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rr113
02-16-2006, 10:45 AM
Normally I would say shadows are a darker version of whatever color they fall on. But I've been puzzled by the street next to mine with so-called ""sodium lights that are orange. I understand they are a pretty pure orange. The shadows that they cast on the sidewalk, which is a warm light gray, are definited blue, the complement. This reminded me of those watercolors with violet shadows, the complement of yellow sunlight. I always thought that the violet shadows were made up, but now I'm wondering about the "theory of shadows" and why those shadows are blue.

Richard

LadyDreamkiller
02-16-2006, 03:05 PM
I'm actually glad to see this question posted, because it's one that I had been wondering about myself. Especially since laying in shadows on my paintings is something that I Seriously need to work on.

jdadson
02-16-2006, 03:59 PM
Normally I would say shadows are a darker version of whatever color they fall on. But I've been puzzled by the street next to mine with so-called ""sodium lights that are orange. I understand they are a pretty pure orange. The shadows that they cast on the sidewalk, which is a warm light gray, are definited blue, the complement. ...Richard

That's an optical illusion called simultaneous color contrast. If you think about it, the "real" (aperture) color can't be blue if the only light illuminating anything is orange. (Oh my. Did I dangle a participle?) It is hard to overstate just how dramatic simultaneous color contrast can be.

There have been at least two long threads on shadows recently.

Einion
02-16-2006, 04:01 PM
Normally I would say shadows are a darker version of whatever color they fall on.
Hi Richard, generally that's exactly right. In addition they tend to be lower in chroma - duller.

But I've been puzzled by the street next to mine with so-called ""sodium lights that are orange. I understand they are a pretty pure orange. The shadows that they cast on the sidewalk, which is a warm light gray, are definited blue, the complement.
Yep, I've noticed the exact same thing myself - but only when there is a secondary source of illumination such as the evening sky. When it's fully night and the sky is dark (no moon or moonglow) the shadows are just that horrible brown/grey colour you'll be familiar with.

This reminded me of those watercolors with violet shadows, the complement of yellow sunlight. I always thought that the violet shadows were made up, but now I'm wondering about the "theory of shadows" and why those shadows are blue.
This topic is a very contentious one here as there's a lot of confusion in some posts between what is actually there and what is seen to be there when you want to look for it and how you then choose to paint it (which has more to do with the second than the first :)). Anyway, here's a handful of good previous threads that you might like to go through:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268000
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=265446
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259369
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=257430
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=256279

Einion

jdadson
02-16-2006, 04:11 PM
Check this out. The blob in the middle is exactly the same hue as the bright orange.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Feb-2006/49618-orange.jpg

jdadson
02-16-2006, 04:14 PM
All other things being equal (which they never are), a shadow will be the same hue and saturation as the local color, but less bright.

LadyDreamkiller
02-16-2006, 04:18 PM
That was a really ODD example, Jive - at least for me. When I looked at the "blob" what I saw were blue toned greys first, and then brown-grey tones when I looked again.

jdadson
02-16-2006, 04:20 PM
That was a really ODD example, Jive - at least for me. When I looked at the "blob" what I saw were blue toned greys first, and then brown-grey tones when I looked again.

When I look at it, sometimes the blob looks blue around the edges and brown inside.

If you google for optical illusions, you can find some that are outright astonishing.

WFMartin
02-16-2006, 05:54 PM
That's an optical illusion called simultaneous color contrast. If you think about it, the "real" (aperture) color can't be blue if the only light illuminating anything is orange. (Oh my. Did I dangle a participle?) It is hard to overstate just how dramatic simultaneous color contrast can be.

There have been at least two long threads on shadows recently.

That's EXACTLY what causes it. Yes, they do appear blue (or "cyan-ish"), and that's the way they OUGHT to be painted, because that's the way your EYE, or anyone else's eye would see it, under those conditions.

The appearance has nothing to do with extraneous light. Although a "blue", extraneous light source COULD cause the appearance, it can be equally (or even MORE) apparent with only one, orange light source available.

Cameras won't see it that way. Film won't see it that way, Why? Because, as you say, it's an optical illusion, and that takes place in your eye/ brain. No, it's not actually blue--it isn't there! But, since it looks as though it's there, should you paint it? It's your choice.......but I certainly would!!!

That's what separates the "copying-from-a-photo" artists from the "copying-from-a-photo-while-still-making-it-appear-real" artists! I do my best to be the latter.:D

Bill

Einion
02-16-2006, 06:58 PM
That was a really ODD example, Jive - at least for me. When I looked at the "blob" what I saw were blue toned greys first, and then brown-grey tones when I looked again.
Here's (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4249157#post4249157) another, it's one of my favourite illusions because it's so pronounced but there are many others of a similar type.


That's EXACTLY what causes it. Yes, they do appear blue (or "cyan-ish"), and that's the way they OUGHT to be painted, because that's the way your EYE, or anyone else's eye would see it, under those conditions.
Really? (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=294661)

The appearance has nothing to do with extraneous light.
That's exactly right.

Cameras won't see it that way.
Yes they do - both film and digital recording recreates colours in a scene overall with greater accuracy than any human painter.

...

It's a simple truth that if one paints an illusory effect as they appear to be you get the colour wrong. It's the actual colour of the area, in the context of the actual colour of the surrounds, that creates the effect in the eye/brain - so unless you use something close to the real colours you won't recreate the effect. I can't put this any plainer. Bottom line is, you paint the illusion as seen you distort/exaggerate the relative difference.

Does anyone else doubt that this is the case? I'd like to stop having to needlessly debate this so if you do doubt what I've said above is correct I'd like you to do a small bit of work to see whether it is or is not the case for yourself. It's not complicated and it's not too difficult but it will require a little effort on your part but I assure you you'll benefit from it if you wish to understand this sort of visual phenomenon correctly.

Einion

WFMartin
02-16-2006, 08:23 PM
Here's (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4249157#post4249157) another, it's one of my favourite illusions because it's so pronounced but there are many others of a similar type.



Really? (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=294661)


That's exactly right.


Yes they do - both film and digital recording recreates colours in a scene overall with greater accuracy than any human painter.

...

It's a simple truth that if one paints an illusory effect as they appear to be you get the colour wrong. It's the actual colour of the area, in the context of the actual colour of the surrounds, that creates the effect in the eye/brain - so unless you use something close to the real colours you won't recreate the effect. I can't put this any plainer. Bottom line is, you paint the illusion as seen you distort/exaggerate the relative difference.

Does anyone else doubt that this is the case? I'd like to stop having to needlessly debate this so if you do doubt what I've said above is correct I'd like you to do a small bit of work to see whether it is or is not the case for yourself. It's not complicated and it's not too difficult but it will require a little effort on your part but I assure you you'll benefit from it if you wish to understand this sort of visual phenomenon correctly.

Einion

Well, Einion,

You and I've been debating this for a long time, and, this time, although I will forever believe that you're incorrect, I also believe I have FINALLY understood your premise.

If I am correct,... what you're claiming is that if one were to paint the colors of the light source, subject, and cast shadow in the EXACT COLORS that they are, in real life (ignoring the optical phenomenon), ON A CANVAS, that they will somehow actually CREATE the same illusion that was before your eyes in the original scene, as created by colored LIGHT??? By using paint on canvas? With pigments?

Is THAT what you are contending here??

Well, if I'm stating your position correctly, at least you can rest assured that I finally UNDERSTAND what you're talking about.

I certainly will never agree with your premise, but at least I now understand it, I think.

The reason that I don't believe your premise to be valid, is that I believe the effect to be much more exaggerated when caused by colors of LIGHT (the orange street light, and the cast, blue shadow, in this case) impinging on your eye, compared to the appearance of the three elements (the light source, the subject, and its cast shadow), of paint on canvas. I don't believe that the effect of pigmented paint on canvas, and illuminated by some totally uncontrolled museum light source is enough to activate the illusion. My simple opinion is that....I don't think so! I believe that the "effect" has to be imitated (and, yes, even exaggerated) by the painter, rather than expecting (hoping and praying) that the painting, itself, will miraculously display the phenomenon on its own.

Heck, I wish that WERE true. It'd make painting a LOT simpler, I think.;)

That is quite honestly, my opinion, and I can do nothing more than adhere to it, I'm afraid. I suppose we can just agree to disagree on that, because I don't feel confident enough in your contention to change my mind for it,..Sorry.

Regarding film recording the exact image, accurately. I have worked with films of all sorts in the litho trade for over 40 years, and among those color films have seen some of the greatest distortions of color known to mankind between various brands and types of films.

Camera color films are absolutely NOTORIOUS for DISTORTING colors imaged upon them. Among the name brands are Fujichrome, Agfachrome, Kodachrome, Ektachrome, and the list goes on and on, (with "indoor" and "outdoor" versions available for each, as well), and each and every one of them is generally selected by professional photographers specifically FOR their extreme color biases--ESPECIALLY in the the shadow (dark) areas. Given this premise, I could (using Fuji Film) prove to anyone that the cast shadow caused by an orange light, is "green", and just as easily, on Kodak Kodachrome film, prove to that same person, that the cast shadow caused by an orange light is "purple".

If there is truly one thing that a color film does NOT do is to "record an image accurately". And, I must say, with all due confidence, that is a FACT, not an opinion.

Seems as though we're not going to resolve our differences on this one, either, but at least I believe I understand your position on the first one, which I never have been able to, before. Sorry, but I'm just a dumb printer.:D

Bill

LadyDreamkiller
02-16-2006, 10:25 PM
Ok, you've managed to prove to me, at least, once and for all that what the brain percieves and what is necessarily actually There can be rather far removed from each other, Einon!

Which means that for now, at least, I'm definately going to be doing some experimenting with simply using darker tones of the same color for laying in shadows. Once I have a chance to see how that's working out in my painting, maybe I'll consider using what the eye "sees" rather than what's actually "there" .

Einion
02-17-2006, 02:24 AM
You and I've been debating this for a long time, and, this time, although I will forever believe that you're incorrect, I also believe I have FINALLY understood your premise.
In all honesty Bill it's not like I made it hard to understand if you'd care to check back; I've said as much, in as many words, more than a couple of times I'm sure.

Is THAT what you are contending here??
I'm not suggesting it's possible to get the colours exact, close is good enough. Want proof? Check some of the links I provided above.

I certainly will never agree with your premise, but at least I now understand it, I think.
But what if you're wrong?

My simple opinion is that....I don't think so! I believe that the "effect" has to be imitated (and, yes, even exaggerated) by the painter, rather than expecting (hoping and praying) that the painting, itself, will miraculously display the phenomenon on its own.
A small amount of tweaking to compensate for various things might well be necessary but some of the illusory effects are very pronounced - shadows on skin being way less blue than they look being the classic example perhaps. Again, this is more evidence in its own right if one looks at high-quality portraiture and figure painting.

If there is truly one thing that a color film does NOT do is to "record an image accurately".
Who said that? Not I.

Camera color films are absolutely NOTORIOUS for DISTORTING colors imaged upon them.
And painters don't?

That is quite honestly, my opinion, and I can do nothing more than adhere to it, I'm afraid. I suppose we can just agree to disagree on that, because I don't feel confident enough in your contention to change my mind for it,..Sorry.
Did you miss this part?
I'd like to stop having to needlessly debate this so if you do doubt what I've said above is correct I'd like you to do a small bit of work to see whether it is or is not the case for yourself.
Einion

FriendCarol
02-17-2006, 07:18 PM
Throwing in my 2 cents -- yeah, I'm sure at some point in the past I've stated my agreement with Einion's position: Painting the colors as they are (not as they look!) has the best chance of reproducing the effect of the way they look. Yet I agree with Bill that the effect certainly works differently in paint.

If the painting replicates the illusory colors instead of the actual colors, it always looks very 'painterly' (non-representational) to me.

Perhaps a very slight tint of the illusory color helps a painting represent the colors of the scene more accurately, I don't know. I'd be interested in seeing a demo, Bill, if you have spare time to make one:
[a] simple scene (with shadows) painted as you normally would paint it (i.e., with strongly complementary shadows)
[b] the same scene with the shadows painted as closely as possible to 'match' the actual target color in the shadows (ignoring all that weird stuff that makes exact matching impossible)
[c] a compromise: just a touch of the complement in the shadows.

I honestly don't know what the result will be (i.e., which painting will look more 'accurate,' or more effectively evoke the scene), so it would be a very interesting experiment. Of course, one problem is we would not have a standard for comparison (photos would be worthless as the standard, I think we all agree?). But we could all simply report whether a, b, or c seemed 'truer' to us. How about a poll? :D

LarrySeiler
02-17-2006, 10:27 PM
Outdoors in atmospheric light...I have learned that a warm light generally produces cool shadows...and a cool light warm shadows. Color will generate that feeling...

also...an object producing shadow is blocking the sun from striking an area. This very often allows the influence then of light and color directly above to make its presence known.

Some might miss taking into consideration also that color, light and shadow, various areas will read differently looking directly at it...from looking or taking it in peripherally.

The eye is often quite sensitive to take in hints of color not looking directly at an area, and those hints will vacate to allow more the local color to dominate when you shift your gaze to look at it directly.

This makes an interesting possibility. You could paint more local color at your subject of main interest...and paint more the peripheral hints of color, values and detail of adjacent less dominant elements/areas.

Larry

LadyDreamkiller
02-17-2006, 11:21 PM
This isn't meant to sound cheeky (ok, maybe it is Just a little bit lol) ... but...

Could someone please translate what Larry said into simpler terms for those of us who are dunces and/or new to trying to sort out light and shadow in the first place? Please???

bigflea
02-17-2006, 11:25 PM
For the premise that the shadow color is the local color darkened to be correct, one would have to conclude that the shadow colour of an area of clean snow is grey or black. Further, one can observe that the local color of snow is not white in the sunlit areas, and that the concept of the local color as an absolute is not a reliable one in describing a visual experience.

Visually, the local color of any and all objects is changed by the quality and conditions of the lighting present at the time of observing them, including the shaded areas.

So a painter has to choose whether they are attempting to depict the visual experience, illusory though it may be, or are they attempting to be a scientist describing data, imo.

It is possible, I feel, to learn to observe illusory effects and gain an understanding of how to paint them in a visual way, without being visually "tricked" by them. Some of the examples given of contrast illusions are extremes because of the context of seeing them on a computer screen. Contrast effects in nature, in my experience anyway, are not nearly so deceptive and difficult to study/observe visually.
Ken

WFMartin
02-18-2006, 12:27 AM
This isn't meant to sound cheeky (ok, maybe it is Just a little bit lol) ... but...

Could someone please translate what Larry said into simpler terms for those of us who are dunces and/or new to trying to sort out light and shadow in the first place? Please???

One can detect subtle color more readily by looking in some direction other than at the object whose color you are attempting to determine. (Make use of your periferal vision.)

In the very simplest terms.......ya' wanna' see the color of somethin' better? Then, look at somethin' else.;)

Bill

Einion
02-18-2006, 05:20 AM
For the premise that the shadow color is the local color darkened to be correct, one would have to conclude that the shadow colour of an area of clean snow is grey or black.
No, that's far too broad - you're going from a general statement to a specific condition and just like doing the reverse it's almost always a mistake.

To begin with this presupposes that there's one lightsource or lightsources of only one colour. If we imagine a clear sky and we compare it to a person standing within sight wearing a white shirt for example, one should not assume that the shadows would look exactly the same; for a start the shadows on the shirt and snow are likely oriented differently (facing downward and upward respectively) so the elephant in the room we're not talking about - the obvious, but unspoken, second lightsource works differently on each.

Even without this, on an overcast day, where the huge, coloured secondary light is gone, slight difference in basic colour can have a noticeable effect on the shadows. And on such a day the shadows of snow stop being blue and do become grey.

