted before! :confused: I know I am better than this! Heck, I have seen what I can do and this is way below my usual standard. Oh...............wait a minute! So, this is plein air painting, huh? Well, I just think my respect for plein air painters went Way up and I think this is another thing I am just going to have to work harder at!

That was two years ago and I am much better at it now, but I still have a healthy respect for those who brave the elements and paint outdoors!

Renee

bruin70
01-20-2002, 03:55 PM
gotta disagree about colorists are value plus color, renee. it has been my experience that "colorists" have no control over their values. if there is a nice range of light and dark in their painting, it is by happenstance.

usually, they either lack good darks to pop their art or they work in middle tone with no contrast. this is because they see and solve everything in color. color is their solution to every problem. to the point where they look to add color or exagerate color where there is no need.

a tonalist, by the very nature of his palette, the use of black/grey, seeks solutions with them....or in other words, using light and dark to build his form(" i have to turn this apple to darker shadow. let me start by adding blackish."). a colorist builds form with color first in mind("i have to turn this apple to darker shadow. i see some cool blue and maybe a darker red plus alizerin).

now,,, this may all seem like tonalists and colorists get there but by different means. not so. a tonalist is much more direct and simple. a colorist is complicated. the result is that the tonalist has cleaner, readable form,,,,,the colorist has broken his form down into too many "color variations" that add up to patches in his form.

really,,,the easiest way to see all this is to grey scale paintings by colorists and tonalists and see which read better. which creates better value patterns with dark/light in their compositions.

if you do this experiment, make sure you use colorists vs tonalists, and don't mix up the two simply because a particular tonalist has great color. example,,,dewing and sorolla were tonalists through and through, but they had great color. they created form and cut their color with black/grey. it is important to remember how and if black/grey is used in the palette.

one easy example also is that you can classify all the great portraitist as tonal. the tonal palette and great portrait work are almost inseperable. velasquez, van dyck, rembrandt, hals, vermeer, sargent ,degas, manet, duveneck, chase, sorolla, zorn, goya......{M}

LarrySeiler
01-20-2002, 09:35 PM
I'm going to take issue, but before I do I want it clear that I admire your work Milt, and think you are one of the finest artists we have here at Wetcanvas. My difference of opinion is simply that, and I hope it results in clarification, further discussion, and mutual respect.

Originally posted by bruin70
gotta disagree about colorists are value plus color, renee. it has been my experience that "colorists" have no control over their values. if there is a nice range of light and dark in their painting, it is by happenstance.

This simply is not true in defining me; and if I am not a colorist, then what am I?

I have about 400 paintings painted alla prima plein air since I started six years ago. They either do not work and fail, or I am pretty stink'n lucky to have all this happenchance come my way! ;)


usually, they either lack good darks to pop their art or they work in middle tone with no contrast. this is because they see and solve everything in color. color is their solution to every problem. to the point where they look to add color or exagerate color where there is no need.

When as a tonalist I first went afield to paint on location, I discovered that I lacked a great deal. It took the working out of many paintings and the humility to allow changes to take place so that I could adequately paint what I saw. If I lack good darks, then show me...

When I paint on location, I am aware that a "feeling" exists that resounds in my spirit and soul that says, "Yes, this is beautiful!" It presumes upon me to have to capture the essence of this so that others might look upon my work and experience it vicariously. I attempt to discover the essential elements, as well as those that will distract. I did not set out as a colorist with an agenda to twist nature to say something other than what I was seeing. I set out as a tonalist with the integrity of heart to paint what it was I was seeing. In time, without resistance...I evolved to become a colorist.


a tonalist, by the very nature of his palette, the use of black/grey, seeks solutions with them....or in other words, using light and dark to build his form(" i have to turn this apple to darker shadow. let me start by adding blackish."). a colorist builds form with color first in mind("i have to turn this apple to darker shadow. i see some cool blue and maybe a darker red plus alizerin).

This too is presumptuous. When I stand before a scene, I squint my eyes to take in the masses, shapes, forms, and the first distinction that I depend upon to rag such in are the values of lights and darks.

