Friday, February 13, 2009

Yet more about color vibration

We are again looking at another piece of the Woodstock Maine painting that I posted on Thursday. Here's another example of throwing different colors the same value (degree of light to dark) into a passage. The color notes in the barn are not just different colors they are different temperatures as well. Note the cool greenish grays around the doorway and interspersed with the reds up in the eaves below the rake boards.These variations give a lively look to the passage that a single tone would not. Up on top of the barn, on that rusting steel roof I have laid that green note next to a red note of about the same value. The different notes against each other give a sort of flickering appearance that makes the eye believe it is seeing more variations than it really is, which gives a more convincing illusion of nature.
Here's the same thing going on in the distant hill and in the mountain behind it.The other advantage to this tactic is that I can add descriptive information to a passage like that distant mountain without using more values. That would cut the thing up and I would lose the big shape for a number of less effective small ones. Also I can give the illusion of detail with this sort of color variation. The viewers eye will "invent"the detail.

On the right in my last example, look at the variations in the red of that old mill building. I have about three different shades of red and a gray notes thrown in there as well. That gray makes the aged mill look weathered. Without it the reds would seem too "new" and freshly painted. Some color vibration is going on over in that pine tree over on the right as well .When I paint a passage I almost automatically mix the same color or close to it, from different parts of my palette to get similar but varying versions of the same note. Next post I will show you some examples from the great French Impressionists doing the same thing. Color Vibration is one of the things on the list of essential skills you need to have to make your paintings look like they are done by a professional painter. Without it you will always have a sort of flat, primitive look. Now you don't want to look flat and primitive do you? I didn't think so.

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