In a real-world scenario outside there's no assumption of a simple one-light setup except when there is solid cloud cover.

Further, one can observe that the local color of snow is not white in the sunlit areas, and that the concept of the local color as an absolute is not a reliable one in describing a visual experience.
Apart from the fact that the first part will vary with conditions the second part is an opinion Ken - many other people, including many other artists, don't agree with it. There is far more art made and being made that is, or is close to, what you've referred to as "local color literalism" than not among realist painters.

Visually, the local color of any and all objects is changed by the ...lighting present at the time of observing them, including the shaded areas.
I don't believe anyone here has said that they're not.

So a painter has to choose whether they are attempting to depict the visual experience, illusory though it may be, or are they attempting to be a scientist describing data, imo.
Anyone who's interested, see first link I provided above.

It is possible, I feel, to learn to observe illusory effects and gain an understanding of how to paint them in a visual way, without being visually "tricked" by them.
What does "paint them in a visual way" mean? How else would one paint them, with our eyes shut? LOL

Some of the examples given of contrast illusions are extremes because of the context of seeing them on a computer screen.
Yes, that is true. Not directly because they're on a monitor but because they're usually made to be pronounced to make the point strongly.

The illusory hue of caucasian skin shadows is a prime example and one that in reality and in good realist depictions works much the same - to make the point most strongly that painted illusions can closely match what is seen in the flesh for any doubters.

Einion

Einion
02-18-2006, 05:24 AM
P.S. I don't agree that it's a good idea to use peripheral vision to try to 'see' the colour of shadows accurately myself because I personally don't think it works; and there's a strong physiological reason that we see colour best in the centre of the visual field since that's what the eyes were 'designed' to do ;)

Einion

Patrick1
02-18-2006, 06:49 AM
...I don't agree that it's a good idea to use peripheral vision to try to 'see' the colour of shadows accurately myself because I personally don't think it works; and there's a strong physiological reason that we see colour best in the centre of the visual field since that's what the eyes were 'designed' to do ;)I can take this two ways:

1) you're saying that comparing a color with surrounding colors won't give you a more accurate read on the target color, or

2) comparing with surrounding colors will give a more accurate read on the target's relative color, but look at the surrounding colors directly rather than using peripheral vision

Patrick1
02-18-2006, 06:52 AM
Anybody notice how contentious these shadow color threads are?

bigflea
02-18-2006, 12:09 PM
Ladydreamkiller,
Larry's comments, to me, were about the visual difference in color perceptions, between a peripheral or glancing/scanning observation, and a fixed, or "staring into" visual habit. In the latter the subtle color effects of shadow in contrast to direct light planes,(or areas of color) can become "lost" or neutralized by the effect of staring as opposed to allowing your eye to glance across the whole visual field in a relaxed and natural way.

The debate over the peripheral visual glance vs. the fixed, or staring into vision, or over how does the eye best see color, revolves, imo., around the issue of the importance of the local color of an object vs. the importance of the light effect ( the light source and atmospheric conditions) on the local colors of all objects, and the shade areas near or on them.

On the local color enthusiast side, the argument seems to be mainly that the local object color is best recognized by the direct or staring into vision. From that pov, one may conclude that the dominate aspect of color is the local object color.

On the light effect enthusiast side, the argument I make is that the light effect on color is best seen in the peripheral glance across the whole composition. Shadow color from that pov is determined by the interaction of all colors together, which results from the quality of the light sources and the atmospheric conditions present at the time of observation.

Einion, you are right that the example of snow is broadly drawn. But that is exactly the point of it. It is to say that the concept of the local color as the most dominant aspect of a shade color, as promoted in earlier comments, is misleading and too broad, and over simplified. In visual observation in natural light conditions the painter is faced with the effects of light reflecting into and around shade areas, and also having to distinguish between optical visual effects, such as the differences between peripheral perceptions and focal vision perceptions.

While local object colors, or surface colors, are commonly taken to be the "color" of an object, that does not also mean these local colors are what the painter ought to use to paint them. The realist convention for using local color to depict an object's color is a convention only, and as such is an opinion about object color only. In that sense it is no more correct than the perceptions of an impressionist colorist. A realist portrayal of skin coloring may look convincingly real to a realist painter, and to others who agree with the conception of the local color, but to myself and others who see the light effect and changes to the local color differently, it will likely lack color qualities visually present in natural light conditions.

Just to clarify, I am not contending that local object colors are irrelavent to the understanding of solving a painting problem. What I am contending is that the light and atmospheric effect on all local colors is the most important aspect in a harmonic unity, and in the modeling of form as visual description.

Pictorial conceptions of form are not always visual descriptions, imo. That is why I keep using the phrase, "in a visual way". I am trying to speak to the difference between a pictorial conception vs. the way form is seen. I suspect most painters would agree with the statement, but disagree over which painted version is pictorial and which is more visual. And so the debate continues.
Ken

LarrySeiler
02-18-2006, 02:40 PM
all of us are amused when from experience using an approach we hear others saying it can't be done. Its why I painted a painting using only sticks when insistence only the best brushes could make painting possible...and just painting a painting of a winter scene standing on location at 5 degrees arriving at the location only to discover I had no white. So I painted without white.

Wish I could say I invented the peripheral vision thing...I did not...I read it elsewhere then saw it reaffirmed by Kevin MacPherson in his book "Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light & Color"

Perhaps about five or six years ago...in a fall season, I was driving my truck down a dirt road having spent a wonderful afternoon hunting ruffed grouse, and doing a painting along a river area. It was near dusk.

I was in my own little world when I noticed intense orangish/red pine tops to the trees...and a greenish glow of the sky. I was looking down the road at the time, and saw/sensed these colors peripherally...that is to my side vision where the eyes do not see directly.

I pulled my truck over and got out to study this moment.

The tree tops were indeed reddish in appearance looking directly at the tops...but appeared more intense looking more at the ground or to the side. The sky had very very little hint of greenish color looking directly at it. At first I thought I was wrong to sense the color...but remembering this phenomena and not really making use of it before I looked down at the ground masses to judge the color of the sky indirectly or peripherally.

Sure enough...I could again sense the greenish color.

It was shortly after that I read MacPherson speaking about this phenomena and how he often uses it.

In my own book I spend time sharing this technique and I'm only sorry to say that if it doesn't appear to work for others, I can understand that. I would ask anyone not to presume because something fails to work for you to assume then it can't work for someone else. This is one reason why we read, why we tinker around, and we find what DOES work for us.

I found especially painting several weeks ago outdoors during a snow storm, sitting on the tailgate of my truck that I was able to sense much more color judging areas looking away or to the side. It would confirm especially if I thought I saw a color directly to look aside and sure enough sense it to an even greater degree.

here was that painting, a 9"x 12" painted in 1-1/2 hours...on location...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/532-winterroad_wc.jpg

Here are closeups...and I arrived at judging the color present using this peripheral vision judgment not in substitution of looking directly, but in conjuction with...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/532-winterroadcloseup1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/532-winterroadcloseup2.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/532-winterroadcloseup3.jpg

now...my question philosophically and practically is...why minimize the degree by which we see? If the eye sees peripherally as well as directly, why say seeing counts only directly? The human experience has a broader existence. Thus...the painting is not holding less integrity to include color that is sensed to exist.

Truth is too...that if we make a habit of looking for something believing it to be there, (sometimes because someone may have told us to look for it) then we might be likely to discover it indeed is there.

for example...if you are at an amusement park responsible for a youth trip and 34 kids on the bus and all agree to show up at a certain time to leave, but one boy is missing...you have the ability to walk back into the amusement park despite its having 10,000 enjoying the rides and such. The mind has a way of blanking out everyone that is not going to meet with the understood features. Girls with long hair, guys with hair color not matching...too tall, whatever are glossed over and ignored. An amazing mechanism which the mind has.

If you believe shadows are dark and hold little color, then you are likely not to look for evidence to the contrary.

I can tell you...that if you approach nature with greater naivety believing to see as a child the wonders of the world for the first time with awe and without prejudice, nature can be a marvelous and capable teacher.

IF you approach nature having determined to believe only what you are going to believe...you are likely prejudiced against further seeing. When you do see something outside your expectations it is likely to come as a surprise or to be dismissed.

Peripheral vision works for many artists.

Just this summer in one of the workshops I taught...I had seven of the participants standing together and we looked across a field to a distant tree mass about 140 yards away. I pointed out how if you looked directly at the mass which was in shadow and backlit that one color was basic and determinable. I then asked them all to look up in the sky about a hands height above the tree tops and tell me what color in the shadow they saw...?

They all agreed they had seen a definite bluish-violet hint of color. Now...if that is the case, why not make use of it?

So, I will argue...a sensitive eye can see color in the shadows peripherally.

Here was one more example.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/532-532-colemanrural72.jpg

If I took a photograph and used a photo for reference where no peripheral vision is possible, thru the lens metering would turn the shadows of the distant mass simply to darks and the photo would argue (as if photos were authoritative evidence) that the shadows are dark. Standing on location, painting and observing directly from life...the shadows changed and appeared differently. If I looked directly...the area lit up by light looked differently, the shadow not feeling quite as intense, and I could see details of trees, trunks and so forth. When I looked at the lit up foliage the shadow's color appeared another way, the trunks barely discernible...AND...when I looked up at the sky the shadows revealed a hit of bluish-violets, and particular trunks and details not discernible at all....and knowing that cool colors would assist in pushing the illusion of the mass further back I opted for what THAT vision technique would provide other than what direct looking would have provided.

So...here's a question. Does this last painting work, or not work? If it works...then it works inclusively to the fact that it was painted by my making decisions, and it was peripheral viewing judgments that gave me a working decision to make. If someone wanted to know how I arrived at the decision to paint the background as I did...it would be wrong testimony for me to say I did not use peripheral measures to judge how to approach painting it. It is what I did. It is the reason it appears as it does. Perhaps it could be said I simply got lucky. Lucky....again.

Now...lest it be said perhaps this can only be true for plein air landscapes, I use peripheral judgments in viewing color or the full measure of color available to me when I paint my incidentals which I put up on my blogspot. My incidentals (for those that do not know) are everyday mundane simple objects I paint as postcard exercises to keep the eye sharp.

LarrySeiler
02-18-2006, 03:09 PM
here's an example of one of my incidentals...smoked chubs...oils.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/532-chubsdone_wc.jpg

I could sense...a hint of the presence of other colors in the shadows. I struggled at first to immediately know their presence, and by directing my eyes to the area above the chubs sitting on my table (painted from life, not a photograph), I was able to more easily discern the presence of pinks, some hints of neutral blue in the shadows as you see here which I then painted...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/532-chubsdonecloseup_shadows.jpg


again...the question is...does it work? Does the painting look like chubs though painted very quickly...does it aesthetically work? If so...one must account for the fact that I struggled to see and judge the color in the shadows, and used peripheral (or indirect seeing) to make final determinations of what color was indeed there. Is that a wrong way to see? What ought makes the right ought in seeing, being what it ought to be?

One last example so perhaps what I'm saying and arguing for is understood, and might help some...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/532-film_wherelooked.jpg

In this detail of an incidental I painted of a 35mm film canister, I have added the graphics of the spheres and arrows indicating for example that I would have looked in those areas to judge the color for the areas the arrows point to...one develops this by habit, but I believe adamantly it has at least for me made my painting manner more proficient and easier. Please don't be offended, for it is not my intent...but I'm a bit aghast to hear what can't be done when it is part of my everyday practice. Can't help but strike me..well, I dunno...silly maybe? I can appreciate perhaps it not working for someone else or be their preferred way of working. It is, like many other things...one option to consider.

Patrick1
02-18-2006, 03:59 PM
I have the feeling that Einion isn't disagreeing that using peripheral vision can/does help to emphasize color differences (simultaneous contrast effect) but that this shouldn't be mistaken as seeing more accurately. I'll wait to see what he says...I too was surprised by his comment.

Nice examples Larry. If you haven't already, don't sell those last two - keep 'em and hang them adjacent each other on the wall...such a striking warm/cool color contrast.

JamieWG
02-18-2006, 04:10 PM
When artists ask about purple shadows, I like to show some pics I've taken. These are photos I took while out with some of my plein air friends one day. I did not imagine these colors. :)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/13766-Purple_Shadows_Horizontal_500.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/13766-Purple_shadows_Paula_400.jpg

and another, in winter, with the strongest blue-violets!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/13766-lake_winter_1104_500.jpg

Jamie

FriendCarol
02-18-2006, 04:18 PM
Well, first here's my take on the 'how to see color' issue, then I'll try to respond to the Lady's plea. ;)

The anatomy of the eye definitely reveals the greatest concentration of receptors -- particularly color receptors -- are in the fovea, which is at the center of the eye. (Not the very, very center, where the optic nerve enters, but that's a tiny 'dead' spot we're really not aware of.)

So, to see color best, we should look straight at the object. BUT, if we do this for too long, another factor causes our color vision to become less accurate or less sensitive: The specific receptors that react to specific colors 'burn out' and need to be chemically replenished. This is why if you stare at a colored pattern for about 20-30 seconds, then look away to a white or gray surface, you will generally see the optical complements of that pattern -- the non-used color receptors are creating that illusory color.

Conclusion: To see color best, glance at the scene. Repeated glances give you the best data, physiologically speaking.

Peripheral vision is better for seeing light, however, because the rods are the receptors for light (not color, that's the cones), and they are not concentrated at all at the center of the eye. That's why it's easier to see stars without looking directly at them.

Okay, now to try to answer Lady: Shadows are conceptually easy to understand, but can be hard to get right in practice. Suppose we are outside, on a sunny day. We have a very large blue sky overhead, and that is actually producing a blue light. That indirect, diffused lighting pales into insignificance beside the light of the sun (usually a bit yellow). If something is shaded from the light of the sun, however, that blue light may still be illuminating it.

In addition, any light reflected from other objects -- which will tend to take on the color of those objects -- could also be illuminating a shaded area. Furthermore, occasionally objects are somewhat translucent, and if a translucent object (flower petal, perhaps) is blocking the sun's light, some of the petal's color will get through.

So the shadow color of the object is equal to the local color of that object (dulled, lower in chroma) plus any light that is reflected into it (such as blue skylight), or filtered onto it (such as a pink rosepetal's filtering). This is the true 'general rule.' Easy to understand, but in practice it's hard to locate all the sources of indirect, reflected, filtered, (etc.) light that is illuminating that area shadowed from the major source of illumination.

Little trivia for you: Since sunlight is basically yellow, and skylight happens to be blue, the Impressionists apparently helped give artists the general idea that shadows are complementary in color to the local color of their objects. This general statement is not true, it just happens to work outdoors on sunny days. Because of a completely different fact about color vision (called 'simultaneous contrast'), however, it often appears to be true. And this is what Bill (WFMartin) is emphasizing. Bill suggests we should paint shadows using complementary colors because simultaneous contrast makes it look like that, so we should paint it the way it looks. Einion (and I) say if we want to reproduce the illusion, the way to do that is to paint the shadows the way they really are, and then simultaneous contrast will make them look more complementary than they are. Bill suggests the effect doesn't work as strongly with painted objects as with real ones. That's why I'd like to see 3 versions, so we can decide which looks more 'accurate.'

In case you're wondering, around this forum, we are careful about the concept of 'color matching' -- find the color of paint to represent objects in the world, and use quotation marks around words like 'accurate.' That's because otherwise a very clever expert (handle 'drollere') might come along and tell us off and make us do experiments to prove that painted things never really look like the things they look like. :D

Give a yell if you want more detail on any of this. :eek:

LadyDreamkiller
02-18-2006, 05:04 PM
Gentlemen (and ladies) ... while some of you might find the thread a bit contentious, and even downright heated in a few spots... I'm finding the whole thing EXTREMELY helpful. Watching and taking part in this discussion has had qualities for me of sitting in the back row of a classroom filled with professors - all of whom have something invaluable to teach me about my avocation.