Form can be rendered to appear to come forward or go back into the shadows using black/white and grey. Color is capable of the same property by using "temperature"...warm comes forward, and cool recedes. This is a principle that is a physical property. It works, because it works.


now,,, this may all seem like tonalists and colorists get there but by different means. not so. a tonalist is much more direct and simple. a colorist is complicated. the result is that the tonalist has cleaner, readable form,,,,,the colorist has broken his form down into too many "color variations" that add up to patches in his form.


"more direct and simple?"
When an athlete competes, he/she may use a stopwatch. His routines and sessions work to trim time. He thinks economy. Adjusts diet, rest, exercise to accomodate.

When I stood before nature to paint alla prima plein air, I realized that the immediacy of the moment and threat of the disappearance suddenly of the notion of why I even ever thought the scene to be worthy as the sun changed position in the sky, I knew that I would have to accomdate. I would have to like the athlete trim and adjust. I was seeking "the most direct and simple."

Since I was seeing color, the most direct and simple response would be to paint color. If I saw black and greys...then I would have put black and grey pigment on my palette. In fact, my first session out of doors included black, but it did not find its way into any useful mix.

I will not pretend that learning to use color is easy, thus your "complicated" remark might be true. However, it cannot be argued that ease will always result in what will prove to be adequate. I have always been up front when I tell people it takes about 120 bad paintings to learn something about painting because it takes time to learn how color mixes, and mixes in a way to replicate something close to what the eyes are seeing. That the effort is not easy does not rule out its value or worth.


really,,,the easiest way to see all this is to grey scale paintings by colorists and tonalists and see which read better. which creates better value patterns with dark/light in their compositions.


If we suddenly found ourselves that we were to live in a black and white world...this might find pertinence. Warm and cold temperatures in color do not translate to conversion in black and white. That does not mean the principal and physics of warm coming forward or cool receding cancels out because when put into a black and white print such cannot be seen.

I happen as an art teacher to teach darkroom photography and basic print development in black and white. I happen to like black and white photography for its simplicity, and that good composition is just that much more necessary. However difficult, that does not mean that a color photographer cannot keep it in mind to compose good compositions in his pictures. As it turns out, we live in a world of color, thus black and white film evolved to color because photographers and chemists knew that black and white lacked to tell the full truth about reality.


if you do this experiment, make sure you use colorists vs tonalists, and don't mix up the two simply because a particular tonalist has great color. example,,,dewing and sorolla were tonalists through and through, but they had great color. they created form and cut their color with black/grey. it is important to remember how and if black/grey is used in the palette.

These were indeed good artists. However, the colorist can cut his color's chroma intensity with knowledge of color.


one easy example also is that you can classify all the great portraitist as tonal. the tonal palette and great portrait work are almost inseperable. velasquez, van dyck, rembrandt, hals, vermeer, sargent ,degas, manet, duveneck, chase, sorolla, zorn, goya......{M}

There are all indeed great artists, and yes...these and many portraitists used black.

Still, mindful of art history and change...Rembrandt was considered a radical in his day and a scorn to the traditional academies of his day. A modernist in his time. Greatness is a thing that time and history denote. Thus, since time has not yet graced those living today...it is not fair to think some will not one day be considered so.

Secondly, Sargent was a friend of the Impressionists and did not reject their way of seeing like the academicians. In fact, at times he painted as a tonalist. At other times he painted as a colorist. Thus, was he then "great" only when he painted as a tonalist, and then as losing it when he painted as a colorist? Was he both great, and not great at the same time?


What about the "great" Sargent. Many of his works were not the product of pure tonalism alone. He used greys still, yet not always with black. Sure, he often used black, but many of his works appear to suggest he was breaking from his shell.
It is possible to say that Sargent was learning a new way to see, and was evolving. Not concerned with being a "tonalist" or a "colorist" but using what means available to him to state that which resounded within his being in response to the world he experienced.

