View Full Version : Need color help

08-29-2002, 09:53 PM
This is supposed to be indirect sunlight. I'm not sure I like the way the colors look. I could use some help figuring this out:confused:


08-30-2002, 10:00 PM
What's the medium? There's some fascinating stuff going on.

I think it would be a lot more comfortable with some very gentle changes to the color of the halo light in the hair and on the open parts of the face. Something just a little more golden/orange in hue. But only on the inner halo and the outer planes of the face; the inner shadows have a sort of cool blueness that looks good if the context were right.

There's confusion about where the violet hue is coming from - is it from her dress? If you decide that's the case, it should have play on the things lit from below, and not on the shadow planes. So it's too strong in the eye sockets and in the hollow of her throat, and too weak on her chin.

When you get sunlight splayed through hair like that, it takes on some hair color, and there's also a sunset effect your eyes give you... the warmer light comes through most effectively.

This would have to be done very gently, but I think it would make her look less waxy, give a bit of plane differentiation from the window stuff in the background, and also a warmer blend would bring up some nice compliments with the blue tones that are kind of struggling to come out of the shaded area.

That's what I see there, anyways.

08-30-2002, 11:21 PM
Thanks for you insights, I think some of the problem is I haven't actually decided on the blouse color, or the background, so the ambient light is confused. I also picked a bad ref and made up some of the colors in hopes to give it more depth. I'll know better next time. The medium is digital (Photoshop and Wacom tablet). Here's the ref I used. It's Nastassja Kinski.


08-31-2002, 01:48 AM
Looking good Guy, thought it was Nastassja but wasn't sure. First off I would darken the background to help with the illusion of backlighting and playing with its colour will have an effect on the apparent colour within the foreground elements. I was also hoping it was digital because it's so easy to do global colour alterations but personally I think what you have is more accurate colour-wise than the photo, which, in common with many pics of this vintage, has its own set of colour issues.

Anyway, if you want to play with the colour relationships add an adjustment layer at the top of the layers stack, Hue/Saturation is probably easiest. If you click on the menu above the sliders you'll see the target options and you can adjust the hue, saturation and lightness of various colours within each range, if necessary increasing or decreasing the target range at the bottom. Selective Colour can do a similar job and might also be worth a look if Hue/Saturation doesn't do what you want.


08-31-2002, 11:15 AM
Thanks Einion, I'll give it a shot. Since I'm still learning much about color I have been avoiding the color correcting abilities of PS. Though not adverse to using sliders, this particular sketch is a color experiment for me, which or course means disposable layers and lots of undo.;)

09-07-2002, 08:14 AM
Hello Guy,
When I've experienced reflected light myself, I always found it very evident in the subjects eyes, whether painting animals or people. In other words, the subject here is bathed in light but her eyes are not showing that. The trouble with photography is it doesn't truly show us what we are actually seeing. I love photography but I found it has it's limits. Hope this helps.

ps have you tried the morror technique?

09-07-2002, 12:04 PM
Thanks Lucid, for the info. The morror technique? I did a search for it, and Google asked if I meant "the mirror thechnique". This is a quote from the first link I came up with:

"The Mirror Technique for Meeting and Picking Up Single Women

This is a very effective method of releasing the power of the subconscious mind by using a mirror. This method is very effective in motivating you to meet single women. It can be used to obtain anything you so desire. "

No Lucid I've never used this technique, does it work? Thanks for the tip!:D

09-08-2002, 12:37 PM
Hello Guy,
I apologize for not being a bit more clear. I did get a good laugh out of your response though. Thankyou.
The morror technique is simply holding your work in front of a large mirror. This gives you a new perspective on it and where it may need improvement, change, etc.:) :rolleyes:

09-09-2002, 07:12 PM
Ah yes, I learned this when I was doing a lot of graphite work. I used to think gawd this drawing rocks! and then I'd put it in the mirror and my chest would tighten from the horror I beheld.

