I wanted to talk a little about color saturation tonight. here's another one of those ploys like the one I spoke of last night. Its not the answer to all of the problems of obtaining light, but its another tactic to keep in mind, another arrow for your quiver.The ideas I have been discussing the last few posts have been about ways of differentiating your lights and your shadows.
- I paint the lights in a high value and the shadows in a low value, so you can tell them apart.
- sometimes I paint the lights with one pigment and the shadows with a different pigment, so you can tell them apart.
- sometimes I paint the lights grave and the shadows highly colored, so you can tell them apart,
- or I will paint the lights highly colored and the shadows grave, so you can tell them apart
- sometimes I will paint the lights warm and the shadows cool, so you can tell them apart
- sometimes I will paint the lights cool and the shadows warm, so you can tell them apart.
- sometimes I will paint my lights opaque and my shadows transparent, so you can tell them apart.
- sometimes I paint the lights with hard edges and the shadows with soft edges, so you can tell them apart
- sometimes I use cool reflected light in the lights and hot reflected light in the shadow, so you can tell them apart
There are common mistakes that kill the effect of light, some of them are
- forming the shadow note by using the color of the light, or the local color plus black. It is to prevent beginners from committing this ART FELONY that teachers remove black from their students palettes.
- over stating the reflected light, so they become as bright as the darkest note in the lights.
- overstating the modeling in the lights causing an "overmodeled" look and sometimes putting a value in the lights that is as dark as the lightest note over in the shadow side.
- too much detail in the shadow, shadow "eats" detail
- edges poorly handled, generally, uniformly too hard.
Seeing piecemeal is an almost universal fault in weak painting. Ives Gammell, my teacher would talk about the "big look" of nature. I have heard it described in another way also,by a portrait painter who said "paint the hands the way they look when you look at the head, paint the head the way it looks when you look at the hands".
All of that sounds pretty simple, but actually doing it can take a fair amount of practice.
A painting that is "seen" piecemeal is a collection of small pictures placed one next to the other rather than a single large unit. This absolutely, and totally kills unity of effect.
UNITY OF EFFECT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY A PICTURE CAN HAVE.
If you are thinking about getting a neck tattoo, you just couldn't do better than that.
A painting should be one single image on the canvas, rather than a number of smaller images all clamoring for our attention.