Sargent, would eventually grow to hold contempt for commissioned portraits and eventually walked away from them at the height of his popularity to paint landscapes, and those later in his life show greater and greater freedom in color studies.

In his watercolors, Sargent made many of his darks with umbers and blue.

Its not about which way is right, which way is wrong. What it is about is having the integrity to pursue whatever it is that is necessary to appease your aesthetic yearning. If your eyes see it, and your heart wishes to capture it...yielding to an agenda that is construed ideal to others is not holding integrity key.

When I say things that sound negative about "tonalism" I am giving testimony and report to what is no longer capable of working for me. ON the other hand, and for the record, I admire your works Milt, and recognize that tonalism is a way of seeing that works for you and many others.

Believe me, if I would have stepped outside from my studio after painting nearly 17 years using black and greys and found such would be the solutions you speak of, I would have had no cause to change. The problems which challenged my eyes were not solved by those old solutions. I was pressed to change. I did not seek the counsel of "colorists"...I simply sought with risk and humility to discover what nature itself would reveal. I found color to work for me. I found color to make the adequate and very much needed lights and darks.

I will agree that as an artist attempts to capture the emotion of what he feels in response to color such that his painting appears to breathe with this same life he witnesses, that perhaps there is a danger that what the eyes see, and what the mind might wish the eyes to see may differ.

In learning the inadequacy of paint or pigment minerals to capture the intensity of actual light, the artist might seek the means to find what may appeal emotionally so as to project that notion. I have never seen some of the green skies of some of those snow scenes I recall in some of those old sporting Remington and Peter's posters, with the pink and red pines jutting into the air. Yet, when I look at them...I think how courageous the artist was to so boldly capture something in a way I would have cowered. I can "feel" at the moment looking at such a painting a remembrance back in time when camping or canoeing of having those same emotions. Something in those exaggerated colors brings a "feeling" that is just as real, and is thus worthy as something for which only the eyes as a sensitory mechanism take in.

Now...all things which require talent will find its learners at times succeeding and at times failing. So, I will agree as I looked at some of Hensche's former students...that some of the colors and paintings they have done seem way too fantastical, and that they have missed the mark on those. Yet...their efforts are not wasted in the other half of their paintings that are incredible because of their courage to try it. Those half of their works that appear too fantastical and off for me, may also speak something to others about my own lacking or inability to see that way at this point in my life. Until such day I do see differently, I have to work in the way I do see now.

I mean no disrespect.

Larry

impressionist2
01-21-2002, 06:32 AM
Bruin,

Here's one of the master colorists today, Ovanes Berberian. Let's get out our grey scales! Granted some of his paintings don't have this range but most of his landscapes do.

To me, ( and I am speaking for my own opinion. This is not the last word!) tonalism usually has earthtones, siennas, and black in the palette. The look of the painting is brownish. The range of color is limited.

Colorists use combos like alizarin/thalo green to create black. There are usually few, if any, browns, and when there are they are sparkling and intense. Their colors sing. Please read the above definition from the Met. Muted colors, darkers colors= Tonalism.

For me, Sargent was a colorist who hit his values dead on.

Renee

LarrySeiler
01-21-2002, 07:59 AM
Here are a couple of mine which I should post I suppose to support some of my defense. No black or greys used. Did I fail to create form? Does color work to create depth without black and greys in the mix? How did using color and white only limit the potential outcome with these two examples? The first was painted on location, the second as a demo at an art invitational exhibit.


Again....I am what I am, and do what I do because it works. I see it, I try to imitate what it is I see. The task at hand for me was to try and capture the brilliance of the sun, and only color seemed appropriate to do that for me.
-Larry


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jan-2002/backlit_peshtigo.jpg

and.....

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jan-2002/2nd_wetmore_rocks.jpg

impressionist2
01-21-2002, 09:34 AM
Larry wrote: "When I say things that sound negative about "tonalism" I am giving testimony
and report to what is no longer capable of working for me. ON the other hand,
and for the record, I admire your works Milt, and recognize that tonalism is a
way of seeing that works for you and many others. "


See, now after our last round-we-go over halftones, I went searching for Milt's work and couldn't find any examples. I like to get an idea of what style artist I am addressing or debating. So, Milt, please point me to your work.