Larry, while the comments concerning colors seen via periferal vision don't help much with the piece that has me obsessed with finishing it by Monday - it relies heavily on a reference photo of someone who is no longer living - I went out in the backyard earlier with the dog and actually DID end up noticing colors that I didn't realize were previously present in my surroundings. Once the weather warms up, I plan a trip out to one of the lakes not far from home to try some plien air experiments - and I'm currently hopeful that the periferal viewing will help me when I do that.

Einon, for the current portrait piece, what you've been arguing about shadows being simply a darker shade of the same color seems to be working out well. At least for most of it.

Having never attempted to lay in shadows in a painting before, and never having attempted a portrait before, there are areas of the painting that I'm having significant difficulty with getting to look Right to me. Below are a close up of the elbow/arm area of the WIP, and the photo it's being done from - some of the shadows just feel "odd" even though I can SEE them in the photo, and have tried with several variations of the base color, as well as other colors. Neither technique seems to be doing me much good for the shadows in the bend of the elbow. I've tried everything from grey with a thin glaze of the flesh tone color over it, to burnt sienna with a glaze, to simply darkening the base flesh tone a bit at a time. I've even tried walking away from it for a couple of hours and then going back to see if I can't get a fresh perspective on the problem.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/64665-armcloseup.jpg
The shadows where the sleeve lays, and along the back of the arm, took 4 attempts before I quit grimacing every time I glanced at them. I'm even mostly satisfied with the shadows around the neck and chin area. That Smudge in the crux of the inner elbow was the latest attempt to get the area looking like I want it, and it's Still driving me nuts. Any assistance that you folks can offer by way of suggestions would be IMMENSELY appreciated.

This is the photo that is being used as a reference for the piece - http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Feb-2006/64665-75dpiresMom2.jpg
Obviously I've taken some artistic liberty in interpretation for my painted piece, but it's very important to me for several reasons that it turn out well. I'm determined to do justice to the memory of this woman who was incredibly important in my life.

JamieWG
02-18-2006, 05:21 PM
Cameras won't see it that way. Film won't see it that way, Why? Because, as you say, it's an optical illusion, and that takes place in your eye/ brain. No, it's not actually blue--it isn't there!

Bill, I respectfully beg to differ. :) See my pics. They are really there. They are not always as dramatic as those photos display, but I can't deny their existence!

Jamie

LarrySeiler
02-18-2006, 05:54 PM
I have the feeling that Einion isn't disagreeing that using peripheral vision can/does help to emphasize color differences (simultaneous contrast effect) but that this shouldn't be mistaken as seeing more accurately. I'll wait to see what he says...I too was surprised by his comment.

Nice examples Larry. If you haven't already, don't sell those last two - keep 'em and hang them adjacent each other on the wall...such a striking warm/cool color contrast.

I understand...and I'm a private fan of Einions...a great co-moderator and comrade here...nothing meant as a personal objection.

Still though to the topic..my point is why should any kind of seeing direct or indirect be held suspect as though one were better than another. To be perfectly honest...I don't think many artists even consider that there might be various ways of seeing so I do make an effort to explain this one as it helped me when I was confronted by it.

I'm sure many of us have noticed that distant star in the dark night that caught our passing attention, but when looking directly at it suddenly seemed to disappear. So...if direct seeing is the "right" or "accurate" way of seeing does that mean then that the star in truth does not exist?

We then discover that if we look off to the side and wait patiently, we will peripherally pick up the presence of that VERY REAL star. That point being made I'm sure gives some ground of argumentation for which I speak.

Again...I'm defending a point...not aiming objection to Einion!!! He rates high in my book! :)

LarrySeiler
02-18-2006, 06:01 PM
Larry, while the comments concerning colors seen via periferal vision don't help much with the piece that has me obsessed with finishing it by Monday -

don't rule out that answers to questions on Wetcanvas should take into consideration that there are well into the 70,000 member's mark. Many many are the lurkers, and often does a question come up. A thread well commented on can thereafter be a reference for anyone to go back and check.

May you finish well by Monday...but this thread will be here long after!

I've been here a long long time..and experience has me always thinking beyond the thread at hand to the usefulness the content can be for members lurking and those in the future. Good luck...take care!!!!

:)

LarrySeiler
02-18-2006, 06:02 PM
Bill, I respectfully beg to differ. :) See my pics. They are really there. They are not always as dramatic as those photos display, but I can't deny their existence!

Jamie


lovely photos Jamie...and, even if they were not evident in these photos...I know from painting on location (as do you) that indeed we would expect to see such...

FriendCarol
02-18-2006, 06:42 PM
Lady Dreamkiller, as to your reference and portrait: Skin is highly reflective. (Believe it or not, week before last I was attempting to paint a nude African-American and her skin, very dark straight on, as it turned away from me was light, icy blue.) As you look at fair skin straight on, it seems to be that familiar sort of peachy-orange color, but as it turns away from you, its reflective qualities become dominant.

So, the color of her elbow is picking up the color of her dress -- reflecting it. Can you see it now?

LadyDreamkiller
02-18-2006, 07:05 PM
So, the color of her elbow is picking up the color of her dress -- reflecting it. Can you see it now? Carol, has anyone ever told you that you're a blinkin genius?!? I just sat the original photo and the painting next to each other to study that point, in light of your comment concerning the reflectiveness of skin, and saw what I had been missing. I hadn't noticed that faint reflection of her shirt's color, even though I've looked at that photo innumerable times in the 5 or 6 years since it was taken. That photo is so familiar to me that I wasn't really Seeing all of it any more - not all those little details that I've become used to, or have simply taken for granted as part of the overall picture, for so long. Until this painting (and honestly this thread) it never occured to me to look at what colors I was seeing in the shadows of things in photos. Most of my life, I've simply assumed that the shadows were grey. Lots of different shades of grey, but grey nonetheless. It wasn't until I started painting last year that I started wondering whether there were colors there in the shadows. I should say I started out wondering whether simply making them grey would suffice. The farther I've gone along in the painting effort, the less satisfied I've become with the "just grey" idea.

Just goes to show what making assumptions can get me, huh?

FriendCarol
02-18-2006, 07:23 PM
;)

LarrySeiler
02-19-2006, 09:23 AM
when you have time Renee to reflect upon it...I put together quite sometime ago a thread in the wildlife animal art forum dealing with the influence and affect of the surrounding area, the environment, light and so forth on the subject. Many examples...but reading how Carol's suggestion is a good one, and indeed it is...reflective properities...you might find this too then of interest. Good luck!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=37896

Einion
02-19-2006, 09:55 AM
I can take this two ways:

1) you're saying that comparing a color with surrounding colors won't give you a more accurate read on the target color, or

2) comparing with surrounding colors will give a more accurate read on the target's relative color, but look at the surrounding colors directly rather than using peripheral vision
Not specifically talking about comparisons, just about how accurately one can see colour by viewing it directly or indirectly just as you theorise in your next post.

Comparative colour judgement is, I believe, more a matter of practice and training than any inherent skill. Photorealists for one sometimes got around the problem by avoiding the issue completely as you might know - viewing areas through a keyhole in a grey card so that it's judged purely on its own merits (very valuable technique, presuming that accurate reproduction is the goal).

Anybody notice how contentious these shadow color threads are?
Yep. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4351302#post4351302)


When artists ask about purple shadows, I like to show some pics I've taken. These are photos I took while out with some of my plein air friends one day. I did not imagine these colors. :)
Thanks for posting these as clear examples of what I say above about photographs capturing things of this nature (as if there were any doubt! :cool: )

To show that I'm not blind to the limitations of photography we can all see how washed out the highlights are and how blanketed/'dead' the shadows look, right? We all know that viewing in the flesh we'd be able to see a lot more in both these areas than a single exposure can depict.

But about the colours themselves, what hue are they? Patrick will immediately know where I'm heading with this since he's done this same thing himself...

No violet: blue, blue, blue, blue. Pretty much the hue of Ultramarine (which is one reason that Payne's Grey is used so widely by some people as a shadow colour, or a self-mixed equivalent). This is just like the point I was making about the illusory hue of flesh shadows.

Now the third one, experienced colouristas should spot that the hue is more toward cyan than in the first two and if you check you'll see that's exactly what it is (which relates directly to the lighter blue of the sky in winter since that is what is colouring the shadows).

Not directed at you Jamie - gee, I guess maybe I might know what I'm talking about after all, ya reckon? :D


...how does the eye best see color, revolves, imo., around the issue of the importance of the local color of an object vs. the importance of the light effect ( the light source and atmospheric conditions) on the local colors of all objects, and the shade areas near or on them.
I would strongly recommend anyone interested to look at prior debates, some linked to above, to put this into context.

On the local color enthusiast side, the argument seems to be mainly that the local object color is best recognized by the direct or staring into vision.
Nobody is suggesting staring (at least I'm not, I'm well aware of cone fatigue); looking directly at it, yes.

From that pov, one may conclude that the dominate aspect of color is the local object color.
It is. Again, please see previous debates anyone curious.

Ken, as I'm sure I've tried to get across to you in one way or another before, if what we can loosely describe as local colour were not the dominant force of the colour seen in the shadowed areas of an object then those areas could be (probably would usually be) completely different hues to the local colour which I think is just nonsensical.

And as I've said many times now, most good realist painting (by which I mean realist work that the average observer might view and then think, "Wow, that's realistic.") depicts the shadows usually as darker, lower-chroma examples of the basic hue, which can be verified by measuring their painted works. This ties in nicely with photographic records of things, as a whole, as well as spot measurements taken with other devices.

I'm not saying you don't see what you say you're seeing, but the point is that it is not better, more closely observed, more accurate, truer (all of which you've said directly in the past or have implied) than other people's use of colour. This brings to light some inevitable questions about the nature of the work of the Cape School's students in relation to that of your two heroes I might add.

Einion, you are right that the example of snow is broadly drawn. But that is exactly the point of it. It is to say that the concept of the local color as the most dominant aspect of a shade color, as promoted in earlier comments, is misleading and too broad, and over simplified.
Yes, that's partly true certainly.

However the words generally and normally were used, unlike when you write where you tend to talk in absolutes as thought the only important aspect were the "quality of the light key" and other terms like this. To dismiss the dominance of 'local colour' in the colour of everything around us, lit in virtually any way, is just so silly to me.

It's just like an insistence - from a colourist - that value is not the dominant force in human vision, it simply is, and virtually everyone in the world who deals with things related to vision thinks so. Proof of this as a basic principle has been attempted before but you've refused to take part or have deflected, by expressing the belief that the subjective nature of observation makes this irrelevant. But the point is exactly that - that it's a subjective determination on your part - and often that's not what's being discussed and that's not what is of value to the questioner, unless they specifically asked "What would be a good way for me to learn to view colour in a Post-Impressions manner and to create work of this type."

In visual observation in natural light conditions the painter is faced with the effects of light reflecting into and around shade areas, and also having to distinguish between optical visual effects, such as the differences between peripheral perceptions and focal vision perceptions.
Yep, that all makes sense. And I'll ask a similar question to some before, in what way does that differ from the process of the host of other painters who, like you, work out of doors? I can't help but wonder at the huge difference between the bulk of high-quality representational Plein Air work and that of every single student of the Cape School that I've seen.

While local object colors, or surface colors, are commonly taken to be the "color" of an object, that does not also mean these local colors are what the painter ought to use to paint them.
Certainly not, but that's because colour varies incrementally. Hue on the other hand tends not to, at least not as much as is often implied (and mostly in cases of multiple, coloured, lightsources like sun + sky).

If we take as an example an apple with a crimson skin, by the standards you promote it could have shadows that were not crimson in hue, but red, magenta, red-violet and even blue and green... I'm not talking about small, localised areas, just broadly. This is not generally the case by an objective standard, certainly nothing like as pronounced (exaggerated) as in work of this type.

The realist convention for using local color to depict an object's color is a convention only...
And Impressionist work isn't? Oh come on.

...and as such is an opinion about object color only. In that sense it is no more correct than the perceptions of an impressionist colorist.
Nah. I don't expect to sway you on this but I have to repeat this for other readers: most things in this world have some objective basis, paintings of the type I've seen from students of the Cape School - including, as I've said before, your supposed shining light currently - are so overcoloured they become fanciful (and quite frankly I think exactly equal work could be done from the imagination).

A realist portrayal of skin coloring may look convincingly real to a realist painter, and to others who agree with the conception of the local color...
To most human observers. As I've said before Ken, I'm perfectly happy to be in this humongous group.

Pictorial conceptions of form are not always visual descriptions, imo. That is why I keep using the phrase, "in a visual way".
That just makes no sense, especially if you're comparing work done from life with other work done from life. Sure, painting done purely from Photographs can lack something (not necessarily but quite easily) but you're stacking your work, and others of your type/school, against some of the best representational painters in the world here.

Einion

Einion
02-19-2006, 10:31 AM
Gentlemen (and ladies) ... while some of you might find the thread a bit contentious, and even downright heated in a few spots... I'm finding the whole thing EXTREMELY helpful. Watching and taking part in this discussion has had qualities for me of sitting in the back row of a classroom filled with professors - all of whom have something invaluable to teach me about my avocation.
Good to hear.

Einon, for the current portrait piece, what you've been arguing about shadows being simply a darker shade of the same color seems to be working out well. At least for most of it.
On the conceptual side this is what to aim for; it's harder to actually do in reality but then most things are :)

When seeking to recreate a photograph fairly closely the changes in colour across a given area, like an item of clothing, will tend to be pretty much within one hue (as can be easily confirmed on photographs in general by checking if anyone cares to - bear in mind the riders above).

Renee, when actually painting you come up against the limitations of pigments to do what you want and you can deliberately do things to make areas work better for your taste. One example of this is to deliberately choose to 'warm' the highlights on reds - i.e. to add yellow or orange in addition to white to the basic red you're using. In some cases this counteracts the natural tendency of the white to 'cool' when it's added; to put it another way, for a middle red, adding white may make the pinks more rose/crimson and you're correcting the hue back toward what it should be. A lot of people use this basic method for oranges, many reds and greens. You can also exaggerate this as a way of counteracting the natural drop in chroma that occurs when you add Titanium White to many other colours so it recreates the effect of 'brightness' in the highlights.

Having never attempted to lay in shadows in a painting before, and never having attempted a portrait before, there are areas of the painting that I'm having significant difficulty with getting to look Right to me. Below are a close up of the elbow/arm area of the WIP, and the photo it's being done from - some of the shadows just feel "odd" even though I can SEE them in the photo, and have tried with several variations of the base color, as well as other colors. Neither technique seems to be doing me much good for the shadows in the bend of the elbow.
...
Any assistance that you folks can offer by way of suggestions would be IMMENSELY appreciated.
This is a complex subject so it's great to be able to focus on a single example. The garment in your photo reference I can confirm is almost all middle red, just fairly low in chroma (duller). The shadows at the back of the right shoulder and under the bust are slightly more magenta, moving more and more in this direction as they get darker (which I am fairly confident is due to lights that were yellow/orange from examing the entire picture).

The basic colour can be mixed from any good middle red but you need to drop its chroma so try adding in a little blue-green (mixed if necessary). Once you have this, just lightening with white should give you the lighter values but if they look like they're too crimson add in a little yellow. For the shadows you might try mixing in Ultramarine but Dioxazine Purple or another violet might work a little better - you won't need much so add in cautiously.

The skintones by the way are typical in the midtones areas (dull tints of orange-red or scarlet) but yellower in the lights so definitely add yellow with white for these if you're making them by lightening a single mix. If you're mixing from scratch (which is probably better as a rule) just mix the basic colour as an orange-yellow and then lighten with white.

Hope that helps.

