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Colorix
11-01-2008, 08:13 AM
Welcome, Soft Pastellists!

First post in this thread is a repeat of the information given in the invitation, gathered in one place. Please look through it.

No matter whether you really love the small cosmos of a still-life, or always found them to be a boring exercise with objects that are uninteresting, this class may be interesting and exciting to you. Focusing on exploring colour – how it behaves, and how you shape forms and space and distance with it – is a fun way of approaching still-lifes. It can open up for a new way of painting, or it can enrich your established style. It can make still-lifes a delightful adventure! We will focus on still-lifes as examples and set-ups for painting as it suits the classroom format. Naturally, the principles are applicable to any subject one chooses to paint. The principles work also for you who like to paint with more subdued colours, so join in!

Weclome to Still-Life the Colourful Way! for Soft Pastellists.

Participation:
Lurking is fine. You can even paint the stuff! Don't have to post, but then, you'll not get any advice. I'll only advice *in the class-thread*, so all can benefit. But doing is way better than reading and looking. (Well, we all know that, don't we, and still we try to read to gain real knowledge... It has to be hands- and brains-on to be internalized.)

Do 'lurk', and when you get the time to do work and post, do it, even if the majority of the class is further down the road. I figure that *very* quickly people will be at different stages. There are jobs and families to take care of, and also, some of us learn slower while others learn faster. As long as the class is active, you can post and get comments.

You can start whenever you want -- the posts will still be there, somewhere, just bookmark it so you can find it. Dianna Ponting has a class she started in March 07, I think, and people are still following it. It is not active, but people do follow the steps, post, and some pop in to comment, even Dianna herself.
So, you can start whenever you can and want.

So, to clarify: It is OK/fine/good to --
- 'lurk'
- start later
- go slower
- take a pause and start again at the point where you left off

Those are what makes a digital class so convenient!

Photo and real Set-ups:
I will have two (or three) very concrete lessons, with photos to paint from, closely tied to the principles I'm teaching, for pedagogical reasons. But after that, it is either your own set-up IRL (best) or your own photo. I'll also provide photos and suggestions for those who want to use them. We do want to paint beautiful paintings we can hang or sell, so I'm planning it so that there are few 'scales to play' for practice.


Materials to be used:

Pastels-- one warm and one cool of each of the primaries, plus secondaries, plus tints.

Most of you already have that in your pastel stick collections.( If you don’t, we’ll be creative with what you have, no need to rush out and spend a lot of $.) You’ll learn how to get by with relatively few sticks, and still get the colours you want. Pastel brand isn’t very important in the outset, but best results will be gotten from artists quality, and medium hard ones.


Lemon Yellow (leaning towards = --> greenish)
Yellow (pure)
Orange (pure)
Warm Red (--> orangeish)
Cool Red (--> blueish)
Violet (both reddish and blueish, if you have them, otherwise just violet)
Blue (pure, or --> violet)
Warm Blue (--> greenish)
Cool Green (--> blueish)
Warm Green (--> yellowish)

Plus Yellow Ochre (no tints needed)

And at least 2 tints of the rest of them.

Unless you are planning to get new pastels anyway, there is no need to get anything special for this class. I will use Rembrandts. AS are of the sameish hardness, and will be great too. If you're lighthanded, real softies will be fine.

The pastels that are harder than Rembrandt/AS won't be perfect for later stages, when we want to build many layers, but they will be fine to start with, for the first five lessons or so, especially if you already have them. Just, don't go and buy them for this class, if you already have a good range of softer pastels.

We'll get by with what you already have, for starters, and then, if one would have or feel the need, one can invest. (I'm protective of your hard earned money. Of course you guys do what suits you. I only recommend.)

Colours

I'm going to use Rembrandt. Again, you can use what you have, so try to find colours that match decently well. See the general list in post no 2 in this thread. In this post, I give you the bare minimum you need. A list of Rembrandt numbers and names, and my own chart:

The List:
30 Sticks (Rembrandt numbers and names, the higher the number after the comma is, the lighter the tint. ,5 are pure, and .3 are shades)

205 Lemon Yellow 205,5 and ,9
202 Deep Yellow ,5 ,9
235 Orange .5
371 Permanent Red Deep ,5 ,8
397 Permanent Rose ,5 ,7 ,8 ,10
536 Violet ,3 ,5 ,7 ,9
OR some of the other blue-violets.

506 Ultramarine Blue ,3 ,5 ,7, 9
522 Turquoise Blue ,3 ,5 ,8
626 Cinnabar Green Light ,5 ,9
627 Cinnabar Green Deep ,3 ,5 ,9
100 White
227,5 Yellow ochre

So far, these are the bare minimum you can get by with, because we layer. (If you blend, the full pigment sticks and a white is enough.) Additional tints are nice to have, if you already have them in your box and brand.

Later, you may want equivalents to
318 Carmine 5, 8, 9
201 Yellow 5, 8
570 Pthalo Blue 3, 5. 7. 9
546 Red Violet 3, 5, 8
505 Ultramarine Light (which is discontinued, if I’m correctly informed. Now there is a plain Ultramarine)

Chart

And my own chart (actually made on white paper, but has to look darker so the yellows read OK) -- the ones we need are marked in black. You won't be able to match your brand with this chart exactly, so use your wisdom. Total correspondence is not necessary anyway. For example, I have not been able to find the Cinn. Green Deep locally, so I make do with two other greens that are close enough.

The Chart:

(note that the shades (,3) are in the last column, illogical, I know)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-Class-Chart-iz.jpg

By the way, this is a general purpose palette. It is the same I use for landscapes too. (With some browns added, as I'm not good at optically mixing browns in pastel.)

Found a decent chart on Fineartstore (http://www.fineartstore.com/Catalog/tabid/365/List/1/CategoryID/6544/Level/a/Default.aspx?SortField=UnitCost%2cUnitCost), but the site loads awfully slowly. But the patches look very accurate.


For pure fun:
On this site (http://www.purveslab.net/seeforyourself/), you can see for yourself why we actually do not need very many colours in our boxes (unless we want them, of course, and delight in overspending on pigment, as I do!) Play with the interactive examples under colour, and if you want more fun, do the light and value experiments to the left of the colour ones.


Paper
White or cream plain pastel paper, similar to Canson MT, Ingres, Tiziano. We’ll create pastel underpaintings, and we want to control the colour, at the beginning. (Of course you can use the more expensive sanded papers and boards and whatnot, but please use a white or cream colour for starters. Oh, allright, sand-beige or mist will do too.) Or, as these won't be immortal masterpieces, use an ordinary sandpaper, for sanding wood and such.

Size of support/paper: Smallish is fine in the beginning, somewhere around 8x12 inches, or A4. Not so small you're uncomfortable, and not so big it takes ages and tons of pigment to cover it. Big enough to be able to use the side of pieces of sticks.

Camera or Scanner
You can use any of them for posting your sketches and paintings. Colour will be off no matter which you use. Type a line explaining what looks very different. We all know the limitations of the digital media.

Attitude
And then, remember, the nature, the very essence, of a class is to be kicked out of the comfort zone and denied return to it. We all want to dazzle the others with our masterpieces, so we stay in the comfy space, snug and safe. But, ladies and gentlemen, is that how we *grow* and *broaden our horizons*? Or does that indeed happen when we work a bit outside the edge of our personal "known universes"? Eh? Make being outside your comfort zone to be your new comfort zone. Love the unknown. Love not knowing how to solve a puzzle, and feel the heady rush of joy when you somehow, unbeknownst to you, tumble out at the other end discovering you actually made it work!

Expect to be back on square one in any class or workshop. Be an eye and an ear in order to take in, from teacher and from the other students. Willingly opening your heart and mind will, I guarantee you, make you grow so you can dazzle
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Oct-2008/117343-Winking_flamy.gif your admirers, *after* the class, when new and interesting things will pop up in your regular paintings.


Now, let's get started!

Colorix
11-01-2008, 08:28 AM
The above information on what you need to know for starting in the class will for a time be in this clickable link (http://charlotteherczfeld.com/other-form). It is HTML-tagged, so it is easy to find the relevant parts through the index.

Lesson 1, part 1

Following the great example of Deborah Secor (in her Snow Class) – let’s start with a bit of *thinking*. (We’ll get to actual painting soon, very soon! Today.)

This first part is a little bit informational. And very important. It is pared down to a minimum, as more will be sprinkled throughout the class.

As you all know, colour is simply the emitted or reflected rays of light that reach our retinas, where it causes a neuro-chemical reaction that is transmitted to the brain. (Don’t stop reading here! Go on.) Instead of using a lot of theories and physics and biology of anatomy, we can train our eyes and mind to see and discern more of the subtle colours of light, and open up our minds to perceive a greater beauty in the world around us.

We have light and shadows as the basic elements of a lit scene. We all know what light is. But...

Q 1: How then can we define shadow? What does it consist of?
A. How would you describe the nature of a shadow, be it a cast shadow or a shadow plane?
B. What happens to colour in shadow?

Here is an example of a red block in sunlight, sitting on a pale blue cloth, and a pale yellow-green cloth:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-Class-Red-block-light-f34.jpg

First, please consider this: How would you ordinarily go about painting this simple still-life? Which sticks of pastel would you have used to make the lights and the shadows?

Q 2: What colours do you see in:
1. Top of block?
2. Right side of block? Is it the same as...
3. ... left side of block?
4. Why is it the same/different?
5. blue cloth in sunlight?
6. green cloth in sunlight?
7. What happens in the cast shadow?

And one more tricky question, a bit more advanced:
Q 3: Why are the wrinkles of the green cloth in shadow yellower/warmer when they face away from the block?

And here we have the same block in shadow:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-Class-Red-block-shadow-f39.jpg

What colour is it? (Duh!, you may think, “it is red, the same as before, does she think we’re dumb or what!? “) Of course you’re smart and talented, but I want you to actually see, not just ‘know’. Compare it to the one in Sunlight.

Q 4:
a) What are the differences you see between the first in Sun, and this one in Shadow?
b) Describe, if you know, why the block in Shadow looks different?

And the more advanced questions:
Q 5:
a) What affects our colour-perception of the block-in-Shadow?
b) Why are we so certain it is a red block on a blue and a green cloth?



You’ll find parts of the answers in these isolated samples taken from the photos:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-Class-R-patchlight--f34.jpg

Block-in-Sunlight: These patches are in the order of:
Red block (pretty obvious, eh?) and from up down green cloth in light, and shadow, and blue cloth in distant light, shadow, and near light.
Remember, this is what the camera recorded. The eye in real life will see much more colour in the shadows.

Patches of Block-in-Shadow:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-R-sh-patch-f39.jpg

Block-in Shadow: Patches in order of:
Red block: top and below the sides. Next vertical row is green cloth far away from block and under is near block. Blue cloth: The top blue is distant, and bottom blue is near.

Were these samples a surprise, or had you expected them?

In my next post later today, I’ll give you a Paint-along demonstration, using my pastel technique, and I encourage you who are advanced pastellists to paint it too. It will be of the block in Sunshine. It is a good idea to do a quick (max 30 minutes) sketch of it now, in your usual manner. Then after the Demo, you can compare the effects. That will be really interesting for you to see.

See you soon!

Charlie

Colorix
11-01-2008, 12:17 PM
;-)

Ain't gonna post no demo until youse guys start thinkin' -- in writing! ;-)

Jokin', of course!

Come on, think/ruminate/speculate and plain guess while I edit the pictures for the Paint-along-demo. Or are ye'all too stuffed with candy, and tired from doing tricks?

Charlie

maw-t
11-01-2008, 12:48 PM
HI CHarlie!! Looks like you have been busy working hard on this! THANKS! This is going to be a fasicnating!

Some very thought provoking questions... I am amzed at the color blocks that are found in the box that is in shadow..
I am excited to learn the answers to your questions! AND to see what we will be painting!!:)

Inki C
11-01-2008, 12:57 PM
Hi Charlie,
Already a lot to learn here...
I'm no advanced pastellist (started in august) but I did a sketch of the block in sunlight, and I'm planning to paint along to compare...

Tracy Lang
11-01-2008, 01:08 PM
Hi Charlie,

This is awesome...Thank you!!!

Not sure if you mean for all of us to post our thoughts here...but, here goes...

Q1. Shadow is cast by the object blocking the light. In this case it is cooler, dulled and transparent.

2. Top = warm red, Rt warm going to cooler. Blue cloth washed out in sunlight to light grey. Green cloth light yellow in sunlight. Shadow edges are crisp, I see reflected red in the shadow, stronger and warmer on the yellow cloth near the base of the block, and some more violet on the blue cloth, higher up.

3. Facing the light?

4. Values much closer together

5. not sure :)

Tracy

Pat Isaac
11-01-2008, 01:47 PM
Thanks, Charlie. Lots to think about.

Pat

loribfromva
11-01-2008, 01:49 PM
I'll give this a try.
Q1: I have to admit, i don't know the difference between a cast shadow and a shadow plane. But i do see that the surface color is blued in the shadow, with a little of the object color reflected into the shadow near the object.
Q2:Top of block is more orangeish (because the nature of sunlight is yellowish?), the right is less orange, and the left is an even cooler red. The blue cloth in sunlight appears grey to me, and more blue in the shadow. The green cloth appears more yellow in the sun, and more green in the shadow.
Q3: don't know
Q4: Block in shadow loses its orangish cast, appears cooler, more bluish red.
Q5:Lack of sunlight causes us to see less yellow, making the block more red, the blue cloth more blue, and the green cloth less yellow.

Lori

robertsloan2
11-01-2008, 02:10 PM
Okay, here goes with the Q & A...

Q 1: How then can we define shadow? What does it consist of?
It's an absence of light, reduced light when light is blocked in some way.

A. How would you describe the nature of a shadow, be it a cast shadow or a shadow plane?

It's cool and restful when it's hot out. It's cooler in color and it may have soft reflections within it of what cast the shadow. I think the term "shadow plane" is when the shape of a shadow shows that the object casting the shadow is on a horizontal object -- part of the process of turning a two dimensional painting into the representation of a three dimensional world.

The shadow plane is the table or surface the cloths are laying on and the block is standing on. If any other objects were in this example, they would also have separate cast shadows that would help define the angle of the shadow plane.

Cast shadows are easy. It's the shadow of an object, like a tree branch or that block or a figure. They show the shape of what casts them. If you have two lights on something, you can get two cast shadows. Each light casts one where it's blocked. This can be really pretty especially if the lights are different colors.

B. What happens to colour in shadow?

It gets bluer for the same reasons that it gets bluer in aerial perspective in the distance. It will all shift away from yellow and toward blue. Maybe away from orangy-yellow specifically, yellows will get greener. It will also have more muted contrasts as there's less light to define dramatic value contrasts.

robertsloan2
11-01-2008, 02:20 PM
Q 2: What colours do you see in:

1. Top of block? Bright warm red

2. Right side of block? Is it the same as... Cooler bright red shading darker and cooler toward the bottom.

3. ... left side of block? Cooler than right side of block, also shading brightest at top and darkest and coolest at bottom. I might be able to continue the progression using the cold red at the bottom of the right side as the top of the left side and just smudge a little more red-violet into it to shade it down.

4. Why is it the same/different?
The areas toward the bottom of the block have less reflected light coming from outside the cast shadow from the yellow-green cloth. The light is angled closer to the right side of the block, not dead center, so more reflected light comes onto the right side of the block. Blocks show up best like that if the light's off to one side.

5. blue cloth in sunlight? Very pale Ultramarine.

6. green cloth in sunlight? I'm taking your word for it that it's a green cloth, in the photo it looks like pale buttery warm yellow! This could be because the blue next to it brings out the yellow and makes it look less green. Colors affect those next to them.

7. What happens in the cast shadow?
It becomes a lot bluer, everything is some shade of blue. I took out my handy little value finder, which has White after 9 and Black before 1 and checked.

The light areas of the cloth are values 8 and 9 in their shadows and highlights. The values within the shadow are 2, 3 and 4. So there is a HUGE value jump between sun and shadow, bigger than I thought it was before I picked up my value finder.

The value finder I used was a freebie from Daniel Smith and numbers White as one step lighter than 9 and Black as one step darker than 1. Some value finders number the opposite direction with 10 for black and 1 for white.

robertsloan2
11-01-2008, 02:23 PM
Q 3: Why are the wrinkles of the green cloth in shadow yellower/warmer when they face away from the block?

They're scared of it and get their color back in relief when they turn their back on that big red scary thing.

Okay, seriously, the light is reflecting off the rest of the lighter cloth in that direction and giving them highlights within shadow that warm their hue and lighten them up compared to the deep shadow of a double cast shadow. The cast shadow of the block and the cast shadow of the wrinkle are combining to double that "darken and blue" effect to make the little shadows on the wrinkles the darkest and bluest areas on the green cloth.

robertsloan2
11-01-2008, 02:28 PM
Q 4:
a) What are the differences you see between the first in Sun, and this one in Shadow?

Now everything in the scene is within a much larger cast shadow by an object, perhaps the photographer, between the light and the block. The block's cast shadow vanished. The shading on the block remains and that's interesting. Everything has been cooled and darkened to the colors of the shadow side of the block in sun.

b) Describe, if you know, why the block in Shadow looks different?

It's in a bigger shadow, and the light is so diffuse within the big shadow that it does not have a distinct cast shadow of its own. But it still has shadow sides in the same orientation because even this diffuse shadow light is coming in the same direction -- above and slightly to the right. It's bluer and darker. I'd use the cast-shadow color choices to draw this one.

robertsloan2
11-01-2008, 02:31 PM
Q 5:
a) What affects our colour-perception of the block-in-Shadow?
The blue is so ubiquitous that my mind adjusts the red-purples of the block to being a bright red. It looks like the light is blue, which it is a blue diffuse shadowed light.

b) Why are we so certain it is a red block on a blue and a green cloth?

There's enough color still within the blued light of the shadow to see that the block is red, and the green cloth looks turquoise, yellower than the blue cloth which now has a great richness of hue. It's contextual, the green cloth is yellower than the blue one and the red block a lot redder than its surrounds, only tinted by the blue of the shadow.

It was an explosive recognition for me not too long ago, only a couple of years ago, to comprehend that a bright blue in shadows reads as natural where a dull gray doesn't look as real. I stopped using gray shadows at that point. Now, I can't help seeing it everywhere.

robertsloan2
11-01-2008, 03:01 PM
I drew this with pastel pencils in my Canson Universal Recycled sketchbook, which is okay for pastel sketches -- surface is about as toothy as Mi-Tientes and it's white.

I kept it under half an hour but spent more than half the time getting the block shaded just right. Then noticed the reddish smear next to it AFTER I had put fixative on it so it wouldn't smudge the rest of the sketchbook. Arrgh.

I am embarrassed. lol

414780

Colors on my scan are off because I could not get it balanced right, the block looks more orangy-red overall than it is in my sketchbook where it turns distinctly cold red on the shadow sides.

MarkJBrader
11-01-2008, 03:19 PM
This is perhaps my second ever post on Wet Canvas, but I have been lurking almost a year, around Pastels. I may not be able to join in often, but I have been waiting for this thread to start, and want to encourage Colorix to get going by adding my answers!

I read Susan Sarbane's book last month and so picked up the set of pastels she recommended, which is very close to that for this class. I will try to keep up as I have time.

Here are my answers to questions:

Q 1: How then can we define shadow? What does it consist of?

A shadow is an area which is not illuminated directly by a given source of light. [A shadow exsists only in reference to a given source of light.]

Q 1A. How would you describe the nature of a shadow, be it a cast shadow or a shadow plane?

What is seen in a shadow comes from sources of light other than that which defines the shadow. In a scene with a single primary source, these other sources will be from reflections of the primary source off other surfaces.

Q 1B. What happens to colour in shadow?

It will be reduced in value from the portion in direct light. As the portion in direct light tends to be moved in hue toward the natural hue of the light, so in distinction, the shadow appears to be moved toward the complementary. On top of that, the indirect illumination will carry colors from the reflecting surfaces.

Q 2: What colours do you see in:
1. Top of block?

Kind of a dull orangish-red

2. Right side of block? Is it the same as...

Kind of a dull-orange, brownish

3. ... left side of block?

More of a deeper reddish brown.

4. Why is it the same/different?

Sunlight is yellowing, so the top of the block appears yellower, while the left side is the shadow part getting the least reflected light back to our eye.

5. blue cloth in sunlight?

Light, very low chroma blue, almost a grey on my monitor

6. green cloth in sunlight?

Light, very low chroma yellow.

7. What happens in the cast shadow?

The ‘blue’ cloth appears to remain very low chroma but perhaps the blue seems ever so slightly violet-ish. Similarly the yellow has become very gray, maybe just very slightly greenish.

Q 3: Why are the wrinkles of the green cloth in shadow yellower/warmer when they face away from the block?

Very close to the block, of course, there is a reddish-warm tinge. However, farther away, I would guess the difference is caused by how much of the secondary light is scattered back to our eye. The wrinkle side curving away from our eye, is also curving away from the secondary light, and cannot thus reflect as much back toward our eye. Hope that is right.


Q 4:
a) What are the differences you see between the first in Sun, and this one in Shadow?
b) Describe, if you know, why the block in Shadow looks different?

The yellow cast of direct sunshine is gone. Thus, the top of the block now is moved toward the blue, appearing a sort of magenta. The two other sides seem closer in value than before. Deeper browns with slight redness. In fact the value contrast between all sides of the block is much reduced.

The blue cloth appears much bluer, except where light seems to pull a red glow into it close the block, creating some violet. The yellow cloth also looks fairly blue, except for that red reflected light.

Q 5:
a) What affects our colour-perception of the block-in-Shadow?
b) Why are we so certain it is a red block on a blue and a green cloth?

It is the ‘relative’ color perception of the different zones that our brains have learned to interpret. That is, we take the relative differences and interpret them in to ‘local color’ as we have learned to synthesize that color.


Hope this post works. :smug:
Mark

Colorix
11-01-2008, 03:20 PM
Great thoughts, guys!

Keep it up, keep it coming. (And I'll look up some words, like "shadow plane". I'm pretty sure it isn't the model after the Stealth plane.)

I've finished the demo, *and* edititng the 24 photos... (Really should have done that yesterday...)

I'll get something to eat (dinner), and I'll be back.

Charlie

MarkJBrader
11-01-2008, 03:21 PM
Oops, that was 'Susan Sarbak', I believe.:o

Mark

crystaln
11-01-2008, 04:36 PM
These are my guesses.
Q 1: How then can we define shadow? What does it consist of?
reflected light.
A. How would you describe the nature of a shadow, be it a cast shadow or a shadow plane? I don't know.
B. What happens to colour in shadow? It deepens and cools

Q 2: What colours do you see in:
1. Top of block? light red
2. Right side of block? Orangy Red Is it the same as...
3. ... left side of block? No - I see violet red
4. Why is it the same/different? Left side has less reflected light. ??
5. blue cloth in sunlight? I see light blue
6. green cloth in sunlight? Looks yellow to me
7. What happens in the cast shadow? Color deepens. Looks like a tint?

Q 3: Why are the wrinkles of the green cloth in shadow yellower/warmer when they face away from the block? They don't have red reflected from the block on to them so their color is more pure.

And here we have the same block in shadow:
Q 4:
a) What are the differences you see between the first in Sun, and this one in Shadow? The one in shadow is cooler and looks like there is blue in it.
b) Describe, if you know, why the block in Shadow looks different? There is no yellow light from the sun shining on it.

And the more advanced questions:
Q 5:
a) What affects our colour-perception of the block-in-Shadow? ?
b) Why are we so certain it is a red block on a blue and a green cloth? Guess I'm not advanced.

Were these samples a surprise, or had you expected them? I was surprised at the gray swatches.
Crystal

Colorix
11-01-2008, 05:03 PM
Chapter 2

Colour, Terminology, and Painting stage 1


First, let’s get on the same page regarding colour. There is a basically very simple system that is described by many – Michael Wilcox, for example. Instead of using fancy or fantasy names for colours, we’ll use the simple Yellow, Orange, Red, Violet, Blue, Green. We can easily simplify that to Y, O, R, V, B, G.

A colour wheel:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-Colourwheel_for_class_split.jpg

We take the colour wheel, and simply split it down the middle, and we call the Yellows to Reds “Warm”, and we call the Violets to Greens “Cool”. The reason for this is that the ‘warm’ group visually comes forward, and the ‘cool’ group visually recedes.

You can test this by taking a coloured paper, and I advice a mid-dark blue (or darkish gray), and draw little patches with your sticks. Be sure to cover the paper within the small patches, with the Y, O, R, V, B, G colours. Look at them with relaxed eyes, and you’ll see the warms visually hovering above the surface of the paper, while the cools rest firmly on the paper. There will be some that lie halfway between, usually yellow-greens and cool roses, red violets.

The Warm colours do actually advance visually. It is not just what ‘they’ say, or a metaphor. And we will make use of this.

We will also use the fact that visually, the brightest/lightest colours are in the yellow/green area.

The warm colours represent Light, and the cool colours represent Shadow. (This is by no means an absolute, but let’s keep it simple for now.)

One more thing on the colour-wheel: the colours between all of YORVBG. We will avoid names like “Lemon yellow” or “Permanent Rose”, or “Aqua”. We’ll make life easier by saying “green-Yellow”, and “violet-Red”. Several reasons for this will become clear as we proceed.

The construction of these words are thus: The part after the “-“ is the hue, Red. But it leans towards violet (or blue, if you prefer the even more simplified version with only the 3 primaries), so we call it a violet-leaning-Red, or violet-Red for short. It is much like the topmost red to the left in our divided circle, or, as in the case of Rembrandt pastels, I refer to the Permanent Rose. Violet-Red.

Which is not the same as red-Violet, its neighbor on the cool side. We do, after all, see a difference. We can agree it is a colour somewhere between Red and Blue, which is a Violet. It is leaning toward, or we may say, is more related to, red, than it is to blue. A red-leaning Violet = red-Violet.

That Lemon Yellow will be a yellow that leans/is related towards green. We can visibly see that it most certainly does not lean towards orange. It isn’t “unleaning”, that would be pure Yellow. But we do see a slight greenish tinge, so it is a green-leaning Yellow = green-Yellow.

Q 1: How would you describe “Aqua”, in these terms? Forest Green? Olive Green? Magenta? Ultramarine? Fire-engine Red? Cadmium Red light? Scarlet?

This system is simple and precise. You only need to remember 6 colours. You don’t have to know a lot of theory, as you can see it with your own eyes. Perception, it’s all in the perception.

So, let’s paint!

Stage One – In which we lay the base and set the light

First we make a simplified drawing. I’ve extended the lines of the block so that the corners will be sharp. Before painting, I use a kneaded eraser to take away most of the lines that stick out. Ordinarily, I'd have used a paler pastel pencil to make this "skeleton drawing", but it needs to be clearly visible in this demonstration.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-1-drawing-f3.jpg

(You can save this pic, enlarge it, print it out, and trace it, so you don’t have to struggle with drawing-issues. Blocks are surprisingly difficult to draw, but they are very easy to paint.)

We will not use local colour for our starts. We will first look at the colour of the light. As this is a photo and hard to see, I tell you that it is a rather pure yellow sunlight, from a clear blue sky.

I start with the darkest dark. That is the short side of the block, but the long side is so very similar in colour, so I will paint it with the same colour (as we have a limited palette.) I can’t start it with red, as red is a colour from the half of the colour-wheel that represents light, so I will have to find a colour in the Cool shadow side of the wheel. I choose Violet. I fill it in all the way to the edges, as we paint in pastels which is not a ‘runny’ paint. (Same for oil-pastels.) Then I rub it into the paper with my finger. I want a solid enough base of colour, and I want to preserve the tooth of the paper. (Don’t rub for “king and country”, you don’t want to “iron out” the tooth or deposit too much of finger-oil.)

Laying down Violet:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-2-Purple-f5.jpg

(Fun detail: Look at the shadows of the stick. There is a window to my right letting in the blue light from the sky, and a yellowy daylight incandescent bulb in a lamp to my left.)