This raises another question I've had for some time. Even when I get the proportions right, I think the composition always looks better flipped horozontally one way. I read somewhere that depending on your native reading conditioning, your eye more easily enters a painting from a certain angle, In my case this is left to right. Anyone else heard of this?

09-10-2002, 01:47 AM
Hello again Guy,
Some time ago in a design class at my state's college, we had a teacher who insisted that such a theory was correct. But time and time again, he was proven wrong on how ones eyes entered a work. There seemed to be no clear cut pattern on that. Anyone else?

09-10-2002, 05:41 AM
guy,,,all that "where your eye enters the painting" stuff is a lot of academia and science(yes, they get into this too) trying to figure out the creative mind. doesn't matter how many electrodes they stick in the retina to "see" where the eye moves.

the eye enters the painting in the middle, then looks at the contrasts(because they pop out). after it's navigated the terrain, it starts to graze through the painting in a logical pattern. this is where you get all your "directional" theorizing. thing is,,,,this is where academia and science START.....with logic.

anyone who talks about how the eye follows directionally around a painting, READS too many art books :):):) anyway, that's my theory.

holding up your art to the mirror is a valuable tool. it let's you see your art in the "abstract", because your eye tends to impress symemetry and alignments into a painting, that will kill the piece.

about natasha. the reference could be stiffling you. there is not much except her head, so it doesn't help you in seeing more than what is there. it's a head.....period......{M}

09-10-2002, 06:08 AM
Originally posted by Guy
Since I'm still learning much about color I have been avoiding the color correcting abilities of PS.

Guy, IMHO you will learn far more about colour by messing around with ALL the colour correcting abilities of PS.

Also, there's a very simple book on colour theory written by Faber Birren, I think it's called Principles of Color. You can get it in paperback at Barnes & Noble for about $13 US. It is the most useful colour theory book I have seen, and the model he uses is the same HSB model used in most computer art programs.

Go for it, Guy! You can't learn it if you don't do it!


09-10-2002, 12:49 PM
Thanks Milt, I probably DO read too many art books, but I'm still learning tha basics which often does require the logical process. Getting a likeness, for instance, without any sort of aid is impossible (at least for me) without visual triangulation of objects. I agree her head is hardly interesting composition. It's actually the main reason I moved on to other paintings. I feel I've got a grasp of basic values, but now I'm trying to learn about what light does when it hits a surface and how color plays out.

Nonamac, I still have much to learn about color correction in Photoshop. So far I've tried out the hue/saturation and color balance on either individual layers or adjustment layers. While it's interesting to see variations of what I can achieve, I usually stick with the original or minor variations thereof. When I learn the subtler ways of changing color, and when get to the point when I'm doing it professionally and am on a deadline, it will probably make more sense to me. Right now I'm trying to use PS in such a way that I can apply what I learn to traditional media with the least amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth ;)

09-10-2002, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by Guy
when get to the point when I'm doing it professionally and am on a deadline, it will probably make more sense to me.

:confused: Sorry Guy, it just doesn't work that way. When you're working professionally to a deadline you have to KNOW instantly what's wrong and how to fix it quickly. That is no time to be learning colour theory! ;)

Now, on the other hand, is a great time! Maybe you're trying to be too subtle with your alterations....push the limits so you can learn what each tool does and how it does it. THEN you'll be able to fine tune with accuracy.

I truly appreciate the reading too many books problem...I am overly bookish myself. The Faber Birren book is maybe 36 pages long and condenses a century of colour theory into a few choice graphics. (Later in life you can read Chevreul if you want to know where all this stuff comes from.)

Cheering you on,

:clap: :clap: :clap:


09-10-2002, 06:20 PM
Thanks for the cheers:) I'll order that Faber Birren book, I need a good color book.

This is the new one I did after I put away the portrait above. There are still some color issues I think, but overall I happy with the way it turned out. It's from a ref in the portrait project which I changed considerably. Maybe I'll experiment with this one to broaden my color correction knowledge. I'm going to submit this to Epilogue.net in a couple of days, so any advice would be great!