I am expecting great things!:)


Larry, I like your plein air work even better than your indoor wildlife paintings. There is a looseness and immediacy in your brushwork outdoors, without sacrificing the colors and light effects. However, I bet one big reason for that is that you got all the fundamentals down through your indoor work and now can translate that with facility outdoors.

Renee

llis
01-21-2002, 10:37 AM
I can not believe how much I have learned by this thread! Thank you ....all of you that have taken time to post your thoughts.

impressionist2, Renee, go find one of Milt's post and click on his website link. It will take you to one of the places you can find his work. There are others and also, you could check out a copy of American Artist 1983. The cover artist is our very own Milt Kobayashi, and has a wonderful article that I found delightful. It gives a great insite to his work at that time as well as his background as a largely self taught artist.

I think that much of the discussion on this thread has a lot to do with those that have book knowledge and those that have experience knowledge. Sometimes the two veins of learning don't translate well, but the outcome is the same. I think sometimes we place to many restrictions on ourselves by labels. They are just labels after all. Remember, labels peel off easily. :) Aren't we glad. That way we can change anytime we choose.

I feel so honored to be in the company of such great artists as all of you are. It's good to listen and discuss differing opinions and really give thought to what is being said. It's so much better than being in a classroom.

Happy sigh, Thank you all.

LarrySeiler
01-21-2002, 12:00 PM
Its a lot like music Llis....

I like listening to all kinds of music, and that includes heavier music like Creed, alternative, grundge, metal, hard rock'n blues, etc;

However, when I write and play music, it comes out bluesy and folk/rock everytime! Guess that's my voice. I guess that form best gets what's in my head and heart to come out.

That doesn't make blues the only "right" music...it is but a voice I hear, use, and translate my vision. Tonalism best speaks that aesthetic visual "voice" for some. Colorism for others. What's more, we find just like music, that crowds will come to enjoy either kind.

Larry

impressionist2
01-22-2002, 08:41 AM
Phyllis, I found Milt's work. Not easy, I had to go outside and use a search engine.

Anyway, Milt's work is fantastic. I go out to the Hamptons galleries and stare at Liz Gribin's work of people caught in interior space and I know that is where I want to head with my art.

I just had a discussion yesterday with a respected abstract artist in my area. He said my latest portraits are showing emotion and something more than straight portraiture. He gave me some suggestions and examples of how to nudge my work in that direction. Not easy, the nudging.

I have decided that it's time to start whole figures instead of just heads and shoulders. Pushing toward scenes and relationships. Another favorite of mine is Meri Bourgard, art teacher and galleried artist who teaches at Pratt.

Milt's colors and compositions are wonderful and the faces and features are terrific. I hope he posts any gallery shows in NYC. I would love to see those big canvases in person.

Renee

llis
01-22-2002, 10:10 AM
Renee:

We are going to have to slap Bruin70 around a bit. LOL I see that the link to his website is not working, and the original website that he once used just to show a few paintings is not working either. :( I was going to tell you to go to my website and click on links and find the one for Milt, but it's down too. *Sigh* sometimes the internet is agraivating!

Glad you found some of his work. He teaches at Scottsdale, AZ and one of our members here at WC! was fortunate enough to be able to slip into one of his classes this past year. She too is a wonderful portrait painter and I really enjoyed looking at her posts during the time she was with Milt.

DJStar class portrait (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=22960)

Milt Shows (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=22361)

Any way you look at his work or is sharing personality, he's a keeper.

Milt will shoot me for putting this back up. LOL, he's the shy one, or should I say sly one?

LarrySeiler
01-22-2002, 11:23 AM
Very nice to see llis, thanks for posting.

I always like Milt's stuff when I see it.
Envy those opportunities for such galleries out west, wow. Looks exciting. Happenin!