Rubbed in Violet:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RDB-3-Purple-rubbed-f8.jpg

The next, lighter, darks, slightly lighter, are in the up-facing planes of the cloths. We start with the cast shadows. They get all their light from the sky. As the light from the sky is blue, I choose a purple-Blue (Ultramarine), for the blue cloth in shadow, as I want to save the green-Blue (Turquoise) for the green cloth.

The green cloth in shadow can start with either a blue-Green, or a green-Blue, or a Blue. Colours who all have the word “blue” in them. (Violet also has blue in it, as it is a red-Blue if we only count the primaries, but we have already used that one for the block.) A yellow-green isn’t really perfect here, as the light from the sky is so very blue, and as it is too brightly close to the local colour. So I choose a green-Blue, the Turqoise.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RDB-4-Shadows-f12.jpg

Now we have set the light for this scene, by filling in all the shadow-masses. Yes, it is the deepness of the shadows that determine how light and bright we think that the lights are when we look at a painting. That is the reason we paint the shadow-masses first.


Now, the lights:

I start with the brightest light-mass that has the strongest colour/hue. That is the red block in light, the top plane of it. So, if I’m to generally avoid local colour in the first colour-statements, I have to look into the light and determine what it leans towards. But I can’t stare at the top of the block, I know I only have about 2-3 seconds before the eye gets ‘overloaded’ with the colour and starts to produce the complementary colour. (If someone knows the URL where there is a demo of this, post it.) So I gently let my eyes scan the scene, from side to side. I become sure that there is a strong yellow component in the top of the block, so I will start it either Yellow, orange-Yellow, or Orange. But which one? The block is fairly dark and deep in colour, and not too reflective, so I start it Orange.

Green cloth in light is definitely looking like a pale yellow, so the Lemon Yellow... ooops! ... the green-Yellow is perfect. It is the lightest of the full-strength hues we have, too. (I may have accidentally grabbed the ArtSpectrum lemon yellow, it is a bit more intense.)

So what do we do with baby-blue cloth in light? We’ve used green-Yellow and Orange. We still have the orange-Yellow, but it would become muted and greenish with some blue over it in the next steps. It is far from blue on the colour-wheel, too. If I follow the edge of the colour-wheel, I find that one of the nearest light-colours to blue is Red, or to be more precise, a violet-Red, so I choose Permanent Rose, but here I will have to use a whitened version, a tint. So I pick a pale rose, a whitened violet-Red for the blue cloth in light. Why not pick a light blue, or even a yellow-Green? Because the blue is a cool colour, and in these first statements, the cools are reserved for the shadows. Had I started the light blue with a light blue, it would have looked out of place in the painting, as it would have looked like a shadow-mass, albeit light. Yellow-Green is still on the cool, shadow, side of the wheel, though I admit it can be very warm, but then it is also duller, because there is a red component in it. We want pure and strong colours, for setting the light.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-5-Lights-f18.jpg

(Fun thing: see how the blue shadows on the right side of the sticks are getting duller as the day gets later.)

Now we have the base upon which to build. We’ve set the light-key.

This should keep you busy for a while, and I’ll look at some replies.

(Continues in post further down in the thread, headed in the post as "Stage 2"....)

Charlie

Colorix
11-01-2008, 06:25 PM
Hi again,

First, this class will not be this technical forever. We are covering most of it today. So do re-read these posts, when you need and want to. It is not possible to take it all in in one go, believe me, I know that more than well.

My idea was to put it all together in one place, for reference.

Thank you for asking about “shadow planes”, I may rather often be uncertain of precise terms, English not being my native language. I checked “shadow plane”. It obviously has several meanings. The one I’m using is based on each side of an object being a plane. Very easy to see in a block on a flat surface. There we have only two planes: the upfacing, (top of block, top of table/surface) and the vertical/perpendicular planes (of the sides of the block). The planes that are in shadow are – shadow planes!


Now, I've read your great and thoughtful answers to the questions I posed, and here follows my own thoughts on them. You can read it as the 'right' answers, but I don't claim to know all. It's simply what's in my head.


Q-and-A from the introduction

We have light and shadows as the basic elements of a lit scene. We all know what light is. But...

Q 1: How then can we define shadow? What does it consist of?
A. How would you describe the nature of a shadow, be it a cast shadow or a shadow plane?
B. What happens to colour in shadow?

My answer: Generally, darkness is absence of light. But, as we can see what is within a ‘normal’ shadow, there actually is light there, but a lesser light, or several weaker lights. The shadow is ‘cast’ by the opaque object between a surface and the main source of light.
Colour in shadow becomes darker and duller. When the light source emits warm light, the colours in the shadows will generally be cool. So when a blue sky is the secondary light source, then the shadows will take on a decidedly blue hue, which can be very bright, btw, if the surface within the cast shadow is white. As always, there are general guidelines, but observation and perception will tell you what colours there are in that particular place at that particular time, and season, and weather.



Q 2: What colours do you see in:
1. Top of block?
2. Right side of block? Is it the same as...
3. ... left side of block?
4. Why is it the same/different?
5. blue cloth in sunlight?
6. green cloth in sunlight?
7. What happens in the cast shadow?

Q2: Well thought out, ladies and gentlemen. It was important to make you observe and think, and you did that in a great way!

And one more tricky question, a bit more advanced:
Q 3: Why are the wrinkles of the green cloth in shadow yellower/warmer when they face away from the block?

My answer: Because there is a highly reflective surface behind and to the right of us. I shot the pic close to the house, not thinking of the large windows there. They send warm reflected sunlight into our set-up, so the larger shadow-plane of the block looks very warm and comparatively light. This reflected sunlight nearly, but doesn’t, overpower the blue light from the sky. Normally, this face of the block would have been darker than the one to the left, as the left one would’ve gotten reflected light from the cloth in light. Again, observation will tell you the truth – you might *know* that this side is darker, generally, but ask yourself if that is what you *really see*. (Pedagogical, eh?)

Here is a pic of the same block, on the same cloths, but with the lights burned out. See how blue the cast shadows look. And how the right vertical side of the block is indeed darker than the left. I personally block the reflected light from the windows, as I’m shooting the pic. That means there is less dulling yellow and red reflected light in the shadows, which makes them purer, bluer, more intense.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-Red-block-sun-f2.jpg


Q 4:
a) What are the differences you see between the first in Sun, and this one in Shadow?
b) Describe, if you know, why the block in Shadow looks different?

Again, you thought and replied really well!


4a: Great answers, and as I asked you what *you* see... well, I can’t give the key.

My answer to 4b: The main light source, the blue sky, will affect every colour. It is also a weaker light, albeit larger (relatively) than the sunlight, so objects will be of a darker (and bluer) value on the lit planes. Still, most of the light from the sky ‘beams’ down from above, so that is why we still have differences in value: the vertical planes get less light than the up-facing planes.

And the more advanced questions:
Q 5:
a) What affects our colour-perception of the block-in-Shadow?
b) Why are we so certain it is a red block on a blue and a green cloth?

My answers:

5a): all that blue light from the sky. Yes, it sits in a cast shadow out on my lawn. Shadow is cast by lilacs, btw.

5b): Yes, our eyes are highly adaptive, and so are our brains. We ‘get used to’ coloured light, and the brain ‘filters it out’. But we also are very adapted and used to seeing things in blue light from the sky, so we have subconsciously observed and taken note of how a colour changes perceptually, and there is a wee editor in our heids that colour-corrects what we see, before sending it to the conscious mind. In short, our brains *know* how it should be.

Compare our knowledge of blue light to orange light, seen in some types of street lamps. It is almost impossible to tell un-known colours. My coat may be blue, but if I didn’t know, I’d not be able to tell.

Next post will be Stage 2 of the Paint-along-demo

Charlie

Judibelle
11-01-2008, 06:37 PM
WOW...what a lot for this ol' dog to absorb. But I'm tryin' to learn the new tricks....distinguishing warm from cool, & what the names mean (violet-Red, for instance..). Finding it most informative...
So I think Aqua would be a blue-Green; Forest Green, not sure ; Olive green, a yellow-green; Magenta, a blue-Violet; Ultramarine, a violet-Blue?
Fire-engine red, an orange-Red? cadmium red Light, not sure; Scarlet red, a purple-Red?
Sheesh, I have a lot to learn!
JB

Colorix
11-01-2008, 07:18 PM
JB, doing great! Yes, my point is that it isn't easy to keep track of all those names of colours, you got it!

And remember, you most certainly do not have to absorb all this right now! Refer back to it. We will take it step by step.

You can *see* if a red is closer to orange, or if it is closer to violet.

And guys, do ask. I *know* this is a lot. I've tried to be as clear as possible in the demo, but I've been working with this system so much that while I do remember being a newbie, I still may rush on too quickly.

Actually, I was the *slowest* to catch it, in the workshop that introduced all this. *Everybody* else was painting furiously, and I stood there... It passed. Just took me a bit more time.

Charlie

robertsloan2
11-01-2008, 07:35 PM
Oh wow. Thanks for all the complex posts! I appreciate your using the simpler color system, it'll let me use certain sets that don't have labeled colors.

Your demo is so different from what I did. Even though I used bright colors I just vaguely matched them to what I had and didn't go for full saturated hues especially in the green (yellow-looking) cloth. I'm looking forward to doing this again your way. I bet it'll come out looking a lot better -- and would have been lots faster than what I did.

Colorix
11-01-2008, 07:51 PM
Stage 2 of the Paint-along-Demo -- in which we "make colour right"

Stage 2

Here is where I, in my simple language, “make the colours right”. In some cases, I apply ‘local colour’, and in others, what is needed. We’ll go into what that means as we go along.

I like to start with the background. Here it is the cloths in light and the cloths in shadow. I ask: What do I need to add to make the colour more right? Or, what is the most obvious colour I need to apply now?

The blue cloth in light would obviously need some blue, so I choose the blue that is closest to the coolish pink... that is, the whitened violet-Red.... namely an Ultramarine blue tint, a whitened violet-Blue. These will go well together, as both have the name ‘violet’ in them. Laying the piece of the pastel on its side, I lightly scumble blue over the pink. There, it now looks much more like blue, but is glowing with light.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-7-GC-light-f22.jpg

At this stage, I still scumble. You can also hatch and crosshatch, but that does take longer time to do, much longer than scumbling ‘broadside’. (Oilies may have to be hatched and crosshatched – you oil-pastellists would know.)

You can also blend with your fingers, if you want to. Personally I prefer to not blend. It is a matter of personal taste what you choose to do, it is not a question of right and wrong.

Now the green cloth in light. I discover that it got too brightly yellow for that pale washed-out very yellow green that is the real cloth. So I use my white stick to lighten it, scumbling over it with the stick’s side. ( I’ll use all sticks on their sides. I’ll tell you when I change manner.) Then I use the lightest tint of the yellow-Green, and scumble that on top of the others. Lightly, so I don’t fill the tooth of the paper. Hm, no, it needs further dulling down with the lightest of the Red. And a little bit more of the lightest yellow-green on top of that, to even out and re-establish the green.

Go very lightly, so some of the tooth remains. If you’ve applied to thickly, use a workable fixative to bind the layers. Spray lightly, so you don’t actually wet the pastel dust.

See the above picture for how it looks.

Here is a pic of the sticks:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-8-sticks-f27.jpg

(Yes, that's a white... as a part of it has fallen off, everything gets caught in it.)

Next I deal with the cast shadows. In plural, as we have both cloths visible there, and I treat them as two different colour-masses.

The blue cloth is a bit greenish, to my eyes, so I lightly apply a dark green, a yellow-green, and then I go over it with the violet-blue again.

The green cloth in shadow gets a light layer of the yellow-green, and I dull it with the orange, very light pressure. To dull it further, the tint of Ultramarine (the ,7), the violet-Blue goes over that.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-9-CShadows-f34.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-10-sticks-f32.jpg


Now the shadow sides of the block needs to get more red, and more dull. I take the red that is closest to violet, the violet-Red, and apply it to the both sides:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-11-BShadow-f35.jpg

Then I need to separate the two sides of the block, and on the right side I apply Orange. Look, there is already a clear difference between right and left! Good! So I apply the Red over the orange, to cool it slightly:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-12-BShadowSep-f38.jpg

The only spot we’ve not touched is the top of the block. I want more light there, so a touch of the Yellow brightens it. A bit of the Red tint puts it back in the red category, but all the others shimmer through:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-13-BTop-f43.jpg


Oh, your paintings will not look exactly like these pics, as I've not colour-corrected them in PS. The last few will be colour-corrected.

Unless I’ve forgotten something, that completes the second stage of “making colour right”.

And, Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm tired (it's past midnight here), and starting to make too many mistakes, so I'll continue tomorrow.

The third stage will be named “Stage 3”. (What a surprise.... :rolleyes: )

Charlie

robertsloan2
11-01-2008, 08:07 PM
Here's my second go just copying what you did on the first layer. The pink in the background is a bit colder than it looks. My orange was much more toward yellow so I put a little red blended in it. My aqua was much closer to green so I put a little blue blended in it.

In the scan, the colors are a bit off despite much playing with it in Gimp. It actually looks closer to the hues you have shown.

414821

Mont Marte (handy) pastels on sketchbook.

WC Lee
11-01-2008, 10:11 PM
here is my little sketch :) hope it was okay to do this one ... and please excuse the messiness of it ..

---

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/122017-sketch01432.jpg

Tracy Lang
11-01-2008, 10:43 PM
Charlie,

I hope you are getting a good rest...dreaming in color :)

Your explanation of your color choices is so clear and really makes sense!

Tracy

mississhippi
11-02-2008, 04:48 AM
Charlie, this is a great class. I've done a sketch 'before' and then another following your instructions.
Sketch#1 - done before Charlie's instructions on 'how-to'
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117413-Sketch1.jpg

Sketch#2 - after Charlie's 'how-to'
I must admit that I don't have the full palette that you have detailed in Stage 1, Charlie, so I have had to improvise. This photo has washed out the greens and I don't have Photoshop to fix it, but they are there! Also, photo taken tonight so colours not the best anyway.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117413-Sketch2.jpg

This is fun Charlie. I look forward to the next lesson!

sekulastudio
11-02-2008, 10:00 AM
Q 1: How then can we define shadow? What does it consist of? The shadow on the cloth is a combination of the color of the cloths and the reflected light from the block.
A. How would you describe the nature of a shadow, be it a cast shadow or a shadow plane? I'm not sure what you are asking here. The shadow on the cloth is a cast shadow and the shadows on the block are shadowed planes. I guess, all shadows could really be described as planes.
B. What happens to colour in shadow? Colors in shadow lose the intensity the had in the light.

Here is an example of a red block in sunlight, sitting on a pale blue cloth, and a pale yellow-green cloth:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-Class-Red-block-light-f34.jpg

First, please consider this: How would you ordinarily go about painting this simple still-life? Which sticks of pastel would you have used to make the lights and the shadows?

Q 2: What colours do you see in:
1. Top of block? A warm orange
2. Right side of block? A more muted, slightly cooler orange Is it the same as...Some areas are ALMOST the same as the top and some are ALMOST the same as the left side.
3. ... left side of block? A much duller, grayer, more neutral orange.
4. Why is it the same/different? Lack of light intensity and reflected light
5. blue cloth in sunlight? The cloth in sunlight is lighter and warmer.
6. green cloth in sunlight? Same as above
7. What happens in the cast shadow? I am seeing complimentary colors in the shadows as well as combinations of the local color of the cloths and refections from the block.

And one more tricky question, a bit more advanced:
Q 3: Why are the wrinkles of the green cloth in shadow yellower/warmer when they face away from the block? They are facing the souce of the light.

And here we have the same block in shadow:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-Class-Red-block-shadow-f39.jpg

What colour is it? (Duh!, you may think, “it is red, the same as before, does she think we’re dumb or what!? “) Of course you’re smart and talented, but I want you to actually see, not just ‘know’. Compare it to the one in Sunlight.

Q 4:
a) What are the differences you see between the first in Sun, and this one in Shadow? The colors are not as washed out. The blue cloth is obviously blue here and looks gray in the one in the light. The yellow cloth is bluer/cooler. The block is deeper, duller and flatter looking than the one in the sun.
b) Describe, if you know, why the block in Shadow looks different? Without a direct light source there is less definition and tonal values become much closer.

And the more advanced questions:
Q 5:
a) What affects our colour-perception of the block-in-Shadow? Are these different ways of asking the same question or am I in a rut? <-thinking out loud here. A more muted light source, less reflection.
b) Why are we so certain it is a red block on a blue and a green cloth? You've stumped me there! Ah! After looking at the swatched below I think the answer would be that I remembered it was red in the light. In other words, I did not look at it for what I actually saw but went by memory. Shame on me! Had I seen it in shadow first, I may have identified it closer to a brown or maroon.



You’ll find parts of the answers in these isolated samples taken from the photos:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-Class-R-patchlight--f34.jpg

Block-in-Sunlight: These patches are in the order of:
Red block (pretty obvious, eh?) and from up down green cloth in light, and shadow, and blue cloth in distant light, shadow, and near light.
Remember, this is what the camera recorded. The eye in real life will see much more colour in the shadows.

Patches of Block-in-Shadow:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/117343-R-sh-patch-f39.jpg

Block-in Shadow: Patches in order of:
Red block: top and below the sides. Next vertical row is green cloth far away from block and under is near block. Blue cloth: The top blue is distant, and bottom blue is near.

Were these samples a surprise, or had you expected them? Yes very, sad to say! What a great & valuable lesson!!!

sekulastudio
11-02-2008, 10:43 AM
OOPS! Thought this would go under the first part of the lesson. I looked at "edit" to see if it could be moved but I don't see that option. Charlie, do you wnt me to just delete it?
Sorry this is so terribly out of order.

Colorix
11-02-2008, 10:45 AM
Hi, guys. Great work! I'll post stages 3 and 4 (the last in the demo), and then I'll comment!

Btw, I changed my mind, that's why I'm rushing so with the demo-posting. Originally, I'd intended that we'd play with the text and questions, but then I thought: "I'd have wanted to start to paint at least *something*", so in the last minute I decided to include the Paint-along now in the beginning of the class. So I'm working to get it posted asap! Plus, I'd no idea (that means bad planning... ) that it would take so long to just type down what I did.

Charlie

Tracy Lewis
11-02-2008, 11:18 AM
Phhhhew this is technical! Woahhhh.

Colorix
11-02-2008, 11:45 AM
Red block demo 3

Stage 3 – in which we model forms in space

So far, we’ve only worked on flat masses of colour. Now that the light and basic shapes are established, and the colours of the masses are generally OK, and values are OK – now we start to build forms. This demo is chosen for simplicity of form, as there are only flat planes. So we will not have to model much, but still, flat planes are closer or more far away, and we will indicate that.

These tricks are good to know, as they are also handy for your usual style and manner of painting. The basic ideas can be used with earths and grays too. Here is an example of my using the method (in a pointillistic style) with almost exclusively earth-tones and grays. Cooler earths/grays recede, warmer earths (and greys) come forward There are a few specks of purer prismatic colours (those we work with in this demo) in the foreground:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-iz-Stairway-F-m.jpg

General info:

We will work with the fact that cool colours recede, and warm colours come forward. Bright, pure, colours also tend to come forward.

White is an interesting ‘colour’. It does three things:
- lightens
- dulls
- cools

Very handy to know. Often we may want to lighten a colour, and if it is in the distance, white would work well. (As white cools, it also pushes things back in space, dull – less bright—colours recede, and light colours tend to recede quite often.) But say we want to lighten grass in the foreground. If we lighten it with white, it will become ‘milky’ and ‘misty’ and actually recede visually so it would seem to be on another plane than the less whitened greens above it in the picture plane, and those would come forward. Knowing about how warms come forward, and how cools recede, we need to find a lighter warmer green, or some other colour to lighten the green with. (The green in the very foreground of that grass, the nearest greens.) Following the colour wheel along its rim, we find that yellow is the closest warm to green. So a bit of yellow mixed with green would lighten it, and warm it. In pastels, we can choose a yellower green, or scumble yellow over the green, or have yellow under the green. Now it will stay firmly in the foreground, *and* be lightened.

The Red Block Paint-along Demo, stage 3

I choose again to start with the background. I want the upper part of the blue cloth to recede. I also see that there are very delicate shifts of colour from left to right, as I look at the upper edge of the photo, in this case. (It will be more clear when you look at a set-up in real life, in real light.)

I also want the lower part of the blue cloth to come forward, and there are delicate colour shifts there too.

Basically, what I want to do visually is to ‘tilt’ the light pink/blue plane back in space.

There is a handy little trick on how to do that: Mentally divide the picture in quadrants, by imagining two lines crossing it like a +. We will make each quadrant of the + a slightly different colour.

I apply the white stick, to the upper half of the painting, still on its side (but you can as well hatch and cross-hatch), as I want to background to be rather flat and have very little detail. (A stroke mark is a detail. The brain perceives it as such. So thin-but-close strokes will visually melt together, and I like to use those for backgrounds, or scumble.) The white stick goes all over the upper part of the blue cloth in light, and on the left side it goes about halfway down the block (outside the block, naturally). Then I apply my lightest blue stick on the upper right half, making sure there is no sharp edge.

Or, to use the +, I apply white over both the upper quadrants (to lighten and cool), and then the lightest violet-blue over the right quadrant (to blue and to cool). (This division is subtle, too sublte for the camera, thus not visible in the pic below.)

Now for the lower two quadrants of the +. Most of the lower right is shadow, so I don’t touch those. I take the remaining space (all of the blue cloth in the lower half of the picture) and roughly divide that in two as follows:

I choose the warmer (the more orange) of the two lightest reds I have, the tint/whitened of Red, and apply it from the left edge to halfway towards the shadows on the right. The remaining half of the lower cloth in light gets the cooler very light red, the whitened violet-Red. Looking at the painting, I see: Yes, the background is pushed back a bit, and the foreground comes forward. It is enough for now.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-14-bgstg3-f49.jpg

(As I type this, I discover that I’ve only used two values of the Permanent Rose, the violet-Red. Probably the pure ,5 and the light ,9, have to check. Amazing how one forgets from one day to the other.)

General info:
You’ll have discovered that I use the words ‘lightened’ and ‘whitened’ with separate meanings. And sometimes seem to mix them... Any colour , including white, can lighten what’s already on the paper (well, value has to be considered, of course). A whitened colour has white added to it. Pastel sticks are very commonly made with white added, for the tints. The Rembrandts I use are tinted with white. A shade, on the other hand, has black added into the pigments making up the stick.

Back to the demo:

Blue cloth in shadow. I see a violet cast, oddly enough not closest to the red block, but further out. So I apply a violet-Red of roughly the same value as what is already painted. Closer to the block I see a greenish, and lighter, patch, which I paint with the tint of green-Blue (the turquoise), your’s may be blue-Green, there are many turquoises/aquas. Closest to the block goes the violet-Blue, the more pigmented tint. A bit later I discover that the whole shadow needs darkening and warming, so the shade of Violet pushes it darker.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-15-BluShadow3-f55.jpg

General info: I decide to start hatching and crosshatching, for two reasons. I want a shimmering effect from the broken colour, and, the tooth of the paper is getting rather filled, so hatching will work better.

Demo:
The green cloth in shadow needs a warming close to the block with the orange. Next third out from the block, the middle third of the length of the shadow, gets the violet-Blue deepest tint. And the outer third gets a blue-Green, deep tint. (Deep tint = less white, more pigment.)

(With the green shadow more in place, I see that the blue shadow needs a bit of darkening and warming with a shade of Violet, but that was covered in the text for the blue shadow already.)

Green cloth in light: (I’ve made a mistake photographing, the sticks are missing from the pic.) But you can see the effect in the picture below, where I’ve ‘laid down’ the green cloth in light by applying the tint of the warmer (more orange) yellow nearest the block. The tint of the yellow-Green is applied on the horizontal half nearest the shadow, and the cool tint of the blue-Green is applied to the upper half.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-16-Greenshadow3-f64.jpg

Block in shadow:
Left side got a shade of Violet at the bottom, and the yellow-Green at the top, nothing in the middle. (No sticks, but seen in the second pic below. I'm starting to loose focus of the photographing, but not of the actual act of painting.)

Right side has a deeper tint of Violet at the bottom. But on the right side we have a reflection (that should have been saved to stage 4) and I thouch it with Orange. Above that, there is the violet-Red, along the back edge, about a third wide, to cool it and recede it.

(ignore the blue sticks in this shot.)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-17-BShadowb3-f69.jpg

Almost done with shaping now, only the top of the block remains.
I cool the back third, up to the short edge, with the light tint of violet-Red. The middle third (between the short edges) gets the orange, and the third closest to us gets Yellow.

I take a look. Is there anything I need to correct? Yes, the right side of the block in shadows should have more warms, and I'm not happy with the reflection (I should have saved for stage 4).

I decide that the Ochre is perfect for lightening but not brightening, the reflection, as it is a dull and grayed yellow. From about the middle of the block to the nearest edge I apply lightly, almost not touching, a yellow-Green tint, above the violet. (Sticks not in picture.)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-18-Btop3-mm--f78.jpg

(A few shots back I've begun colour-correcting the photo. As you can see from the shadows of the sticks, the daylight is gone, and I work in electric light. As the eye judges each colour in relation to the others, I can go on painting, it will not affect the outcome, much. I also reason that in my country, most paintings will be seen in electric light conditions. So something painted in the light it will be view in will look right.)

Phew! That was a job of work to type. Much easier to paint.

Please ask me about unclarities, the risk of my making an error increases as this stage is quite complex to describe.

Stage 4 will be a breeze, easy-peasy, and after that we’re done. Coming soon.

Charlie

Colorix
11-02-2008, 11:54 AM
Phhhhew this is technical! Woahhhh.

Hi Tracy! Don't be scared off, this is basically all the technical stuff gathered in one place. The rest will be more doing, but you'll be able to refer back to this and not have to search for it (much), as it is not sprinkled out.

Maybe I also make it sound more complicated than it really is.

When I learned it, I got more than this in the first morning... felt like a ton of bricks, so I've really slimmed it down for you guys. But if you're like me, you'll get it bit by bit, as we go, and as we paint.


Charlie

Colorix
11-02-2008, 12:35 PM
Red block study, stage 4 – in which we deal with details and edges, completing the painting

We’re basically done, and now we can fuss with the small stuff.

I’m still not happy with the green clot in light, so I take the white to the upper half of it, lightening and cooling it. A bit more of the yellow-green tint to brighten the lower half, and I let that stick blend with the edge of the shadow. The tint of the warm yellow brightens and lightens the green, but I do not let the yellow cross the edge to shadow. I use the same yellow-Green to touch lightly the edge of the green cloth, within the shadow, giving form to that end of the cloth.

A touch of orange indicates reflected light on the cloth adjacent to the leftmost corner of the block. (stick not in pic.)

The darkest shade of violet-blue, and the shade of Violet, are applied on the blue in shadow, hinting at a shadow under the edge of the green cloth. It got a bit dark, so I lighten it with the tint of violet-Blue.

In order for the block to ‘sit down’ properly on the cloth, I need a bit of darks at the bottom edge. The same shades as in the previous paragraph are used for that.

The lowest edge of the cast shadow gets warmed a bit as it is close to us, and as there is a great deal of violet-Red there anyways. In the light part, I tone it down with the same sticks I used for cloth in light in stage 3.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-19-Details4-mm-f81.jpg

I check the painting. Oooopsie, the block hovers over the green in shadow, can’t have that, so I darken with the two darkest yellow-Greens and a shade of green-Blue.

The darks at the bottom of the block are a bit too prominent, so I crosshatch with the shade of violet-Red.

Done!

Finished painting shot with flash in lamp-light, and PhotoShopped:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-20-FinishFlash-mmm-f91.jpg

And shot in lamplight, PS-ed:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-21-FinishLamp-mmm-f90.jpg

And a daytime shot, PS-ed, but I couldn't get the blues in shadow to behave:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-finish-day-mmm-f103.jpg

We started here, remember:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-5-Lights-f18.jpg

All this painted with a “fistful of dollars”:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-RBD-24-HP-f98.jpg

:D

Thus ends the Paint-Along Demo.