Einion

LadyDreamkiller
02-19-2006, 01:02 PM
On the conceptual side this is what to aim for; it's harder to actually do in reality but then most things are :) Boyo you got THAT right. Painting is a particular challenge for me in the first place - all my other hobbies have come Easily compared to this. I've been a vocalist since infancy (started performing in front of non-familial audiences at age 3) and even having devoted several YEARS to "perfecting" my voice through classical training, any given exercise that a coach put me to always came quickly and without to much challenge. As a creative outlet, painting has been the one thing (so far) that issued a significant challenge to me on a personal level.



This is a complex subject so it's great to be able to focus on a single example. I figured focusing on a smaller area, and seeing what sorts of ideas could be garnered for it, would be less prone to giving me an overload of information to try and process in my sometimes slow brain lol. Besides, suggestions for correcting the microcosm can as easily be transfered to correcting problems in the macrocosm.


The garment in your photo reference I can confirm is almost all middle red, just fairly low in chroma (duller). The shadows at the back of the right shoulder and under the bust are slightly more magenta, moving more and more in this direction as they get darker (which I am fairly confident is due to lights that were yellow/orange from examing the entire picture).

The basic colour can be mixed from any good middle red but you need to drop its chroma so try adding in a little blue-green (mixed if necessary). Once you have this, just lightening with white should give you the lighter values but if they look like they're too crimson add in a little yellow. For the shadows you might try mixing in Ultramarine but Dioxazine Purple or another violet might work a little better - you won't need much so add in cautiously. What I ended up doing for that blouse was a complete experiment for me. I did a small amount of underpainting, but Only of the shadowed areas, with a blueish grey that I had mixed in the process of working on the background. Then I went over the whole area of the shirt with completely Unmixed Alizarin Crimson. Then I went BACK over some of the shadowed areas to add more of the crimson with a much smaller brush, darkening those up simply from the higher concentration of layers. I'm going to be working on the piece to try and finish it up today, so I may do some tinkering with the highlights and shadows on the shirt as well as fixing that elbow.

If you're mixing from scratch (which is probably better as a rule) just mix the basic colour as an orange-yellow and then lighten with white. I have no choice right now but to mix flesh tones from scratch. I wouldn't let myself invest in any premixed shades when I invested in paint - seemed like a waste of money when I knew I could get a fairly wide range of various fleshy colors from mixing. The base for this one actually ended up very BROWN when I mixed it, which was rather unexpected. I was aiming for a yellow leaning orange - it looked/felt like it was to much in the warm tones, and tried cooling it a bit with a tiny addition of ultramarine. I'm thinking now that I should likely have added a bit more red to cool it off instead.

Either way, the whole piece is being posted tomorrow (20th) in the Acrylics forum as part of the project thread. Flaws, opps-es, not Quite finished areas, and all.

bigflea
02-20-2006, 11:14 PM
Einion,
Seems the thread is less about seeing shadow color and more about painting from a photograph, so I will try to briefly reply to your comments on my previous post only.

Re. Dominance of Local Object Color vs. the light key effect on all colors.

To me it is misleading to promote the idea of local color dominance for pigment mixtures in all conditions. In the case of saturated local colors seen in close proximity, such as rich cobalt blue or a fire engine red color, it is true that such a saturated local color will be important and dominant in the description of the form. However even in such a close proximity, the question remains about what other hue components are necessary to model the specific form being observed. Saturated local colors do not exhibit the same qualitative changes, but are changed differently by the light and atmospheric condition. To suggest that the local object color is an absolute and dominant in all conditions is misleading and often untrue.

Color in nature is often not of the saturated local color variety, and tends more toward somber neutrals. These are especially subject to alteration and change by light and atmospheric conditions which can vary with the time of day and season.

It is reliable however, imo, to compare the color character of light and shade planes and approach the pigment mixtures for them in a comparative way, without assuming the local color dominance. In some cases it may be dominant, in many it is not. In all cases, the light condition is described by the way the painter divides the light planes from the shade planes. If the local color is dominant in both, it is then likely that light condition has not been described fully.

Re. the contemporary realist convention vs. the impressionist convention (It's all conventions?)

The main way realist work differs from impressionist color work ( eg. Monet, Hensche), is in the way color is developed in the composition.

Realism derives its realness from the contour outline or linear drawing of forms. Forms are perceived as "real" by the observer as long as the contour or edges of the form make a conventional outline of that form. Color development follows the accuracy of the contour outline, to whatever degree the realist feels is appropriate to the work. The form does not necessarily have volume or depth, or exist in a volume, but can appear 2 dimensional, yet be considered as " realism".

A colorist, and an impressionist color approach, differs from this convention in the development of color masses of light and shade before any linear drawing is refined or finalized. Both the realist and the colorist go outdoors and try painting what they see, but the colorist relies on the development of color masses to establish the shape and proportions of the forms, the drawing, but more to the point, the volume of light, air, space and forms.

The realist convention also differs from the impressionist convention in the insistence on the continuity and dominance of the local object color. Look at the Rouen Cathedral series by Monet, as an example of how the local object color is altered by the prevailing light and atmospheric conditions. The cathedral itself is grey granite, a somber neutral local color. Yet in the series Monet showed how these local colors do not dominate the light effect, except in the least amount of light. He showed the delightful way the light key effect changed the dismal local coloring of the cathedral.

Pictorial Conceptions vs. Visual Descriptions.

Think of Rembrandt's Nightwatch, or Man with a Turbin. Rembrandt took great care to describe the diffusion of color modeling as the forms receded away from his optical plane of vision. A pictorial conception often has the look of a snapshot, where every thing about the form is in equal focus. In an actual portrait making situation, there is no way the sitter's eyes can be in the equal focus which is so often the way realist painters work. That is one of the differences between a pictorial conception and visual description. Whatever is out of the focal plane of vision will become more diffused and differ in hue, value, and chromatic character from the focal area. Often realism portrays forms as existing on a flat, volumeless plane.

Value, Hue, and Chroma.

I have never dismissed the importance of value relationships. However what can be observed is that, as a key changes, eg. the diminishing light as the sunsets, the value scale relationships will change less than the hue relationships, which will change dramatically. Hue changes are more important in color painting, imo, because it is the change in hue which indicates the key itself. Ofcourse the hues have to be in the optimal value range, and chromatic range, and that problem is often unsolved in a colorist painting. That is, the chromatic relationships are the most difficult to resolve, partly because pigment and light are not the same thing. To put it another way, if I were to paint a morning light key and and afternoon light key using the same pigment mixtures, but just changing the pattern of dark and light contrasts of value, the painting would not be in a light key. It would show a light effect, in the contrast of values, and the chromatic contrasts, but without the changes in hues noted specifically for the key, one could not tell specifically how morning sunlight differs from afternoon sunlight, and so on. And it does.

That sameness of hue no matter the key is the problem I find in contemporary realist pleinair work such as Scott C.

Ken

FriendCarol
02-21-2006, 11:32 AM
Ken, I doubt that 'realists' can be distinguished from other painters primarily in their use of line. Line vs. shape is one of those style preferences that varies among painters, and I don't believe it is correlated with the color vs. tone style preference. (In fact, I'm fairly sure it isn't.)

As I understand it, your school's style emphasizes the use of different hues to model form. Another way to describe modeling form is to speak of light and shadow, of course. Most 'realists' (to use your term) model form without reference to your 'atmospheric' effects (i.e., those concepts entailed under the idea of a 'light key'). They do, however, pay close attention to changes in shadows (or the way light plays over the form -- the shapes) that come about when there is reflected or bounced light, filtered light, or other sources of illumination.

To put it plainly, if there is a single source of illumination, the distances are close (as for a still life), and there is no reflection or filtering of the light, your school's paintings and the "realists'" paintings should use similar changes in modeling forms. Hue (local color) only changes when [colored] light somehow alters it.

bigflea
02-21-2006, 08:18 PM
FriendCarol,
Ofcourse the conditions you suggest(no reflection or filtering of the light) are typical only of indoor electric light, and indoor subdued northlight. In those situations, I believe you would see a greater degree of similarity in the color modeling solutions between someone following Hensche's idea and someone following a local color system. At least that has been my observation about paintings done in those two keys. I am not saying north light has only one key, that is, only one harmonic solution, but I am saying that in subdued lighting, and controlled electric lighting, the local color component in a pigment mixture becomes more dominant, and it can be seen in the painting work.

As far as changes in hues is concerned, I believe these are altered in various ways, including but not limited to the light source(s). Atmospheric conditions, reflection, refraction, the gradual shifting of any key effect changes in the quality of the hue relationships. A light key is recognized mainly by the relationship of hues. If I were to do a charcoal study, it would have a value scale, which would indicate, (hopefully), the form modeling and the pattern of the light effect, and to some degree the strength of lighting. However it would not, could not, show anyone what the actual light key is. It would be possible to conceive of it as an afternoon key when it may actually have been a late morning study. My point here is simply that it is the relationship of hues that characterize a particular light key, and make it uniquely different from other similar keys.

Realism relies on the accuracy of the contour of form, as a beginning point for the massing of tone. A 2 dimensional drawing is often considered as "realistic", simply because the contours are accurately proportioned. The point I am making in this regard is that the actual "visual" experience of form is one of volume, depth, planes receding and advancing into other planes, more sculptural than 2 dimensional. Accuracy in line drawing, as a foundation for the subsequent work of massing color tones, is basic to most realist approaches to color development. In addition to linear drawing, realism relies on the conception of the local color as the constant in terms of pigment mixtures for both light and shade. It is a way of thinking about the coloring of any form as having dark or light shades of a particular local surface color.

Relavent to this topic( realism vs. impressionism and color approaches in general) I feel is the fact that most painting classes, at least in the past, have beenconducted inside, and often under the worst kinds of lighting conditions for observing light effects on local color.
ken

FriendCarol
02-22-2006, 12:12 PM
As far as changes in hues is concerned, I believe these are altered in various ways, including but not limited to the light source(s). Atmospheric conditions, reflection, refraction, the gradual shifting of any key effect changes in the quality of the hue relationshipsYes, Ken, we agree here, absolutely. Here's the only thing I would ask you to notice (you already know this): all the factors you have listed here, and any others you can think of, affect hue ONLY because they alter the quality (color, when all is said and done) of the light falling on the object(s). If something about the light -- something that affects its color -- does not change, hue (local color of object) cannot change.

Simple, right? And we have reached agreement now, I hope. :) The only point at which you disagree with some others here, I believe, is that you see light changing merely from what most of us call 'atmospheric effects' within just a few feet. Most of us do not see any effect of change in the light from this factor, at such a close distance. Not unless the room is full of smoke, anyway! ;)

bigflea
02-22-2006, 09:11 PM
FriendCarol,

Hmmm, well, if you say so. hehe.
Honestly, I am not quite sure I clearly get your simple concept.

I believe what you are saying is that the qualitative changes in color, which are changes effected by all of the conditions of a light key, are not changes in hue from the local object color. Is that your statement paraphrased correctly?

On that point, if correctly understood, I would have to continue to be the odd man out and disagree.

However, in terms of understanding what a pigment mixture must be, it may be simpler to talk about hue changes to mixtures used to express differences in light and shade color. In other words, forget the issue of the constancy or not of the local object color, for a moment.

The painting question, which is a seeing question first, is what pigment hues do you need to make the descriptive comparison of sunlight planes to shade planes. I believe it may be true to say that in the less illuminated, more somber keys, the pigment mixtures for direct vs. indirect light planes, especially where there is minimal reflection and other sources of color effects, would be more similar to one another, and rely more on a common ingredient. Essentially that is what the concept of local color constancy is for mixing.

Hue changes are necessary in the pigment mixtures to get the extremes of light effects for outdoor lighting. That is, I , personally, cannot use the same or too similar a pigment mixture for the sunlight and shade planes of a particular form in a strong light situation. Having a common ingredient which dominates both mixtures would in effect destroy the effect of the illusion of light. At least that has been my experience with the concept.
Ken

FriendCarol
02-22-2006, 11:11 PM
Honestly, I am not quite sure I clearly get your simple concept.

I believe what you are saying is that the qualitative changes in color, which are changes effected by all of the conditions of a light key, are not changes in hue from the local object color. Is that your statement paraphrased correctly?Hmmm. Okay, I'll rephrase my truly simple statement.

I'm describing the color we see (leaving aside irrelevant things that can affect our vision, such as being color blind, having stared at something too long, etc.). That color is the 'local color' of an object, under an illuminant.

How could it be anything else? :D

We have light, and the object. And that's all there is! If the light is sunlight (or 'white' light), the object's color is what we call its 'local color.' If the light changes, the color of the object changes -- only because of the illuminant. (The object hasn't changed. lol)

Things that can cause the light to change include reflected or indirect lighting, alternate lighting sources, atmospheric conditions, filters -- anything you can think of. But we're still left with the fact that the hue is the local color altered only by whatever light we see it by.

So, if there is a hue change as an object 'turns' into shadow, it has to be because the light is altered. (We assume here the object has a consistent local color, for the sake of simplifying. Iow, we're not talking about a beach ball that happens to have its shaded side yellow and its sunlit side blue. :) )

We all agree, I think, that the color we perceive is the local color under specific illumination.

The difference between those in your school, and some of the rest of us here, is that you see changes in the light (the illuminant) from 'atmospheric effects' even on objects within a few feet of your position. In fact, sometimes it seems as if you're saying the light (the illuminant) is altered by atmospheric conditions between its sunlit and shadow sides -- a distance of mere inches, or even less. The rest of us don't see those changes -- changes from 'atmospheric effects' (or aerial perspective) -- except at much longer distances.

In most plein air work, the shaded sides of objects are under very different illumination, because of (blue) skylight, bounced and filtered light, etc. We agree on this, too, I believe.

bigflea
02-23-2006, 11:04 AM
FriendCarol,
Your statement, as I read it, is a definition for the term "local color". No one has disagreed with that definition as far as I know.

My comments are not about re-defining the terminology re. local color.

Any object, seen or observed in a strong outdoor lighting, will show a difference in coloring between the light and shade planes. This we all know and can agree on.

The color of light contrasted with shade becomes a debate over the question of just how the light and other conditional effects alter the appearance and harmonic relationship of the light plane areas to the shade plane areas.

The difference between the two sides in the debate is represented on one side by the concept of the local color dominance in both the light and shade plane pigment mixtures, and on the other side by the concept of color changing in hue in terms of a mixture for the light and shade planes. In the latter, the appearance of a difference in hue between the light and shade planes is the starting point for the pigment mixtures contrasting sunlight and shade. It is important to note that where the direct light and indirect light planes do not appear different in hue contrast, but in color contrast only, then the idea of a mixture common to both is used. Put another way, the light key may be one of local color dominance in light and shade areas.

I believe it is possible to see atmospheric effects within a few feet separating objects. It depends again on the atmosphere in which the study is made. It also depends on the painter's use of peripheral or direct vision, and how they may alternate between them. The use of peripheral vision does not mean an absence of direct focus, since as the painter observes an area peripherally they are also observing another area directly. Glancing across a composition, the painter is attempting to make color and form observations in both ways, in order to understand the components of the pigment mixtures, and the proportional placements of them.

Ken

FriendCarol
02-23-2006, 11:31 AM
The color of light contrasted with shade becomes a debate over the question of just how the light and other conditional effects alter the appearance and harmonic relationship of the light plane areas to the shade plane areas. emphasis addedI'm only trying to clarify one point in these posts, Ken (for anyone who stumbles into this thread). My point is that those 'other conditional effects' to which you refer are ONLY: whatever changes the color of the light falling on the object.

