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Color Theory and Painting

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Jessica Davis

on 7 October 2013

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Transcript of Color Theory and Painting


Red appears more brilliant against a black background and somewhat duller against the white background.
In contrast with orange, the red appears lifeless; in contrast with blue-green, it exhibits brilliance. Notice that the red square appears larger on black than on other background colors.
Tints, Shades and Tones
If a color is made lighter by adding white, the result is called a TINT. If black is added, the darker version is called a SHADE. If gray is added, the result is a different TONE.
Analogous color scheme
Analogous color schemes use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.
They usually match well and create serene and comfortable designs.

Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye.
Analogous color scheme
Yellow-green, red-violet
Complementary color scheme
Complementary color scheme
Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel are considered to be complementary colors (example: red and green).

The high contrast of complementary colors creates a vibrant look especially when used at full saturation. This color scheme must be managed well so it is not jarring.

Complementary color schemes are tricky to use in large doses, but work well when you want something to stand out.

Mixing two complementary colors creates a neutral tone such as brown or gray.
Use green to tone down the vibrancy of red.
TERTIARY/INTERMEDIATE COLORS                               
Yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet,
blue-violet, blue-green and yellow-green.

These are the colors formed by mixing a primary and a secondary color.
Most colors mixed while painting are considered tertiary colors.
These are the colors formed by mixing the primary colors.
In traditional color theory, these are the 3 pigment colors that can not be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues
The Color Wheel
An element of art with three properties:
(1) HUE or tint, the color name, e.g., red, yellow,
blue, crimson, ultramarine etc.:
(2) INTENSITY, the purity and strength of a color, e.g., bright red or dull red; and
(3) VALUE, the lightness or darkness of a color.

When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colors are divided into groups called primary, secondary, and intermediate/tertiary; color schemes such as analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colors.
Properties of color
Warm colors are vivid and energetic, and tend to advance in space.

Cool colors give an impression of calm, and create a soothing impression.

White, black and gray are considered to be neutral.

Finally Subdued colors lack in intensity and strength.
Warm and Cool
Simultaneous Contrast
Color is relative to its environment
Other Color Schemes
-Split Complement
Color and Painting
-local color
-optical color
-color in light
-color in shadow
-color balance
-creating a focal point
Painting with Color
-Mixing and Chemistry
-Wet into wet
Local Color
Optical Color
Color in Light
Color in Shadow
Color Balance
Creating a Focal Point
Mixing and Chemistry
Wet into Wet
A shadow color will be reduced in in its intensity and saturation by its complement unless a similar color is reflected into it (with reflected light).
The colors greatest intensity will occur in its halftones, the most brilliant in the halftone as opposed to the highlight. Here you may see the objects "local" color.
Use tertiary colors and greyness in the color scheme to tone the painting down in areas. This will help your viewer find the focal point and this balance should make up the whole piece.
Your brighter colors should be kept around your focal point. This can also be an area of high contrast. Remember, the most effective paintings have an area of interest or a focal point.
The identifying color of an object perceived in ordinary daylight.
The apparent color of an object rather than its actual, local color.
An initial layer of paint applied onto a ground, which serves as a base for subsequent layers of paint. Under-paintings are often monochromatic and help to define color values for further painting. There are several different types of under-painting, such as verdaccio and grisaille. You can also use "color blocking" which is laying in opaque colors initially to establish basic tonal values and hues first.
A technique in which layers of wet paint are applied to previous layers of wet paint. This technique requires a fast way of working, because the work has to be finished before the first layers have dried. It may also be referred to as 'direct painting' or the French term au premier coup (at first stroke).
Transparent Colors

-Burnt Umber
-Burnt Sienna
-French Ultramarine Blue
-Permanent Rose
-Phthalo Blue
-Alizarin Crimson
-Indian Yellow
Opaque Colors

-Cadmium Red Hue
-Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue
-Cadmium Yellow Light
-Yellow Ochre
-Cobalt Blue
-Flake White
-Ivory Black
-Naples Yellow Hue
-Oxide of Chromium
-Raw Umber
-Napels yellow

Generally mixing a transparent color with an opaque color alters the chemistry, binding small and large molecules together to create a more permanent pigment.
(You will notice that these mixed pigments dry faster.)
When "building a painting" you are physically layering on top of an under-painting previously created. Either made with a transparent grisaille surface or an opaque under-painting, your next application of paint should be an advanced application of mixed, tertiary colors from a full palette.
Glazing is applying a final transparent layer of paint, often mixed with a medium such as Liquin or Turpentine, to push the highlights or low-lights of an area.
Split Complement
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