Charlie

Colorix
11-02-2008, 12:54 PM
Rob, looking good! "Just" copying will teach you way more than reading the words, so that is *great*. And your choices on how to manipulate the colours were really good, and at this stage, you can finger-blend freely and happily even if you don't want to do it later (like me).

Now, hopefully before you proceed: that blue-green shadow may be too light in value (but may also look that way digitally). Check the value, will you? That will save you a lot of trouble later, as it is a bit more difficult to darken than to lighten, if it really is too light.

Waiting for the rest!

Charlie




Here's my second go just copying what you did on the first layer. The pink in the background is a bit colder than it looks. My orange was much more toward yellow so I put a little red blended in it. My aqua was much closer to green so I put a little blue blended in it.

In the scan, the colors are a bit off despite much playing with it in Gimp. It actually looks closer to the hues you have shown.

414821

Mont Marte (handy) pastels on sketchbook.

Colorix
11-02-2008, 01:11 PM
Hi WC, ah, the individualist! (That's fine, I'm often filling that role, too.) This is meant to be a "before", right? Yes, if that one suited you better, it was fine to paint it. Only reason I didn't choose it for the demo was the burned out lights on the cloth, as I liked it better too.

It's beautiful, and I really love your looser style. (Hope it rubs off on me.)

Regarding colour as representing light, I think the top plane of the block is way too dulled, even muddyish. Dull sides are great, but lightplanes usually glow. Otherwise, the values are fine!

What are you painting with? Pans?

Charlie




here is my little sketch :) hope it was okay to do this one ... and please excuse the messiness of it ..

---

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Nov-2008/122017-sketch01432.jpg

robertsloan2
11-02-2008, 01:27 PM
Well, I've done Stage 2...

414880

And then I tried to darken that green cloth in shadow. I ruined it.

414881

I am seriously regretting my choice of both paper and pastels here, thinking I should start over with a) something toothier and b) Nupastels where I've got more of a range and am doing less mixing and substituting.

I had a much darker blue-green that I went in onto the blue-green shadow and then a little into the other shadow to darken it, then repeated everyhting from stage two.

Unfortunately I got that patch in the middle of it that just wouldn't hold any more pastel even with fixative.

I am now thinking of working on better paper and going smaller, cause working this big is seriously killing my back. I know I'm supposed to be going outside my comfort zone, the problem is that when I go outside my physical comfort zone I don't function so well. When the back springs a warning, it's time to back up to something I know is physically easy.

Colorix
11-02-2008, 01:37 PM
You others, read this too! I'm using Elaine's development as a great example!

Elaine, great start! Good values, all over. Yes, I know colour 'misbehaves', so that's not a problem. What might become one, but I'm not sure, is that you may have applied a lot of pastel. But, it also depends on what kind of surface you work on. Is it plain paper? if it is, do you have a fixative, or softer pastels, for the next layer?

Compared with your before-sketch: You've seen the different values in the block, excellent! You've seen that the top is yellower, great! The only really weak point is the cast shadow, it is too light in value, even for a loose sketch like this.

I think you have added the cast shadow *after* and *on top of* the basic colours of the cloths. And I'm so glad you did (if you did?), and that you show us this sketch, because now I can point out to us all that it is important to nail down the values in the start, and to treat a shadow as a separate mass.

Compare the sketch to what you've painted so far in the Paint-along: You have established a strong clear pattern of dark and light, you'd have to be really 'violent' with the values to mess them up now, they are so strong and clear. The underlying design is what carries a painting. As someone said "values do all the work, but colour gets the glory".

Really well done, Elaine!

Charlie


Charlie, this is a great class. I've done a sketch 'before' and then another following your instructions.
Sketch#1 - done before Charlie's instructions on 'how-to'
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117413-Sketch1.jpg

Sketch#2 - after Charlie's 'how-to'
I must admit that I don't have the full palette that you have detailed in Stage 1, Charlie, so I have had to improvise. This photo has washed out the greens and I don't have Photoshop to fix it, but they are there! Also, photo taken tonight so colours not the best anyway.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117413-Sketch2.jpg

This is fun Charlie. I look forward to the next lesson!

Dougwas
11-02-2008, 01:44 PM
Thanks Charlie. You spent a great deal of time and effort in this. It is greatly appreciated. I will be starting my block painting today.

I just wanted to pass along a tip for viewing the photos. Many people may do this already, but it may help some people see the subtle changes that you talk about when adding a colour or tint. At the bottom of everybody's monitor there is a Change Zoom Level. It should look like a magnifying glass with a + in the glass. If you click on the drop menu, you can increase the picture size by 200 - 400%. I know this helps me see all the different colours and the layering effects more clearly.

Thanks again Charlie.

Doug

Colorix
11-02-2008, 01:56 PM
For you all, too

Rob, starting over is an excellent choice! and of course "out of comfort zone" means only the psychological one, to be where we can learn something new -- you have to take good care of yourself physically! Do paint smaller, by all means.

But, Rob, while most of the values in the second pic are great, I'd like to see a more whitened pink and a more whitened blue in the blue cloth in light, if you have them. Or whiten down with white. It should be very near the yellow of the green-cloth-in-light, in value.

You all: Thanks to Rob's posting "in the spirit of the thread", I get the opportunity to tell you that you can do as many starts as you need to. If something goes wrong or off in the beginning stages, the first two, then very little will fix it in stages 3 and 4. I have a cupboard where a shelf is full of un-recycled starts in oils. With pastels, you can also brush off what doesn't work, and redo that area. Stage 2 is *the* most important in the whole process.

Thank you so much, Robert,

Charlie


Well, I've done Stage 2...

414880

And then I tried to darken that green cloth in shadow. I ruined it.

414881

I am seriously regretting my choice of both paper and pastels here, thinking I should start over with a) something toothier and b) Nupastels where I've got more of a range and am doing less mixing and substituting.

I had a much darker blue-green that I went in onto the blue-green shadow and then a little into the other shadow to darken it, then repeated everyhting from stage two.

Unfortunately I got that patch in the middle of it that just wouldn't hold any more pastel even with fixative.

I am now thinking of working on better paper and going smaller, cause working this big is seriously killing my back. I know I'm supposed to be going outside my comfort zone, the problem is that when I go outside my physical comfort zone I don't function so well. When the back springs a warning, it's time to back up to something I know is physically easy.

Colorix
11-02-2008, 02:07 PM
Doug, thank you! I've worked with PCs since 1988 or so, and have had one in my home since 1994. I'd never seen that nifty little zoom until last week, when Hubby pointed it out to me... http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-icon_doh.gif :lol: I thought I was the only one in the whole world... :o


And thank you for the the thought: Really, I'm the one who's learning the most from doing this, so it is a great bonus to me. Takes time, and I wouldn't have taken it for myself only... I'm now forced to be clear and systematic, and get down in writing all the stuff that's in the attic of my head. And to not rush on with the stages.

Charlie

Thanks Charlie. You spent a great deal of time and effort in this. It is greatly appreciated. I will be starting my block painting today.

I just wanted to pass along a tip for viewing the photos. Many people may do this already, but it may help some people see the subtle changes that you talk about when adding a colour or tint. At the bottom of everybody's monitor there is a Change Zoom Level. It should look like a magnifying glass with a + in the glass. If you click on the drop menu, you can increase the picture size by 200 - 400%. I know this helps me see all the different colours and the layering effects more clearly.

Thanks again Charlie.

Doug

robertsloan2
11-02-2008, 02:25 PM
Thanks, Charlie. I really appreciate your validating my starting over like this. LOL -- I felt so embarrassed to be the first quitter that chucked his efforts to start over, now you're saying that's the best way to handle it if things go seriously awry.

Whew! I'm marking off a piece of warm white Canson right now, and I know Nupastel on Canson will let me do a lot more layering. Plus the 96 set has a lot more tints and I can use Rembrandts in with them.

Colorix
11-02-2008, 02:54 PM
:D Truly, it's perfect to start over. My teacher's teacher didn't even let beginners finish a painting. I think he had them stop after finishing stage 2, and do a new start, until they got the starts right! His reasoning was that he wanted them to spend time on getting starts right, not on trying to fix what really wasn't fixable in later stages.

General info:
Do use Canson, it should take as much layering as the paper I'm using (Ingres), or more. I'm using ordinary pastel paper just because I want to show it is possible to layer (but I don't really love it), and also because most people have some ordinary pastel paper at home, and if they just want to try this method, then it doesn't cost anything, almost. If I'd used colourfix or one of the sandpapers, those who painted on ordinary pastel paper would've thought they did wrong, while it actually was the paper that couldn't take more layers.

So use Colourfix or a sanded paper if you want to. Especially if you're heavy handed, and fill up the tooth of the Canson/Ingres/whatnot real quick.

Charlie

robertsloan2
11-02-2008, 03:18 PM
The Reprise!

Sketch (stage 1) in the darker of the two violet-red tints:

414898

Stage 1 basic underlayers with Nupastels on white Canson Mi-Tientes:

414899

My green-yellow came out lighter in the scan than it is on the page, and my background violet-red tint came out darker in the scan. I'm satisfied with the value on the page. It was too dark at first when I just used the one I sketched in, so I went over it with the same hue one tint up and mixed them.

Now to start Stage 2 again. I think my blue-green is darker now, though I am mildly concerned it's a little too dark compared to my violet-blue Ultramarine.

My orange stick in this set is a lot closer to red than the one in the other set I was using.

sekulastudio
11-02-2008, 03:54 PM
This is my first attempt. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/78911-001.JPG

sekulastudio
11-02-2008, 03:59 PM
This is after Charlie's demo. The colors on both are off but I must admit they both look a lot better in the photo than they do in person!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/78911-002.JPG

robertsloan2
11-02-2008, 04:03 PM
414913

My new Stage 2.

Before I do any Stage 3 stuff, I am going to wait for comments. This hasn't been sprayed with fixative. I added another layer of white to the blue-pink background because even with the lighter tints in Nupastels, it came out a bit dark. The yellow-green is still much lighter in the scan than in reality but it's still the brightest thing on the page.

I think this is much closer to the values. I know I had closer matches to some of your colors, including the first red tint that was like a bright deep pink and worked with the orange without going deeper in value.

robertsloan2
11-02-2008, 04:20 PM
Just out of curiosity, I decided to check my values by running RB-3 through Gimp again to make it grayscale. Interesting results.

Yellow really does pound forward while the violet-pink violet-blue mix pushes back. My yellow-green looks much lighter and brighter, but it is just about exactly the same value as the background.

414917

My violet-red left side of the block is cooler and seems darker, my right side of the shadow side of the block is redder and looks lighter. They also match in value. Freaky results here!

But I think I got the values just right within the cast shadow. I hope so. Hope they weren't supposed to exactly match.

Let me know if this is how the values should work at this stage.

Colorix
11-02-2008, 05:00 PM
Rob, looking much better!

First, about the de-saturated one -- Do Not Trust Computers, they are sent by the AI mastermind, to spy on humans and to make life difficult for us, in preparation for th--

:music: We interrupt this program for some music. :music:

:D

Ahem, gotta be serious.

I have several options of taking away colour from a picture. The one you used, with the same result. And then there is:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-Rob-1-infra.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-Rob-clear-2.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/117343-Rob-3-standing.jpg

:eek:

First one they call "infra red", second is "clear lying down", third is "standing". Have no idea why they call them so, I translate from the Swedish text.

The point being: it all depends on how they've set the bw in your computer and in that program.

I've found the bw setting of my camera to be much more trustworthy.

Trust your eyes more. Look at the finished stage 2 through almost closed eyes, a relaxed form of squinting. Or, squint. Compare the values.

And I'll leave you to it for a moment.

Charlie

Mario V
11-02-2008, 05:09 PM
But I can’t stare at the top of the block, I know I only have about 2-3 seconds before the eye gets ‘overloaded’ with the colour and starts to produce the complementary colour. (If someone knows the URL where there is a demo of this, post it.)

Charlie
her is the demo of how the complementary image is produced in the eyes (http://www.worqx.com/color/after_image.htm)


Charlie, what an enormous effort you have put in!!! Thanks a lot for this:clap:!!!

Judibelle
11-02-2008, 05:10 PM
wow, this is hard...all this Thinking about which colors to use over what, etc...the first one (preview sketch) I did in about 1/2 hour, The paint-along one has taken me 3 sittings of about 1/2 hour to 45 min. each, and I still dont think it came out the way it should.
anyway, here they are....the first one (the pre-sketch) , and the paint-along one:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/103700-scan0001.jpg_Block_preview.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/103700-scan0002.jpg_Block_1.jpg

Couldnt get the yellow toned down enough in this one. But this has already been 'an experience'! and I am really enjoying it.
JB
C&C welcomed

robertsloan2
11-02-2008, 05:14 PM
Squinting gave me pretty much the same results as what I did just dropping saturation to zero in Gimp. The ones you got are very strange to me, and I don't understand the Swedish program you're using.

But I can see that squinting to make the color go away, the yellow blurs right into the background and the two sides of the block blur into each other. The shadow on green cloth does look lighter than the shadow on blue cloth, which looks about the same value as the shadowed sides of the block.

If these are what the values should be at this stage with modeling accomplished by color, then I'm happy. If not, then going into the lighter red side of the block with more orange should lighten that a bit. Or using the darkest red tint that I used to tone the top.

Of course, I use what I have since I don't know how to use a BW setting on my digital camera. I just do scans.

There is a BW setting and a Sepia setting on the EasyShare software if I snap a photo, that I can turn a photo black and white or monochrome. I may try to go into that software, open my scan in that and see if there's a difference.

Colorix
11-02-2008, 05:15 PM
With some food for thought for all

Hi Gaye, splendid! You have basically good values, so lightly applied the paper shines through, but looking at the denser bits of colour, I think the choices are generally really good. My guess is that you've focused on the block, as you've seen the shifts in colour there, but that you've not bothered so much with the cast shadow. But you went for a dark value, wich is excellent. (I know, it was a quick sketch, but I'm using this for educational purposes.) If I'm guessing right, then...

All, take notice: The cast shadows are an integrated part of a set-up, and very important. Remember, they are the key to the intensity of light, and we'll pay as much attention to them as to the objects. Later, we will think about how to place cast shadows within the composition, or rather, how to arrange it considering the shadows too.

Charlie


This is my first attempt. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/78911-001.JPG

Colorix
11-02-2008, 05:20 PM
Rob, Great, you discovered something important about squinting. Then I know I can trust your bw, and I'm heading over to your other post now.

Charlie

robertsloan2
11-02-2008, 05:21 PM
Oh wow! Charlie, I ran the same scan through my EasyShare software and this is what I came up with for a second grayscale of the same scan of Stage 2:

414921

In this one, the yellow area is distinctly lighter than the background, one full step lighter. This is after I used white to lighten the background.

But the red side looks darker tan the violet side and that doesn't really make sense, when squinting shows results more like what I got on the first grayscale. You're right that the programs do different things.

I need to make that red gel value finder and start looking at art through that to get rid of color and see where my values are. I bought some transparent red film, but now need to cut matboard to make a frame for it to hold it up.

Pat Isaac
11-02-2008, 05:24 PM
This is a fount of information and I thank you for all your work. I will settle into it after the holidays, and winter sets in. I am lurking...
thank you, Pat

Colorix
11-02-2008, 05:42 PM
Rob, This really looks great! :thumbsup: Yellow has a tendency to become really vivid in scans and photos, and your squinting and unsaturated says the values are fine. You can choose to go a hair lighter on the right shadow plane on the block, if you want to, but it is strictly not necessary. Cool reds and purples also tend to go lighter in scans and photos.

It is possible that your background blue cloth will be a bit grayish, as I think you've chosen a pink that is a tad warmer than mine. This is not a problem, so don't change it, but don't be surprised either (and I'm guessing, based on what I see on screen).

Yellow-green will be brighter than most other colours, as we humans are designed to see most values and hues in that band of the spectrum. Yellow is brighter than white, even if white can be lighter.
If you perceive it to be too bright in your actual painting, you can 'knock it back' a tad with a red of the same value. A warmer red will give a warmer dulled YG, and a pinker will give a cooler cast.

Are you looking at the photo of the block on the screen as you paint? Then you'll see a bit more accurate values and colours than I did, as I worked from a printed photo.

Go ahead with the following stage! You're all set for a success! :thumbsup:

Charlie

414913

My new Stage 2.

Before I do any Stage 3 stuff, I am going to wait for comments. This hasn't been sprayed with fixative. I added another layer of white to the blue-pink background because even with the lighter tints in Nupastels, it came out a bit dark. The yellow-green is still much lighter in the scan than in reality but it's still the brightest thing on the page.

I think this is much closer to the values. I know I had closer matches to some of your colors, including the first red tint that was like a bright deep pink and worked with the orange without going deeper in value.

Scottyarthur
11-02-2008, 06:00 PM
:thumbsup: very nice everyone, and :clap: charlie you are really doing a wonderful job here, love how you are putting it altogether. :thumbsup:
and yes hehehehe, :evil: I am lurking in the shadows, :lol: and enjoying myself just watching:D

Colorix
11-02-2008, 06:03 PM
Gaye, good job! Your background blue cloth will also become a tad grayish, but don't bother with it. The reason is: while you have an excellent cool pink, the blue looks a tad warm. So far, the value is fine.

Now, and again I'm unsure, because colours can look so different in the computer, but I do think the values of the cast shadows are a bit too light. Before you proceed, can you darken them? Go a value or two darker, but with the same colours.

Your purple is a bit bluer than mine, but that is easily fixed with a real cool red on top of it. The red you have now is a bit too brown, would you have a red that has a bit more violet in it? Otherwise, use the coolest or the purest red you have, and apply a bit of blue on it. (Yes, it is a bit of to and fro.) But skip this stick, it is too brown.

If it all becomes too messy, don't hesitate to start over. It will be way easier. But, if you do not have a better red, go on with what you have painted, just darken the cast shadow, both sides of it.

The yellow for the greenish yellow is a nice 'tame' yellow, so you do not have to do what I did in stage 4 to make it paler. When I say in the beginning of stage 4 that I use the white stick to cool it further, you do not need to do that. Just do what I write with the yellow and green.

Top of the block has an excellent value.

Charlie



This is after Charlie's demo. The colors on both are off but I must admit they both look a lot better in the photo than they do in person!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/78911-002.JPG

Colorix
11-02-2008, 06:12 PM
here is the demo of how the complementary image is produced in the eyes (http://www.worqx.com/color/after_image.htm)

Thank you, Mario, this is an excellent one. (I still see that afterimage in the middle of typing this text...)

Scotty and Pat, lurk happily!

Charlie

Colorix
11-02-2008, 06:33 PM
Some food for thought for all.

Hi JB, you're doing great! And thinking :eek: ... :wink2: The Pre-skech has good values, mostly, and a very nice warm glow from the terra paper, but it also grays down thin layers. Now, pastels are so opaque that often it doesn't matter, but where the layers are thin, it does.

All: This is the very reason we start with white paper. Now, you can also *use* the effect of different coloured papers for when you do want to gray down a painting a bit. I used a terracotta for my recent snow-scene, for that reason. But, now we want to control things a bit more easily, so we use white/light paper.

JB, in the paint-along, you have established good strong shadows, and the values are good all over. The pre-sketch has a too light cast shadow, do you see that the overall light looks weak in it, while it looks strong in the other because of the deeper shadows?

Hm, that yellow. Is the paper full already, or can you go over it with a very whitened green? Or, leave it a is.

Go on with stages 3 and 4.

Charlie


wow, this is hard...all this Thinking about which colors to use over what, etc...the first one (preview sketch) I did in about 1/2 hour, The paint-along one has taken me 3 sittings of about 1/2 hour to 45 min. each, and I still dont think it came out the way it should.
anyway, here they are....the first one (the pre-sketch) , and the paint-along one:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/103700-scan0001.jpg_Block_preview.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/103700-scan0002.jpg_Block_1.jpg

Couldnt get the yellow toned down enough in this one. But this has already been 'an experience'! and I am really enjoying it.
JB
C&C welcomed

Colorix
11-02-2008, 06:43 PM
Rob, :clap: that's right, don't take my word for it, but test it yourself, try it! As you did. :thumbsup: (And I'll be happy to learn something new, too, if you disprove me.)

And you may find that the red gel/film works absolutely best in landscapes, as it really helps one see values in greens. I have one too, and it is a good help.

Charlie




Oh wow! Charlie, I ran the same scan through my EasyShare software and this is what I came up with for a second grayscale of the same scan of Stage 2:

414921

In this one, the yellow area is distinctly lighter than the background, one full step lighter. This is after I used white to lighten the background.

But the red side looks darker tan the violet side and that doesn't really make sense, when squinting shows results more like what I got on the first grayscale. You're right that the programs do different things.

I need to make that red gel value finder and start looking at art through that to get rid of color and see where my values are. I bought some transparent red film, but now need to cut matboard to make a frame for it to hold it up.

Colorix
11-02-2008, 06:45 PM
Gosh, I really hope I found all your starts. If I missed anyone, do holler.

I plan to get back to your thoughts from the 'quiz', but not today.

Charlie

robertsloan2
11-02-2008, 06:55 PM
414933

Stage 3. I've been following your drawings more than the original photo reference, Charlie. But I'm doing it on screen, rather than printing anything out. I hardly ever print out references, it's just a habit of mine to look on screen for them.

I see what this did for the background plane and it's made my exercise look a lot better. I did some cleaning up of edges too. Adding the greens onto the green-yellow area did tone that down some and I'm glad. It's interesting how all the color gradations are starting to look.

Colorix
11-02-2008, 07:30 PM
All: here are some fun optical illusions based on colour-saturation in the eye.
http://www.planetperplex.com/en/color_illusions.html

I recommend the top one, the cute kid in the middle, and the bottom green blob.

Rob, great! Go on, you can only do great now! Keep the added colours to be the same value as is already there (unless you want to lighten), and it'll be great!

I do want the computer in the studio, but, no room -- yet.

Charlie

Dougwas
11-02-2008, 08:08 PM
Wow. My head hurts. I have made things more difficult for myself by only using FC Polychromos. They don't have the tints that softies have, but my back is killing me today and I can use the polys while sitting in my recliner.:D I have been using the colours that resembled the Rembrandts and I have been blending. Here is where I am at after stage 2.

This is on white Wallis.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/102199-s_Block_Stage2.jpg





Doug

MarkJBrader
11-02-2008, 09:42 PM
Hi,
I have run through all four steps today of the red block. On Colourfix, about 9x12. This is the first time I have ever scanned a picture to upload here. I have to say it’s a little disappointing, as I can see several differences from real life. The light part of the green cloth really does have a greenish tinge to it IRL. All sides of the block are brighter IRL (probably brighter than they should be.

This is only the fourth time I have ever tried to cover a paper with pastel, and the other three times I blended everything. Where I did not this time, I really like the effect IRL. I am going to try in future never to blend past step two. I need to learn how to make corrections, as I would like the shadow to meet the lower left corner of the block better.

I also think I have to work on seeing the value relationships better and get them really correct by end of Stage 2. They actually look better in relationship in the upload than IRL, to my eyes.

I will keep up reading this thread, this week, and try to catch up next weekend.

I want to thank you, Charlotte, for teaching this class. I took some drawing courses while in college, and could handle graphite, charcoal, pen & ink then but became discourade in attempts to used colored media. I have a sensitivity (inherited from my mother) to linseed/flaxseed oil and so must stay well away from oil paint. Other media are transparent, or not reworkable. I had let it all go for decades, and then I found this group and started reading up on Pastels. I think I may just be able to ‘get’ color now.
Mark
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/129440-RedBlockStudy.jpg.jpeg

saramathewson
11-02-2008, 09:46 PM
Charlie,

I have been following along with the lesson by reading it, but was unable to get into the studio today as I had a couple of seizures when I went out with hubby for breakfast. I'm ok. I have been having them since I was 12 but not very frequently. I'm just kind of out of it for a few days so I will be doing them later than the rest and hopefully will be able to keep following and maybe I will be able to post after next week. But I am learning so much from what others are posting and I really want to thank you for doing this class. You are doing a wonderful job of explaining things so they are very clear.

Thanks,
Sara

robertsloan2
11-02-2008, 11:18 PM
Finished! I did not realize how easy Stage 4 would be. It took me a bit under an hour to do it carefully. Size is 4 3/4" x 6" more or less, I cropped more or less to where the mat will cut it off.

I didn't think this red block composition would make a good painting in itself. All the time I was working on it I was trying to get it right without actually expecting much from it. Now that it's finished, I like it. The shadow under the edge of the green cloth really made it for me, that's what made it all pop as three dimensional layered objects.

I worked right up to the edge on the right and the bottom, but I think that I can mat it carefully and just cut off maybe a sixteenth of an inch on the bottom and still keep the same feeling. It could lose 1/8" on the right without being ruined. I think I want to use a dark neutral mat, graphite color.

414960

Mark, your block looks like you used three-point perspective to draw it and it's looming off the page like a skyscraper. Neat!

Colorix
11-03-2008, 08:41 AM
Hi Doug, this is looking great! It is mostly the blue-cloth-in-light that is darker in value, and that's fine. As you're working on Wallis -- do make the cast shadows a value darker too, and you'll keep the sense of light. (Sorry, I keep tending to talk about the cast shadow in plural, because there are two different cloths there.) Good values on the block. In your case, I'd suggest a slight darkening of the left side of the block (the others got to light the right side), it will harmonize with the darker bg.

When you have the values nailed (and you are almost there as is now), go on with stages 3 and 4.

Your puir heid -- tell it this was most of all theory. In the future, we'll use and practice what we learned here.

May your back get better,
Charlie




Wow. My head hurts. I have made things more difficult for myself by only using FC Polychromos. They don't have the tints that softies have, but my back is killing me today and I can use the polys while sitting in my recliner.:D I have been using the colours that resembled the Rembrandts and I have been blending. Here is where I am at after stage 2.

This is on white Wallis.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/102199-s_Block_Stage2.jpg





Doug

Colorix
11-03-2008, 09:19 AM
Hi Mark, Excellent job! Hard to imagine you're so new to pastels and colour! You've understood the importance of getting the values right before proceeding, great! On screen, it looks to me as if the green-cloth-in-shadow is a little bit too light in value, but it looks fine because the same cloth in light looks lighter too, so they 'fit together', value-wise.

Changes/corrections: On Colourfix, it is easy. I take it you want to change the 'wobble' of the contour of the shadow, where it should taper to a point at the lower leftmost corner? As the values of the clot-in-light are so light, simple painting over might not work. So, you can brush off a bit of the pastel dust. A narrow bristle brush (which I suspect you do not have). So, what about an old toothbrush? One of those sticks with a small cotton-wad wrapped around the top, for cleaning ears and navels? The obvious kneaded eraser, to lift off pigment dust. Ordinary sticky tape, also to lift off dust in the offending area. The two latter will have to be applied several times. You'll never get back to white paper, but the 'ghost'-colour that remains will easily be covered up again with the colours of the background and the shadow. The basic steps are wipe off/lift off, and then repair-paint with the same sticks used before. It works well, is actually way easier than one might fear.

Scanning/photographing: We all invent new words doing that... If you're lucky, you can change the settings of the scanner to lower intensity of the light. Otherwise, you can work on the scanned image with some image-editing program. It is still very hard to get it right, because machines are not designed to 'see' and record what the human eye sees. But, we all know that, so we take it into consideration when looking at a picture of a painting on screen. Just tell us when it's really off, like the yellow-green where the greens are washed out.

To blend or... We all have different personal preferences. But generally, blending all the way gives a very smooth and matte look. Scumbling (lightly applying the stick broadside to the paper and existing colour, and not fully covering an area all the way, pigment will stick to ridges, but not dales of the tooth of the paper) also looks fairly smooth, but with more interesting shimmerings of colour. Hatching and cross-hatching: Using the stick on its end or point and make 'scratchy' marks allow for a much livelier surface and for the other colours to be interwoven.

And let me say I'm really happy for you to have found pastels. You obviously have a very good sense for colour. You'll astound us when you get past the beginner's stage in painting. In fact, you astound me already.