It is the effect of atmosphere, filtering, reflections, etc. we're talking of, as I read you. But the only way these mediate the hue of lit or shaded objects is by affecting the color of the light -- the illuminant. There is no other way they can have an effect. ;)

FriendCarol
02-23-2006, 11:38 AM
I believe it is possible to see atmospheric effects within a few feet separating objects. It depends again on the atmosphere in which the study is made. It also depends on the painter's use of peripheral or direct vision, and how they may alternate between them.Also to repeat my earlier point: We all have the maximum concentration of cones (which perceive color) in the center of our retina (the fovea). Therefore glancing directly at the object -- then looking away and glancing again, as often as needed -- is the best way to perceive color. Staring will tend to deplete (temporarily) the receptors just for the colors that are present, but peripheral vision has far fewer color receptors (cones). So we should glance.

Our eyes also have rods, which only perceive presence/absence of light, not color. The rods are more efficient at gathering information peripherally, which is why it's easier to see something like a distant or weak star -- just a dim source of light -- when not looking directly at it.

jdadson
02-23-2006, 06:12 PM
Concerning very short range atmospheric effects: Rembrandt got a lot of mileage out of them. Maybe it's a trick, but if so, it's a good one.

Now a can o' worms... Much of what Friend Carol said applies to "aperture color" - the color you would see if you viewed the object through a small opening, eliminating the effects of simultaneous color contrast. Simultaneous color contrast happens in the brain of the beholder. Most texts on painting implicitly talk about subjective color, not aperture color. When I figured that out, a lot of stuff cleared up for me.

Einion
02-23-2006, 07:58 PM
Einion,
Seems the thread is less about seeing shadow color and more about painting from a photograph...
:rolleyes: That's a distortion, not once above has anyone suggested that one should paint from photographs or that that is in any way better than working from life (in fact if you'd care to read my reply to Jamie, second paragraph...) I only brought it up initially to illustrate a point about cameras capturing effects supposedly only created within the eye when viewing something IRL.

Since you mentioned it, an aside: I personally find it very interesting that when the subject does come around to painting from a photograph as it did above, with advice sought on solving a particular problem, the numerous detractors of the forum - many of whom I know are reading this - have nothing to offer, being either unwilling or unable to offer anything constructive to the matter at hand.

Re. Dominance of Local Object Color vs. the light key effect on all colors.

To me it is misleading to promote the idea of local color dominance for pigment mixtures in all conditions.
Yes we know that's how you see things.

What exactly has pigment to do with this? That is secondary; in this thread (and most others that touch on the same topic where you've chosen to promote your views) we're not talking about recreating an effect in paint - however one might want to do that - we're talking about the effect itself, irrespective of any means of depicting it.

In the case of saturated local colors seen in close proximity, such as rich cobalt blue or a fire engine red color, it is true that such a saturated local color will be important and dominant in the description of the form.
Okay, that's a good start. It should be easy to see how that applies equally to many real-world subjects, a lot of foliage colours for example.

However even in such a close proximity, the question remains about what other hue components are necessary to model the specific form being observed.
This is only a question to you and others who see/paint in similar ways. Please note I'm reading the word hue here to mean what it should.

Saturated local colors do not exhibit the same qualitative changes, but are changed differently by the light and atmospheric condition.
This makes no sense. What qualitative changes? Changed differently how?

To suggest that the local object color is an absolute and dominant in all conditions is misleading and often untrue.
It is as regards hue, which I've been trying to emphasise, it would seem with little success.

Color in nature is often not of the saturated local color variety, and tends more toward somber neutrals.
Really??? You don't say. Why then is there scant evidence of it in the work of the later crop of Cape School painters?!

It is reliable however, imo, to compare the color character of light and shade planes and approach the pigment mixtures for them in a comparative way...
Sorry you're losing me again; and believe me when I tell you I know I'm not the only one.

...without assuming the local color dominance.
It's not an assumption: it's either there or it isn't.

Remember it doesn't matter to me how you paint or how anyone paints, what has come to matter greatly is when we get unfounded statements about the way things are.

In some cases it may be dominant, in many it is not. In all cases, the light condition is described by the way the painter divides the light planes from the shade planes.
I almost all cases it is. Please stop making statements of your view as though they were fact, unless you're willing to back them up with some evidence when asked.

If the local color is dominant in both, it is then likely that light condition has not been described fully.
So you're saying in another way that anyone who doesn't paint as you say one should the work is inherently inaccurate, despite the fact that you've now admitted to the profoundly-subjective nature of your observations/depictions.

Re. the contemporary realist convention vs. the impressionist convention (It's all conventions?)

The main way realist work differs from impressionist color work ( eg. Monet, Hensche), is in the way color is developed in the composition.
Well duh :lol:

Pictorial Conceptions vs. Visual Descriptions.

Think of Rembrandt's Nightwatch, or Man with a Turbin.
Realistic interpretations of reality in paint (from the perspective of the average observer I mention above) have reached much higher levels than in the work of Rembrandt, even in his time.

In an actual portrait making situation, there is no way the sitter's eyes can be in the equal focus which is so often the way realist painters work. That is one of the differences between a pictorial conception and visual description. Whatever is out of the focal plane of vision will become more diffused and differ in hue, value, and chromatic character from the focal area.
Okay up to a point I'll buy this but nowhere near to the degree that it's depicted in later-day Impressionist work of the type you're promoting. And, something I find very revealing, far more than the degree to which it did in Hensche's or Hawthorne's work, as I think I've mentioned previously. The apple has indeed fallen far from the tree.

A pictorial conception often has the look of a snapshot, where every thing about the form is in equal focus.
That's definitely true.

Often realism portrays forms as existing on a flat, volumeless plane.
But this is not. It's nonsense in fact. I'll go even further, if anything work of the type you promote is flat and lacking in volume as most people would understand it, primarily for the reason that follows.

Value, Hue, and Chroma.

I have never dismissed the importance of value relationships.
I'd have to go back and check your exact wording on the many occasions that this part of the topic has been brought up but 1, you've consistently stressed that, as far as you're concerned, value is not the dominant element in vision and hence shouldn't be in painting (I believe I'm stating this fairly accurately) and 2, you deliberately chose not to participate in a comparative analysis of different kinds of painting when prompted - as a deliberate means on our part to get to the heart of the issue about the value structure of work of the two different types - despite giving as a prior condition that you got to choose the work of the Cape School.

However what can be observed is that, as a key changes, eg. the diminishing light as the sunsets, the value scale relationships will change less than the hue relationships, which will change dramatically.
Only in your conception of things. The hue relationships largely remain unaltered; value changes a great deal, hence colour is changed.

Ofcourse the hues have to be in the optimal value range, and chromatic range, and that problem is often unsolved in a colorist painting.
Indeed it is, and you know exactly what type of colourist work I'm thinking of when I say this too :lol:

That sameness of hue no matter the key is the problem I find in contemporary realist pleinair work such as Scott C.
Yeah, some of the really good stuff.


Ken, I doubt that 'realists' can be distinguished from other painters primarily in their use of line. Line vs. shape is one of those style preferences that varies among painters, and I don't believe it is correlated with the color vs. tone style preference. (In fact, I'm fairly sure it isn't.)

As I understand it, your school's style emphasizes the use of different hues to model form. Another way to describe modeling form is to speak of light and shadow, of course. Most 'realists' (to use your term) model form without reference to your 'atmospheric' effects (i.e., those concepts entailed under the idea of a 'light key'). They do, however, pay close attention to changes in shadows (or the way light plays over the form -- the shapes) that come about when there is reflected or bounced light, filtered light, or other sources of illumination.
Yep.

To put it plainly, if there is a single source of illumination, the distances are close (as for a still life), and there is no reflection or filtering of the light, your school's paintings and the "realists'" paintings should use similar changes in modeling forms. Hue (local color) only changes when [colored] light somehow alters it.
Well put, yep and right on.

Also to repeat my earlier point: We all have the maximum concentration of cones (which perceive color) in the center of our retina (the fovea). Therefore glancing directly at the object -- then looking away and glancing again, as often as needed -- is the best way to perceive color. Staring will tend to deplete (temporarily) the receptors just for the colors that are present, but peripheral vision has far fewer color receptors (cones). So we should glance.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif

Einion

bigflea
02-23-2006, 08:34 PM
FriendCarol,
Yes that is my experience of peripheral visual glance. It is just off the focal area where the color effect is most pronounced, which is what I usually refer to as a peripheral or oblique glancing vision. In direct focus however, the color effect is localized or neutralized by comparison. In vision to the side it is not as pronounced in color sensations, and I believe most painters, who use this idea, understand the difference.

Jive, I think your point is very pertinent. It is the visual effects, those occuring in the eye and resulting from the interaction of all the natural elements involved, which is the idea behind the phrase, "visual painting". If someone were interested in painting by selecting or eliminating the visual/optical effects, or in painting the way object color is metered or measured for scientific study, I would not think of that as a visual based painting.
ken

bigflea
02-23-2006, 09:54 PM
Einion,
I believe your comments are the most sarcastic yet to date.

But I will try to respond to the comments that raise a question.

I don't paint from photographs, so I do not have any advice on what one should or should not do.


It seems to me that this forum, which is about Color Theory and Mixing, includes how anyone may try to mix pigments for a color solution. Your idea stated in this post is that I am some how straying off by talking about hue changes for pigment mixtures for light and shade. I think the discussion of color mixing, as I have done, is pertinent to the forum and to this particular thread. It also is a way I can clarify the pov which I have presented.

If a painter cannot understand the idea of hue differences perceived across a form, which I understand you do not and disagree with, then perhaps they can understand the idea of using different hue mixtures for the light and shade planes, without either being dominated by the local color hue.

Somber neutral colors in nature, such as bare limbs of trees massed against a sky are a typical situation in which the painter can see a visible hue difference between the light and shade planes, a situation in which the local color is not dominant in either mixture. Perhaps you can see this, but based on what you are saying, probably not. In some dimly lit keys, the local color of the branching will be more dominant in the pigment mixtures, but in the majority of keys it will not.However, many non painters see this effect, so it is not something belonging to the Cape School, or to any of the other impressionist painters that you do not agree with and dislike.



Flat Realism.
There are many examples of realistic painting depictions which have little to no atmospheric effect or volume of space. Just look through the art magazines. The commercial portrait world is full of images that look as if they are pasted on, without any indication of the visual/optical differences that one can see in those situations. My point is not that the realist painters are bad painters. Some of them are very good painters. My point is that the work itself is not any more visually "real" than the impressionist work which makes an attempt to portray the visual effect of light and form.

On the other hand, there are examples of realism which go far toward the description of volume in form. However, the examples are generally of the subdued light key situations, such as interiors depicting figures or still life.

My point again is not that realistic painters are bad painters. My point is that something can be taken as "realistic" if the linear drawing of the form and its parts is well proportioned. The term, "realistic" covers a broad category of works, many of which are not painted studies of the light and atmospheric effects which are visually based effects.

Value, Hue, Chroma.

What I have said many times is that one can render the value scale of a composition(eg. a charcoal study), and describe the forms, and a light effect, but without the hue indications, the values alone will not say or describe the light and atmospheric key fully. The reason being that light and atmospheric keys are color harmonies. To put it another way, a painter can get the value of a color area right, but the whole arrangement can look wrong because a particular hue is wrong. The most important aspect for painting of a light key is the particular hues which describe it. A correct value , without the particular hue, is not enough to describe the harmonic arrangement of the key.
Ofcourse I realize you do not see light keys, and therefore they do not exist.


I believe the rest of your comments were simply stating your negative opinion about painters using Hensche's approach.
Ken

FriendCarol
02-23-2006, 11:24 PM
Jive, you re-raise an issue that interests me: You would distinguish between 'aperture' color and -- what? Now here's my question for you:

Suppose there is a scene I wish to paint in which 'simultaneous contrast' contributes to the effect of the scene. How should one paint that scene in order to replicate (?) or approach that effect?

This is actually the same question I posed earlier... I suspect the effect works differently in a painting, but to what extent? Should one paint the colors as they appear in the scene, or emphasize them in some way (alter hue? lightness? value?), in order to have the painting give (roughly) the impression of the scene?

I should perhaps note that I don't paint this way myself. If I see an effect I want to achieve, I'll sacrifice everything in pursuit of that single effect -- delete whole objects (i.e., trees, mountains, houses, in a landscape); make more similar the colors of those parts of the painting that I need for context but which are not themselves interesting to me, whatever. But if I wanted to be 'realistic,' and achieve a certain effect (re simultaneous contrast), what, in your opinion, would be the most appropriate way to paint?

Just curious.

Einion
02-24-2006, 01:14 PM
I'm going to start with this point out of sequence deliberately:
Ofcourse I realize you do not see light keys, and therefore they do not exist.
As you describe them they don't - I know they do to you, but that's not the purpose of this thread or many of the others you've tried to divert to use as a soapbox for the past three years. And it's not just me as I've said before (look here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=221372&page=3#35), the entire thread is worth reviewing BTW); just because I'm the only one who generally has the time and is willing to make the effort to debate things with you here does not mean I'm the only one who doesn't see things your way so stop trying to make this about you and me. And don't be blind to the fact that I'm trying here to get to some sort of common ground while you are not.

It's not my intention to embarrass you but you've again used the same tactic that you've been asked politely not to more than once. Even forgetting the great many painters whose work you've implied is inferior above (and in many prior posts) would you care to go back over the past threads and see just how many people have disagreed with you about how you claim things are? Now with that in mind I'm going to pepper the following with quotes, none of which are my words, to illustrate.
"What makes seeing and painting in one manner a right right, or a wrong wrong? Can you present us with the ultimate standard of truth so that this can be known? Then, we might know that Hensche is the WAY. That only he as master and his followers see as seeing ought to see."

Einion,
I believe your comments are the most sarcastic yet to date.
Review some of the previous debates we've been in if you want some perspective Ken; we've covered this same ground with you about a dozen times already so frankly it's nearly unavoidable.

I don't paint from photographs, so I do not have any advice on what one should or should not do.
That was not directed at you Ken, if it were I would have addressed you.

But anyway, it's all colour isn't it? And a highly-trained observer and interpreter of colour should be able to adapt to different contexts, much like you might have to on a very cloudy day versus painting on a clear, bright March morning ;)

It seems to me that this forum, which is about Color Theory and Mixing, includes how anyone may try to mix pigments for a color solution. Your idea stated in this post is that I am some how straying off by talking about hue changes for pigment mixtures for light and shade. I think the discussion of color mixing, as I have done, is pertinent to the forum and to this particular thread. It also is a way I can clarify the pov which I have presented.
<sigh> The point is firstly about what the colours are - read the thread title.

After that, then we might discuss how to do something in paint. And we can't talk about doing something using pigments without specific mention of which pigments.

Your wording was "promote the idea of local color dominance for pigment mixtures" which doesn't really mean anything concrete.
"And, rather than dismissing this semi-hidden, elusive concept (whatever that may be), I'm, instead, attempting to express my utter disappointment in the fact that this concept (whatever it actually is) is being so poorly EXPLAINED"

-----

"Yes, this is what I'm understanding (at least, what I think you're saying here is what I'm understanding ;)) However, your statement that "The key is the relationship of all color notes to each other and to the whole group of notes" leaves me alternately almost thinking I understand and shaking my head as I realise I haven't ... and the rest of that paragraph has left me a bit lost. Without wishing to offend, I'm finding some of the explanations and definitions you've given very confusing"

If a painter cannot understand the idea of hue differences perceived across a form, which I understand you do not and disagree with, then perhaps they can understand the idea of using different hue mixtures for the light and shade planes, without either being dominated by the local color hue.
If you're using hue here to mean what it should it's simply not the case as a rule, sorry (as a statement of reality).
"You understand my point though as concerns Hensche that if you make a point to exaggerate and do so from the standpoint of light keys committed to memory versus simply just seeing and executing that a convention is being implemented."