Our galleries here in the midwest require so much work to get people to show up, and very little selling usually happens. Just a whole lot of schmoozin'...maybe prints will sell. A few galleries have had some luck, but not many nor often. The money is just not here for it. Things go well, I'll be in the Jackson Hole, Wyoming area this summer doing a bit of trout fishing with my son and some plein air work. Hope to make a couple contacts while out there.

Then my natural mother retired and has a home in Kingsman, Arizona now....and I should go visit her. I imagine there might be a few things as a painter to take note out there. Also, if it works out for this year...we were hoping to do the workshop in Pecos, NM....I and a photographer/sculptor, and I would look forward to what kind of scenics await there. My plans would be to eventually gain mobility in my summers to paint, market, gain contacts....then come back here to teach and paint; hopefully returning out west each summer there after, or other areas of the country. Its always encouraging when you see it working for some.

It was enjoyable clicking up and seeing the gallery event. Glad DJ posted it, and sorry I didn't see it earlier to offer my congrads to Milt as well...so, a cup of java raised, hope more blessings come your way Milt!

I know my defenses and ramblings may irritate you, or a few...but they are never meant to degrade or malign. I paint like I paint just like I sing like I sing. Its the voice I've got. Sure love your "visual" voice!

Larry

llis
01-22-2002, 12:14 PM
Larry:

I can well relate to not having the "Big Time Gallery" exposure. You really should get an agent. I know that your next statement is going to be that you have been there, done that.... and I remember the horror story behind all that... but your works is soooo exceptional, it is a shame that you don't have better exposure.

And, btw, don't ever quit letting us into your mind. Especially for me. *grin*

Being an artist is hard work. There is a group of painters that I would love to paint with, but alas, you have to be a professional to be able to paint with them. My only hope is to keep the faith and keep struggling by learnig what I can on my own and the few college classes I am able to slip into. The thing is, getting into a gallery, even a minor gallery, is not easy.

Guess this thread has gone way, way, way off it's original intent, but I sure have enjoyed the conversation. WetCanvas! has gotten so large that I've noticed other threads turning into group conversations as well, I think.... just to keep the spirit of community going.

Color theory is my favorite hang out! OR, at least until I feel I've got it. LOL

LarrySeiler
01-22-2002, 01:22 PM
You're right llis, "been there, done that" was slippin' out of my disgruntled mouth.

I've had only one agent representation kinda thing that was half-way decent.

I have gallery representation, now and my past rep did get into some big galleries.

Trouble now though is distance. When I lived closer to Minneapolis, I got to see my rep regularity, and frequent contact is somewhat necessary to keep things from getting confused, and keep the emphasis going where it should. Just 'ain't no reps up here in da nort woods, ya know?

I guess my old rep is up and online...and I've been wondering if I should try and reignite some kind of old relationship with her. Her last letter sorta hinted at that.

Good reps are just hard to find. Me, I just want to put down that one spot of color next to another, and it would be nice to catch a bite to eat when I'm through and a place to sleep in when I'm not paintin! hahahahaha.....later,

yup..its been a great thread all 'round!

Larry

belladonna
01-23-2002, 03:02 PM
A tone is a note. Value is how much it is worth. :angel:

nyartist
01-23-2002, 06:17 PM
I've seen Milt Kobayashi's work in SoHo in the Ettinger Gallery. I can't remember the other guy who paints like him.. Malcolm something? Maybe someone out there knows. But apparently the story is that they roomed together and they influenced each other and that's why their work is so similar.
I used to love his work. Then I kind of grew a little weary of the same themes over and over and the same palette over and over. same colors in the shadows, etc etc. But then again one could make the same claim about Lucien Freud, considered one of the greatest living realist painters.
But Freud stretches himself so much more. He tackles the most difficult subjects and paints them with a relentless pursuit. Hard to believe that all his sitters are his friends, neighbors or relatives. But when you need to paint people, sometimes you find them where you can.

bruin70
01-23-2002, 06:40 PM
Originally posted by llis
Renee:

We are going to have to slap Bruin70 around a bit. LOL I see that the link to his website is not working,
DJStar class portrait (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=22960)

Milt Shows (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=22361)

Any way you look at his work or is sharing personality, he's a keeper.