Charlie




http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Nov-2008/129440-RedBlockStudy.jpg.jpeg

Colorix
11-03-2008, 09:24 AM
Sara, just take good care of yourself. Don't feel stressed, do the class in the pace that suits you. It sits here, waiting for your convenience. Pretty soon we'll all be at different paces anyway.

Take care,
Charlie


Charlie,

I have been following along with the lesson by reading it, but was unable to get into the studio today as I had a couple of seizures when I went out with hubby for breakfast. I'm ok. I have been having them since I was 12 but not very frequently. I'm just kind of out of it for a few days so I will be doing them later than the rest and hopefully will be able to keep following and maybe I will be able to post after next week. But I am learning so much from what others are posting and I really want to thank you for doing this class. You are doing a wonderful job of explaining things so they are very clear.

Thanks,
Sara

crystaln
11-03-2008, 10:06 AM
So here's my first try before instruction and my Stage 1 pastel. I think they may have downloaded backwards. I took in as much instruction as I could without my head exploding. I mostly went by what you did and tried to understand. I'm thinking everything will click in the end. (I hope)

I think the rose... violet red? should be lighter. I had the full strength stick and put white over it to try and lighten it. Seems like it is still to dark. The darkest blue is deeper in real life. It's ultramarine blue..... ah blue violet? I think this color thing is going to help me if I figure it out.

P.S. I hope I'm submitting this post in the area it's supposed to be. If not feel free to let me know. :confused:

crystaln
11-03-2008, 10:13 AM
Ok my first try didn't upload so I'm trying to add it in.

Colorix
11-03-2008, 10:22 AM
Contains food for all.

Hi Rob, really great finish! You switched to Colourfix, didn't you? (Those round little moon-craters tell me that.) The yG cloth in light is lying down very well indeed. And you have a very nice clear good difference between the two shadow planes of the block (better than mine). Isn't it neat how you can start them the same colour, and then push them apart to make the forms? (Rethorical Q.) Only nit I have may be a scanner thing: the reflected light on the right shadow plane of the block. On screen, it looks a little bit too bright (mayn't be IRL). It should still be firmly within the shadow plane, just a hair lighter.
Very nice and bright, just as the objects I chose. (Easier to start bright than dull.) Excellent, Rob!

Framing is a headache on its own... Darkish mat would look good. I recently found that a cream-white mat with a white or light frame works great too. But not cream mat and dark frame. Well, my personal preferences, simply.

Rounded forms would've started to pop in stage 3, but stage 4 is simply doing the details. You can, of course, choose to do many details, depending on the subject. This one was chosen for simplicity. And isn't it amazing how little detail is actually needed? :smug:


For the benefit of others, Mark especially: If an area gets too light or bright, you can tone it down by scumbling a darker colour over it. Sometimes, you may need to remove it and re-do it. Another way is to take a small sharp knife, and lightly scrape off the excess of too light pigment, with the point of the knife. Often that is enough, as it won't take off all, and what remains 'melts' visually nicely into the shadow-plane.

Rob said: "I didn't think this red block composition would make a good painting in itself."
This is one of the tings I like so much about this method. What is seemingly possibly the most uninteresting object and set up, is, as a painting, a statement of light and beauty. You do not have to paint venezian glass and lace to make a beautiful still-life. You can paint the toothbrush and toothpaste in a plastic mug, and make it zing with glory.

Charlie




Finished! I did not realize how easy Stage 4 would be. It took me a bit under an hour to do it carefully. Size is 4 3/4" x 6" more or less, I cropped more or less to where the mat will cut it off.

All the time I was working on it I was trying to get it right without actually expecting much from it. Now that it's finished, I like it. The shadow under the edge of the green cloth really made it for me, that's what made it all pop as three dimensional layered objects.

I worked right up to the edge on the right and the bottom, but I think that I can mat it carefully and just cut off maybe a sixteenth of an inch on the bottom and still keep the same feeling. It could lose 1/8" on the right without being ruined. I think I want to use a dark neutral mat, graphite color.

414960

Mark, your block looks like you used three-point perspective to draw it and it's looming off the page like a skyscraper. Neat!

Judibelle
11-03-2008, 10:35 AM
hi charlie....i couldnt wait to get back at it this morning. I have now worked on stages 3 & 4 and also deepened the shadow on my first sketch. (which is not shown.)
Something I might do differently next time...look at what you do throughout the demo, but wait til the finished product to apply pastel, instead of apply with each thought-process you go through. ( Guess that makes me lazy....or impetuous)
This is especially a good learning process for me, as I have never been a 'detail' person...much more 'loose' in my thinking and doing. So to stop, squint, do the value sketches, etc,...is not something I do readily. However, I'm still up for 'learning new tricks'....and am so appreciating this learning experience. Thank you so much...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2008/103700-scan0003.jpg__block_revised.jpg
this lighting effect is a bit different from my sketch. I dont have photoshop, but an HP Photosmart scanner. (no digital camera yet). And I have only learned how to do very basic stuff, so dont know how to change the colors, etc... but hopefully that will change before too long...
JB

robertsloan2
11-03-2008, 10:54 AM
Wow, thanks, Charlie!

Actually, this is on Canson mi-Tientes. I only started trying Colourfix about a couple of months ago. I'm in love with it now, but I spent many years using Canson mi-Tientes to do portraits in New Orleans. It's still the paper I'm most familiar with.

I used Nupastels and have a pretty light hand with adding more layers. I didn't blend after Stage 1 at all. Sometimes portraits needed a lot of layers on the face and features.

I think I'd better go with the graphite mat then. The frames I'm getting are black, and that could look very good. As soon as you said it, I realized you were right about not using a light mat and a dark frame for something this colorful.

Now you have me tempted to try some object from life using the same kind of approach. My son in law brought in a handful of sycamore leaves from outside. Green, yellow-gold, russet brown, all different stages. The green one won't last, but if I get some good photos and get started I might be able to try something with these.

I tried uploading photos of them to the Reference Image Library, but it wasn't accepting JPG images. I'll put them in a thread with a Sycamore Apple WIP and work on this on the side. It's a tangent to your class, my jumping off to try it with something from life. I have this feeling that your next demo is going to make me laugh at my first attempt like I did over the red block though! lol

Colorix
11-03-2008, 12:16 PM
Guys, I'm taking off for 4 hours or so, but will be back to comment.

Rob, a quick note to you on leaves. Love your spirit, and it will be quite a leap. Stg 1: still flat areas, group similar colours and values, as we grouped the shadow sides of the block. Avoid local colour as much as possible. Paint colour of light first, what you see as under/overlying the objects. Stg 2: make colour more right, but save greens to very last, even to 3rd or 4th stage. Paint the green leaves, but do not use green yet. Green is extra tricky to make natural looking using these sticks. Looks good on top of stuff, though.

Gotta rush,
Charlie

robertsloan2
11-03-2008, 12:33 PM
Thanks! I think this is going to be great. I got the photos done and did one Derwent Inktense color notes study so that Id have the basic shapes and values worked out in bright more or less single-layer colors.

Thank you so much for your advice on this! Do you want me to post it here or just post a link to the WIP thread when I'm done?

MarkJBrader
11-03-2008, 01:06 PM
Mark, your block looks like you used three-point perspective to draw it and it's looming off the page like a skyscraper. Neat!
Yes, I actually took a straightedge and compared angles on the screen image of the reference and realized it did show three-point perspective. Close enough to the camera, I guess. So I paid attention to that.

I love your image here. You really nailed it.
Mark

robertsloan2
11-03-2008, 01:30 PM
That is so great, Mark. I didn't even think of checking for three-point perspective, shows you how few times I draw cubes. Thank you for the compliments on mine!

JB, yours is brimming with light. I love the way it fades out and pales like a photo that's a bit overexposed or the way very bright light blurs your eyes. You got a haunting quality to yours that's beautiful.

robertsloan2
11-03-2008, 02:55 PM
I started the WIP, here is the Apple Sycamore WIP link. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=527735)

At stage one it looks like something Andy Warhol would have done five feet by seven feet and hung in a museum. I can't decide if I love it or hate it, but I'm committed now. That's the only piece of white Pastelbord that I have at the moment.

Dougwas
11-03-2008, 03:20 PM
Wow. I think I can honestly say that I have never thought harder while painting, than I have painting this block. Maybe this says more about me than I really want to know.:o

This is what I came up with Charlie. I did the changes you suggested and continued on. I have to admit, I was looking for tints and shades that I didn't have, so I used what I had. I plan on doing this exercise again, but this time I will be using my softies. This one is done completely with FC Polychromos. Not all the colours are correct in the photo. I think there were too many colours for PS to handle.:lol:

It is great seeing all the different paintings that everybody has come up with. It's the same block, but everyone sees it differently.

Thanks again Charlie.

PS- Now that I look at it on the monitor, I think the YG cloth in the sun needs lightening/whitening more.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2008/102199-s_Block_Stage4.jpg


Doug

robertsloan2
11-03-2008, 03:51 PM
Yeah, I found looking at the monitor helped me with mine too. I love how you've done it, really like the dark little shadow edging the green cloth in shadow and you also really got the tilt of the blue cloth in light to make it flatten out.

Orchidacea
11-03-2008, 04:11 PM
I'm in the lurking seats with Pat. I'm going to have to print this so I can read it off the screen, and I just don't have time right now to dive in. I'm going to do it, though...although it all makes my head hurt, it's time to buckle down and learn this stuff!

Colorix
11-03-2008, 07:31 PM
Kim, that's the spirit! And you can start and post later, way later. You do handle colour beautifully, but there is always something new to learn. And colour is a science I realize is a life-long study.

Charlie

Colorix
11-03-2008, 08:03 PM
Hi JB, looking fine! Yes, dearie, you're impetuous... :) but that is adorable. This manner of painting is a bit structured, but, when I got used to it, I found that I could relax a lot and just paint with a lot of freedom. But the first learning-period took quite a bit of discipline. It'd feel way less detailed if we could all be in the same room, IRL. And, yes, it is a good idea to look through/read the whole process, before starting. I really should have posted it all in one go.

Did your scanner cause that misty 'glare'? It looks pretty cool, like there really is a light in the painting. Looks like the paper wasn't entirely flat on the scanner, but a bit buckled?

OK, between the blue-cloth-in-shadow, and the same blue-cloth-in-light, right at the edge between dark and light, you have an uncovered strip of paper. I'd like to see the following in that:


The lowest edge of the shadow gets warmed a bit as it is close to us, and as there is a great deal of violet-Red there anyways, I lightly paint violet-Red in the area between the blue shadow and the blue-cloth-in-light. In the light part, I tone it down by going over it with the same sticks I used in stage 3.


I've corrected what I typed originally, as it wasn't really clear. I hope this is. After that, it looks like you'd be finished with the painting. Could you scan it again, after adding that line of violet-Red?

Really good job, JB, and I appreciate that you followed all the steps!

Charlie


hi charlie....i couldnt wait to get back at it this morning. I have now worked on stages 3 & 4 and also deepened the shadow on my first sketch. (which is not shown.)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2008/103700-scan0003.jpg__block_revised.jpg
JB

Colorix
11-03-2008, 08:18 PM
Hi Crystal, good start! Yes, you're posting in exactly the right place.

If you do not have a tint of the rose, (yes, the violet-Red), leave it as it is. It is hard to whiten down, as the pigment is so strong and staining. Squinting, I see that the dark blue is deep enough. The lighter green-blue in the other half of the shadow could need some darkening, though (with a deeper value of the same colour, or you can add a deeper blue on top of it). Do that, and then go on. The other values look great.

In your first sketch, the cast shadow is a bit light in value, and the top of the block a bit dark. It's a good sketch, but doesn't say 'sunlight' so much. Your start of the demo, even though the background is a bit deeper, clearly says 'sunlight'. Good job!

I'm curious, what paper are you working on? I like the grain of it!

Charlie


So here's my first try before instruction and my Stage 1 pastel. I think they may have downloaded backwards. I took in as much instruction as I could without my head exploding. I mostly went by what you did and tried to understand. I'm thinking everything will click in the end. (I hope)

I think the rose... violet red? should be lighter. I had the full strength stick and put white over it to try and lighten it. Seems like it is still to dark. The darkest blue is deeper in real life. It's ultramarine blue..... ah blue violet? I think this color thing is going to help me if I figure it out.

P.S. I hope I'm submitting this post in the area it's supposed to be. If not feel free to let me know. :confused:

Colorix
11-03-2008, 08:36 PM
Hi Doug, good work! You also had this slightly deeper pink in the bg, but that really shows the effect of the white and the blue in the upper two quadrants, and how the lower part is warmer and rosier. And still it looks like the same cloth, just nearer and further away. Great! Values are good, overall, though the top of the block may lack a bit of red (but it may also be a result of photo/scan. As may the bright yellow of the green cloth in light, look at it IRL and see if it really needs lightening. Otherwise, the blurred edge at the top edge really helps make that yG recede.

You got a beautiful shimmering effect in the two shadow sides of the block. The cast shadow is looking more 'flat' in comparison. Could you work a tad more on the cast shadow, both sides of it? A bit more rose or purple (violet-Red, or red-Violet) in it (the blue shadow), especially at the lower edge, the one towards the light. The green shadow, give it a bit more blue towards the edge of the paper, and a light reddish reflection close to the block.

Very nice differentiating between the two shadow sides of the block!

Charlie


Wow. I think I can honestly say that I have never thought harder while painting, than I have painting this block. Maybe this says more about me than I really want to know.:o

This is what I came up with Charlie. I did the changes you suggested and continued on. I have to admit, I was looking for tints and shades that I didn't have, so I used what I had. I plan on doing this exercise again, but this time I will be using my softies. This one is done completely with FC Polychromos. Not all the colours are correct in the photo. I think there were too many colours for PS to handle.:lol:

It is great seeing all the different paintings that everybody has come up with. It's the same block, but everyone sees it differently.

Thanks again Charlie.

PS- Now that I look at it on the monitor, I think the YG cloth in the sun needs lightening/whitening more.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2008/102199-s_Block_Stage4.jpg


Doug

crystaln
11-03-2008, 09:06 PM
Here's my stage 2 painting. The background colors in the pic are darker and the block's top is brighter than in real life. It's been interesting. I'll surely have to review the whole lesson when I'm done with everything.

crystaln
11-03-2008, 09:14 PM
Oh I'm really tired. Trying to upload photo of Stage 2 Painting one more time.

JLMTD
11-03-2008, 10:46 PM
OK, I'm just going to jump in here. I've been behind here and am trying to digest. I'm a little s-l-o-wwww sometimes.:(

Wouldn't aqua be blue-green-white?

Janis

Colorix
11-04-2008, 07:10 AM
Janis, that is one of the colours aqua could be. Even in online dictionaries there is no certainty, here are 5, I think, definitions:

Noun
S: (n) greenish blue, aqua, aquamarine, turquoise, cobalt blue, peacock blue (a shade of blue tinged with green)

aqua a light greenish blue.

Aqua is a cyan color, used mostly by graphic designers and other computer-related professionals such as web designers.

Aqua is identical to the color electric cyan, the color on the color wheel precisely halfway between green and blue.

Aquamarine is color that is a tint of cyan. It is named after the mineral aquamarine. Aquamarine is found as a precious gemstone mainly found in granite rocks.

That is the reason I like the simplified descriptive words like whitened green-blue, or blue-green. They make clear that a green-blue is more blue than a blue-green. Aqua means water. However, that doesn't mean the the murky muddy waters have the look of 'aqua'. 'Aquamarine' does tell us that it is a colour found in the seas, but still doesn't define the hue.

And, I'd just 'love' to make people agree on which is redder or bluer of Violet and Purple.

(Having seen genuine purple, from the shell, which is a brownish red very dark colour, I'm clear on Purple being reddish, and Violet being blueish.)

Charlie

Colorix
11-04-2008, 09:49 AM
Crystal, looks very good, the cast shadow is deep enough. Only thing I'd want you to do before proceeding is to put a little orange on the right side of the block in shadow, and if that gets too orange, put a wee bit of red over it. Is there a light value of a yellow-Green over the yellow in the green cloth in light? It's hard to see on screen. Doing very well, Crystal!


You all may have noticed how intense the yellow gets, and how those greens are just not visible on screen, but are in real life.

Charlie

crystaln
11-04-2008, 10:18 AM
Yes there is a very light tinge of yellow-green on the lighted cloth. You can't really see it on the computer. It is ever so light so I decided to add a touch more.

robertsloan2
11-04-2008, 10:36 AM
Charlie, thanks for bringing that up. I always thought Purple had a reddish cast and Violet a bluer cast too.

Dougwas
11-04-2008, 10:44 AM
:music: :music: Roses are red, Violets are blue :music: :music:

Doug:D

crystaln
11-04-2008, 10:46 AM
Charlie,
OOPS. I just found this post and already whitened the rose background. In fact I already moved to the next demo, posted a photo and you commented on it for me. I wish I had done what you said before going on but I guess I must have compensated somewhere and done it. I'll try and get back on track.

Also you asked what paper I used. It's Strathmore brand pastel pad. It says 400 series, medium weight on the pad cover. I was wondering if it was good enough. Guess you answered that question.
Thanks, Crystal

If you do not have a tint of the rose, (yes, the violet-Red), leave it as it is. It is hard to whiten down, as the pigment is so strong and staining.The lighter green-blue in the other half of the shadow could need some darkening, though (with a deeper value of the same colour, or you can add a deeper blue on top of it). Do that, and then go on. The other values look great.
In your first sketch, the cast shadow is a bit light in value, and the top of the block a bit dark. It's a good sketch,but doesn't say 'sunlight' so much. Your start of the demo, even though the background is a bit deeper, clearly says 'sunlight'. Good job!

I'm curious, what paper are you working on? I like the grain of it!

Colorix
11-04-2008, 11:00 AM
Crystal, :lol: , I *am* tired. It looked awfully familiar, though. Thank you, for telling me about the paper. It looks very interesting, but I have not tried it, yet.

Guys, I'm taking it slow today, won't type much, have to do some ordinary living, and my brain really wants to rest after the intensity of the last 4-5 days.

Charlie


Charlie,
OOPS. I just found this post and already whitened the rose background. In fact I already moved to the next demo, posted a photo and you commented on it for me. I wish I had done what you said before going on but I guess I must have compensated somewhere and done it. I'll try and get back on track.

Also you asked what paper I used. It's Strathmore brand pastel pad. It says 400 series, medium weight on the pad cover. I was wondering if it was good enough. Guess you answered that question.
Thanks, Crystal

If you do not have a tint of the rose, (yes, the violet-Red), leave it as it is. It is hard to whiten down, as the pigment is so strong and staining.The lighter green-blue in the other half of the shadow could need some darkening, though (with a deeper value of the same colour, or you can add a deeper blue on top of it). Do that, and then go on. The other values look great.
In your first sketch, the cast shadow is a bit light in value, and the top of the block a bit dark. It's a good sketch,but doesn't say 'sunlight' so much. Your start of the demo, even though the background is a bit deeper, clearly says 'sunlight'. Good job!

I'm curious, what paper are you working on? I like the grain of it!

Colorix
11-04-2008, 11:06 AM
Rob, you said somewhere something in the manner of feeling like a newbie, and lost, somewhere around stage 2-3. That is a very common sensation, when starting with this method of colour and light. I tried to warn you guys, back in the invitation, when I said "expect to feel like you're back on square one"... But, I also wanted you to experience the delight of discovering it actually works! But that unsettling stage 2-3 feeling is something one learns to expect, and one also learns to recognize if it goes well enough.

Charlie

crystaln
11-04-2008, 01:23 PM
Here is my Stage 4 Final Painting. The deep dark spot in the shadow close to the block is not there in real life and the large darker square block of pink on the left bottom half of the paper is blended and barely visible in real life. WOW this has been intense reading. I really feel that I'm at a disadvantage by not having any of the sticks lighter than #7. Most of the colors I've used I think are the #5. I added some white at times to try and lighten. I think I have the tints I needed.

Judibelle
11-04-2008, 02:50 PM
Hi Charlie..Thank you for your comments.....here it is re-scanned after fixing the line...Hope it's right...

I have to tell you how this has made me so aware of colors and shading as I look around my house. The corners in the ceilings,how the colors change with the light, etc. I have merely taken it all for granted til now. Now I am really looking and seeing...
So once again, I am filled with gratitude to you for this lesson...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Nov-2008/103700-scan0006.jpg_block__corrected.jpg
JB

robertsloan2
11-04-2008, 03:02 PM
JB, I have to agree with you! So far this class has caused another major perceptual shift for me -- now I am seeing colors a lot differently and seeing the subtle ones that I wasn't expecting. It's wonderful!

I'm about half done with my side project and loving it so much that I'm ordering frames so that I can frame all these good ones for my December show instead of just putting them on eBay.

Colorix
11-04-2008, 03:48 PM
As JB and Rob say, a whole glorious new world of colour-perceptions will/may open up to you. That is the whole mystery, the magic, of impressionism, and schools derived from it. When you really *see*, the rest is just a question of how to represent that on paper/canvas. People have been speculating about Monet's sight -- did he have extra receptors in his retinas? was it the cataracts that made him see yellow in white? People've been searching for the *Secret*, while all it takes is awareness!

Congratulations to you two!

Charlie

Colorix
11-04-2008, 04:09 PM
Crystal, very good job! Great values, and now I see clearly that the two shadow sides of the block are well differentiated. Excellent! and the reflection is within the shadow-family. Well done!

I'm glad that pink shows up more on the scan, because I can say to all of you: all shifts in colour will be painted as having a specific shape. The edges may have to be very blurry, for a flat plain like this, or not, if the values are very close. And even when the colour looks darker like this (while it isn't IRL) you can see that it also looks more natural than a flat area of a single colour, even if layered.

I cant remember the name, but I recently read in an article on the net (by an artist that doesn't work with this system) that we need to make small changes in colour in a large area, as the eye becomes 'bored' with the same colour after a couple of inches. I agree, but in my words, I'd say that as these shifts *really* exist, our brains expect them, and if they aren't there in a painting, the brain 'thinks': "this doesn't look natural".

This style is derived from, or, rather, is a part of the impressionist family, but with a bit of the denser/clearer forms of the post-impressionist Cezanne thrown in. And it survived in the US, and got developed there. Europe has more or less lost it.

Charlie



Here is my Stage 4 Final Painting. The deep dark spot in the shadow close to the block is not there in real life and the large darker square block of pink on the left bottom half of the paper is blended and barely visible in real life. WOW this has been intense reading. I really feel that I'm at a disadvantage by not having any of the sticks lighter than #7. Most of the colors I've used I think are the #5. I added some white at times to try and lighten. I think I have the tints I needed.

Colorix
11-04-2008, 04:11 PM
:music: :music: Roses are red, Violets are blue :music: :music:

Doug:D

:music: they are precious, and so are you!:music: :lol:

Good point!

Colorix
11-04-2008, 04:16 PM
JB, thank you! It is looking great (though that glare was neat in its way). Good values, good light, good differentiations! Well done!

Charlie


Hi Charlie..Thank you for your comments.....here it is re-scanned after fixing the line...Hope it's right...

I have to tell you how this has made me so aware of colors and shading as I look around my house. The corners in the ceilings,how the colors change with the light, etc. I have merely taken it all for granted til now. Now I am really looking and seeing...
So once again, I am filled with gratitude to you for this lesson...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Nov-2008/103700-scan0006.jpg_block__corrected.jpg
JB

Dougwas
11-04-2008, 04:49 PM
Charlie, if you want to take today off, don't worry about replying to my post. Believe me. I understand.:D

I did the changes you suggested and I did a few others. My back felt better today, so I sat at my easel and used my softies. I whitened the blue cloth and the y/g cloth in the sun. I think it looks better now. The block looks more grounded.

Thanks for all the help. I am enjoying the learning experience.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Nov-2008/102199-Nov_04_08_Block_Rev.jpg


Doug

robertsloan2
11-04-2008, 09:53 PM
Doug, it does look better, and I love how the deep shadow on the blue cloth looks. Something about that color and texture is so gorgeous. The whole piece is much improved, but that scumbled blue-green-blue is so beautiful.

JB, even though you eliminated the glare, your block still looks so luminous that it's wonderful. Your shadow is very striking too.

Colorix
11-05-2008, 07:58 AM
Policy

(why is that word so similar to 'police'?... )

Do please comment on each other's efforts, and encourage. We are learning as much from seeing each other's works as from the info.

For now, and until I say otherwise, please reserve actual critiqueing for me. (You've not critiqued, I'm simply stating policy.)

And know that I critique according to the level I perceive you are at. If my critique gets tougher on you, it is because I've deemed you so good that you need tougher crit in order to continue growing. (Having said that, please PM me if you want me to go easier on you.) And, I will only critique and advice and encourage in the thread! For the benefit of all (and for managing my time). I've always learned as much (or more, as there is less pressure) from hearing/seeing a teacher's critique of another student, in class or workshop. Invaluable!

You're all doing great! And I thank you who have posted so far for being the pioneers, showing the way, giving courage.

Charlie

Colorix
11-05-2008, 08:23 AM
Food for all included.

Doug, thank you! I needed some rest, to get the ol'e brain back in gear.

Oh yes, the changes make such a difference in your painting! The interesting parts (block and cast shadow, in this case) are shimmering with light. As you all remember, shadows are light too! The yG cloth in light lies back/down beautifully, and fades out, great! (In this study, the edge of that cloth isn't interesting, so fading it out is a good idea.) In this scan/photo, it is very clear how the cool pink at the back edge of the top of the block really makes that part recede.

Another good thing I want to point out, for future reference (I didn't go into it, as there was plenty of new stuff to learn.) The blue cloth in light is considerably grayed down, but it still reads as if it is in light. The secret of that is the very first start, the violet-Pink that placed it firmly in the light-category. Also, there are a bit more of strokes visible in the foreground of it, which also makes that part come forward a bit more.

Good job!

Charlie


Charlie, if you want to take today off, don't worry about replying to my post. Believe me. I understand.:D

I did the changes you suggested and I did a few others. My back felt better today, so I sat at my easel and used my softies. I whitened the blue cloth and the y/g cloth in the sun. I think it looks better now. The block looks more grounded.

Thanks for all the help. I am enjoying the learning experience.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Nov-2008/102199-Nov_04_08_Block_Rev.jpg


Doug

Colorix
11-05-2008, 09:41 AM
Hi!

I've taken your first sketches, the quick ones before the demo, and put them together. There are some interesting commonalities:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2008/117343-Com-first-quick-sketches.jpg

No names, you'll recognize your own.

While they are indeed good quick and charming sketches -- almost all of you put effort in the details, i.e. the wrinkles in the cloths. Most of you also made too pale/tinted/whitened cast shadows for the strong light to be clear enough, so it looks weak.

So, in addition to the colour 'stuff', you are now learning to make a strong first statement of light. A strong base upon which to build a painting. The taller a building is going to be, the deeper and stronger the anchoring base underground has to be. Details are frills and fringes, icing on the cake -- they are not what makes a painting in a realistic enough style to look 'real'. The shapes of light and dark are what do that job.

(Pardon odd English... and shortness of 'tone'. It is not really a 'word' day for the highly visual me today. I think you get it, but if not, ask!)

Charlie

Dougwas
11-05-2008, 10:40 AM
Thanks Charlie. I am looking forward to the next level. I am going to try a simple still life (maybe a pear on light fabric) without looking at your instructions and see what I come up with. I will post it in the Weekly Sketch thread.

Thanks Robert. My daughter liked the fabric in the shadow too. I hope I can remember how I got the effect.:D

I hope other people will be participating in this class. It's just a matter of putting pastel on paper. Don't let all the instructions scare you. If you apply the pastel as Charlie instructs, the words make more sense. It is fun seeing the painting come to life.