-----

"Hensche taught that when we start a painting, we should exaggerate the differences in the coloration of the masses. if the student steps back and realizes that he has put the same color in two places, he should step forward, look at the motif and make a visual comparison of the two spots, and determine the difference. Hensche hated formula. His painting was NOT about mixing arbitrary colors to make everything different, but was about acute observation so as to truly SEE the difference and note the difference. His exaggeration of color was done with purpose."

Somber neutral colors in nature, such as bare limbs of trees massed against a sky are a typical situation in which the painter can see a visible hue difference between the light and shade planes... it is not something belonging to the Cape School, or to any of the other impressionist painters that you do not agree with and dislike.
Could you show us some samples of contemporary Cape School work that involves subtle modelling in near-neutrals.
"Still, examples of color that can only be described as imagined, exaggerated, or just plain aberrant persists even in the examples that have been posted of HH's work - just not in as cartoonish a manner as Sarbach's."
For the record I didn't say I don't like Impressionist or Post-Impressionist work. I object to over-coloured-to-the-point-of-fanciful work being promoted as being an accurate, well-observed recreation of reality on the one hand, and on the other openly admitted as highly-subjective determinations - of the type that can accurately be described as being something like the emperor's new clothes.
"Well...I'll continue with my fog. The work is aesthetically interesting to me...but does not represent things I see in many outdoor lighting conditions."

Flat Realism.
There are many examples of realistic painting depictions which have little to no atmospheric effect or volume of space. Just look through the art magazines.
And there are many examples of the exact opposite. Sorry that dog won't hunt; hold up the best of plein air realism against the best of the Cape School (contemporary work) and then make some comparisons.

My point is not that the realist painters are bad painters.
You've as much as said that they are and implied that they are numerous times; I am not misrepresenting this.

Some of them are very good painters. My point is that the work itself is not any more visually "real" than the impressionist work which makes an attempt to portray the visual effect of light and form.
Yes it is more visually real as the typical observer - belonging to that huge group that I've made reference to - would see it (and after doing some research I see I'm not the only one who has made this point to you either).
"When one champions a method so strongly and consistently as you do, inferring it as the more advanced way of seeing...one inwardly expects to be so blown away by the examples that one imagines a compulsion to hereafter focus one's life to a new pursuit. Like a new renaissance.

..I say its a struggle...because that is EXACTLY my reaction when I see most the samples you have shared of students and others. THEY DO NOT LOOK REAL...."

Value, Hue, Chroma.

What I have said many times is that one can render the value scale of a composition(eg. a charcoal study), and describe the forms, and a light effect, but without the hue indications, the values alone will not say or describe the light and atmospheric key fully.
Like other people don't know that? Come on Ken, most people paint in colour, not in greyscale! You've fundamentally said that unless they paint as you have described and promote that they aren't representing things correctly/accurately. What this boils down to is that you claim that the vast majority of work done by representational painters is in some way lacking, or inferior to, that of the Cape School (good examples at least to be fair). Again, I am not misrepresenting this.

A correct value , without the particular hue, is not enough to describe the harmonic arrangement of the key.
Yeah, whatever you say.
"I guess for me, the color of this piece being magenta rather creates a particular mood, but I see no relationship to any sort of "light key" that I've ever experienced in my life."

-----

"[Hensche's work is] not true to nature for me because of the way that "I see it" ...which I recognize is relative, because I am not transcendent and my standards are not objective."

I believe the rest of your comments were simply stating your negative opinion about painters using Hensche's approach.
Absolutely - the stuff that's fallen so far from the Hawthorne tree. Each generation has stepped further and further away from the nature of his work from what I've seen.
"Again...not to suggest a cultish manner or to wrongly portray Hensche with a new age metaphor, but if anyone has ever worked in dealing with cults...a charismatic leader does just this. He works to convince future followers to give up their ideas, to surrender them before they are able to move on to embrace this promise of a new enlightenment."

-----

"My feeling is the only way this theory or concept will be universally accepted is if the novice or initiate is likely to surrender their eye and confidence to what they see, desiring instead to be embraced by those that represent in their mind those that "get it" just so they can earn the privilege to fit in; (and in fairness this would apply to any theory or concept- so, to be clear I'm not picking on one thing I don't agree with, it applies to all color ideas)."

Some context for anyone not bored out of their minds by now, some Hawthorne images:
http://www.nationalacademy.org/perm/images/hawthorne.jpg
http://www.readingpublicmuseum.org/images/Hawthorne.jpg
http://magart.rochester.edu/media/images/A1.76.22.jpg
http://www.jerseycitymuseum.org/collections/v_museum/large/xp.74.Hawthorne.jpg
http://www.butlerart.com/pc_book/images/Charles_Webster_Hawthorne.jpg
http://www.dia.org/art/comping/1901_1920_300ppi/15.11-D1.jpg
http://americanart.si.edu/images/1958/1958.11.30_1b.jpg

Now compare to the work of Hensche:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=71511&stc=1&d=1069293749
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=67399&stc=1&d=1066439633
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=67397&stc=1&d=1066438813
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=70737&stc=1&d=1068849825

Then compare to these:
http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/Sarback.html
http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/Massey.html
http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/Biggio.html
http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/SBritt.html
http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/Ebersberger.html
http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/Robichaux.html
http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/Szarek.html

Judge for yourself folks.

Einion

Einion
02-24-2006, 01:15 PM
Jive, you re-raise an issue that interests me: You would distinguish between 'aperture' color and -- what? Now here's my question for you:

Suppose there is a scene I wish to paint in which 'simultaneous contrast' contributes to the effect of the scene. How should one paint that scene in order to replicate (?) or approach that effect?
Thank you, I was going to bring that very point up because it relates to exactly what I referred to above about how some Photorealists work and about painting the illusions as seen distorting/exaggerating the relative colour differences.

Einion

bigflea
02-24-2006, 03:24 PM
Einion,
Thanks for posting the Hawthorne and Hensche images. For me, it is always enjoyable to see their work.

As for the other work, including my own, I don't equate the color quality in them to what I feel is present in Hensche's work, nor do I equate the thematic quality found in Hawthorne's with the works you have selected to show.

I really believe you do not understand Hawthorne however. Originally as you may know, he was a student of Chase, and then an assistant, and then, after a falling out with Chase, became a teacher in his own right.

His work in Provincetown, at the CAPE COD SCHOOL OF ART as it was called, was to attempt to make impressionism teachable but also to learn how to recreate outdoor light keys. He did not succeed. However he was, according to many, a master in the modeling of form in the indoor light key. He travelled extensively to France, trying to study impressionism, and it was during those travels that Hensche became his assistant.

Hensche's work depicted here is much more advanced than his earliest works. If you saw some examples of early Hensche paintings, I believe you would find them more similar to the work of his students in the crudeness of the color development. According to Hensche, it took him over 20 years to understand how to develop the forms in the outdoor light keys. Some of his earliest interior works have a similarity to Hawthorne's interiors, and to other realist tonal color schemes.

I believe you fail to understand that Hawthorne considered Hensche to be advancing the idea which Hawthorne believed in but had not mastered. In my experience it takes longer to control the color qualities for a painting depicting a light key than it does to develop the color following the local color value and tone system. Having followed the realist approach for a number of years before studying Hensche's ideas, I can say it is more arbitrary in terms of the particular differences of color between light and shade planes of any form, by comparison to a color modeling study for a light key. Disagree all you want, but that is my experience of it.

Also, I doubt you can really understand Hawthorne's idea without actually seeing the painted examples of his works, not the jpgs. or other reproductions.

If anyone looks at Hensche's works as shown here, and can truely say they do not "see it" , then I would have to assume there is no basis for discussion of those ideas. To me it is clear that is the case with you, and with others who look upon visual effects as distortions of a reality that has to be defined on your terms only. Yet your own works seem, to me, a complete diversion from visual reality. This is essentially the same complaint you make against all students of Hensche's ideas. That is, the subjective quality of the coloring. In your works, it is the absence volume, of light and air in which a form exists, that is most striking about it. It is impossible for me to see where your forms could possibly exist, other than in your own mind.

I have never made the point that so called realist painters are in general, bad painters. To the contrary I have stated admiration for some of the works, for the convincing and thorough working of the tones and values in them. However I have cited the repetition of harmonic themes, and the dominance of local color in light and shade planes, as a problem in the color development of various realist works.

I also, as a reminder for the "record", have agreed with the criticisms made of the work of painters following Hensche's ideas. Though you like to portray me as being biased, in fact I have made similar criticisms of the work of Hensche's students as I have of the popular contemporary realists. The general criticism, if anyone asked me, would be that the color modeling of the form is not carried far enough in the light key, resulting in color saturations that lose the light key.

I will look for jpgs. of color modeled works that I feel represent a true key.
Not sure what I have.
Ken

tk04
02-24-2006, 04:32 PM
This is an illustration from Lois Griffel - Painting the Impressionist Landscape.

Personally, I think some of the "Cape Cod" is too high-key - but if I had to choose, I's rather go with a too high key than a fully flat image.

FriendCarol
02-24-2006, 04:55 PM
Thanks for that example, Karin. (We cross-posted.) When I look at it, it seems to convey that the light is reflecting off the tops of the bricks as if they are shiny, particularly where the angle is almost flat.

But then I suspect my monitor needs recalibrating... I looked again at Patrick's illusion with an old Pantone "Color Paper Selector" in hand, and the closest match I could find was a very pale beigy-pink!

I don't know art terms, but those paintings of faces seem idealized. It's been awhile since I saw any tv, but I assume they are all celebrities; they're a bit like a slightly fictionalized poster image, aren't they? Skin far more 'perfect' or smooth than IRL, and most don't even have a shadow under the chin. Isn't that like a poster, or a contemporary animation? It's a very graphic style, is what it is!

Patrick1
02-24-2006, 07:34 PM
I'm not reading much of the debate here (got tired of it looong ago), but I gotta admit I'm impressed with the works of the Hensche students - accurate no, beautiful yes.

FriendCarol
02-24-2006, 08:01 PM
I just saw your grapefruit in some thread somewhere. One section just seems to glow! (I like it. :D ) Are you developing a 'style' that looks a bit like seeing through pebbled glass, or was that a one-off?

jdadson
02-24-2006, 09:25 PM
Jive, you re-raise an issue that interests me: You would distinguish between 'aperture' color and -- what? Now here's my question for you:

Suppose there is a scene I wish to paint in which 'simultaneous contrast' contributes to the effect of the scene. How should one paint that scene in order to replicate (?) or approach that effect?.

Beats the hell out of ME! Remember, I'm a bumbling beginner. Nevertheless, I am glad I know there is a difference. A few months ago I would see what I thought was a dull blue area, mix up some dull blue paint and put it on the painting, only to discover that it leapt out like a neon bulb. Come to think of it, neon isn't blue. But you know what I mean. Now I know what trap I fell into.

I see a lot of reeeeally blue shadows in landscapes. They've always looked utterly fake to me. They scream out, "I'm a PAINTING, dammit. My painter is a GENIUS! Can't you tell by the bright blue shadows?" Now I wonder if the painters are just being fooled the way I was. I guess all that matters is the result. I am not entirely in the "art conceals art" school, but close. I guess I prefer the "art conceals art until you look for it" kind of philosophy.

FriendCarol
02-24-2006, 09:54 PM
Well, some of us think that in order to produce the illusion of blue shadows as it looks in the scene, we ought to paint it the actual (not quite as blue as it looks because of simultaneous contrast) color. If the painting presents the same colors (not getting into the 'color matching' trap again, but more or less matching the target colors), will that not produce the same illusion those colors produced originally, in the scene? Iow, they will look bluer than they are in the painting as well as in the scene, if painted more accurately.

Agree or disagree? I really would like to see a demo on this, but I guess it's too boring for anyone to paint 3 versions of the same scene (i.e., 'color-matching,' over-stressing blueness of shadows sort of thing, and something in the middle). Maybe I'll try to do it myself, when I get back outside.

Btw, I may agree with you about that philosophy. I am having trouble finding w/c painters/authors whose work I still enjoy -- I do believe I'm suffering from a surfeit of style. I want to see paintings that don't shriek the name of the painter at me. Yet I don't enjoy the photorealist school much, either. I guess I want something artful. :p

jdadson
02-24-2006, 10:07 PM
Well, some of us think that in order to produce the illusion of blue shadows as it looks in the scene, we ought to paint it the actual (not quite as blue as it looks because of simultaneous contrast) color. If the painting presents the same colors (not getting into the 'color matching' trap again, but more or less matching the target colors), will that not produce the same illusion those colors produced originally, in the scene? Iow, they will look bluer than they are in the painting as well as in the scene, if painted more accurately.

Agree or disagree?

Agree. Of course, I don't think a painter should be a slave to whatever object he uses for a model. I'm sure you don't either.

The very first thread I tried to decipher in wetcanvas was about "color keys." I asked for a definition in 24 words or less. It was never forthcoming. Eventually, and reluctantly, I gave up trying to make any sense of it.

bigflea
02-24-2006, 11:43 PM
Now now Jive,
be fair. I submitted two definitions for color light keys to you. Both were rejected by you, stating, (paraphrasing) they did not fit your definition for a definition. I gave up feeling no effort was made to hear what I was saying , while a great deal of effort was made to disprove the idea of color light keys by someone who does not recognize them.

However, photographers have discussed value keys, and a color light key is a similar concept. The difference, imo, is color light keys are specific hue harmonies refering to qualities inherent in light and atmospheric conditions. Monet's Cathedral series is an example of 20 or more color light keys.

The jpgs. are works showing interior north light keys of still life.
The first is an early Hensche, the second a later Hensche.
These are posted in response to Einion's request.
Ken

jdadson
02-25-2006, 12:51 AM
Definition def·i·ni·tion n.

A statement of the meaning of a word, phrase, or term, as in a dictionary entry.

Patrick1
02-25-2006, 12:56 AM
I just saw your grapefruit in some thread somewhere. One section just seems to glow! (I like it. :D ) Are you developing a 'style' that looks a bit like seeing through pebbled glass, or was that a one-off?Thanks Carol. For the 'glowing' part of that computer grapefruit painting, I used pretty much orange taken towards pure white. And the earthy undercolors help the glow to stand out more. As for style... it's a bit of a one-off. In painting, in general, I do have a particular style I'm aiming for, but so far I haven't come very close. I want more like:

http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/countrymorning.jpg
http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/studio_garden.jpg
http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/Chopsticks%20&%20Marble.jpg

BTW, in my grapefruit painting, the plate/bowl is neutral grey. I was expecting it to be more blueish or cyan due to all the earth tones around it, but for some reason it doesn't look very blueish at all.

Just noticed: new smilies are available. About time. Some forums on other sites have an enormous selection of incredible smilies.

bigflea
02-25-2006, 09:25 AM
Here you go Jive,
One more DEFA.IA.NIA.TION to add to your pile.

scale or system of color notes in painting related to one another in a special way and based on a particular mass notation.
ken

FriendCarol
02-25-2006, 11:48 AM
Ken, I'll try to do a bit more for Jive.

Light key: Scale or system of colors used in a painting, related to one another by their being produced by a specific set of atmospheric conditions or other situational factors affecting the illuminant (light).

jdadson
02-25-2006, 06:44 PM
Ken, I'll try to do a bit more for Jive.

Light key: Scale or system of colors used in a painting, related to one another by their being produced by a specific set of atmospheric conditions or other situational factors affecting the illuminant (light).

That's getting there.

jdadson
02-25-2006, 06:48 PM
The comments about blue shadows on snow got me to thinking. I couldn't figure out why that would be. Sure, snowy scenes are often observed on gray days when the ambient light is shifted toward blue, and I think artists sometimes over-do it - but still. The answer is, to me at least, a little surprising: Snow (and water) are actually blue! When you see a snow in shadow, you are seeing a deep glaze of a very pale blue pigment, namely ice. Zounds.

http://webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/5B.html
http://webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/5C.html

FriendCarol
02-25-2006, 09:03 PM
Jive, another clear reason is that skylight is blue. If the sun's light is blocked, that (indirect) light is the major source of illumination. (There a note on handprint.com somewhere about the relative strength of these two illuminants.)