Milt will shoot me for putting this back up. LOL, he's the shy one, or should I say sly one?


llis,,i keep saying i'll be putting my site up again, but i keep delaying. it'll be huge is why. paintings from 1980-2001 with closeups. ......{M}

llis
01-23-2002, 06:46 PM
I'd love to get Milt and bring him South to see if that NY kinda look would still happen with him down here. :D

I'd love to sit for him and see what he would come up with for this cute little round pink body of mine. LOL

We are just lucky that he has not found the end of this conversation yet. I bet his ears are burning.

llis
01-23-2002, 06:49 PM
Whoops, He found us! I was posting at the same time he was. OMGoodness....

Oh, Milt, I am so glad that you will be putting your work up covering so many years. That will be soooo great. Then we really will have lots of good stuff to talk about. :D

Thanks!

cobalt fingers
01-23-2002, 07:41 PM
I wonder if when you've been saying "colorists" you mean fauvists? I have no use for intense chroma in areas meant to recede. Intensity and pure color comes to the front in a painting period-always has always will.


I personally find great tonalist paintings delicate and charming. I think Dewey had drawing issues that bug me big time to be real frank.

Although I've posted this elsewhere and just for clarification of terms what would you term this work tonal or colorist?:evil:


http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/attachment.php?s=&postid=299599

Edit for image size only

bruin70
01-23-2002, 08:06 PM
Originally posted by llis
,,,I'd love to sit for him and see what he would come up with for this cute little round pink body of mine. LOL

We are just lucky that he has not found the end of this conversation yet. I bet his ears are burning.

llis,,,,put that bottle away this instant!!!!.....{M}

bruin70
01-23-2002, 08:11 PM
CFINGERS,,,,,your apples have rich color, but based on what i see, i don't think you use color as a solution to rendering form. therefore i don't feel this is "colorist". on the other hand, the painting is built around the attraction of "the color". color is the driving thought. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa who cares. they're very crispy apples.....{M}

sandokan
01-24-2002, 03:31 AM
Just some days ago I spoke with an Italian artist, Mario Ferrante.
He's a master and knows the theory of the colors very very well.
He said that

Tones are the amount of light in a color, for which we have a clear cadmium yellow and a dark yellow.
Saturation is the amount of pigment in a color
and cromia is the difference between colors.
The right "relationship" between these 3 characteristics (Tone, saturatio and cromia) give us the masterpiece!

Byee
:angel:

sandokan
01-24-2002, 06:37 AM
Wow!
Very useful, for me!
Thank you very much!:clap: :clap: :clap:

impressionist2
01-24-2002, 09:36 AM
Phyllis, As an aside, this thread has been so exciting and the debate so lively, that any novice or beyond would learn a lot from it.

I therefore beknight this thread with five gold stars!

Thanks for having the original thought!

Renee

PS: Hey, it didn't work. No gold stars! Well, we know it's very useful anyway!

llis
01-24-2002, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by impressionist2
Phyllis, As an aside, this thread has been so exciting and the debate so lively, that any novice or beyond would learn a lot from it.

I therefore beknight this thread with five gold stars!

Thanks for having the original thought!

Renee

PS: Hey, it didn't work. No gold stars! Well, we know it's very useful anyway!


Renee:

I agree and I've added my vote to yours for the five gold star rating. It takes five votes before any rank is issued. This keeps us all honest. If only one vote could make the stars appear, some might just vote stars for their own thread just to make headlines! LOL

Now we just need to get others to add their feelings on the value of this thread. I agree, much has been learned and still more to come. :)

cobalt fingers
01-24-2002, 07:42 PM
:clap:

Movement and water...

2 of the toughest things to paint


you got both in that painting...pretty magor achievement!, Tim

bruin70
01-25-2002, 02:52 AM
larry,,,,i only just now got to your reply. i usually bypass REALLY long replies. and to be honest, i get brain rot after the 8th sentence:)

so, i will only pick two from the top....