Doug

ElsieH
11-05-2008, 10:41 AM
:wave: Hi, Charlie and All!
Great start to the class!
I've had some health issues last week and this, so I've not jumped in yet.
However, I plan on following up with the thread and working to catch up
with the rest of you!
Thanks Charlie for this wonderful class!:clap:

Colorix
11-05-2008, 10:49 AM
All posted stages 1:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2008/117343-RB-stg-1.jpg

Still some tendencies to too light cast shadows. I think that is because we tend to focus on the *object* and not on the pattern of light and dark. Good foundations.

All posted stages 2, some are cropped:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2008/117343-RB-stg-2.jpg

Really good foundations and colour-relationships on which to build forms.

Too few stages 3, but those include foundation, colour-relations, and forms, upon which to put the 'icing'.

Posted stages 4, plus one stage 3 (cropped):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2008/117343-RB-stgs-3-and-4.jpg

Pretty 'icings, eh? Really good solid paintings. We've skipped the details in the cloths, the wrinkles altogether, as it was complicated to paint anyway. (Wrinkles, if they are small as they were here, are worked on in stage 3 and 4.)

Guys, this was a paint-along, but you didn't paint copies. They are not all looking exactly the same, your individualities are shining through strongly.

You can see that the lighter in value the background is, and the less strokes are visible in the bg, the more it recedes.

You also see how they are filled with light, all of them, regardless of the value of the bg.

Wonderful paintings! I'm real proud of you guys!

Charlie

crystaln
11-05-2008, 12:19 PM
Charlie,
Thanks for all your instruction. I've never used pastel before and my knowledge is limited. I was wondering if I eventially get all the sticks that you suggested in the beginning will that suffice for anything I do in pastel? Or is the list you gave basically for the exercises you are teaching us now.
Crystal

Judibelle
11-05-2008, 01:07 PM
WOW Charlie....how great to see them all together. Great group os sketches, for sure. Everybody did so well! And get such good advice. Thanks so much, once again.
JB

Colorix
11-05-2008, 02:04 PM
Crystal, your painting is wonderful for a total newbie!

In the photos of the demo, did you notice that many of my sticks were worn rather thin? (Most were also quarters or thirds of the length of a stick, broken off so they're easier to use in many ways.) Yes, I use them for all painting, but I do have more colours/hues. And more tints/whitened ones. Plus some deep darks.


I started in oils, and it was very easy to mix colours to get deep-deep darks, but in pastels, they are way harder to mix on paper, so a few of those sticks are needed.


I gave you all the list of a bare minimum, for two reasons: So you'd not have to spend a lot of money but be able to participate with what you hopefully already had, and, to learn to use what you have by layering and hatching.

Some of the colours we used were intended to gray down the intense hues (colours). We can make beautiful grays and neutrals simply by layering.

There was a thread sometime fairly recently -- How Many Sticks In Your Box -- I think it was called that. People had anything between 30 and 7 000 sticks, though owning and using isn't the same thing. :-)

For my first 6-8 months with pastels, I got by with the ones we used in the exercise, plus some colours inbetween those (inbetween on the colour-wheel). The additions are: (Numbers refer to Rembrandt sticks) Yellow 201, Perm Red light (number....?), Carmine 318, Alizarine deep 331, and the probably discontinued Red Violet clear/light, Red Violet deep, Violet, Blue-Violet (discont. I think, but it was a mousy one anyway). Bluegreen/green blue 640, Phthalo blue 570, Prussian blue 508, and Ultramarine light 505. And I have most of the tints of them, the ,7 ,8 ,9.

The reason for those is: The pure pigments are always the most brilliant, and best for representing light. A mixed/layered/blended orange we can get from yellow and red is never as luminous as an orange pigment that is unblended, for example. (Especially true about the different cadmium yellows and reds.) A mixed blue-green (from blue stick and green stick) is less luminous than a blue-green stick.



So the short answer is, the colours I gave you in the charts are a very good selection to start with. It is an all-purpose palette. It is a bit limited, but you can paint nearly anything with them. Additions are for making life a bit easier.

You can add slowly to it. More blues is a good place to start adding. There are some decent darks amongst the blues, but my next addition would be super-darks, like Terry Ludwigs eggplant, a deep violet that can do service as a black. And then some more reds and yellows.

Or, you can decide you want more grays and browns, a softer palette, and go for the earth-colours. (Really earth, they are pigments found in earth.) They are excellent for a less colourful style.

If you click on my username, colorix, (in the heading of this post, next to my tiny pic) the link will take you to my WC profile. There is another link there "find all threads started by colorix". You can see all the paintings I've done as a pastellist, in the threads. They were all painted with these Rembrandt sticks (and the same colours, but less of sticks, in the supersoft Schmincke), until sometime this summer, when I got some Unisons, their dark set. I think the ballerina was the first where I mixed these, the Unisons and the Rembrandts. I may be adding brands, but I will generally not add colours. (There's a lot of landscapes, as I've been practicing painting them.)

Probably more than you wanted to know... :-)

Charlie

Colorix
11-05-2008, 02:39 PM
JB, thank you!

Jus for fun:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2008/117343-House-like.jpg

:D

See how a still-life, even a block-study, can train you to paint a landscape!

Charlie

Inki C
11-05-2008, 04:13 PM
I must admit I almost gave up... this is more difficult than I thought.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2008/150011-rood_blok.jpg
But I finally did it, here's my red block...
(IRL the yellow is darker, and the blue-green spot at the bottom is my shadow...)
Ingrid

Colorix
11-05-2008, 04:52 PM
A comment for all, too.

Inki, I'm so glad you didn't give up on this -- it is beautiful. Strong clear light, which means strong clear shadows. Delicate and very fine shifts in colour from left to right and from up to down. A clear separation of the cloths in shadow. A very good job to be proud of!

Have you fingerblended? You have this smooth velvety look, and I do hope you indeed blended, because then I can say that this system works very well with blending too. To blend or not to blend is entirely a personal preference.

All: There is this wonderful halo-like glow looking like bouncing light along the top of the block (in the cloth-area). Later, we'll look into how to produce this, but for now I just want to point out how much more glow that adds!

Charlie

RooGal
11-05-2008, 05:23 PM
Wow Charlie, thanks for starting this thread. You have given us a lot to take in, however your visual props are such a tremendous help. I find it difficult at times to take in what everyone is saying when everything is *text* format. I'm going to print this out so I can read it as many times as necessary until it finally sinks in.

Colorix
11-05-2008, 05:26 PM
Hi Elsie, and thank you!

Start when it is convenient, and you don't even have to catch up, work in your own pace.

Charlie

:wave: Hi, Charlie and All!
Great start to the class!
I've had some health issues last week and this, so I've not jumped in yet.
However, I plan on following up with the thread and working to catch up
with the rest of you!
Thanks Charlie for this wonderful class!:clap:

Colorix
11-05-2008, 05:34 PM
Thank you, Pam!

I will repeat and repeat what is said, as we proceed. Or refer back. You don't have to take it all in, it is too big a bite, anyone would choke on it. Actually, if you're very visual, it'll stick better if you do the Paint-along.

All: So, anyone who thinks tis is too much in one go, it'll get worked through many times, and bit by bit, it'll make sense. For me, anything that doesn't make sense doesn't stick to my mind. So we'll *make* sense, by examples in images. Same basic principles, over again, with different subjects. Very soon, your own subjects.

Charlie


Wow Charlie, thanks for starting this thread. You have given us a lot to take in, however your visual props are such a tremendous help. I find it difficult at times to take in what everyone is saying when everything is *text* format. I'm going to print this out so I can read it as many times as necessary until it finally sinks in.

RooGal
11-05-2008, 05:38 PM
Thanks Charlie. I was thinking the same myself, right after I posted. Will scrounge around for some paper. I have always been a hands-on person when learning.

pastel lover
11-05-2008, 08:50 PM
Hi Charlie,

I have been following along with your wonderful class. You have devoted so much time & effort to it...thank you. I have finally gotten the time to join in, hope I got it somewhere in the vicinity of right. Below are two sketches...1st one is pre-class sketch & second after reading thru stage 4. Please note that is the second one the yellow cloth where is in the cast shadow is much, much lighter IRL. I don't know why it photographed that way. C&C if you have time. Thanks.

Tanja

1st Pre-class sketch
415303
2nd Thru stage 4
415304

robertsloan2
11-06-2008, 02:20 AM
Thanks for mentioning that soft glow in Inki's painting, Charlie. I'm all excited about learning how to get that soft glow, it's going to be fun. I got sidetracked by doing other things tonight but will continue on my side project -- and now I'm even happier that I'm doing my side project.

I'm leaping ahead a bit but my apple and leaves still life is coming out better than any of the ones I did before your class, and things I read up on but never "got" are becoming clearer to me. I like both the text and the images -- the pictures and your critiques on everyone's show me things that weren't always clear in the text, or that I might have got right but thought were wrong because they weren't what I'm used to.

That point in between when it starts looking like it's going to be a goofy abstract instead of anything remotely Impressionistic and feels like a raw beginner was fun, once I found out that yes, it not only worked but gave me a cool still life. I'll be framing my red block next week, I like it that much.

Plus my Colourfix primer will show up today (it is Thursday already by an hour) so my next class project can be on Colourfix surface white. I feel like that pint gives me enough to experiment with and not worry about running out of sandy paper.

The next time an exercise evolves into an artwork better than I've ever done before, I'll do it on better stuff. lol

Inki C
11-06-2008, 02:31 AM
Thanks Charlie, you made me feel proud of it!
I did blend it with my fingers, every time after putting on a new color (with the side of the sticks). (I like to blend, can't help it)
I had to use fixative after stage 2.
It's on white canson and I used a basic set of Rembrandts, so had to improvise for some colors.
The paint along helps a lot in understanding the colors.
(and for me it also helps to think less and just paint more ;) )
Ingrid

crystaln
11-06-2008, 07:58 AM
You are very encouraging. Thanks. I did notice the shape of your sticks and thought that once mine are worn down they would be easier to use. I noticed my half sticks seemed easier to use and almost started breaking my full sticks in half. I started painting with oils but it's hard to tote all that stuff around and thought that pastels might be easier when on the go. Not that I'm an avid oil painter. I'm also fairly new to that. Thanks for all this information. I really appreciate it.... and no it's not more than I wanted to know. :smug: I'm saving this information to slowly build a good pallet of pastels.

Crystal, your painting is wonderful for a total newbie!

In the photos of the demo, did you notice that many of my sticks were worn rather thin? (Most were also quarters or thirds of the length of a stick, broken off so they're easier to use in many ways.) Yes, I use them for all painting, but I do have more colours/hues. And more tints/whitened ones. Plus some deep darks.


I started in oils, and it was very easy to mix colours to get deep-deep darks, but in pastels, they are way harder to mix on paper, so a few of those sticks are needed.


I gave you all the list of a bare minimum, for two reasons: So you'd not have to spend a lot of money but be able to participate with what you hopefully already had, and, to learn to use what you have by layering and hatching.

Some of the colours we used were intended to gray down the intense hues (colours). We can make beautiful grays and neutrals simply by layering.

There was a thread sometime fairly recently -- How Many Sticks In Your Box -- I think it was called that. People had anything between 30 and 7 000 sticks, though owning and using isn't the same thing. :-)

For my first 6-8 months with pastels, I got by with the ones we used in the exercise, plus some colours inbetween those (inbetween on the colour-wheel). The additions are: (Numbers refer to Rembrandt sticks) Yellow 201, Perm Red light (number....?), Carmine 318, Alizarine deep 331, and the probably discontinued Red Violet clear/light, Red Violet deep, Violet, Blue-Violet (discont. I think, but it was a mousy one anyway). Bluegreen/green blue 640, Phthalo blue 570, Prussian blue 508, and Ultramarine light 505. And I have most of the tints of them, the ,7 ,8 ,9.

The reason for those is: The pure pigments are always the most brilliant, and best for representing light. A mixed/layered/blended orange we can get from yellow and red is never as luminous as an orange pigment that is unblended, for example. (Especially true about the different cadmium yellows and reds.) A mixed blue-green (from blue stick and green stick) is less luminous than a blue-green stick.



So the short answer is, the colours I gave you in the charts are a very good selection to start with. It is an all-purpose palette. It is a bit limited, but you can paint nearly anything with them. Additions are for making life a bit easier.

You can add slowly to it. More blues is a good place to start adding. There are some decent darks amongst the blues, but my next addition would be super-darks, like Terry Ludwigs eggplant, a deep violet that can do service as a black. And then some more reds and yellows.

Or, you can decide you want more grays and browns, a softer palette, and go for the earth-colours. (Really earth, they are pigments found in earth.) They are excellent for a less colourful style.

If you click on my username, colorix, (in the heading of this post, next to my tiny pic) the link will take you to my WC profile. There is another link there "find all threads started by colorix". You can see all the paintings I've done as a pastellist, in the threads. They were all painted with these Rembrandt sticks (and the same colours, but less of sticks, in the supersoft Schmincke), until sometime this summer, when I got some Unisons, their dark set. I think the ballerina was the first where I mixed these, the Unisons and the Rembrandts. I may be adding brands, but I will generally not add colours. (There's a lot of landscapes, as I've been practicing painting them.)

Probably more than you wanted to know... :-)

Charlie

Colorix
11-06-2008, 12:58 PM
Thank you Tanja, you know, it is very good for me to review it all from scratch, I learn too, perhaps most of all... :-)

Your pre-sketch is nice, you've seen a bit of colour and reflections in the shadows. From what I can see you have some yellowy colour (perhaps also a pinkish, harder to see) in the lighted part of the blue cloth, also in the bg. That really helps give the sense of light. Cast shadow is pretty decent. But, from what I see on screen, the top of the block looks pretty much like the shadow planes.

The Paint-along: The deeper shadow gives a much stronger sense of light, and here the top of the block clearly is in sun! Great! Most of the paintins is very good. I'm in two minds about the bg, though. It is rather purple, but I deem it to be in light, so that's fine. On screen, it looks 'flat', it would need a bit more variation to 'lay it down', if what I see is what you have IRL. If the paper is saturated, don't bother with it, otherwise, look over the part in stage 3 where I use quartering to establish more depth. And if you smudge out the upper contour line of the green cloth in light, it will lay back more. Generally, avoid contour lines, and let the transition from one colour to the other be the edge. (OK, there are linear styles of painting, where contours are shown, so if that is your preference, ignore my advice.)

The green cloth in light is lying down fine, and I really like the shifts of colour in the cast shadow. You have definite colour biases in all the planes of the block, and that is excellent.

Very good job!

Yes, photograping/scanning does odd things... Some 'things' recur, as for example blue showing up too light, or a strong red bias or something, depending on your equipment. It helps a lot to be able to adjust the image in the computer.

Charlie



Hi Charlie,
I have been following along with your wonderful class. You have devoted so much time & effort to it...thank you. I have finally gotten the time to join in, hope I got it somewhere in the vicinity of right. Below are two sketches...1st one is pre-class sketch & second after reading thru stage 4. Please note that is the second one the yellow cloth where is in the cast shadow is much, much lighter IRL. I don't know why it photographed that way. C&C if you have time. Thanks.

Tanja

1st Pre-class sketch
415303
2nd Thru stage 4
415304

pastel lover
11-06-2008, 02:39 PM
Hi Charlie,

Thanks for the critique. I will apply the changes you suggested, however, the paper is pretty saturated so I may just do another stage 4. This is a waaay cool method of building color. It is hard - but fun! Thanks again.

Tanja

saramathewson
11-06-2008, 02:56 PM
I'm now following along Charlie and finished the block this morning. unfortunately I can't post it as the camera is not here right now. It should be back by late next week and then i will be able to post my paintings. Thanks for all you are doing here. the time and energy you have put into this class is amazing and I know I'm saying this for the whole class, we appreciate you and all that you are doing here. Thanks!

Sara

snowfall
11-06-2008, 03:15 PM
Hi Charlie

Sorry, I'm pretty late starting the class and I got so carried away I forgot to do my own pre-sketch before I started going through your instructions. This was really hard to do and I'm not sure whether I've done it correctly, even though I have all the rembrandt pastels you listed (I may have not have used the right ones anyway). I found it really interesting and enjoyable though. Apologies - it's a bit untidy around the edges. I've not got steady hands at the moment (manual dexterity problem), but I wanted to join in the class before it got too late.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Nov-2008/142898-pics06nov_011.jpg

Pam

robertsloan2
11-06-2008, 05:32 PM
Hi, Sara! I'm looking forward to seeing your project once you get the camera back. It's great to see so many versions of this same artwork, everyone does it a bit different and they all have so much feeling. I did not believe something as simple as a red block and two dish towels could be that fascinating, but they are! Every time I see another one it's great.

Even with following the same directions and using the same colors, it comes out unique to the artist, and this is part of the fun of the class. I learn something from Charlie's comments on everyone, not just on mine.

Pam, yours looks good, but I think the photo may have grayed it out a bit. I can see the gradations from the quartering on the background and all the details though, and it's cool that you blended with sticks.

Today, I finally got mine off the clipboard on my easel. I matted it, which did my cropping perfectly, and hung it on the wall. Then I got a phone-cam photo, so I'd like to share that. It's just a one layer black mat but it really helped to crop it. I went much wider to left especially than worked for the composition so to me it looks a lot better this way.

Charlie, the frames I'm getting are black, so if I do a second layer on the mat before putting it in the frame I'll use dark graphite or charcoal gray for the second layer. It has to be a dark neutral to work for the black frames, you were so right about that. But I like how the black makes the colors pop.

415381

This wall is right next to the window rather than across from one, so it's a good place to put art without it fading. I don't know if this post was irrelevant, but I thought people might like to see what one of these looks like matted. It really is a serious, beautiful painting! Thank you, Charlie!

ElsieH
11-06-2008, 05:41 PM
:wave: Hi, Charlie and All!

I just took a few min. and read through all the posts....not few..many min.:lol:
Great fun and great jobs by all!

Also, I did a little copy/paste on the instruction posts by Charlie.
Now I have a little booklet to work from.
I'll go back over those a bit and try some things out. I may not interrupt the flow of the class to post those early things, but I plan to do them.:)

So, now, I'll try to keep up from here!:clap:
Thanks Charlie!:heart:

Colorix
11-06-2008, 06:41 PM
Elsie and Sara, post when you can, it will certainly not interrupt any flow. There are people that may start a month later, too. Please, all, do post where you are at when you are there (or when you get the camera!). It will also be beneficial for those who are quicker, as they get to revisit an earlier lesson through you.

Rob, it's looking very good, matted with black and on the wall! The bright ones really shine like gems, set in black. More subdued ones look good in white. I'm thinking of changing my site to black bg, but I hesitate, as I don't like light text on black, I prefer black on white. And do post anything vaguely related to this class. Showing newbies and 'oldies' ideas on how to frame is great!

Charlie

Colorix
11-06-2008, 06:57 PM
Pam, hi, it's great! And the green is actually visible in yours! (For most people it washed out in photo/scan.) Blurry edges are good, too, as later we'll work on having just a very few sharp edges in a whole painting. The main thing I see, and it may be because of the photo/scan, is that the left side of the block in shadow could be a little darker, especially darker than the right side (don't mind this if it looks fine IRL). And making the lower/bottom edge of the blue shadow have that narrow band of a rather dark rose (violet-red) would pop that area. (I've discovered I was very unclear on that when I typed the Demo, sorry. :o I'd gotten into visual mode, not text-mode, in my brain.) I assure you you've done it correctly enough. Some of the really good parts are: the little reflection in the shadowed right side of the block, it is subtle and firmly within the shadow. The values of the cloths are near each other both in light and in shadow, great! And I agree with Rob's comments. Really well done, Pam!

Charlie

Hi Charlie

Sorry, I'm pretty late starting the class and I got so carried away I forgot to do my own pre-sketch before I started going through your instructions. This was really hard to do and I'm not sure whether I've done it correctly, even though I have all the rembrandt pastels you listed (I may have not have used the right ones anyway). I found it really interesting and enjoyable though. Apologies - it's a bit untidy around the edges. I've not got steady hands at the moment (manual dexterity problem), but I wanted to join in the class before it got too late.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Nov-2008/142898-pics06nov_011.jpg

Pam

ElsieH
11-06-2008, 09:57 PM
:wave:

Thanks, Charlie!
I'll work along and post what I'm working on.

Scottyarthur
11-07-2008, 08:22 AM
Wow very impressive everyone :clap: . I am having great fun following along here :D . excellent Job you are doing Charlie, you make a great teacher :thumbsup: . If i ever get off my butt, I will join in :lol: . I can't lurk forever you know :cool: .

snowfall
11-07-2008, 09:37 AM
Hi

Thanks Charlie for your advice. I'll have a go at making some improvements to it now.
Robert - your piece looks fab with the black mount, very impressive.

Pam

Diana_pastels
11-07-2008, 10:44 AM
Charlie,
I haven't posted but have read through all the posts. This has been a wonderful refresher on the techniques from Susan's workshop; great job, great explanations and demonstrations! Everyone's blocks look terrific. They all really pop with color and light. I am looking forward to the next lesson; you are doing a wonderful job Teach!
Diana

Orchidacea
11-07-2008, 11:27 AM
excellent Job you are doing Charlie, you make a great teacher :thumbsup: . .


I'm just warning y'all--Charlie is spoiling you!! When it's my turn to teach a class...well, let's just say it won't be quite this thorough!! (Maybe I can hire Charlie as a consultant....)

Colorix
11-07-2008, 12:19 PM
Diana, Kim, thank you!

I'm enjoying myself immensly, I do have The Little "Know-it-all" Within... and the odd combo of a very pedantic side, and another couldn't-care-less-about-the-awful-mess side. Only the Paint-along was hyper-detailed, for the benefit of less experienced pastellists. And I so remember feeling much more confident after a paint-along when I was new to painting.

Kim, I'll hire *you* for setting up still-lifes, you're so good at that!

Diana, Don't hesitate to share what you know. I teach what I've 'gotten', and am a life long student. So I'd be happy to get your knowledgeable input.

Charlie

Colorix
11-07-2008, 12:19 PM
Scotty, do join in, the water is warm!

Charlie

Colorix
11-07-2008, 05:19 PM
Hi guys, I will post the next Chapter , below this post.

Frames:
Rob showed how it looks framed in black.

I've tried different ways, and here is a pic of what hangs in my kitchen, by the table. The arrangement is according to the principle "there was a hook there". The smaller middle one doesn't belong, but it shows clearly how a dark brown narrow frame looks with a white mat and a colourful painting. The dark frame and darkish painting makes the mat way too prominent, IMHO.

The two still-lifes will hang there more permanently (have hung there since they were completed). They have narrow wooden frames called 'silver', but looks like silver and gold blended, sort of a pale gold. I think they work well, and the frames are poster frames, so they're cheap.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/117343-Frames-kitchen.jpg

A while back I made a dark painting in a more traditional style. (But I've used my ordinary way of building form with colour.). The only square frame I found in that size was white, so the mat got white too. It was a temporary framing, until I'd find the energy to paint the frame. I was surprised at how decent it looked. The painting *is* dark, as I was testing the Unison Dark Jewels in it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/117343-Ballerina-framed.jpg

It is not so easy to frame these colourfuls. I've seen Monet-paintings with horrid frames, golden wide overworked with carvings and what-not. Personally, I lean towards simple frames, that let the painting speak.

Charlie

Colorix
11-07-2008, 06:14 PM
Painting 2

Ladies and gentlemen, now, we practice what we’ve learned, to strengthen and confirm it in our awareness.

Btw, I have a rough lesson-plan. I will provide the reference for this lesson, and for the next (rounded objects, but set up by you and painted from life). Then we do our own set-ups, with freely chosen objects. We look at how to set up a simple composition, and we give a thought to “put down” as
compared to “set up”. You can count on me to sprinkle in some art-history too, now and then , with pictures.


“Think Tank”

Bock-studies are great to do, as they are simple and quick enough. I know that artists who have mastered this method who set up block-studies when they travel to a new part of the world, as it quickly and easily give them the insights to how the atmosphere differs from what they are used to.

Let’s start again by looking and thinking:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/117343-YR-block-shadow-f86.jpg

Q 1: What colour is the new block?

Q 2: If you look closely, as if you would try to match the colour with a stick, what colour do you actually see representing the colour you know it (the new block) really is? Do you have that stick, or can you find one near enough?

Next question is Very Advanced, as we need something for all levels. Skip it if you don’t get it.

Q 3: How do the subtractive and the additive colour systems interact when present at the same time, as seen in this picture above? Exemplify.


And here is the same set up, in sunlight (larger picture is further down in post):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/117343-YR-block-light-medium-f72.jpg

Compare it with the one in all shadow. No questions, we thought that through in the first lesson.


Task
The task is to paint the block in sunlight. On your own, but with help at each stage if you want it. And with a document outlining the steps in simple form (in next post).

Skip bubbles and wrinkles on the cloths – they sit on grass (the only way I could get the right light for it).

Combine with a more advanced task, too, those of you who are seasoned painters:
Indicate the direction of the sunlight on the blocks and on the cloths by making it brighter nearer the sun, and slightly less bright nearer the bottom of the paper and further away from the sun. (The way I showed you in the Paint-along Demo is great for landscapes, and followed the general rule. Now I ask you to look for the specifics in the small world of still-life.)

If you’re quick, it is a good idea to paint the reference in shadow too. (For Blocks in Shadow all masses start with cool colours.) The more experience you get, the better.

Let’s do it this way:

-Paint stage 1, post it if you want advice. If not, go on with stage 2.
-Paint stage 2, and post (revised) stage 1 and stage 2 together. I’ll help you check it. (If you’re sure you’re on the right track, say so, but post it anyway if you want it included in the collection picture I’ll make.)
-Paint stage 3, post it for comments.
-Paint stage 4, post it for comments.

Or, if you’re sure you’ve gotten it, post all stages in one post. (For advanced painters.)

Mark each picture with the relevant stage number.

Larger version of Blocks in Sunlight (800 wide):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/117343-YR-block-light-large-f72.jpg

If you work on sanded paper or Colourfix or something similar, you do not have to rub the first colours into the paper if you work thickly enough to cover the paper in 2 layers.

In the post after this one, I’ll put a “Short Version” of what goes into the stages. Print it out and use it.

I want you to know that there are many ways to start stage 1. They may vary wildly between you guys, but you’ll discover that in later stages, your paintings will get to look more like the ref, no matter where you started from. You can “wing it”, be spontaneous, within this seemingly rigorous system. (It only looks rigorous now at the very beginning, you’ll discover the freedom it gives. )

I had the experience of standing next to a woman painting the same still-life as I did, in a workshop. I started an area in coolish darkish pink, and she started the same area in warm orange. Both ways worked as well, in the end. To my great surprise.

Good luck, and may the dust be with you!

Charlie

Colorix
11-07-2008, 06:21 PM
The Short Version – a handy help to remember the 4 stages

The Drawing:
Do a simple ‘skeleton drawing’ using a ‘neutral’ colour and value for your pastel pencil, or pastel stick. Do not press hard on the paper, you want to avoid any ‘grooves’ made by sharp points.

Draw the forms of the objects, divide them by a line into light and shadow. Draw the cast shadows too. You are going to paint, so this drawing is just to help you with the placement of objects and light.

Stage 1: Stating the large masses
Is an underpainting. Defines light. Establishes values.

Shadow masses first. Start with the darkest, then the rest. Flat colour, rub into the paper, gently, and cover the paper. All the way to the edges, let them meet over the drawn lines. All cool colours.

Then the light masses. In all warm colours.

Both light and dark: Only pure colours, whitened where you need tints. Strong colours. It is meant to look over-coloured.

Stage 2: Refining the masses
Defines the light key. Develops relationships of masses. Most important stage!

Stay within masses, keep them a ‘solid’ colour, no mass alike in colour, value, temperature. Make the colours of the masses ‘right’.

Ask: Does it need to be lighter/darker, warmer/cooler, brighter/duller? Put warm colours over cools, and vice versa, when needed. Many colours in same mass dulls (a fact to be used, not avoided, though, here is where blending may cause mud). Pure colours are brightest, and close colours on top of each other stay bright. Add local colour when needed. When stage 2 is completed, step back and check – are two masses too much alike? Use the questions to see better. Correct.

Stage 3: Developing form
Time for depth and dimensionality, by adding variations into the masses.

