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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Sketches Hunt 164 and Color Notes

For a start on Scavenger Hunt 164, I did these two while watching TV, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, by the way. These sketches are in the regular sketchbook with a Micron 005 pen, purple. A few minutes each, freehand as usual.

Number 1, phone -- the phone from my desk out of the dock. Number 2, watch -- an old pocket watch with a leather strap on it, probably my Dad's.

And color notes. I was watching an old video tape by Helen Van Wyk today and she was mentioning how color is affected by the color it is next to on the canvas. Many times, as beginners, we ask the instructor what color they are using and try to match it exactly. Even if you could match it, it would most likely not look exact on your canvas because of the difference in the paint's surroundings. The colors take on or reflect the complement. You can test this by putting a red circle on a white background and stare at it.

Then close your eyes and you should "see" a greenish circle.

Helen Van Wyk usually started paintings with a gray canvas and on the video tape, she was painting some terracotta pots. As she developed the pots and had not touched the background it was appearing very blue. I will try to do this exercise and post it here. It was quite interesting.

Black and white acrylics.

The pots with color, there is a subtle blue to the background now, which you probably can't see here. I had hopes that it would show more.

The more finished pots.

I thought it would show up more. Maybe I had to do a larger painting. This was only about 6 x 8 inches and about ten minutes to do. I did it on watercolor paper so it dried before I could finish each layer. But maybe you get the idea.

This illustrates the idea that the color depends on the background. The orange and blue stripes are one solid line of the color on a black to white background. The colors look brighter against the dark and darker as the black changes to white.

You never know if the color is right until you try it on your painting.


Teresa said...

Thank you for the valuable color lesson. It amazes me how I so easily forget the basics of painting! Thanks for the reminder.

Jo Castillo said...

Hi Teresa, thanks. Sometimes I remember better if I talk it out or explain to someone. This is one of the things that makes getting value right so hard, don't you think?

Joanna said...

The background on the middle of the pots paintings does look more blue than it does on the other two.

Jo Castillo said...

Joanna, interesting, huh? They were taken with same settings, light, etc., and not modified. Just the way the orange affects the gray. I'm sure your camera filters work with this phenomena too.

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About Me

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los NiƱos. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill


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