Originally posted by lseiler
"...This simply is not true in defining me,,,,,,

yes, i was not talking about YOU. statements like mine are obvious generalizations, but there is reason for "typecasting".

,,,When as a tonalist I first went afield to paint ,,,,


you had a previous clear understanding of the importance of values. most colorists don't.


Larry

cobalt fingers
01-25-2002, 06:11 PM
brevity is the soul of wit


It bugs me cause I skip over long posts too and I know I'm missing great stuff I should read

LarrySeiler
01-26-2002, 05:58 PM
Thanks for the good laugh Milt!!! If anything else, I re-read my post several times and it was pretty good. I got something out of it if no one else does! :)

Yes...I can't argue for the potential of what I was perchance, (ie tonalist) making colorism useful to me holding to perhaps more responsibility than others!

LarrySeiler
01-26-2002, 06:02 PM
Thanks for the comment on the water/movement Tyler. Its a challenge, and that's what makes it fun.

Some people are spending so much time proving to the world what they already are capable of that they miss how being stretched by nature helps one to grow and enjoy the embracing of life.

Okay...I'm open for criticism here because 95% of my paintings have water in them...and I could be accused of having this water painting thing down and thus taking advantage of the free ride of praise. However, every time I stand before nature....I get this lump in my throat mixed with intense anticipation and excitement. That I could fail is a feeling I remember well competing in tennis at the collegiate level. I feel everytime I start a painting outdoors that I have enough experience to do this thing, but enough wisdom to know I could be defeated. That is a natural high. An endorphin hormone experience!

Larry

LarrySeiler
01-26-2002, 06:16 PM
I had the pleasure to spend most of yesterday at the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee...Wisconsin.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day, and each visit to any major art museum is one where you feel like a sponge ready and eager to soak things in.

My wife was finding it interesting, because as a result of our debate on color and tonalist approaches here...I was showing her how many artists had the habit of pouring a brown glaze over their underpainted works, rubbing areas out. Leaving a brown texture that pulls the work together. Often though, subduing and killing color as far as I was concerned.

The works were still beautiful. Many can be enjoyed looking at them relativistically, because for their own independent reasons they have enough unity in their styles so as to work.

I did spend special attention on the use of black and glazes, which accompanied nearly every portrait there.

Especially fun this time was looking at Robert Henri's portraits and what was called "the Eight"...which were students and fellow artist friends of his.

Still....It seems so strange to me now to realize that these works are produced using tones as a "device" rather than really directly responding to what the eyes were seeing.

The device works without question, yet to me...they lack the "life" that colors, midvalues, shadows, highlights have when painted as the eye actually sees them.

I'm sorry...but, I just don't see black or greys when I look at people's faces, arms, necks, or bodies in general. Just not there.

For me...I have a hard time resolving the use of the "device" that would require ignoring what my eyes see to instead trust what my logic would predecate. At the same time though, I sure respect that others have master it to the point where their logic is so routine perhaps they don't have to consider it.

One particular landscape painter boggled my attention with his use of the brown glaze mix.

Many are of course familiar with Thomas Moran. There were several of his pieces there...and he was perhaps very close to being a colorist in how I saw his use of color in his mountains and distant areas that were in sunlight. Still, in his areas caught in shadow....he evidently allowed his painting to dry, and would pour the ole brown glaze over and then rub it out...leaving traces of it behind and subdued areas.

It worked.

I couldn't help but wonder that if it did not work, and if the other colors did not sing it might not be because by comparison this would be a more "yucky" area for the eyes to entertain long.

The colorist would use a more subdued complimentary color in the shadows to make the sunlit areas sing. Moran's use of tonal glazes worked, but I could only make sense of it working because he may have hoped that consciously the viewer would find it lacking so much interest. I dont' know.

The more I stood there, and the more I could see it worked, the more intrigued I was by it. Yet....I could only imagine this possible to construct in the studio perhaps with sketches or photos. To stand before the actual grand canyon and paint on location and choose to ignore the color one could see in the shadows would be to place "device" over trusting one's eyes.