Find 2, 3, or 4 variations within the masses. No less than 2, and no more than 4. They have definite shapes, but with soft edges.

Every plane change is a colour change.

Stage 4: More variations and taking care of edges and details

More variations within the masses (often at a different angle than the ones in stage 3). Develop the focal point/area of interest more than other parts. Even, leave other parts in stage 3 or 2. Make edges soft, hard, and lost. Add highlights.

(Adapted by Charlie from Susan Sarback’s short version.)

Shellee
11-07-2008, 07:22 PM
Charlie,
I was so excited to see this class. Your instructions very clear and helpful. I finally had a little time today to attempt the first study,:thumbsup: As I started, I was quickly reminded why I dislike Fabriano paper, it's tooth fills very quickly and it has an annoying texture! As you will see in step 2, I was getting mud in the red block because there seemed to be no tooth. I also noticed that my violet-red was very hard and seemed to scratch the paper rather than leave any color. I tried a more red-violet(madder lake), which at least was a little softer but it looked darker and warmer, grrrr!
step1
The colors are appear slightly washed out and grayer here than IRL.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/39892-blockstudy2.jpg

Step 2
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/39892-blockstudy3.jpg

Step 3
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/39892-blockstudy5.jpg

Step4
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/39892-blockstudy6.jpg

It was sleeting this afternoon so I was prevented from going outdoors to apply fixative. I know using fixative would have eased my frustration.
Looking forward to trying this again.
Shellee

robertsloan2
11-07-2008, 09:16 PM
Shellee, that is fantastic! Thanks for posting all the steps. Yours is colorful, rich and delightful.

Charlie, thank you so much for the short form. That helps me a lot, since I'm about to do stage 3 on my side project and instead of going through each of the things you did to the Red Block and asking "is there an equivalent in this picture," I can step back and just look at it for what it is.

I can see where my soft and hard edges will be too.

This is going to be a lot easier now that I've read this post.

JLMTD
11-07-2008, 11:52 PM
Hi Charlie and all!

I've finally done a quick and dirty first sketch...have yet to catch up. Both my printer and scanner are disabled at the moment. I can't believe they both died at the same time, but haven't yet figured out why they aren't operating. Glad my camera still works, though, so I took a picture...here it is...pretty awful...hope I'm better after the class!

Janis

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/140260-Quick_and_Dirty.jpg

robertsloan2
11-08-2008, 09:11 AM
JD, it's cool for a first sketch. You got the strong shadow and the three dimensional quality of the block. The crumples in the fabric in the upper right are very cool.

Colorix
11-08-2008, 10:03 AM
Janis, there are many things that are good in this quickie. You've seen many colour-varitations, for example! But the top of the block and the left side of it are of very similar values and colours, and that is something we look into in the Paint-along.

Good start!

Charlie

Colorix
11-08-2008, 10:33 AM
Shellee, this is great! Strong good stage 1, with great values (both cloths near in value in both light and shadow.) I understand your frustration with the paper (use whatever paper you like from now on), but I don't see any mud, at all. I do see nicely layered colours. I guess the bg is more varied than what is visible on screen, I see traces of it. Are the two shadow sides of the block more differentiated in colour and value IRL? If not, you could darken the left side a bit. The reflection on the right is perfectly subdued. Excellent work!

It's the Tiziano (Fabriano), I think? Not my favourite either, but it works OK for quick sketches with really soft pastels. Or, for when you want a lot of the colour of the paper to peak through. I did a water-scene on bright yellow Tiziano, and the yellow sparkles in the water looked great!

It is a bit harder to make 'mud' with this method. If we all mean the same thing by 'mud'? I've learned it is overmixed or overblended colours that have 'died', often by use of (several) complementaries. It is also harder to make 'mud' with pastels, as they go on top of each other so beautifully.

Shellee, great work!

Charlie




Charlie,
I was so excited to see this class. Your instructions very clear and helpful. I finally had a little time today to attempt the first study,:thumbsup: As I started, I was quickly reminded why I dislike Fabriano paper, it's tooth fills very quickly and it has an annoying texture! As you will see in step 2, I was getting mud in the red block because there seemed to be no tooth. I also noticed that my violet-red was very hard and seemed to scratch the paper rather than leave any color. I tried a more red-violet(madder lake), which at least was a little softer but it looked darker and warmer, grrrr!
step1
The colors are appear slightly washed out and grayer here than IRL.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/39892-blockstudy2.jpg

Step 2
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/39892-blockstudy3.jpg

Step 3
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/39892-blockstudy5.jpg

Step4
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Nov-2008/39892-blockstudy6.jpg

It was sleeting this afternoon so I was prevented from going outdoors to apply fixative. I know using fixative would have eased my frustration.
Looking forward to trying this again.
Shellee

Shellee
11-08-2008, 11:08 AM
All-Great block studies!

Charlie-The left side of the block is a slightly deeper red-violet. There should be a little more I see. I have the same understanding of mud, I guess I used the wrong term to describe what happened and what I see. I got shinny brown specks on the lower sides of the block. It happened when I was trying to use a violet-red pastels that was very hard and seemed to scratch the paper surface and leave no pigment. Yes, that is the paper and I have several sheets. I will same them for a figure drawing class I am hoping will materialize next spring and use the Mi-Teintes.

I am really excited as I am taking my first pastel class today from an artist I admire from my area, Sandi Dahl. She paints landscapes in an impressionistic style. http://www.sandidahlpaintings.com/

Thanks again for all your hard work,
Shellee

Colorix
11-08-2008, 11:23 AM
Shellee, have fun at the class!

JLMTD
11-08-2008, 01:38 PM
Thanks Charlie and Rob...I'm going to start another now in the daylight which might help and follow the class instructions.

Janis

Colorix
11-08-2008, 01:59 PM
Post no 147 has the new task, and 148 has a synopsis of the stages.

And I'm painting way outside my comfy-zone -- a puppy. Never painted any dog before.

Charlie

JLMTD
11-08-2008, 02:56 PM
Q 1: How then can we define shadow? What does it consist of?
A. How would you describe the nature of a shadow, be it a cast shadow or a shadow plane?
B. What happens to colour in shadow?

Well, I think a shadow represents an area where light does not fall because it is blocked by the object in the path of the light. Is that a cast shadow?

But there are also "shadows" within shadows that seem to be reflections of cast shadows or of dark colors...no?

First, please consider this: How would you ordinarily go about painting this simple still-life? Which sticks of pastel would you have used to make the lights and the shadows?

In my first sketch I used Diane Townsend 37 all over the block, then went back in shadows with a darker red that is missing it's label, an unnamed blue but almost identical to Diane Townsend 11 and with a light yellow of unknown origin.

I used an old Winsor Newton light cobalt blue and Rembrandt 506.9 for the blue clothin sunlight and Diane Townsend 711 for the blue cloth in shadow.

The green cloth looks yellow on my monitor, so I used a combination of Unison Y10 and an old Rembrandt Sunproof Yellow No. 7,5 - C. In shadow I smuged the Diane Townsend 711 over the yellows.


Q 2: What colours do you see in:
1. Top of block?

When I squint I see a warm red on the top of the block.

2. Right side of block? Is it the same as...

The right side of the block also looks like it has a yellow Red in it.

3. ... left side of block?

When I stare at the left side of the block for awhile, I see alternating bursts of yellowRed, Violet and Purple.

4. Why is it the same/different?

Due to the light/shadows and reflections.

5. blue cloth in sunlight? 7. What happens in the cast shadow?

In sunlight the blue cloth looks like a very light blue with creamy highlights and blueGrey shadows.


6. green cloth in sunlight? 7. What happens in the cast shadow?
In sunlight the green cloth looks creamy yellow to me with blueGrey and greenishGrey shadows in it.


And one more tricky question, a bit more advanced:
Q 3: Why are the wrinkles of the green cloth in shadow yellower/warmer when they face away from the block?

Because they are reflecting more of the color and light.

Ok...it's time for a nap...all this thinking....yawn....
Janis

robertsloan2
11-08-2008, 05:27 PM
Thanks, Charlie! I read and loved the short description but skipped the homework post because I meant to go back and reread it. One of those "reading in a fog" moments. Oops. Thanks for mentioning the post numbers. I've now printed out the short version of the instructions.

Now I'm a mite embarrassed at leaping ahead to class assignment four after completing one. lol

But I'm curious about the answers to the advanced questions and very happy to look forward to doing a different unique still life for the fourth assignment. Thanks for the point about using sanded paper too, since I got my primer and Wallis and might use the assignment as a way to test Wallis.

Judibelle
11-08-2008, 06:39 PM
Yeow, Charlie...I had a hard time with this one. I had to adjust the drawings several times, then I brushed it all off and started again, but am
not quite satisfied. On the scan I see several things wrong.
I was using my laptop downstairs in the basement. It isnt well lit.
Even though I had light on it, it was distorted. When I leaned the monitor backwards, it becme a whole different situation. upright, the lighting wasnt enough to see all the color. And there was a lot of color. But I am posting Stage #1 anyway. I may have seg-wayed (I know that's not the spelling, but I couldnt find it in the dictionary. Robert...help!) into stage 2 without intention...but am looking forward to how I can save this, if it's possible...
thanks...
JB
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Nov-2008/103700-scan0011.jpg_stage_one_demo.jpg

MarkJBrader
11-09-2008, 01:32 AM
Charlie,
I finally found time today to begin the two-block study. I took some pains again to get the blocks drawn well with a 'white charcoal' pencil and you can still it a bit. I will push the color over those bits.

More than halfway through, I decided I had made an error. I chose the top of the back block as the lightest area, and then realized, although they are very close in value, the cloth to the right seems lighter. <sigh> So I made them the same color. :o The scan also makes the larger background and the left end of the back block appear closer in hue than IRL.


Now that I have had dinner and looked again, I have made my own critique of my stage I. Please 'critique my critique'.

To redo this, I would continue using the very pale yellow on the lit areas of the lighter cloth, but on the back block, would move the yellow on the left end to the top. I would paint the left end a yellow-orange, the larger background an orange, and leave the red on top of the forward block.

Similarly I now think the shadow on top of the forward block and the front side in shade are too close in hue. Probably I just should have made one of them blue, and made the shadow on the cloth a blue-green.

From all I have seen here, I am taking it as a principle, that in Stage I, I should make more distinct choices in hue for each area. I assume this is because, although in stage II I will be pushing each area toward more 'correct' hue/chroma/value, starting with more distinct hues will create an total effect that will better please the eye. In Stage I, we are just trying to get the values and temperature right, while the hue choice is mostly to keep the distinction between the areas good, right? Stage II is then used to get us to adjust the 'other dimensions' of color while preserving relative temperature and value differences.

My question is, am I making any incorrect assumptions? Would you like to modify my thinking on this?

I do feel at this point I should take plenty of time and think about this sort of point carefully, so as to build good habits. Unless you think I am far off track, I am going to use this Stage I to continue with. There are some interruptions coming at home. Although I will probably get through stage II tomorrow, I will be delayed a few days and may not finish until next weekend. I would like to keep working close to the time frame of the class. I am making notes however, as to what I might do differently in each stage, and intend to return to this study after I finish the class, to restart in the manner I described (including any other suggestion you have) in order to understand how such changes modify the eventual result.

Mark
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Nov-2008/129440-twoblock_phase1.jpg.jpg

Colorix
11-09-2008, 10:17 AM
JB, good job. First, there are two things you can do to make life easier for you:
1) do not paint any wrinkles or folds in the cloths, treat them as if they were flat as a table and in light. (I had to shoot the pictures in the last sunny day of the year, so I was in a hurry. Sorry to complicate things. :o )
2) the other thing you can do is to look at the paint-along for the starting colours of the red block, they'll be almost the same for this one. That is, start the top of the red block in sunshine with orange.

You have a good deep value for the cast shadow on top of the red block, great! The cast shadow on the cloths, is also of a good value, just make it one single colour for the start.

Use two very pale warm colours for the cloths in light. You can use the same ones as in the Paint-along. Paint them as flat solid colour. (As when we were kids and filled in areas in colour-books, and were told to stay within the lines :) .)

Look at the reference and squint to find how deep or light the values are.

Green is a good choice for the yellow block's shadow side. You need a darker green, though, the value is a little bit too light.

Purple (red-violet) or blue for the shadow side of the red block is great, and it should be slightly lighter than the cast shadow on the top of the block, just a little bit, and definitely much darker than the lighted top of the block.

Start the yellow block in light with a bright yellow, top and side. You can make them different later.

It is easy to make a too dark shadow lighter, or make a too bright mass in light to be duller, so don't hesitate to start with really strong colours.

So, JB, it is up to you, of course, but my recommendation is that you start over -- again. I know how that feels, but it will be so much easier in stage 3 if you get 1 and 2 right enough, truly. You only need to change three values: the shadow sides of the blocks, and the top of the red block in light.

That means you're more than halfway there. Great efforts, so far!

Charlie







Yeow, Charlie...I had a hard time with this one. I had to adjust the drawings several times, then I brushed it all off and started again, but am
not quite satisfied. On the scan I see several things wrong.
I was using my laptop downstairs in the basement. It isnt well lit.
Even though I had light on it, it was distorted. When I leaned the monitor backwards, it becme a whole different situation. upright, the lighting wasnt enough to see all the color. And there was a lot of color. But I am posting Stage #1 anyway. I may have seg-wayed (I know that's not the spelling, but I couldnt find it in the dictionary. Robert...help!) into stage 2 without intention...but am looking forward to how I can save this, if it's possible...
thanks...
JB
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Nov-2008/103700-scan0011.jpg_stage_one_demo.jpg

Colorix
11-09-2008, 10:18 AM
General info to all:

And, remember, you all may have to start over now and then. Brush out the areas that don't work, and re-state them. I still sometimes have do that, and I've painted with this method for 5 years *and* have a knack for seeing values. And I still make mistakes, but I rather correct them when it is easy to do. (Yes, I tried the other way too... which only meant I had to brush out an area with 3 stages on it...)

Stage one doesn't have to be perfect in values, but it is good if it is near enough. In stage 2, we correct values and colour, and as long as something in stage one is easily correctable in stage two, it can stay. But if it will be tricky to correct it, out it goes, and we re-state it. Re-stating is a huge part of this method. Just don't get discouraged -- it simply means there is something about early stages you have to learn and/or figure out. If you have a 'fight' with stage one, you may be the one who finds another stage to be super easy, and someone else will have their 'fight' with that stage.

Charlie

Judibelle
11-09-2008, 11:03 AM
Thanks Charlie! Your recommendations are very clear. I think I finally get it as far as Stage 1 is concerned. I have printed out your coments to keep before me as I attempt another try at it and will post when I get it done....
JB

Colorix
11-09-2008, 12:12 PM
Hi Mark, good start. Hm, I have to "unbone" (as getting all bones out of a herring) your thoughts. Let me start with showing the values of the photo and of your stage 1:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/117343-Desat-photo-YR.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/117343-Desat_Mark_1.jpg

Now, these desaturation features in different programs do actually not give the correct values, and this was the closest I could get to what I see. The top of the red block in light is very dark, too dark. (Pure red is a very dark colour.) The warmer of your yellows show up rather dark in the bw, probably because it has a lot of red in it, but visually (in colour) it is decent enough.

My suggestion is that you change the top of the red block to an orange. We want a fairly strong yellow component there, to make it glow with light, and that is why I don't suggest a lighter e.i. a whitened red. That same area also needs to be significantly lighter than the shadow side of the red block, and orange would do that neatly.

For the yellow block, I'd simply put a strong yellow over the whitened yellow. White cools, and that is OK, as we want a cooler component there later, as the top of the blocks get a lot of cool light from the blue sky. (While the two bright yellow sides of the block are very similar in value, in the photo, the top plane is slightly greenish and slightly lighter.)

The background yellow: You can scumble a white over it. The reason is that you'll need to hint at the blue in it later (stage 2). You can go from yellow to blue, but in order to not get green, you need to have a colour between them both literally on the paper, and of a hue somewhere inbetween. So, if you lighten that yellow with white, and then put a light pink over it (either a whitened red or a whitened violet-red, or both), it will be easier to put a whitened blue on top of all that. It will be a dulled blue (which is right in this case).

That yellow start of the blue cloth again: You can do the quadrant (+) thing in stage 2, before you put blue on top of what is there.

It is not wrong to start yellow, but it takes a bit more consideration and intermediate steps than if you'd started it pink. So I'm glad you did, as this shows us all that there indeed are many ways that lead to 'Rome'.



Charlie,
...To redo this, I would continue using the very pale yellow on the lit areas of the lighter cloth, but on the back block, would move the yellow on the left end to the top. I would paint the left end a yellow-orange, the larger background an orange, and leave the red on top of the forward block.

Mark, you're definitely on the right way thinking-wise. I'd suggest a change of the last sentence, from "... the larger background a pale pink, and a bright orange on top of the red/forward block."

Similarly I now think the shadow on top of the forward block and the front side in shade are too close in hue. Probably I just should have made one of them blue, and made the shadow on the cloth a blue-green.

You could, but I think those colours you have are fine, no need to change. You may want to test what happens if you make the change, and compare to what you have now. The cast shadow on top of the red block could be blue, but violet is fine, as they are so close. A good place to have deep blues is in the small bits of cast shadow on the larger cloth (the pale blue one). Btw, what did you put there? They look gray now, so they may be blue-violet? (A blue violet would work, too.)

From all I have seen here, I am taking it as a principle, that in Stage I, I should make more distinct choices in hue for each area.

Correct, and especially in the beginning of your development.

I assume this is because, although in stage II I will be pushing each area toward more 'correct' hue/chroma/value, starting with more distinct hues will create an total effect that will better please the eye.

In this case, "correct" means "closer to what we actually see with our eyes" (not closer to local colour!). Just clarifying, as I realize my use of language isn't always so clear... Starting with distinct hues pleases the eye because every area/mass/plane gets a distinct colour bias, and that means that the parts and the planes will be clearly separated and easily understood by the brain. In still-lifes. You can use the same colour twice if you need to, and then they need to be of distinctly different values (tints).

In Stage I, we are just trying to get the values and temperature right, while the hue choice is mostly to keep the distinction between the areas good, right?

Right, mostly yes. You could call it stating the quantity of light. Otherwise, it is clear separation: With many objects in a still-life, you may have three cast shadows on a table-top. In this first stage, you indicate which of these very similarly coloured shadows is for example the bluest, the greenest, and the more violet. One colour each for the 3 shadows. So far, I've skipped that part, but we'll get to it.


Stage II is then used to get us to adjust the 'other dimensions' of color while preserving relative temperature and value differences.

Stage 2 is for refining colour relationships, and the quality of light, so yes, you're right.

As you really think this through seriously, I'd recommend you to get Susan Sarback's book "Capturing Radiant Light and Colour in oils and soft pastels". She's the source, so you'll get brilliantly clear in depth info in that book. I've studied for her, and I've chosen to embrace her method, and I teach what I have understood of it. She, of course, invented/systemized her method of teaching it, having learned it from Henry Hensche. There are others who teach it; Lois McGriffel, for example, and she has a book on landscape. Both ladies give workshops and classes too. I happened to find Susan, and she's a superb teacher. From what I've heard, Lois MG is good too.

Generally, this is an impressionistic way of painting, with a good dose of Cézanne thrown in too. It deals more with form and shape than the purely atmospheric Monet.

Good painting,

Charlie



Mark
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Nov-2008/129440-twoblock_phase1.jpg.jpg

Judibelle
11-09-2008, 12:14 PM
Well, here's my Stage 1 redone...I do like it better! Looking forward to your comments..
JB
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/103700-scan0012.jpg_stage_1_redone.jpg

snowfall
11-09-2008, 04:13 PM
Hi Charlie

I've had a stab at stage 1 of this - not sure at all whether it's okay or not. Also, I'm following the colour suggestions from the previous exercise we did in respect of the background - hope this is okay to do. Please let me know if I am on the right track for me to continue on to stage 2. Thanks.

Stage 1

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/142898-picstage1_002.jpg

I intend to crop it down when it's finished- so the right hand side of the picture won't look so messy!

Pam

Colorix
11-09-2008, 04:34 PM
JB, looking good! You can go into stage 2 on what you have here, values are good. One thing... the blue of the background -- blue is a cool colour, and in stage one we use only warm colours for things in light. But you can do a simple fix, you don't have to brush it off. Put the palest pink, preferable a whitened violet-Red like Permanent Rose over the blue before you do anything else with it. Then, in stage 2, you can go over it with blue again. Unless, of course, you do indeed have a warmer colour *under* the blue, which I'm not seeing here on the screen, then you don't have to do a thing with it.

Good job, and I'm especially glad over the fact that you sense that this is a better start!

Charlie

Well, here's my Stage 1 redone...I do like it better! Looking forward to your comments..
JB
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/103700-scan0012.jpg_stage_1_redone.jpg

Colorix
11-09-2008, 04:46 PM
Pam, this is a good start, values are fine. Green for the yellow block in shadow is a good choice. Do borrow bits from the Paint-along, I designed these two block-studies so you guys could do that! Just check the cast shadow, it won't be divided in this one, but you can just smudge the line between the darker blue and the lighter warmer blue. What I see on screen is that the short side of the yellow block is decidedly green. And green is a shadow-colour in this first stage. If you can, brush it out and paint a yellow or a peach (tint of orange) there, and then go on with stage 2.

Oh, forgot, the light green cloth has an edge vertically down to the edge of the picture, right under the red block.

You're using a newspaper as padding? Great idea, I never thought of that, so I'll borrow the idea! Thanks!

Good job!

Charlie

Hi Charlie

I've had a stab at stage 1 of this - not sure at all whether it's okay or not. Also, I'm following the colour suggestions from the previous exercise we did in respect of the background - hope this is okay to do. Please let me know if I am on the right track for me to continue on to stage 2. Thanks.

Stage 1

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/142898-picstage1_002.jpg

I intend to crop it down when it's finished- so the right hand side of the picture won't look so messy!

Pam

oriole
11-09-2008, 05:05 PM
Hi Charlie,
This is my attempt at stage 1. I'd love to hear your critique before I attempt stage 2. I'm not sure I am choosing the right colours.
Thanks, Lynne

Dougwas
11-09-2008, 05:30 PM
I must be a colour geek.:D I am loving this. Here are my first two stages. I blended everything, because while practicing I found it worked better for me to blend the first two stages.

Charlie, let me have it if you see if anything needs changing. It is on 12 x 12 white Wallis.

Thanks again Charlie.

Stage 1

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/102199-Blocks_Stage1.jpg


Stage 2

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/102199-Blocks_Stage2.jpg

Doug

JLMTD
11-09-2008, 05:41 PM
Hi Charlie, Here's the rest of my answers to that section of questions:

And here we have the same block in shadow:

What colour is it? (Duh!, you may think, “it is red, the same as before, does she think we’re dumb or what!? “) Of course you’re smart and talented, but I want you to actually see, not just ‘know’. Compare it to the one in Sunlight.


OK, I no longer see the warm yellow glow I saw before reflected on the warm red. Now, it's cooler. I see more blue with a cooler red and as I stare they merge to appear brick red with a purple cast.

Q 4:
a) What are the differences you see between the first in Sun, and this one in Shadow?

Besides the obvious color difference, to me, it looks like a matte surface, rather than a shiny surface as in the Sunshine one. Also, the edges appear to be bit softer.

b) Describe, if you know, why the block in Shadow looks different?

I assume it's because there are far fewer reflections in the block in the shade.

And the more advanced questions:
Q 5:
a) What affects our colour-perception of the block-in-Shadow?

We are perceiving color that is purer in hue, less influenced by the colors near it?

b) Why are we so certain it is a red block on a blue and a green cloth?


Because of our years of being programmed...lol...I dunno.:wink2:

Were these samples a surprise, or had you expected them?

Actually, I was surprised that my perceptions seem to correlate with the sample you gave us.

Janis

Colorix
11-09-2008, 06:16 PM
Lynne, good colour choices indeed! You only need to state them bolder, that is, cover the paper with them -- give those areas more of the same sticks, more of the same pigments. And then go on to stage 2.

Good job!

Charlie


Hi Charlie,
This is my attempt at stage 1. I'd love to hear your critique before I attempt stage 2. I'm not sure I am choosing the right colours.
Thanks, Lynne

Colorix
11-09-2008, 06:36 PM
Doug, yes, you're a colour geek, hereby it is official :wink2: :lol: ! You pulled off starting the yellow block in light with orange, and the red block with yellow! :clap: I'd have started them the other way around, to make it easier, as the orange is a darker value than the yellow, but I'm not complaining, it really worked. I'd go sparingly with any additional yellows on the red block in light in the following stages.

You know what a job well done gets you? Yes, more work. The yellow block in shadow, that green needs to be dulled down a tad. You can try it on a bit of scrap first. Red is the complement to green, so moving towards red would 'knock down' the intensity of that green. Don't blend, just scumble. I'd try with a red-violet or an orange first, and I'd do it on a scrap, to see what comes closest. If that wouldn't be enough, I'd try one step redder. And probably would have to add some more green or even turquoise. Duller colours are gotten by many colours (that's why a sanded paper is so good to have, as it takes many layers), not only complementary ones. Pay careful attention to values of the additional layers, as near complements darken. You may find you can use a lighter tint. But it is good if it darkens a bit, that starter green looks like a transparen pigment, like Viridian.

Great!

Charlie


I must be a colour geek.:D I am loving this. Here are my first two stages. I blended everything, because while practicing I found it worked better for me to blend the first two stages.

Charlie, let me have it if you see if anything needs changing. It is on 12 x 12 white Wallis.

Thanks again Charlie.

Stage 1

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/102199-Blocks_Stage1.jpg


Stage 2

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/102199-Blocks_Stage2.jpg

Doug

Colorix
11-09-2008, 06:44 PM
Guys, I'm off to bed now, it is past midnight over here.

You're all doing just great! You all have different levels of experience, so don't compare with each other. Learn from each other, though. And compare with yourself and see how you learn and grow!

Truly, you're a wonderful group!

Charlie

Dougwas
11-09-2008, 06:49 PM
Thanks Charlie. I'll work on it tomorrow. I didnt start the yellow block with yellow because I thought you said (somewhere) that you shouldn't use the local colour in the first stage. I might have been dreaming. It wouldn't be the first time I made something up.:evil:

Doug

JLMTD
11-09-2008, 07:40 PM
Finally...here's my Stage 1:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/140260-Stage_2.jpg

The colors are off because it's night time here. I did color adjust a tad but the real thing is more vibrant. It's 7.25' X 5.75" on Canson white Mi-Teintes.

Feel free to give strong critique...I can handle it.

Janis

MarkJBrader
11-09-2008, 08:44 PM
Charlie,
Okay, your comment got me a little scared to try to work off that yellow background, so I redid Phase I from a combination of your suggestions and my thoughts. Here it is.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/129440-twoblock_phaseI_try2small.jpg

I got some time this afternoon to take a stab at working Stage II. I have to move everything around in this room for workmen tomorrow (access to under the house is through this room's closet) so I will shut down on this effort for a couple of days. I have decided this is a good thing, as by Tuesday evening I can look at my Stage II with 'fresh eyes' and decide what more I want to do with it, before moving on to the next stage. Here is the first pass at Stage II:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/129440-twoblock_phase2_1.jpg

Please critique. I am just beginning to realize what this scanner is doing to the image. It is picking out and enhancing 'blue' just a little bit. IRL, the top of the red block is brighter, the shadowed front of it does not show the underlying violet as much, the shadow on top of it, is a bit redder, and the shadow over the cloth to the right is duller (less blusish). I am actually working under a combination of a 'daylight' light (such as my wife uses to do cosmetic 'makeovers') and halogen. Maybe not the best, but in the past, this is the combination I have used when I really want to take a good look at something.

Mark

BetsyPriesing
11-09-2008, 09:47 PM
ohh Charlie i just got done with the 1st block project!......i hope that its right i think it is...:)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/103534-HPIM4432.JPG

mississhippi
11-10-2008, 12:31 AM
Hi Charlie,
I got held up between Stage 2 and 4 but here is the final stage 4 of the one block set-up.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/117413-IMG_0200_small.jpg

Still not really happy, hopefully with more practice, I'll feel more confident.

