Saturday, June 5, 2010

warm and cool

Above is an example of a green (viridian) modified from cool to warm. Several people have asked me "isn't green a cool color ?" Any color can be warmer or cooler, at least compared to itself, or whatever is around it. When ever we talk about warm and cool it is always relative.

In this example I have heated the green with red, it's compliment. If I were painting something in nature this color, I might use one end of this color bar in the lights and one end in the shadow.

Here is the same color modified to make a cool note such as might occur in the light (when that is cool) and a darker warmer note, such as you might place in the shade. It is important to notice that the shadow note is not the color of the light plus black. The shadow note is modified by the addition of the compliment of the color of the light, in this case red.

Here is the opposite. One is a warm color such as you might use to paint a warm light object, andthe other is a cool shadow note, lower in value.

These are examples of the same colors as both a cool light with a warm shadow note and a warm light with a cool shadow note.


Anonymous said...

Hi Stape,
Out here in the desert, our cactus in the sun can be a warm ochre green, the shadow side cool blue green and the under shadow a warm reddish green. The more waxy cactus begin to reflect every color around them in the shadows. I carry an old white frame to put on my pictures to check for last moment corrections ( and than face it in to carry to the car), I sat it on the easel and the quarter inch indentation caught the sky light and turned brilliant turquoise blue, amazing! we were reminded how much blue there is from sky light.
Love this string of posts, Terry

Mary Bullock said...

Good explanation and visual aids!

barbara b. land of boz said...

Great examples of the use of warm and cool color choices. Am I hearing you say you can't get into trouble if you use the compliment
for the shadow side? Also, Is it okay to use both warm and cool notes in the shadows and the light
passages at the same time?

Thank you for the time, It will be
put to good use.

Sharon Weaver said...

Great example. One of the classic beginners mistakes is not having enough variety in the greens of a landscape. As you point out the darks should not just be a darker version of the same color. The hue of the green also changes, not just the value.

billspaintingmn said...

Stape, you are thoroughly covering
helpful information to be aware of.

I know you love to rock-n-roll, but the song 'old man river' hit me
as you just keep on rolling along.

Pat Walker-Fields said...

Thank you, this is great. I will share this information. I appreciate you taking the time to
deliver this information on warm and cool..It's awesome as always.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I love painting in the desert, great color and not to green. I have snake boots!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. Color temp. 101

Stapleton Kearns said...

The first thing to do is observe the color of the shadow! Look for the compliment of the light. That's how to begin the mixture usually

Stapleton Kearns said...

Yes that's right!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Every time I listen to Paul Robeson I fall over to the left.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks, I am used, therefore I am useful!