It was an interesting time at the museum to say the least!

Larry

bruin70
01-26-2002, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by lseiler
Thanks for the good laugh Milt!!! If anything else, I re-read my post several times and it was pretty good. I got something out of it if no one else does! :)

Yes...I can't argue for the potential of what I was perchance, (ie tonalist) making colorism useful to me holding to perhaps more responsibility than others!

you always write good posts, L,,,,,,,,of the parts i read.:).....{M}

bruin70
01-26-2002, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by lseiler
,,,,,photos. To stand before the actual grand canyon and paint on location and choose to ignore the color one could see in the shadows would be to place "device" over trusting one's eyes.

It was an interesting time at the museum to say the least!

Larry

maybe that's why so many paintings of the grand canyon are similiar.

another name for this "device" is called ,,,,,"personnal style" or "point of view" if you like.

to condense,,,,,,edit, all that one sees into a personnal expression......{M}

bruin70
01-26-2002, 10:12 PM
could it be, L, that you were hoodwinked by the infinite variations of blues nature presented you, and became a slave to her glory. the question now becomes,,,,,,who's truth are you presenting us with,,,,,yours or nature's. as an artist, i would prefer to see yours.

degas, though he didn't have ALL the answers, said he memorized a scene and painted in studio, because he would retain all the salient truths(my paraphrasing).

so if "the art is the thing", as i think it is, then presenting it properly,,,,,,, presenting it as one intends, is most important. bringing this all back to the value/color thing,,,,,,,more artists are confounded by color, the very thing they should have a personnal grasp of. spend years fighting it and never giving proper time to values. so their paintings fail on a most basic level. how many REALLY have ever taken the time to do b/w + one color paintings..{M}

LarrySeiler
01-26-2002, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by bruin70
bringing this all back to the value/color thing,,,,,,,more artists are confounded by color, the very thing they should have a personnal grasp of. spend years fighting it and never giving proper time to values. so their paintings fail on a most basic level. how many REALLY have ever taken the time to do b/w + one color paintings..{M}

In this case...I guess the years and years of working to nail down values in my wildlife art has helped to serve me. I don't feel like I'm fighting it what I see. Where I would feel an internal warring would be in denying what I know and see to be true.

What's more, though I labored over 17 years to produce these value works...I can't help but believe others could learn to see and respond to color. I don't believe the "idea" of lights and darks has to be abandoned at all when limiting yourself to color. At least I have even after all my years using black liberally, not seen my own need for it yet. I do not fear darks, but I do fear killing color. Color looks a bit more "dead" to me when I add black to it, whilst everything appears very much alive to me when painting from life. I can still make my darks, but to my eye they appear as they do on location without device.

Larry

LarrySeiler
01-26-2002, 11:02 PM
Originally posted by bruin70
degas, though he didn't have ALL the answers, said he memorized a scene and painted in studio, because he would retain all the salient truths(my paraphrasing).
{M}

Yeah...I remember reading this about Degas too. I also read where Degas went with Monet and Renoir a few times to paint on location and got quite frustrated. Evidently he couldn't process the light and color he was seeing.

That is the beauty of art, and the pleasure in seeing the many works many artists make. You can get comfortable in a routine of a system that works for you, one that evolves over time.

There is a saying that it is one thing when the artist possesses the gift, but quite another when the gift possesses the artist.

I think we can get so locked into working one way, that we see one way. That is both good, and both sometimes bad. We make art to help a sightless public see thru our eyes, aware they are either aesthetically blind or trapped. We encourage them to see in new ways, but after years of working we are ourselves perhaps boxed in to seeing one way.

Perhaps that is even necessary in order to create a lifelong body of work. Wisdom should dictate then that our ramblings may more benefit us who give them...than have any affect on another. They help us work thru a thing, and maybe see more, or help us define the limitations we will work in.

In Degas's mind, he believed art happened when it was made in the mind and synthesized to a canvas. Indeed, we can be glad he thought that way, and left us all that wonderful work to view.
Larry