Colorix
11-10-2008, 07:11 AM
Doug, you got what I was saying. I, however, didn't tell the whole truth: Yes, we strive to start with another colour, generally, as we want to avoid local colour and paint the light (and shadow) first, and in stage 2 we can add local colour if it is needed, on top of the light-statement. But, some objects, especially manmade objects, or flowers, may be already be so pure in hue that starting with something else will only dull it. With our limited palette, and with simplifying things for making it a tad easier now in the beginning, there are limited choices for starting the yellow block in light. It isn't a pure bright yellow IRL, it has traces of red or orange in it, but not much, and is a somewhat soft yellow. I would probably, with my larger palette, have started it with a tinted (whitened) orange, or an orange-yellow, as I see a lot of warmth in it. That is, it is definitely leaning more towards orange than towards green.

And remember, you can start very differently, and reach the same-ish result, the 'rules' are not cast in concrete.

Based on what I'd given you, your thinking was right!

Charlie




Thanks Charlie. I'll work on it tomorrow. I didnt start the yellow block with yellow because I thought you said (somewhere) that you shouldn't use the local colour in the first stage. I might have been dreaming. It wouldn't be the first time I made something up.:evil:

Doug

Colorix
11-10-2008, 07:17 AM
Janis, great start! Just close the edges (so there's no white paper showing between them), and then go on with stage 2, where you'll need to put a bit more blue into the green shadow than I did in the Paint-along.

Good values!

Charlie

Colorix
11-10-2008, 07:32 AM
Hi Mark, excellent! While you could have kept that yellow, this will make it way easier for you, good decision to re-do it! The way you dulled down the green side of the block, and how you greened and dulled the cast shadow, both are excellent! With what you say of what the scanner does (I know, there is no substitute to seeing a painting IRL) I think you're well set up for going on to stage 3.

Halogen light: It is an excellent light for showing all colours, it doesn't 'kill' or filter out colours. It has Kelvin temperature matching sunlight about an hour or two after sunrise, so it is on the warmish side. Depending on W, it can be warmer or cooler. I've found that a combination of 'daylight' and halogen works really well. Real daylight and halogen, too.

So, all conditions are great!

Charlie




Charlie,
Okay, your comment got me a little scared to try to work off that yellow background, so I redid Phase I from a combination of your suggestions and my thoughts. Here it is.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/129440-twoblock_phaseI_try2small.jpg

I got some time this afternoon to take a stab at working Stage II. I have to move everything around in this room for workmen tomorrow (access to under the house is through this room's closet) so I will shut down on this effort for a couple of days. I have decided this is a good thing, as by Tuesday evening I can look at my Stage II with 'fresh eyes' and decide what more I want to do with it, before moving on to the next stage. Here is the first pass at Stage II:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/129440-twoblock_phase2_1.jpg

Please critique. I am just beginning to realize what this scanner is doing to the image. It is picking out and enhancing 'blue' just a little bit. IRL, the top of the red block is brighter, the shadowed front of it does not show the underlying violet as much, the shadow on top of it, is a bit redder, and the shadow over the cloth to the right is duller (less blusish). I am actually working under a combination of a 'daylight' light (such as my wife uses to do cosmetic 'makeovers') and halogen. Maybe not the best, but in the past, this is the combination I have used when I really want to take a good look at something.

Mark

Colorix
11-10-2008, 08:01 AM
Betsy, it is more than right, it is excellent! I'm guessing that the scan/photo got brighter at the top, so the blues got burned out there. It's great, with a strong sense of light and lively shadows. In fact, it looks like you're having the same bias as I have -- leaning towards warm and bright. My teacher said she had a tendency towards cool and bright. We will all have some tendency, so I'll encourage some of you to brighten up, and others to dull down.

And you have a beautifully lost edge between the green cloth in light, and the blue cloth in light! It really helps the 3D feeling.

Charlie



ohh Charlie i just got done with the 1st block project!......i hope that its right i think it is...:)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/103534-HPIM4432.JPG

Colorix
11-10-2008, 08:07 AM
Elaine, it is beautiful! Glowing and shimmering very nicely indeed. Great values, clear strong light, fine variations! If you 'lose' the edge between the blue cloth in light and the green cloth in light, it will recede more, and the painting will be perfect!

Great job!

Charlie


Hi Charlie,
I got held up between Stage 2 and 4 but here is the final stage 4 of the one block set-up.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Nov-2008/117413-IMG_0200_small.jpg

Still not really happy, hopefully with more practice, I'll feel more confident.

loribfromva
11-10-2008, 12:34 PM
I worked my way through the two block exercise yesterday. By attempting to pay attention to the stages, etc., i seem to be forgetting some basics, so there is a white line around everything, but i thought i'd check in anyway to see if i'm on the right track.

Thanks for your time, Charlie.
Stage 2:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2008/153026-PB090151.JPG

Final:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2008/153026-PB100154.JPG

Lori

JLMTD
11-10-2008, 04:05 PM
[quote=Colorix]Stage 2 of the Paint-along-Demo -- in which we "make colour right"

Stage 2

Here is where I, in my simple language, “make the colours right”. In some cases, I apply ‘local colour’, and in others, what is needed. We’ll go into what that means as we go along.

I hate to be the dummy, but what do you mean by "local color" Charlie? I can't find where this is explained.

Janis

robertsloan2
11-10-2008, 04:17 PM
Local color is the color of the object. I'm looking at a shiny black box right now. Black is the box's local color. White and various grays and reflected muted colors are the light colors and other things.

I hate the color beige, or I used to until I got a beige cat. Now there is no color I don't like.

I finished my side project and am finally ready to start my homework. I needed it off my easel and out of the way so I don't stack too many things on top of Cat/Wombat, which does also need to be finished.

Duh, I was going to link to the thread in case anyone was interested in my side project. This is a still life I started right after I finished project one, because my son in law brought in some cool leaves to draw. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7317661#post7317661

I ate the apple and it was very good.

mississhippi
11-10-2008, 04:36 PM
Thanks for your comments Charlie!

I also thank you for this class. For the first time I really understand the colour wheel and have a better grasp of warm and cool colours than I did before - that is down to you and your explanation and working through stages 1-4. I have never been colour confident, which I can see clearly in my original sketch, but seeing the end product of the first block painting, I can see how I can change that!

Great class Charlie, and thanks for all your hard work putting it together! (And we haven't even finished yet - can't wait to see what comes out of the rest of this class!)

Colorix
11-10-2008, 04:56 PM
I hate to be the dummy, but what do you mean by "local color" Charlie? I can't find where this is explained.

Janis

Janis, the only 'dumb' question is the question that is never asked! Rob gave you a good answer, and I have one taken from a list of art-words with definitions, from some school somewhere on the net:

LOCAL COLOR - The objective color of an object or surface, independent of any modifications caused by, for example, reflections or atmospheric conditions. Thus, the local color of a distant hillside may be green, even though to the eye, it looks blue.

You could say it is "the colour we know an object is". A red mug, a white plate, a yellow school bus, a brown nut. The colour we 'know' may not at all be the colour we actually *see*.

The yellow block: In yellow sunlight, we see that it is yellow. In shadow but under the blue light of the sky we see an olive green instead of a yellow. In red light it would look orange. Still, the local colour of the block is yellow.

Colorix
11-10-2008, 05:01 PM
Nothing in this post... sorry.

JLMTD
11-10-2008, 05:22 PM
OK, here's my Block 1 Stage 2:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2008/140260-Block_1_Stage_2.jpg
Janis

Colorix
11-10-2008, 05:29 PM
Elaine, thank you. This is *one way* of using the traditional colour wheel-- it is simple and it works.

Don't be surprised when you'll find other ideas, even other wheels based on other distributions of the colours. The Munsell system, for example. Or, people will regard purple (red-violet) as a warm colour, and Lemon Yellow (green-Yellow) as a cool colour. There are other variations, too...

OK, I won't go into all the differences, but know that this is the standard wheel that's been around since Newton, and it is good enough for painting-purposes.

Research has showed that most people tend to regard a colour near orange as 'the warmest', and a pure blue as 'the coolest', and those are the colours that in the normal wheel are at the points of West and East on the colour wheel. So a division into warms and cools along the North-South axis is geometrically simple and logical.

A fun thing is that the words 'warm' and 'cool' when used about colour seem to be derived from the quality of light. When the sun is shining, it is warm, and colours are bright and affected by the colour of the light, the sun's light, which we perceive to be yellow when it is brightest, and orange and finally red as the sun sets.

Where there is no direct sunlight, that is, in shadow, it is cooler and colours look bluer.

And the greys, or coloured greys, or neutrals/coloured neutrals people talk about, well those are the colours seen under a grey light, which we get in overcast days.

This down-to-earth explanation is 'cool', but in the modern sense. :-)

Charlie


I love when things can be simplified and actually remembered!

JLMTD
11-10-2008, 05:50 PM
Oh, thanks! Now I get it.
Janis

Janis, the only 'dumb' question is the question that is never asked! Rob gave you a good answer, and I have one taken from a list of art-words with definitions, from some school somewhere on the net:



You could say it is "the colour we know an object is". A red mug, a white plate, a yellow school bus, a brown nut. The colour we 'know' may not at all be the colour we actually *see*.

The yellow block: In yellow sunlight, we see that it is yellow. In shadow but under the blue light of the sky we see an olive green instead of a yellow. In red light it would look orange. Still, the local colour of the block is yellow.

JLMTD
11-10-2008, 05:55 PM
Oh, btw, I can see now that it's on the monitor, that I missed continuing the line in correct perspective in the cast shadow of the blue cloth to the far, backside of the block. I'll go fix that.
Janis

Colorix
11-10-2008, 06:04 PM
Food for all.

Hi Lori, you're definitely on the right track, you did an excellent job on this! No wonder you forgot some basics, there was a lot of other stuff to concentrate on. You gave each colour variation in stage 3 a definite shape, that's excellent! Now, or for the future rather, the edges of the variations need to be soft and blurry, so we don't actually see the divisions. In flat areas (clearer edges will best in other cases).

The three vertical variation-bands on top of the red block indicate the direction of the light, and you've put the lightest value to the left, nearer the sun, and the darker to the right. This is really good thinking! Now, it is so that a tint, a whiter version of a colour, is somewhat a less efficient indicator of strong light than yellow is. Let me show you.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2008/117343-Smooth.jpg
I digitally blurred those edges between the variations to show how blurry edges help us read (=see) the flat planes as one mass. But my main point is the yellow on the top of the red block. It says 'bright light' louder than a lot of white does. I overstated it, for clarity.

All: Check first if a shift in colour will be more efficient than a shift in value. Nearer the light it will be brighter, so try the next brightest colour.

Lori, you're thinking right, and seeing right too. Excellent job! And thank you for showing the shapes of the variations so clearly! You helped me get a point across to all of you!

Very good, Lori!

Charlie


I worked my way through the two block exercise yesterday. By attempting to pay attention to the stages, etc., i seem to be forgetting some basics, so there is a white line around everything, but i thought i'd check in anyway to see if i'm on the right track.

Thanks for your time, Charlie.
Stage 2:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2008/153026-PB090151.JPG

Final:http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2008/153026-PB100154.JPG

Lori

Colorix
11-10-2008, 06:11 PM
OK, sorry, didn't get to comment on y'all's stuff tonight. I'll do that tomorrow morning. This gal needs her beauty-sleep.

Nightie-night,

Charlie

mississhippi
11-10-2008, 10:19 PM
Hi Charlie,
here is Stage 1 of the 2 block still life:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2008/117413-IMG_0232_small.jpg

I think maybe I needed to use a different colour for the top of the yellow block, but thought I wasn't supposed to use yellow? I scumbled a little white over the green on top to lighten the green as I didn't have a light enough stick. Anyway, I'll wait for your comments before I move on.

Colorix
11-11-2008, 07:23 AM
Rob, I want to comment on a thing you said in another thread, but pertainting to this class.

I love Charlie's class and it's opened my eyes to color in so many ways. I feel now like it was premature to do the side project, but I'm still glad I did because it came out well and it is someting for the December show.

Thank you! And I applaud your side-project, for pedagogical reasons too. (Will comment in your thread.) We all learn in separate ways, or modes. Some do fine in the more traditional sort of 'linear' way. The "learn what to do, and then do it"-way. Others learn better by experimenting, and thrive on trying out that which is a bit too difficult.

You may feel it was premature, but I sincerely suspect that *because* you did it, you belong to the other typer of learner. And I'm rather convinced that when we get to the rounded objects this weekend, you will grasp it quickly, as you've already worked through the problems once. You'll understand *why* something is done in the way it is. It'll not be "OK, OK, I'll do it because you say so". :-D

Visual learners often have that tendency.

Charlie

Colorix
11-11-2008, 07:39 AM
Janis, first, I'm sorry I didn't get to comment on this last night, I wanted to, but couldn't stay awake.

It is excellent, really good light from the clear strong shadows. Excellent values. All colour-masses are clearly separated in hue and value, and the 'halves' of the cast shadow are close in value.

If what I see on my monitor is near reality, it is possible you'll get a grayish background, as it looks like the light blue you used has a bit of green in it. Just telling you this, you don't need to change it.

The shadow on the blue cloth needs a bit more blue, if it is this much green IRL. (Beautiful deep green you got, though.) And it needs extending with a narrow wedge under the left side of the block, but I think you've seen that already.

Then go on with stages 3 and 4.

Great strong hues, too! Great job!

Charlie





OK, here's my Block 1 Stage 2:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2008/140260-Block_1_Stage_2.jpg
Janis

Colorix
11-11-2008, 08:04 AM
Elaine, this is really looking very good! Yes, that green start of the yellow block... here is what I told Doug, and I say it all to you too:

Doug, you got what I was saying. I, however, didn't tell the whole truth: Yes, we strive to start with another colour, generally, as we want to avoid local colour and paint the light (and shadow) first, and in stage 2 we can add local colour if it is needed, on top of the light-statement. But, some objects, especially manmade objects, or flowers, may be already be so pure in hue that starting with something else will only dull it. With our limited palette, and with simplifying things for making it a tad easier now in the beginning, there are limited choices for starting the yellow block in light. It isn't a pure bright yellow IRL, it has traces of red or orange in it, but not much, and is a somewhat soft yellow. I would probably, with my larger palette, have started it with a tinted (whitened) orange, or an orange-yellow, as I see a lot of warmth in it. That is, it is definitely leaning more towards orange than towards green.

And remember, you can start very differently, and reach the same-ish result, the 'rules' are not cast in concrete.

Based on what I'd given you, your thinking was right!


Elaine, if you want to, we can do a bit of experimenting, and you keep that yellow-Green for the yellow block in light. As you have such a good start with exellent colours and values here, we can see what happens. (But only if you want to. If not, change the green to a yellow.) (Btw, I did exactly the same thing when I was learning this, but I was told to take off the green and put yellow in.) OK, *if* you want to experiment, put yellow over the green, both top and the left side of the block in light, and then go on to stage 2.

Reason for suggested experiment: Yellow-Green is a colour that is right at the border between the warm colours and the cool colours, and the most ambiguous, as it is so near the brightest of them all -- yellow. Also, our eyes are extra sensitive to the yellow and green of the spectrum. Strictly, in stage 1, the yG should be treated as a cool colour, but because its ambiguity, it is generally avoided in stage 1. Not a rule -- it *gets* avoided by people who paint in this way, because it isn't dark or deep enough for a shadow.

Again, excellent start, and do go on!

Charlie



Hi Charlie,
here is Stage 1 of the 2 block still life:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2008/117413-IMG_0232_small.jpg

I think maybe I needed to use a different colour for the top of the yellow block, but thought I wasn't supposed to use yellow? I scumbled a little white over the green on top to lighten the green as I didn't have a light enough stick. Anyway, I'll wait for your comments before I move on.

crystaln
11-11-2008, 09:25 AM
Ok. Here is my Stage 1 of the two block paint session. The blue is deeper IRL and the background is actually lighter IRL. This is the best photo I could get with all the other colors coming out the best. I used the two cool blues for the shadow that I have in my Rembrandt 30 set.

Colorix
11-11-2008, 10:18 AM
Crystal, great start! Go on with stage 2!

Charlie

sekulastudio
11-11-2008, 10:33 AM
Oh, y'all are all leaving me in the dust. I need to regroup.

Judibelle
11-11-2008, 12:53 PM
Well, here is stage 2 (I think). I may have overlapped into stage 3, not sure. The color is no longer going on smoothly, as the paper has been wiped off too many times.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/103700-scan0013.jpg__2_blocks_stage_2.jpg
Looking forward to comments...
Thanks...
JB

Colorix
11-11-2008, 01:39 PM
Hi JB, looking good! I think the scan got a bit washed out, is that right?

Would this be more like it?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/117343-JB_2_blocks_stage_2.jpg

Will your paper take pastel sticks on their short ends? If they do, put in some variations on the red block in bands from left to right like Lori did. You may not be able to put yellow in the leftmost band if the paper is too saturated, so try an orange. Do you have workable fixative, btw? If you fix it lightly first, you should be able to get a couple more layers on top of that. Otherwise, it is almost finished, and yes, you got quite a bit of the stage three variations in it already. So just finish it up, it's looking real good!

Charlie


Well, here is stage 2 (I think). I may have overlapped into stage 3, not sure. The color is no longer going on smoothly, as the paper has been wiped off too many times.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/103700-scan0013.jpg__2_blocks_stage_2.jpg
Looking forward to comments...
Thanks...
JB

robertsloan2
11-11-2008, 01:44 PM
At last, I got started on my two blocks! This time I used Wallis and colored Conte crayons. I don't quite have the same range in colored Conte crayons as the 96 Nupastel, but they mix well and they're so handy being in just one tray. So I improvised a bit and the light pink tint of the blue cloth is mixed from a tint that was too dark a pink with white over it. I might've managed to darken a bit more if I layered again and blended again but decided not to worry about it since the value of the cloths in sunlight is actually lighter than the yellow block anyway.

Here's my sketch, just done with conte crayons in light colors close to local color so the lines would vanish:

415867

I used the bright yellow for the yellow block in sunlight, it's got a little bit of a warm orangy cast and I know I can warm it some more later. I used the cold yellow, with a green cast, for the green cloth in sunlight. I used a mid blue for the shadow and used a grayscale value finder in order to match values, being a hair more concerned with values at this point than exact hue.

I kept the shadow colors cool and the sunlight colors warm. The red-purple of the shadow of the red block is a bit redder than I'd have liked, but I can cool it later and it was the right value. That shadow is one step lighter than the shadow of the yellow block on the corner of the red block.

415868

I could mix a little orange into the sun side of the yellow block before proceeding if you think that'd be a good idea. There's a yellow-orange pure hue one step between the orange and the yellow that mixed with it wouldn't be too extreme.

In fixing the scan to come as close to all the colors as possible, the background got one step darker in the scan than it is in life. But I know what I'm looking at and think it's about right for the true value of the blue cloth.

Oh yeah, fixing the colors on the scan did tilt the yellow on the top of the block toward green when it's really a mid yellow pure.

robertsloan2
11-11-2008, 01:51 PM
This is the tool I used to check values on this one. I called it a grayscale value finder, it's labeled a Value Index Card and came as a freebie from Daniel Smith when I bought a watercolor triad recently. ASW has some for sale for under $2 but these are the latest DS freebie so you might get one if you order anything out of DS.

415869

The ones from ASW have a hole punched into the side like a keyhole into each value area so you can move it around on your reference or your screen and see your value area surrounded by the numbered area. It helps when using this to squint till your eyelashes wash out the color of the stick and move it back and forth across the scale till it is on the one with the least contrast. Same with holding it next to the screen looking at an area.

At least six different drawing books I own recommend making one yourself by hand with pencil in order to understand value. But the printed ones are nice and exact with even steps between the values.

JLMTD
11-11-2008, 02:58 PM
If what I see on my monitor is near reality, it is possible you'll get a grayish background, as it looks like the light blue you used has a bit of green in it. Just telling you this, you don't need to change it.

The shadow on the blue cloth needs a bit more blue, if it is this much green IRL. (Beautiful deep green you got, though.) And it needs extending with a narrow wedge under the left side of the block, but I think you've seen that already.

Then go on with stages 3 and 4.

Great strong hues, too! Great job!

Charlie

Thanks, Charlie,
Actually the colors on the monitor are not right at all but I found I couldn't color correct it either. The blue cloth is a really pretty, pearly looking bluePink and the blue cloth in shadow really has quite a saturated blue in with the green. The yellow and the orange, however, are almost spot on.
Movin' on,
Janis

Inki C
11-11-2008, 03:01 PM
Here are my 2-block studies:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/150011-2_blocks_stage_1.JPG
Stage 1
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/150011-2_blocks_stage2.JPG
and stage 2, the yellow and orange is much brighter in RL.
How am I doing so far ?

Robert: Thanks for the card-idea, I'm gonna try it for sure!:thumbsup:

Thanks for all your work Charlie, this is fun!

Ingrid

robertsloan2
11-11-2008, 03:08 PM
Glad it was helpful, Ingrid! Thanks!

Your Stage 2 is beautiful. I really like that. The soft shading within color areas is very smooth and expressive.

Colorix
11-11-2008, 03:14 PM
Actually the colors on the monitor are not right at all but I found I couldn't color correct it either. The blue cloth is a really pretty, pearly looking bluePink and the blue cloth in shadow really has quite a saturated blue in with the green. The yellow and the orange, however, are almost spot on.
Movin' on,
Janis

Janis, great, do move on! Isn't it odd how *much* colour can be changed when scanning/photo-ing? You'll help me a lot when you tell what is off, much easier to comment then. Thanks!

Charlie

Colorix
11-11-2008, 03:23 PM
Rob, :lol: , I could have sworn in court it was green! Thanks for pointing out all the changes in the scan. Brilliant idea to use coloured lines!

From what I see and read, you have a strong solid stage one. Go on!

I've got one of those valuefinders with keyholes, very handy thing. I've done a number of them in classes, but I trust the printed one's more.

Charlie


At last, I got started on my two blocks! This time I used Wallis and colored Conte crayons. I don't quite have the same range in colored Conte crayons as the 96 Nupastel, but they mix well and they're so handy being in just one tray. So I improvised a bit and the light pink tint of the blue cloth is mixed from a tint that was too dark a pink with white over it. I might've managed to darken a bit more if I layered again and blended again but decided not to worry about it since the value of the cloths in sunlight is actually lighter than the yellow block anyway.

Here's my sketch, just done with conte crayons in light colors close to local color so the lines would vanish:

415867

I used the bright yellow for the yellow block in sunlight, it's got a little bit of a warm orangy cast and I know I can warm it some more later. I used the cold yellow, with a green cast, for the green cloth in sunlight. I used a mid blue for the shadow and used a grayscale value finder in order to match values, being a hair more concerned with values at this point than exact hue.

I kept the shadow colors cool and the sunlight colors warm. The red-purple of the shadow of the red block is a bit redder than I'd have liked, but I can cool it later and it was the right value. That shadow is one step lighter than the shadow of the yellow block on the corner of the red block.

415868

I could mix a little orange into the sun side of the yellow block before proceeding if you think that'd be a good idea. There's a yellow-orange pure hue one step between the orange and the yellow that mixed with it wouldn't be too extreme.

In fixing the scan to come as close to all the colors as possible, the background got one step darker in the scan than it is in life. But I know what I'm looking at and think it's about right for the true value of the blue cloth.

Oh yeah, fixing the colors on the scan did tilt the yellow on the top of the block toward green when it's really a mid yellow pure.

Colorix
11-11-2008, 03:29 PM
Ingrid, you're doing very well! Excellent, both stages! You already have a strong 3D feel to it! The blocks look solid.

Go on to stage 3.

Charlie






Here are my 2-block studies:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/150011-2_blocks_stage_1.JPG
Stage 1
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/150011-2_blocks_stage2.JPG
and stage 2, the yellow and orange is much brighter in RL.
How am I doing so far ?

Robert: Thanks for the card-idea, I'm gonna try it for sure!:thumbsup:

Thanks for all your work Charlie, this is fun!

Ingrid

JLMTD
11-11-2008, 04:07 PM
Ok, just in time to take a pic before light's completely dissappeared - it's 4 PM here on the northern East Coast of US., sunset at 4:25 PM..here's my Stage 3:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/140260-Block_1_Stage_3_003.jpg

This is fun....I am learning, but I think I'd never have chosen any of these colors on my own.
Janis

Dougwas
11-11-2008, 04:22 PM
Hi Charlie. This is what I came up with after many changes. I swear those blocks were changing colours every time I looked at them.:confused:

Thanks.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/102199-Blocks_Stage4.jpg

Doug

JLMTD
11-11-2008, 05:45 PM
Ok, just in time to take a pic before light's completely dissappeared - it's 4 PM here on the northern East Coast of US., sunset at 4:25 PM..here's my Stage 3:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/140260-Block_1_Stage_3_003.jpg

This is fun....I am learning, but I think I'd never have chosen any of these colors on my own.
Janis
OK, on the colors: the blue cloth in light the monitor shows it grayer than it really is. It actually has more whitePinkto lavender in it. The green cloth in light is actually a bit more yellow on the left and more yellow/green on the right. The orange top is duller on the monitor and more red/orange IRL. In the cast shadow in the green cloth, IRL there's more orange on the left near the block and in general, the colors are brighter than on the monitore. Same for the cast shadow on the blue cloth.
Is that better?
Janis

robertsloan2
11-11-2008, 06:48 PM
415898

Here's my Stage 2 -- colors are corrected closer to local color, values corrected as needed. I broke up the yellow in sun block because I could see a distinct if slight value change between the top and the side, the side looked more orange so I went over the top with orange-yellow and the side with yellow-orange. I went over the shadow side of the yellow block with one step darker green (not much) and then muted it with orange. I brought some violet into the mid-blue dark shadow.

I put some red into the violet shadow on top of the block and kept its value. I put red-orange over the orange top of the block which is still very bright. I put some violet over the red-violet side, the value difference between those shadows is still there but they're closer in color now.

I did the background first scumbling light blue over the pink and this scan's a little truer to the value. I put some light green that was the same value as the green-yellow over the green yellow on the green cloth.

I think that's everything for Stage 2. I didn't try to shape any of the masses, just change their color.

This has a much more scribbly texture and I think I'm going to switch to softer pastels for Stage 3 and Stage 4 so that blending is easier. I might even get out my Senneliers for it, lots of bright colors in the Senneliers half stick set.

Hmm. I may have gotten that strong shadow a little too dark, but I can lighten it in the next stage. Just got a good look at it overlapping the reference on the screen.

Colorix
11-11-2008, 06:58 PM
Janis, what a beautiful stage 3! The crosshatching really makes the colours shimmer. (And I learn that I crosshatch too densely, I lose that shimmer sometimes...) (Did read your update on colour-changes, thanks!) Do go on with the details in stage 4.

:) In the next one, you get to choose your colours.

Great work!

Charlie


Ok, just in time to take a pic before light's completely dissappeared - it's 4 PM here on the northern East Coast of US., sunset at 4:25 PM..here's my Stage 3:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/140260-Block_1_Stage_3_003.jpg

This is fun....I am learning, but I think I'd never have chosen any of these colors on my own.
Janis

BetsyPriesing
11-11-2008, 07:10 PM
Hi Charlie
here comes block two study.....1st stage.... IRL the orange and yellow are alittle stronger and the violet has alittle more red to it. I'm glad the 1st one passed but i forgot to post steps....:)


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/103534-HPIM4434.JPG

Colorix
11-11-2008, 07:31 PM
Doug, they do, they change colour, and behind your back they wink at each other ;) . Is this a stage 3 or 4? (It is not so easy to determine, truly, that's why I want you to indicate the stage.) I guess a 3. Ah, the glow of that red block is gorgeous! Doug, this is good, so I'm 'upping' the demands a tad. (And all I say is dependant on what I see on screen, only you know how it really looks.) The yellow block, the shadow plane, it needs further dulling down, it is still too brightly green. The lower left corner is getting there, so it looks like the whole plane needs yellows and reds in them. Here is a very good place to use the ochre, to make that side yellower without lightening it much. (I know, first you get those glowing pure colours there, and then I ask you to diry them... seems you too have a tendency towards very bright. That's good, as it is easier to dull than to brighten.) Can you use your palest blue, or a very pale blue-green, to lightly make the top of the yellow block slightly cooler with the light from the sky? Then go on with 4, and add reflected lights and fix edges. You do have some of that already. (Why I'm unsure what stage this actually is.)