I've never seen any blue snow, for the record. Nor blue water.

LarrySeiler
02-28-2006, 12:39 AM
When I look at it, it seems to convey that the light is reflecting off the tops of the bricks as if they are shiny, particularly where the angle is almost flat.


the bricks are pretty...aesthetically interesting...but as imitating nature or feeling like nature seems a bit overstated. Nature is not always about shouting where the light is concerned. There is beauty also in whispers, the subtleties as well.

also the footnote is about Impressionist landscapes...but the bricks seem to come off more colorful and intense than many of the Impressionist works. At least in my opinion.

Maybe everyone has a need to squint relationship with light, feeling the need to immediately grab sunglasses.

I dunno...sometimes I can appreciate it...afterall it is a talent, a skill..a way of seeing. Othertimes its like someone screaming when you're only two feet away. I can hear ya already...

Everyone has their aesthetic preferences, and I can appreciate and respect that.

LarrySeiler
02-28-2006, 12:45 AM
those are beautiful examples, Ken...lovely! Glad you posted them. Those say more about Hensche's works (naturally) than many who have studied under him. While I find the color rich in the light...they are balanced by the solidity adn believability of the shadows. They seem powerful...strong YET not overstated.

Many of the paintings I've seen so far of those claiming to have been students of Hensche or the Hensche way seem so taken by the color shouting that the solidity...the balance of the quiet to temper the shouting is missed. These do not seem unreal...many of Hensche proponent's works seem pushed and contrived...IMHO...

These are lovely. I prefer the first...but then his first one doesn't seem too ordinarily different from many stilllife masters that did not paint the Hensche way.

LarrySeiler
02-28-2006, 12:56 AM
[QUOTE=jdadson]The answer is, to me at least, a little surprising: Snow (and water) are actually blue! When you see a snow in shadow, you are seeing a deep glaze of a very pale blue pigment, namely ice. Zounds.

I don't know...
I paint a lot outside standing in the snow. The more you turn away from the sun, the bluer the snow appears, meaning the snow/color is not getting as washed out from the light of the sun as when you are nearer.

Secondly as a shadow goes...the object casting the shadow is preventing sun from touching an area (sure...okay, duh right?)....but in that prevention gives opportunity for indirect light and sky above to cast its influence upon that area unimpeded by the sun.

Standing there observing and painting this shanty (ice shack) on this large frozen lake...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Feb-2006/532-chillout_donewc.jpg

the shack blocked sun from an area (called shadow), and the blue sky above then has opportunity to influence its light/color imposing upon the shadow.

Same as in the tracks/ruts of the snow...

much the same here...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Feb-2006/532-silverlake_shantyswc.jpg

again...same here...the trees blocking the sun give favor to the blue sky above to have at it, and influence its color into the shadow-

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Feb-2006/532-eastwaldenrd_winter72.jpg

and to give the extreme example...on one particular cold winter's night, I set up about 3am at about eight degrees below zero. The full moon was casting a greenish glow on the snow which was much fun to paint, and the distant street lamp at the entrance to our long driveway leading back to our home was casting its influence on snow there. Obviously at night...one wouldn't be able to see blue because ice and water are blue. Its really about what influence is given room to have at it...that produces the color seen.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Feb-2006/532-millstreet_nocturnal72.jpg

bigflea
02-28-2006, 10:36 PM
Larry,
Happy to hear you enjoy those Hensches.

As far as I know Hensche was first a student of traditional painting techniques, during his middle to late teens. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute, and then found his way to Provincetown to study with Hawthorne. Hawthorne had studied with Chase, but was exploring Impressionism on his own, trying to figure it out, and if possible, make it teachable. Point here is that Hensche's earliest works show those more traditional influences, and he developed a very keen sense of value/tone, as well drawing proportions.

The later work shows how far he could go developing the form in that particular light key of the indoor north light. To me, it just seems more developed overall, as a painting.

He often remarked that it took him over 20 years of painting to begin to understand how to color model form in outdoor light keys. He could do the indoor study well, but struggled with the outdoor keys, because, apparently, Hawthorne did not really understand how to do them, and could not show how to do it, beyond the famous mudhead sketches that were always talked about. Those served a different purpose since they were not considered as anything more than quick sketches.

I think the problem with the brick illustration from L. Griffel's book is that she is not showing the way the bricks are seen in the key. Translation is that she has not modeled the color enough to establish the key, as it would be in that kind of situation. The top of the bricks looks as if it were a different local color, like a painted yellow, then the body of the bricks. That ought to be the first clue that the study is not completed, ie., the colors have to be restated to get the form.

The fact is that, if you carefully read Lois's comments, she states that she is using a complementary method of color spots. Hensche never taught anyone that kind of method. It was Lois' personal invention, based on her study of some of Monet's works, she says. Her method was to go over the base color with its complement. How that relates to the bricks I really do not know.

I think the criticism of too much chromatic intensity and saturation is, regrettably, often true, re. your comments, and others, of works following Hensche's idea. However I think his ideas are sound ones which can actually help a painter develop their color understanding. The problem, as I see it, is that many of those who attempt to follow his ideas either do not follow it long enough to its logical end, or get sidetracked into imitating a colorful look, where the idea of using bright color is confused with Impressionist color modeling ala Hensche. In nature and in light keys, as I understand them, there is very little saturation of color. Fall leaf colors, flower petal colors, are examples where pure saturated pigment hues may be needed. But even in those situations, the most saturated and chromatic areas are going to in a specific area of the form, depending on several variables, including the painter's viewing position. In the arid southwest we can get some pretty saturated sky colorings, but even those have to be tempered in various ways to show atmospheric conditions and spatial depth.

Hensche's teaching idea relied a great deal on a student learning to go from an overcolored beginning, mixing on the painting, to second and third color statements, which reduced the chromatic intensity, and saturation of the first notes, as the painter tried to establish the value and hue character of each mass. I doubt whether painters do enough restatement of pure notes, in some cases, to follow his idea to its intended end. He often spoke of the somber quality of color in the outdoor light keys and by that he meant , I believe, a restful kind of coloring, not blaring and glaring and overly bright. But he was careful not to try and push a student to do something the way he saw it, and preferred to let students explore the problem with theirown preferences and biases, trusting they would come eventually to more understanding of coloring.

Ken

LarrySeiler
03-01-2006, 08:37 AM
gotta get ready and out the door Ken, but a short comment and I'll reflect and comment more later.

I do agree painters get sidetracked when perhaps attempting to imitate a method not bringing the "method" to its possible conclusion. I think also artists being human sometimes along the way begin to ask, "why am I trying to paint like Monet or Hensche when I am who I am? Who then will paint like me, if I'm trying to paint like someone else?"

If someone wishes to paint like Monet...they may as well spend years creating a huge pond, creating a grand garden and spend 12-14 hour days in it for many years observing and studying. To paint Monet's paintings or imitate his brushwork and color is still not to paint like Monet...for to paint like Monet one would have to see like Monet and have the drive motivated by the same passions.

Also...along the route of imitating someone else...one discovers a thing to go off on and experiment with. There is nothing wrong with that either, unless later someone wishes to cash in by crediting the artist they started off looking at...ya know?

I think our sidetracked'ness begins when we are sidetracked from wanting to go about OUR own work. For a season it is good when we do so as a student of the arts learning foundations. Studying the various art movements to better understand rendering, perspective, values, color ideas and so forth...but at some point we have to discover what OUR work is or after 20 years in imitating Monet or Hensche we come to a dismaying conclusion we never found who we were as an artist.

Approaching nature with fresh eyes, as like a child seeing it for the first time learning from nature is very often an attempt to shred the many sidetrackings of our lives and try to get in touch with the fundamental issue of how WE see, and why WE want to paint in the first place. At some point you begin to realize there is a particular danger of being easily influenced by the good works of others....

later

bigflea
03-01-2006, 09:54 AM
Larry,
I know what you mean. It is possible for a painter to lose themselves in their effort to be identified in a particularized way. Someone may believe they can attain a look similar to or identical with Monet, or Sargent, or other well known successes, and it becomes their goal. That is a danger, to be sure, in imitation of the manner and style of any other painter.

I think though, it is necessary for people to have ideals which they aspire toward, and try to fulfill. For that reason, painter's seek out the methods and knowledge of the painters whose works they admire and which seem to fulfill an ideal they are interested in. Monet did not teach, but had he, I suspect thousands of students would have crossed his doorway, given the volume of interest in his works.

The danger in studying a particular method, I believe, is in whether the method itself is designed as a means for developing your own vision, or if it is a method for making a particular kind of style. For example, chinese brush painting has a particular kind of stylistic rigor that is learned. It is a specific pictorial technique, as opposed to a method for gaining greater color perception, or more understanding about color behavior in mixing. ( Not critiquing chinese brush painting, which I enjoy quite alot).

The danger is that a student can take any method and use it as a stylistic technique, without actually developing theirown vision. That is a problem I feel with any approach to color development, for shadows or light planes.

But on the other hand, someone may be happy with that and get alot of enjoyment out of imitating a particular style. So it is really a question of how far a painter chooses to go with what they have learned. Someone may feel they have exhausted the possibilities of a particular method, and are still seeking something about the ideal they once held. Perhaps they dig in deeper, or try another approach.

I think it is too easy to lose site of the purpose of a particular method when we identify it mainly as a stylistic device or tool, and not one which is intended to develop our own vision and color understanding. It is also easy to misunderstand the depth and subtlety of a painter's work, simply because we interpret it from our own particular pov.

Ken

rghirardi
03-01-2006, 12:08 PM
Larry,

...understand how to color model form in outdoor light keys. He could do the indoor study well, but struggled with the outdoor keys...
Ken

Can you give a little more explanation of the 'indoor/outdoor light keys?' Is there some formula or process for determining these keys?

Mostly curious about them from this discussion and also for the fact that I live less than two miles from Hensche's home/studio/classroom. I wasn't aware of him when I started painting again after a 30 year hiatius. I visited there once - he had passed away by that time - and his wife was continuing his teachings/methods. (She also passed away within the last 2-3 years and the studio/classroom has been closed. I don't know if someone has taken over his/her teachings but each time I've driven past the place, it was closed.)

The one time I saw his work on the living area's walls, I don't think his work was so high key mangentas and blue violets, etc., but perhaps my memory is clouded. However, I seem to also recall that his/her students' works seemed to be painted in such color schemes.

So, I can understand the viewpoint that perhaps his/her students didn't explore the key theories to their fullest. I recalled liking Hensches work very much, (I tend towards color and less towards values), but not so impressed with his/her students' work. But, again, that's just my opinion.

However, I would be interested to hear you expound on his 'indoor/outdoor keys.'

bigflea
03-01-2006, 09:09 PM
rghirardi,
I'd be happy to, but we may have to start a different thread for that purpose.

It is likely that the student's work that you saw at the time was as you remember it, since beginning students were asked to use saturated tube colors, at the beginning, instead of using a greyscale of value tones, in their studies. It was Hensche's way of getting student's to begin color mixing right away, that is, begin using the most extreme saturation and chromatic range of coloring, and mixing into it, to establish the value and chromatic range of the hues. He felt it led the student to develop their color perception by seeing stronger colors at the beginning of study. As the student developed they gained more control of the saturation, chroma, and value range of mixtures by being asked to model the masses as forms.

Painters see light keys in 3 ways, I believe. One is in terms of the value range or the lightness of the coloring. Another is in terms of the chromatic intensity or brilliance of the coloring. Another is in terms of the hues. An indoor light key can be very dark by comparison to outdoor light. Eg. the light in a room with only one window getting indirect daylight, would be a key that is composed of a range of values shifted toward the darker end of a scale of values. Another indoor key may be getting direct sunlight from a large window, and have a different range of values, perhaps a larger range of values on a scale of values.

By comparison, outdoor light keys can be very bright and light. The color mixtures one might use for an indoor painting may not work well for an outdoor light key because the ambient quality of the light and the chromatic range is different. Outdoor light keys will differ in the morning from those in the afternoon, not just in pattern but in the characteristics of the light plane and shade plane colors. Grey days may be dark and deep, or lighter and brighter, by comparison to one another. And by comparison to sunny days, the hue mixtures for the planes of a form will differ.

That doesn't say much about a process for discerning them, and perhaps that would be a topic for another thread?
Ken

Donna A
03-01-2006, 10:28 PM
The color of shadows really is a relationship with the color of the light. I love making use of this interplay. And it can help tremendously with understanding color mixtures!!!!

Knowing what color the light is in specific situations or at specific times of day in the area you are in is a blessing! I would never, never, never begin a painting without first understanding what the color of the light was. All color is is the wavelengths that reach our eyes-----and how our eyes respond. (My eyes see color differently: one cooler and lower in intensity; the other warmer and higher in intensity and contrast. Was a surprise to observe that about 35 years ago!)

I've uploaded a 3-page PDF file with information about the color of light in different situations----and therefore the influences that effect the color of shadows----for indoors and outdoors---plus some additional notes.

It takes some "practice" to get into the habit of SEEING color!!! It's interesting to learn about the different things that can throw us off! Best wishes! Donna ;-}

Patrick1
03-02-2006, 01:48 AM
(My eyes see color differently: one cooler and lower in intensity; the other warmer and higher in intensity and contrast. Was a surprise to observe that about 35 years ago!)Me too...one eye sees a bit browner, the other a bit bluer. Though it can only be noticed when I'm looking at a blank wall under some lighting conditions...I almost never notice it otherwise. I'm glad to know I'm not the only mutant.

jdadson
03-02-2006, 03:01 AM
Repeating... Water is not blue simply because it reflects the blue sky. Water is actually, really, truly blue. Snow is blue too.

The web site I posted the link to showed a long tube filled with water. Next to it was another long tube filled with heavy water. A white light was shown through each. The one filled with garden variety H20 looked very blue.

I had bought the water-reflects-the-sky explanation. But in retrospect, that doesn't make any sense. Why would deep water be bluer? But I bought off on it. My BS detector that I like to think is so exquisitely calibrated didn't raise the needle from the peg. However, the blue shadows on snow thing was quite a puzzler for me before I found that web page. Water is blue. Shocker!

FriendCarol
03-02-2006, 09:34 AM
Deep ocean water is green, not blue. ;) Actually, even around places like the Bahamas (I'm told, never been there), water looks green rather than blue. Lots of bubbles in water alter its hue, too.

If water is blue, if I had a very long glass of water and looked straight down, it should look blue. But I can't do that with snow... You only see a tiny amount of the surface of snow, since snow is not transparent (nor even translucent). I mean, put a couple inches of snow over anything and you won't see it. Right? You might see a bump where something is, but you don't see a hint of its color.

So that explanation about snow shadows doesn't seem to hold... water! (couldn't resist, sorry :p )

rghirardi
03-02-2006, 12:07 PM
That doesn't say much about a process for discerning them, and perhaps that would be a topic for another thread?
Ken
Re: more explanatioin on the 'formulae' of indoor/outdoor keys

Yes, start another thrend with explicit examples and explanations. Maybe stay away from the philosophical?

jdadson
03-02-2006, 12:29 PM
Ocean water has a lot of green stuff in it, but pure water is blue:
http://webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/5B.html

Ice and snow are a slightly greener blue and translucent:
http://webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/5C.html

I highly recommend reading both of those pages.

Einion
03-02-2006, 01:05 PM
the bricks are pretty...aesthetically interesting...but as imitating nature or feeling like nature seems a bit overstated. Nature is not always about shouting where the light is concerned. There is beauty also in whispers, the subtleties as well.
:clap:

Everyone has their aesthetic preferences, and I can appreciate and respect that.
Absolutely, but that's not actually what the thread is about which is what I've been trying to get at :)


My eyes see color differently: one cooler and lower in intensity; the other warmer and higher in intensity and contrast. Was a surprise to observe that about 35 years ago!
Me too...one eye sees a bit browner, the other a bit bluer. Though it can only be noticed when I'm looking at a blank wall under some lighting conditions...I almost never notice it otherwise. I'm glad to know I'm not the only mutant.
I'm actually not sure if I should be envious about this :)


I see a lot of reeeeally blue shadows in landscapes. They've always looked utterly fake to me. They scream out, "I'm a PAINTING, dammit. My painter is a GENIUS! Can't you tell by the bright blue shadows?"
:lol:

The comments about blue shadows on snow got me to thinking.... The answer is, to me at least, a little surprising: Snow (and water) are actually blue! When you see a snow in shadow, you are seeing a deep glaze of a very pale blue pigment, namely ice. Zounds.
I believe we've actually touched on the inherent blueness of water in a previous thread (in as much as light passing through it has longer wavelengths stripped out of it, as any fan of diving knows) but I can state as an absolute certainty that that does not mean that snow is blue.

Snow is usually quite white for the same reason that clouds are white, because what we see is almost all scattering of the incident light in common with other things of a similar nature, e.g. beat eggs and sugar together and they become lighter and lighter in colour, despite the mixture being inherently strongly orange (at least with good eggs :)). Shadows on snow are blue mostly for the reason mentioned above, and they do not look the same on overcast days.

Also, see the difference between areas of this (http://www.gruchalla.org/antarctica/iceberg00.png) and this (http://www.gruchalla.org/antarctica/iceberg01.png): transmitted light v. reflected light under equal conditions.

Repeating... Water is not blue simply because it reflects the blue sky.
Absolutely, I'm sure you can see water that is clearly blue, or cyan, on an overcast day, but it can just as easily be quite grey or black which I can attest to having had far too much opportunity to study things under this kind of lighting :D

Einion

bigflea
03-02-2006, 10:32 PM
Jive,
Now that you believe water is blue, will you will be getting rid of all those clear color pigments you use for painting water?

Patrick1
03-03-2006, 01:58 AM
What are clear color pigments?

bigflea
03-03-2006, 09:23 AM
Pigments that have no color.

LarrySeiler
03-03-2006, 09:47 AM
Repeating... Water is not blue simply because it reflects the blue sky. Water is actually, really, truly blue. Snow is blue too.


how do you figure?

Let's see...I could be dumb, so I am willing to accept that as a proposal without offense.

Hhhmm...spent 17 years waterfowling on the treacherous bays of Green Bay, my father was a sportsfishing guide on Lake Michigan and I spent countless hours with him on Lake Michigan and other bodies of water. Spent my time fishing trout streams, my time on the big pond in my stint with Uncle Sam's Navy...and now live in a national forest with 1200 lakes and streams. My life has been water, observing water. Not to mention drinking it.

I've spent time in the Mediteranean where the water is the clearest and light filtering thru has its greens and blues at depths of 30 feet, where a nickel drop flips over and over.

I can't say I've ever held a glass of water, pulled a salmon out of the water, waded amongst my decoys and seen that water is physically blue, and certainly to no degree it would override the influence of light properties itself where painting is concerned.

Water might be brownish due to sediments, colored due to treatments of waste plants nearest to the plants themselves, rust or orange colored due to iron content and acids of decaying vegetation...but as it sits and eventually settles (whatever influences are in it that settle to the bottom, it clears itself up).

I'd say 90% of my outdoor paintings are water...so, perhaps this is one possible major epiphany for me that will revolutionize my painting if you can adequately explain this. Furthermore how knowing that water and ice are alleged blue...it will help override the influence of light so that it would even matter?

I will post a painting I did about 1-1/2 to 2 weeks ago of a melting ice cube. Now that is a challenge to do so before it melts and is all gone. It sat on my desk and I observed and painted what light, color and values I could detect. My eyes must be quite faulty...which I must then assume if water being physical blue is true. As you can see...no real presence of blue, so I must have missed it...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Feb-2006/532-icecubewc.jpg

I don't mean to be contentious or divisive...but the insistence that something is what the eyes do not see is likely to support ideas that grass is green, sky is blue, pines are green, snow is white. The very thing in teaching workshops you adamently point out is false. A painting is nothing more than one spot of color (assigned its proper value) placed next to another until done. Its about seeing...and often putting your preconceived notions aside attempting to be like a child seeing the world for the first time, with awe and wonder.

With that in mind, I'll apologize up front...it is not my wish (nor am I comfortable) to be labeled a guy that enjoys arguing for the sake of arguing...or rubbing others the wrong way.

please help explain in a way that can get thru the many years of junk in my head...
peace

jdadson
03-03-2006, 09:29 PM
how do you figure? [...] please help explain in a way that can get thru the many years of junk in my head...
peace

I don't figure. The folks who composed the web-pages I've been urging people to read did the figuring. No, I don't believe everything I see on the net. But those pages look very authoritative to me.

By the way, I put your ice cube in PaintShop and used the color picker on it. PaintShop says the darks in the ice cude are dead-on middle blue, with a hue angle of 240. But of course it needn't have been so, because an ice cude is very transparent. If you put it on a red napkin, the light coming through would look red. Ditto if you put red ink in the water before you froze it.

I am not inclined to argue the point. I posted links to the articles that I think are enlightening. Take 'em or leave 'em.

I like you paintings.

LarrySeiler
03-03-2006, 09:45 PM
appreciate your liking my work Jive, and the very kind graciousness not to take my objections as offensively. We artists naturally tend to wear our emotions on our sleeves.

See...when I paint from life...I don't use a color picker to test a color, I use my eyes. I have photoshop 7, and suppose I could take a digital photo, then sample with a picker...but that is not really how we use our eyes, respond to what our senses tell us and so forth. To my eyes...it is a neutral that somewhat leans toward a violet.

Also..what a color picker won't tell you is how an adjacent color works to cast its complementary upon a color next to it. A sliver of orange neutral would want you to read a grayer neutral next to it bluer...a greenish area would have you to believe a color near to it is redder than it really is.

These are things the eyes are able to take in...whereas a picker picks one color at a time and analyzes it separate from the cohesive unity necessary to make a painting work fundamentally as a painting.

take care...appreciate your temperment Jive!! :)

LarrySeiler
03-03-2006, 10:06 PM
as examples, the eyes are like color pickers that are very sensitive, but are in constant change and flux...

if your eyes, for example fluctuate and move back and forth between the two areas circled...you will sense more grayish-green existing in the area the arrow is showing. Try that in the cube in my post above where there is no distraction of the circles and arrow-

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Mar-2006/532-icecubecolor1.jpg

If your eyes linger and move about in this small area circled, the area the arrow points to will feel and hint at a sense of blue...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Mar-2006/532-icecube_herebluer.jpg

and it is because while looking from here (the red arrow)...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Mar-2006/532-icecube_herebluer2.jpg

...the orangish pigmented area adjacent and more dominant (indicated by orange line) wants to throw its complement blue upon that grayer mass (indicated by blue line).

the area here wants the warm area the arrow points to to feel yellower, warmer..
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Mar-2006/532-icecube_hereyellower.jpg

I can make a somewhat flat orange feel more oranger by having more blue next to it. I can make a color feel less intense by its neighbor casting just the right complement upon it. This phenomena is constantly at work.

In fact...playing with this principle with a limited palette I am learning I can make the viewer think I'm must have a particular pigment on my palette that I do not have...a red where my W&N Bright Red might be believed too limiting, simply by tweaking adjacent areas. It can get so complicated....and yet is at the same time so simple.

What I'm stressing though is working to see what the eyes...even what feeling that the eyes are seeing. Not taking water and putting a digital software's color picker to it. Viewers will not be using color pickers as they stand before our work to take it in.

In the nitty gritty of grinding out discussion we can become more technical for the sake of argument, but its a little bit like missing the forest for the trees.

Patrick1
03-04-2006, 12:38 AM
Jive and Larry... I'm guessing it's mainly a matter of thickness; with water you need it to be several feet thick or more to see any blueness (recall the long tube of water in the first link in post 86...three meters long and the water looked only slightly blue/turquoise in that photo). I'd expect ice would work the same way (but maybe more pronounced if there are bubbles in it to scatter the light)...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_hotel

But I wonder how much of this blueness is sky color coming through; you can also find interior photos of ice palaces where there's very little blueness or greenness...close to grey...

http://www.icehotel-canada.com/en/partners/absolutbar2005.en.php

But what about the white balance of the photos? This topic reminds me of the 'what instrinsic color is sunlight' question that's been debated here...not as easy to answer as it might first look.

LarrySeiler
03-04-2006, 08:03 AM
I agree Patrick...not an answer easy to come up with...

What bothers me a little is it seems like trying to define love by using scientific inquiry and analysis, dismissing the poets. Artists are visual poets... in a sense.

I purchased a couple books by Peter London, the latest called "No More Secondhand Art"...and I'll admit a bit new agy psychobabble for me in many parts and I disagree with him on a number of points...but I rather enjoy how he writes and states somethings, finding things to appreciate and agree with.

He says this, which I think is important for us as artists to remember-
Representational art does not begin with the object; it begins with the fascination a human being feels upon witnessing a portion of the world. It is a fascination with the form, color, line, height, texture of the apple, not as apples grow, not as they taste, nor as they feel or smell, but from the single selected dimension of how they look from an aesthetic point of view. Other people are also interested in the look of apples- horticulturists, anthropologists, chefs, greengrocers, nutriitionists- but only the artist is interested in the look of an apple from the specific perspective of the evocative expressiveness of its form.

The representational objective of art is not to represent things; it is to represent what happens to humans when they confront things.

Certainly as patrons grow...they grow in thanks to artists that help them come to touch within themselves what happens in their soul when they too confront things. Not able perhaps to create art themselves, they learn to be more sensitive to their world thru the unique vision of the artist.

I'm just concerned again that we not miss the forest for the trees. Getting so technical we become horticulturists in talking about the apples we painted.

So..what is this...a volume of water appears blue...pouring water from a cup it appears clear? Well then, suffice it to say when it appears blue...paint it so, but it is to confuse especially young artists to insist water is blue when their eyes do not agree. It is a weight upon their impressionable shoulders to hold their vision suspect and go instead with what has been said.

Later, London says this which I find interesting-
We have the responsibility to see for ourselves and not settle for hearsay. If we live our lives in rumor and hearsay, who we are and what we do reflect not the world of our own experience but the diluted, inaccurate reflections cast by others.

Seeing something firsthand is to meet the thing. To confront something one-to-one is to be taken up and changed by that thing and to change the thing as a consequence of our reactions to it.

In my own experience...I spent near 20 years instudio painting wildlife art. It was alleged based on my experience as a sportsman and outdoors person, yet I was indoors painting what I knew of the outdoors.

What was influential upon what I knew of the outdoors and thus allegedly expressed was the movement of the wildlife art genre itself. In hindsight I was aware of what was selling. There were the agents, the machine of marketing, the publishers, the exhibitions. Magazines and various media made it possible to keep up with who was all the buzz..and all the why of it, and the artist wishing to maintain reputation or have the spotlight upon themselves found themselves propelled to adapt to idealized things.

I was told my wildlife art was different than others, and I think its because something recoiled inside me that what buyers and publishers catering to buyers thought how wildlife should look and behave was not in alignment with my personal observations and experiences with wildlife itself. I showed a snowy owl killing a Hungarian partridge and with its sharp talons pinning it to the ground was intent to eat it.

I showed not the at ease restful position of the ruffed grouse, but as the grouse is experienced in its explosive fear of predation taking haphazard and potential injurious flight to itself to get away.

I think it was a matter of time really before I would have to make that final cut, not allowing myself as London says to live, work and submit to "rumors and hearsay"

In taking myself out of the comfort zone of my easel to paint directly from nature I began a new quest that valued confrontation, seeing a thing for what it was and not idealizing it or weighing it in under the analysis of others. Even painting my mundane everday objects in my postcard sized exercises I call incidentals...it is an attempt as London says, to confront and meet the thing...not just changing what I am seeing but to seek to have my eyes and impressions, my aesthetic sensibilities changed by that object as well; producing a freshness...an honesty.

I'll end this rant with apologies again...and my appreciation for a means to rant, enjoy a cup of coffee among friends. You are all good folks.

Its not a bad thing to discuss the why's of a thing...but I encourage caution that we not lose our artistic eyes and that childlike simplicity of experiencing the world afresh...as though seeing something and confronting it for the first time. In a way...our experiences after many years of an artist can do others a disservice if others assume they can borrow our experiences to shortcut their need to confront the world.

peace

Donna A
03-04-2006, 08:12 PM
Me too...one eye sees a bit browner, the other a bit bluer. Though it can only be noticed when I'm looking at a blank wall under some lighting conditions...I almost never notice it otherwise. I'm glad to know I'm not the only mutant.
LOL, Patrick! :-) Me, too! :-) And like you, it is only in particular circumstances when I notice it----the first time, one morning still tucked in bed in my avocado-green sheets, trying to recover from a cold. Started entertaining myself closing one eye then the other, looking at the way the folds in the sheets would jump around, depending on which eye. Then began to notice this "huge" difference in color! Wow!!! This was nearly 40 years ago. Mine is both warmer and cooler as well as a bit lighter/brighter---to duller and a bit darker. Hmmmmm. I am very suspicious that many, many other people have this same difference, but have just never noticed. Folks certainly end up with a different prescription for each eye for eye glasses!

Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donna A
03-04-2006, 08:54 PM
On the issue of "what color is water," here is an excerpt from one of my Color Workshop handouts which might be useful to some of you.
===================================

Additional Color Notes: Natural Light Color Effects:

Color of Water: Shallow water will often appear greenish because of the reflection of golden sun light off the bottom back up through the water which is reflecting the skys blue. The deeper water tends toward a bluer color since less sunlight is reaching the bottom and still less making it all the way back up through the water that still has a strong reflection of the skys scattered blue light. The deeper the water, the bluer it will tend to appear. Water with overhanging trees or other elements blocking the shys light will tend to be darker and more neutral. Because the skys light is not reflecting on the water in those areas, we can often see the bottom of a pond or stream even where it is a bit deeper.

Sunlight Noon/Sunset: Fine particles in the atmosphere or translucent objects scatter light rays, most obvious in moist air as a rainbow which breaks up the color in a consistant pattern that can also be seen when light breaks through a prism. Red Light Waves are longer and remain more direct while Blue Light Waves are shorter and tend to scatter more. As sunlight passes through our atmosphere at different angles during the day, various seasons and lattitudes the light appears different, greatly due to the way the longer and shorter light waves continue in their path or are deflected. The distance through the atmosphere is shortest at noon and the scattered blue rays color the sky while the sun glows a bright golden yellow. By sunset, the sunlight is coming through the atmosphere at a very oblique angle, with a great deal of blue scatteried and lost, while the red rays remain more direct, giving the sun that magical glowing red appearance and casting red reflections on to the clouds.
------------------------------------------------
And here is a great little experiment you can do in your studio to see some fascinating light effects:
------------------------------------------------

The Experiment with Yellow Fabric by Donna Aldridge, Aldridge Studios
The Experiment with Yellow Fabric (mound warm yellow fabric to create caverns, valleys and planes) lighted with Incandescent and cool Florescent (or indirect window) lights set approximately 90 angles from each other and at low sunrise/sunset levels rather than overhead noon levels. Look for the many rich changes in color where [1] no light falls [2] one light or [3] two+ lights fall . . . on the on the object(s) and ground(s). You should be able to distinguish many colors variations of red, yellow orange, green and pale cyan, ivory and grays.\0\0
============================

Donna ;-}