Then it looks like you took the challenge of indicating the direction of light in the bg! The upper left quadrant of the painting looks a tad paler and yellower, while the right upper quadrant is a bit bluer and duller. It looks great!

Charlie




Hi Charlie. This is what I came up with after many changes. I swear those blocks were changing colours every time I looked at them.:confused:

Thanks.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/102199-Blocks_Stage4.jpg

Doug

Colorix
11-11-2008, 07:42 PM
Rob, great! OK, this'll be short, sorry, time is running so quickly. Before you fix the blue shadow, dull down the shadow side of the yellow block even further. Remember the Ochre stick. You too may have to add reds and purples. (And I guess the value shows up lighter than it is IRL, so you make the judgement. I'm talking about on screen.) When you nail the value and dullness of that one, have a look at that dark blue shadow. It might need less lightening than you first thought.

Oh, scumble dull areas, so you don't get mud.

It's looking great otherwise. Perfect thinkink on the top and side of the yellow block! :thumbsup:

Charlie


415898

Here's my Stage 2 -- colors are corrected closer to local color, values corrected as needed. I broke up the yellow in sun block because I could see a distinct if slight value change between the top and the side, the side looked more orange so I went over the top with orange-yellow and the side with yellow-orange. I went over the shadow side of the yellow block with one step darker green (not much) and then muted it with orange. I brought some violet into the mid-blue dark shadow.

I put some red into the violet shadow on top of the block and kept its value. I put red-orange over the orange top of the block which is still very bright. I put some violet over the red-violet side, the value difference between those shadows is still there but they're closer in color now.

I did the background first scumbling light blue over the pink and this scan's a little truer to the value. I put some light green that was the same value as the green-yellow over the green yellow on the green cloth.

I think that's everything for Stage 2. I didn't try to shape any of the masses, just change their color.

This has a much more scribbly texture and I think I'm going to switch to softer pastels for Stage 3 and Stage 4 so that blending is easier. I might even get out my Senneliers for it, lots of bright colors in the Senneliers half stick set.

Hmm. I may have gotten that strong shadow a little too dark, but I can lighten it in the next stage. Just got a good look at it overlapping the reference on the screen.

Colorix
11-11-2008, 07:47 PM
Betsy, sorry, you get a quick reply too, it's so late here. It's looking very good! Good choices and values, but can you get more pigment into the 'pits' of the paper? Rub it in. When you continue with stage 2, check what I said to Doug and Rob about dulling the shadow side of the yellow block.

Great start!

Charlie


Hi Charlie
here comes block two study.....1st stage.... IRL the orange and yellow are alittle stronger and the violet has alittle more red to it. I'm glad the 1st one passed but i forgot to post steps....:)


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/103534-HPIM4434.JPG

Dougwas
11-11-2008, 07:47 PM
Thanks Charlie. I will make the changes tomorrow. The yellow block plane in the shade is darker IRL, but I like the suggestion of the ochre.

Night, night.

Doug

robertsloan2
11-11-2008, 08:26 PM
415915

Well, here's Stage 3 with Senneliers over the color Conte layer. My ochre was a little darker in the Sennelier set than in the cheap Mont Marte set but it was the right hue and I thought darkening while muting wouldn't hurt it. I think I'm a lot happier with the shadow side of the yellow block now, though it may want to get just a little greener. I'm not sure.

This one was a bit more frustrating than the single red block. I wasn't sure what was stage 4 or stage 3 in terms of shifts in value and hue. There's a light edge to the red block on the left that I did in a red tint and should go for a lighter red tint over it in the next one and there was a distinct value difference on the right side with a narrow band of redder and darker color so I put that in. I shaded the top of the block with a yellow tint that was a little warm and then went with a slightly darker orangy-yellow or yellow-orange at the bottom of the left side.

Let me know if I missed something outrageous. I broke the background into quadrants and it had three, because the shadow and the green cloth occupy the fourth. I tried to make the transitions a bit gradual so they wouldn't be jarring. Background colors are a little pinker toward the bottom than they show. I used a little lavender tint in between and under the pink and then some white over that to get it up to the same value.

JLMTD
11-11-2008, 11:23 PM
Janis, what a beautiful stage 3! The crosshatching really makes the colours shimmer. (And I learn that I crosshatch too densely, I lose that shimmer sometimes...) (Did read your update on colour-changes, thanks!) Do go on with the details in stage 4.

:) In the next one, you get to choose your colours.

Great work!

Charlie

OK, Thanks Charlie...I'm moving on, but I want to be clear, I don't think I'd have made a "better" color choice, rather, a less informed color/value choice! Hopefully, after this class my color choices will be far improved! Thanks to you!
Janis

JLMTD
11-12-2008, 12:57 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/140260-Block_1_Stage_4_Greyscale.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/140260-Block_1_Stage_4_001.jpg

My eyes are shutting down but I wanted to quickly get this in before I go to bed.
At this point the pastel on parts tooth of the paper are pretty overloaded and actually just falling off, so I didn't want to do too much.

But I went back in to ground my block with a purple and to add some dark red and purple to the right side of the block where it's reflecting the cast shadows. Also I tried to bring back in some red in the middle of the right side of the block, crosshatching with both to try to blur the line some, and some deep ultramarine in the bottom left of it, as well as in the left side of the block on the very bottom right. However, I'm completely deficient of any of the colors in the darkest ranges (lowest 3s).

I whitened some of the green cloth in light, especially toward the farthest back edges.

Then I darkened the value of the left plane of the block. Now, I think I'm going to leave well enough alone unless you have any suggestions.

Whew! To get past the first part of the class was definitely a brain drain, but now I'm feeling good that I pushed past it and good that I learned a lot about color and shadows and planes and reflections and especially about values and how that plays a major role in choosing the "right" colors in the first place! Not that I think I know it yet, merely that I'm heading on a good path to make more satisfying color choices. Thanks, Charlie! Great teaching!

Janis

robertsloan2
11-12-2008, 10:03 AM
Janis, I love it. Thank you for posting the grayscale version too. It's powerful enough that it's a strong painting even in grayscale, you really nailed the values in this! I hope you like it as much as I liked mine and feel a need to mat and frame and hang it.

Your crosshatching was inspirational, and I've been using a little of it on mine though not exclusively. It comes out so vibrant! I scumbled over it so mine got lost, but I'm remembering this for other paintings later on, because yours has such smooth passages of value and color.

The darkest dark shadow sparkles and bounces off the page, without being lightened at all. You've done something great here. I learn from everyone in the course and most of all from Charlie.

Thanks again, Charlie, for doing this class. It's opened my eyes to so much, and I know I'm getting better with every stage of every project.

JLMTD
11-12-2008, 10:05 AM
Charlie, thanks for bringing that up. I always thought Purple had a reddish cast and Violet a bluer cast too.

Funny, I always thought the opposite! LOL!

BTW, I've been so focused on doing here that I've been unable to take the time to comment on other's work and it has been really great to see it all flooding in! Some of it certainly is a work of art in and of itself! It's also been comforting to know that others are struggling as hard as I have at times just to process the information.:o

Being relatively new to pastels, I've done some things I've never done before, such as crosshatching with pastels. I forced myself to use Canson Mi-Tientes again, which I hated when I first began, and have found that I actually can produce something worthwhile on it. And I've found that I do much better in the daylight, so if I want to produce much in pastels I have to get started earlier in the day that I'm inclined to. being a night owl by nature. For the past seven years, I've mostly been carving and printing and that has been mostly in black and white, so this class has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone!:D

Janis

Colorix
11-12-2008, 11:04 AM
Janis, wow! such a great sense of light! While it strictly really doesn't look like a pale blue cloth in light, I say "who cares?", as the glow is so beautiful. You painted a great sense of the direction of light, too. (And I'd skipped that in the demo, simplifying.) There are only two small things I want you to add, two details: First is to make the violet-red transition at the lower edge of the cast shadow. (That part got unclear in the demo.) The reason: it helps that part come forward, and lessens the sharpness of the line. It is a warm transitional band of colour. (More on that later.) The second is to blur out the line in the bg, between green cloth and blue cloth in light. The reason is: the less lines and details in bg, the more it recedes.

(And if you have the energy, and want it yourself, you can straighten the lines of the block. In stage 4, we can correct such things, and often need to, as focusing on colour takes so much attention that there is little to spare for bagatelles like keeping lines straight. But, I'm not focusing on drawing-issues, so feel free to not do it.)

Not only a good job, but also a beautiful work of art!

I know it is hard work in the beginning, and you guys are great! Ordinary evening classes usually do not teach much about colour and how it works. The real pro painters know stuff like this, and we who are more or less self-taught can learn it too. The pro:s have put in hard work too.

Charlie








http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/140260-Block_1_Stage_4_Greyscale.jpg
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Nov-2008/140260-Block_1_Stage_4_001.jpg

My eyes are shutting down but I wanted to quickly get this in before I go to bed.
At this point the pastel on parts tooth of the paper are pretty overloaded and actually just falling off, so I didn't want to do too much.

But I went back in to ground my block with a purple and to add some dark red and purple to the right side of the block where it's reflecting the cast shadows. Also I tried to bring back in some red in the middle of the right side of the block, crosshatching with both to try to blur the line some, and some deep ultramarine in the bottom left of it, as well as in the left side of the block on the very bottom right. However, I'm completely deficient of any of the colors in the darkest ranges (lowest 3s).

I whitened some of the green cloth in light, especially toward the farthest back edges.

Then I darkened the value of the left plane of the block. Now, I think I'm going to leave well enough alone unless you have any suggestions.

Whew! To get past the first part of the class was definitely a brain drain, but now I'm feeling good that I pushed past it and good that I learned a lot about color and shadows and planes and reflections and especially about values and how that plays a major role in choosing the "right" colors in the first place! Not that I think I know it yet, merely that I'm heading on a good path to make more satisfying color choices. Thanks, Charlie! Great teaching!

Janis

Colorix
11-12-2008, 11:22 AM
Hi Rob, very sound thinking and choices in your verbal bit in this post. Now I'd relly like to see your painting IRL, in order to say something half-way intelligent. OK, on my screen (insert usual disclaimer) the shadow side of the yellow block is still way too light, and the intense blue shadow too dark. I fuss so much about this, because values are so important. Depending on how it looks IRL, you can either darken it more (the Y block), or go on. What do you say about working on making the blue shadow duller, greener, and lighter, and then go back and see how the Y block looks? You might want to brush that shadow side out and restart it, if fixes don't work. I guarantee you it'll be reworked much more quickly, and you'll have learned a lot!

The other parts look fine indeed!

Actually, I'll post the answers to the "Think Tank" part of the lesson, with colour-patches later today. That may be a help to solve this.

Charlie


415915

Well, here's Stage 3 with Senneliers over the color Conte layer. My ochre was a little darker in the Sennelier set than in the cheap Mont Marte set but it was the right hue and I thought darkening while muting wouldn't hurt it. I think I'm a lot happier with the shadow side of the yellow block now, though it may want to get just a little greener. I'm not sure.

This one was a bit more frustrating than the single red block. I wasn't sure what was stage 4 or stage 3 in terms of shifts in value and hue. There's a light edge to the red block on the left that I did in a red tint and should go for a lighter red tint over it in the next one and there was a distinct value difference on the right side with a narrow band of redder and darker color so I put that in. I shaded the top of the block with a yellow tint that was a little warm and then went with a slightly darker orangy-yellow or yellow-orange at the bottom of the left side.

Let me know if I missed something outrageous. I broke the background into quadrants and it had three, because the shadow and the green cloth occupy the fourth. I tried to make the transitions a bit gradual so they wouldn't be jarring. Background colors are a little pinker toward the bottom than they show. I used a little lavender tint in between and under the pink and then some white over that to get it up to the same value.

Judibelle
11-12-2008, 12:06 PM
Hi Charlie...yes, my last scan came out way too light. Your 'fix' was much closer.
Here is what I think is stages 3 & 4. It's not my favorite, but with the paper as 'used' as it is, may be all I can get from it at this point.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2008/103700-4.jpg
Looking forward to your comments...
Thanks,
JB

crystaln
11-12-2008, 12:34 PM
Ok Here is my Stage 2 of the two block lesson. I take critisism well so don't hold back. My feelings don't get hurt.

I think I have a problem with the last color I chose for most of the background as it looks to deep green. The right side of the background I started with more of a blue-green but I wasn't sure about that and changed to more of an olive green (which I think is a yellow green?) I really don't knowwhat direction to go with that now but I'm sure I need to lighten it with white as I don't have many tents at all. Also should I spray a fixative at this point.

I'm wondering about my paper. It has a lot of texture to it and it seems to grab a lot of color in spots rather than being smooth. Not sure Ilike this chunky effect so I've been having to lightly blend a lot. Expecially since I've been getting hard lines when I try and scrumble my colors. Might be since my pastels are new?
Crystal

Colorix
11-12-2008, 01:00 PM
Here are the answers to the questions of Lesson 2, plus patches of the photos of the red and yellow blocks in shadow and in sunlight.


“Think Tank”


Q 2: If you look closely (blocks in shadow-pic), as if you would try to match the colour with a stick, what colour do you actually see representing the colour you know it (the new block) really is? Do you have that stick, or can you find one near enough?

A: An olivey green, so in our limited palette, we’d need to start with a green, and then add red or orange to it. Or a dulled yellow, that is the Ochre.
Next question is Very Advanced, as we need something for all levels. Skip it if you don’t get it.

Q 3: How do the subtractive and the additive colour systems interact when present at the same time, as seen in this picture above? Exemplify.

Do read the answer even if you didn't get the question!

A: The additive colour system is for adding coloured light to each other. The most common thing to use that system is the TV screen, or the computer screen. TVs have great amounts of little dots of red, blue, and green, which are the primaries in the additive system. If we add Red light to Green light, the sum of light is higher = lighter, and the colour of the mixed light will in this case be yellow. (Stage lighting also uses it.)

(No wonder it is so hard to colour-correct an image on screen! As we think as if it is paint, and forget or don’t know it is light.)

The subtractive system is the one we use when painting. For every added colour (pigment), more light will be absorbed and less light will be reflected. That is why an added colour is subtracting (from the light). Confusing, I know. This is also the reason for mud, darkish brownish-grayish blends gotten from bright primaries and secondaries. (Primaries: Red, Yellow, Blue, in the subtractive system. Secondaries are: Orange, Green, Violet.)

Thankfully!, when the additive and the subtractive systems are ‘mixed’, it works as in the usual way we use when mixing colours.

So the short answer to the question is: When blue light falls on a yellow object, blue and yellow will make green.

Blue light on a red object will look more violet. Blue light on a blue object will make blue. Blue light on green will make a blue-Green, or a green-Blue. Blue light on an orange object will pull the colour into a brownish one.

And here are the patches from the pic of the two blocks:

The all shadow:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2008/117343-YR_patch_shadow_f86.jpg

Note, these patches are generally cooler, as the light is blue. The so called 'warm' colours to the left of our split colour wheel all get cooler an a bit more neutral, the 'cool' colours stay generally bright, but are shifted towards blue.


The sunlight:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2008/117343-YR_light_patch_f72.jpg

All samples are taken from top moving downwards.

No 3 is the yellow block in shadow, the most ‘general’ patch, but I also found the differing patches of A - a reddish brown from left on the block, B - a blue-violet = cool neutral brown from middle, and C a yellowy brown from right. These shifts are caused by reflected light bouncing into the shadow and changing the hue slightly, but distinctly. So even if we see these changes clearly at the start of painting, we first paint the general colour to give unity to the mass, and then add the shifts on top of that.
7, 8, 9, is pale green cloth.
10, 11, 12 is blue cloth.

Note: the 'warm' colours are bright and shifted towards yellow. The cool colours are still fairly brightish as they are illuminated by the clear blue light from the sky, but as a lot of warm light bounces into the bluish shadows, they get slightly duller.


Charlie

Colorix
11-12-2008, 01:11 PM
JB, it's great! Clear sense of light and shadow, and the blue cloth does indeed look like blue in light, really good! The only thing I feel is lacking is a bit more dark to the shadow side of the Y block. (This seems to have been the hardest part to get right for many of you.) And the variations in the shadow of the cloth is a little bit too prominent. But, let it be, I mention this for future use.

All in all, it is clear, bright, sunny, and you've spotted most of the colour-shifts. Really good job!

Charlie




Hi Charlie...yes, my last scan came out way too light. Your 'fix' was much closer.
Here is what I think is stages 3 & 4. It's not my favorite, but with the paper as 'used' as it is, may be all I can get from it at this point.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2008/103700-4.jpg
Looking forward to your comments...
Thanks,
JB

robertsloan2
11-12-2008, 01:15 PM
Duller, greener and lighter, got it. I think with what I'm doing that I can do it without brushing out, which would be a pretty major experiment right now. I've never brushed out anything in a pastel painting and would be scared of wrecking it.

Colorix
11-12-2008, 01:35 PM
Crystal, looking real good! Yes, that colour didn't work for the bg, and now you really know that. Olive green is a yellow-Green with a bit or a bite of red in it, so it is a more neutralized green. I think the easiest way to fix it is to brush it off and then use cool and warm pinks, blues, and even violets. Light tints, if you have them. Any green will dull it and darken it, and it is fairly bright so you really don't want a green there. A green-Blue very light tint may work fine, though.

The shadow plane of the Y block is almost as deep as it needs to be, and as you will have to add a red to dull it down, it will get darker by that.

Otherwise, a really good stage 2!

Paper: yeah, probably not the best, but patches can work well to help create shimmering effects! Sort of 'built in' patching instead of hatching. :)

Hard lines: new, or newly broken pastels still have sharp edges, and they leave hard lines. A thing you can use when you want a sharp edge to a broadside stroke, for example at edges around the blocks. I simply round the edges by scribbling on a scrap. Works almost too well with sandpapers.

And thanks for mentioning taking crit. It can be tough to take, but it is either that, or trial and error on one's own. Sort of, the price to pay for learning and growing faster is to be willing to hear the truth. And, the best part, IMHO, one doesn't have to like it, if one just learns to take it and use it. :angel:

Charlie


Ok Here is my Stage 2 of the two block lesson. I take critisism well so don't hold back. My feelings don't get hurt.

I think I have a problem with the last color I chose for most of the background as it looks to deep green. The right side of the background I started with more of a blue-green but I wasn't sure about that and changed to more of an olive green (which I think is a yellow green?) I really don't knowwhat direction to go with that now but I'm sure I need to lighten it with white as I don't have many tents at all. Also should I spray a fixative at this point.

I'm wondering about my paper. It has a lot of texture to it and it seems to grab a lot of color in spots rather than being smooth. Not sure Ilike this chunky effect so I've been having to lightly blend a lot. Expecially since I've been getting hard lines when I try and scrumble my colors. Might be since my pastels are new?
Crystal

Colorix
11-12-2008, 01:46 PM
Yes, lighter mostly because when you dull, it darkens, so to dull with lighter colours ought to make it stay this value. Note, this was for the cast shadow on the light green cloth.

Dull colours are the most difficult to paint, for some of us. Why dirty those beautiful jewel-like hues? :)

And, actually, brushing out one area isn't so bad, if one just brushes away from, in this case, the bright yellows, and not into them. I've worn down a filbert, in one year, from brushing out on sandpaper.

And yes, I think you're right, you do not have to brush out this cast shadow. Just work on top of it.

Charlie


Duller, greener and lighter, got it. I think with what I'm doing that I can do it without brushing out, which would be a pretty major experiment right now. I've never brushed out anything in a pastel painting and would be scared of wrecking it.

Inki C
11-12-2008, 02:00 PM
Hi Charlie,
Thanks for the super-fast answer for stage 1 and 2, you keep me working:D
I finished the 2-block study.
(I was already in stage 4 before I knew it...)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2008/150011-stage_4.JPG

Ingrid

Dougwas
11-12-2008, 02:00 PM
Hi Charlie. Sorry about not telling you what stage I was at on my last post. I thought I was finished.:o This is Stage 4.

I really do like bright colours. My best memory from grade school was opening that brand new box of crayons at the start of every new grade. I can still smell them.:)

I did the changes you suggested and added a little more detail. I added ochre and red/violet to the shadowed plane of the yellow block and added some light blue to the top of the block. It is hard to see the blue, but it is there. I can really see the difference in the shaded plane, and it makes the shaded cloth look even better.

I was reading about additive abd subtractive colour systems yesterday in my course. I found it very interesting. (I must be a colour geek)

Thanks again.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2008/102199-Blocks_Stage4Rev.jpg



Doug

robertsloan2
11-12-2008, 02:25 PM
Thanks for posting this, Doug. You're giving me ideas for lighter, muted and greener, for exactly how far to go with lighter, muted and greener. I'm still thinking about it and will probably tackle it later this afternoon. Yours is beautiful.

JLMTD
11-12-2008, 02:30 PM
Robert,

Thanks a lot! I am surprised that I like it so much. I don't usually like what I do in classes, but this was different. Not being IRL, I'm not as intimidated by other people watching me as I work.:o My next big lesson is going to be learning to mat and frame all the stuff I'm working on.

I've learned a lot about values that I simply didn't even think about before. Although it hasn't been conscious, though, I guess I've been paying attention to that in my black and white work without knowing to call it "values," but this is the first time I've actually translated that to color.

As for the crosshatching, well, you can blame Charlie for that. She said to do it! :wink2:

I've also learned a lot from you and others who are better at articulationg these things!
Thanks to all!

Janis

Janis, I love it. Thank you for posting the grayscale version too. It's powerful enough that it's a strong painting even in grayscale, you really nailed the values in this! I hope you like it as much as I liked mine and feel a need to mat and frame and hang it.

Your crosshatching was inspirational, and I've been using a little of it on mine though not exclusively. It comes out so vibrant! I scumbled over it so mine got lost, but I'm remembering this for other paintings later on, because yours has such smooth passages of value and color.

The darkest dark shadow sparkles and bounces off the page, without being lightened at all. You've done something great here. I learn from everyone in the course and most of all from Charlie.

Thanks again, Charlie, for doing this class. It's opened my eyes to so much, and I know I'm getting better with every stage of every project.

JLMTD
11-12-2008, 02:41 PM
OK Charlie, I went back in and did some final (?)touch ups.

"First is to make the violet-red transition at the lower edge of the cast shadow. (That part got unclear in the demo.) The reason: it helps that part come forward, and lessens the sharpness of the line."

I wasn't exactly certain of where to do this but I think I did this...yes?

"While it strictly really doesn't look like a pale blue cloth in light, I say "who cares?" "

I think the pic I just took in daylight shows this up much better.

"The second is to blur out the line in the bg, between green cloth and blue cloth in light. The reason is: the less lines and details in bg, the more it recedes. "

Yep, I did that, too.

"And if you have the energy, and want it yourself, you can straighten the lines of the block."

Oh yes, those lines did get curvaceous (sp?), didn't they? I did a little straightening up, thank you! Did I do what you meant for me to do?

Than YOU Charlie - you rock!:clap:

Janis

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2008/140260-Block_1_Stage_4_Finish.jpg

Colorix
11-12-2008, 04:18 PM
Doug, it's beautiful! Especially the 'dulling' colours of the shadow side of the Y block. As they are not blended, they do the job without 'dying' into mud. That is the absolutely hugest advantage with soft/dry pastels. Oils would mix and 'die' (unless you let layers dry inbetween). To really round this off, cross the t and dot the i, can you blur the sharpness of that extra deep dark line of shadow under the Y block, so it 'melts' into the other shadow colours but is still hinted at? And on the red block, the shadow plane, can you let a cool pink bounce up into the half that is over the blue cloth, and a deep valued orange-red bounce into the right half, from the yellowy green cloth? They *are* there, in the photo.

It's great!

Ah, we over-bright colour-junkies. I took me a long time to even *want* to dull colours down... but, I started in oils, and it all changed with pastels, as I found they didn't get grayed!

Doug, do share the cool things you learn in colour-class!

All: A good small excercise to do is to start with a deep green, and then layer reds and oranges over it. After admiring the effect, take your finger and blend it. It is almost chocking. I can tell you about it, but you won't really *know* until you try it on a scrap.

Charlie


Hi Charlie. Sorry about not telling you what stage I was at on my last post. I thought I was finished.:o This is Stage 4.

I really do like bright colours. My best memory from grade school was opening that brand new box of crayons at the start of every new grade. I can still smell them.:)

I did the changes you suggested and added a little more detail. I added ochre and red/violet to the shadowed plane of the yellow block and added some light blue to the top of the block. It is hard to see the blue, but it is there. I can really see the difference in the shaded plane, and it makes the shaded cloth look even better.

I was reading about additive abd subtractive colour systems yesterday in my course. I found it very interesting. (I must be a colour geek)

Thanks again.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2008/102199-Blocks_Stage4Rev.jpg



Doug

Colorix
11-12-2008, 04:21 PM
Janis, you totally got it! Gosh, it is beautiful, but I'm almost sorry the blue cloth looks blue now... :) However, it looks right, which *is* the meaning with this excercise, after all.

Great job!

Charlie

OK Charlie, I went back in and did some final (?)touch ups.

"First is to make the violet-red transition at the lower edge of the cast shadow. (That part got unclear in the demo.) The reason: it helps that part come forward, and lessens the sharpness of the line."

I wasn't exactly certain of where to do this but I think I did this...yes?

"While it strictly really doesn't look like a pale blue cloth in light, I say "who cares?" "

I think the pic I just took in daylight shows this up much better.

"The second is to blur out the line in the bg, between green cloth and blue cloth in light. The reason is: the less lines and details in bg, the more it recedes. "

Yep, I did that, too.

"And if you have the energy, and want it yourself, you can straighten the lines of the block."

Oh yes, those lines did get curvaceous (sp?), didn't they? I did a little straightening up, thank you! Did I do what you meant for me to do?

Than YOU Charlie - you rock!:clap:

Janis

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2008/140260-Block_1_Stage_4_Finish.jpg

Colorix
11-12-2008, 04:38 PM
Ingrid, you are a natural at seeing subtle shifts in colour! I know, the distinction between stages 3 and 4 are not so great, it's very easy to suddenly discover one is 'noodling' details. Still blending? If so, you pulled it off beautifully. That tricky shadow side of the Y block... if what I see is as IRL, then it is a tad too light, but don't change it, as you've put so many variations there, just keep that comment for the future. Shadow sides of yellow objects can be very deep in value.

Beautiful, really great job!

Charlie


Hi Charlie,
Thanks for the super-fast answer for stage 1 and 2, you keep me working:D
I finished the 2-block study.
(I was already in stage 4 before I knew it...)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2008/150011-stage_4.JPG

Ingrid

Colorix
11-12-2008, 04:39 PM
Did I find everyone's posts? Tell me if I missed yours, or if I've forgotten to answer a question.

Charlie

Dougwas
11-12-2008, 05:41 PM
Okay Charlie. Here it is with the changes. I used a flat brush to get rid of some of the dark line under the yellow block and then I used the brush on the red block where I put the pink, because I didn't like the look. I just gently ran the brush down the surface. To my surprise, when I took the brush away, I liked the effect. It's funny how you learn some things.

Thanks again. I can't wait for the next class.:)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Nov-2008/102199-Blocks_Stage4Rev2.jpg


Doug

Mario V
11-12-2008, 05:46 PM
Hi Charlie,


Thank you ooooo so much for all the efforts and the comments :clap: :clap: :clap:

Here is my quick version of task1.

stage1
416015


stage2
416016



i forgot to take a photo of stage3 :eek:


stage4
416017