Thursday, June 18, 2009

Color Harmony/Deer Grazing at Sunset in progress

36x36 pastel and watercolor on marble dust gator board
Color harmony is what it is all about, isn't it?. Pre-selecting the palette helps because when you pre-select you are consciously checking the relationships of all those beautiful little pastels or pools of paint. But, it's hard to predict which colors are necessary to make the light. This explains why I must admit to "dipping." Dipping is when I stray from my color selections and visit the full monty (over 2000 pastels) of my drawers. It can also be done by mixing new colors, not in the "plan." Those things happen all the time because, as artists, our true master is the painting, so we only answer it it.
In this painting I strayed, then I needed to return to checking the shadows and lights throughout the painting and make certain they are appropriately warm and cool. My light in this one is warm, so the shadows are cool...but with warmth. Therefore I can't use blue without warming it up with red..or yellow. At one point I had blue in and it had a neon like vibration-yipes and yuck.
A golden orange is my dominant hue and all else bows to it...note all the neutrals. While I have placed greens they have been greyed or it creates a kind of chaos.
What's funny about creating color harmony is it's not what you look and look and the colors it takes to make come from hard work.

Sorry for the bad jpeg..tilt the screen and it gets a little better. :-l Computer nightmares recently...lost my photoshop 7, lost my website..... long computer on order.


Dale Sherman Blodget said...

My condolences on the computer illness. I like this one and love reading about the work of choosing color. Wondering about your description of needing a warm cool shadow against the warm light. I have been working on the premise that a warm light casts a cool shadow. But it sometimes (a lot)doesn't seem to work too well. So in essence you're saying warm light/warmish cool shadow? I'll try that in a portrait tomorrow.

loriann said...

Thanks about the computer craziness. This one is definitely a work in progress. About the cool shadows- my experience is that the very warm light in this demands a warmish cool or else the color would stick out-zing! When I had a blue it was out of harmony. The color harmony is really made up of three secondaries; violet- orange-green-no blue.
There are no real hard fast rules. As I brought down the chroma in this painting it changed needs as well. Once stroke can change everything.... it really is complex, eh?
Good luck with your portraits!

Brian McGurgan said...

This is coming along beautifully, Loriann - that warm orange glow is really nice and the muted greens and violets are working well together. I'm glad you've continued working on this subject/composition. After being away for a few weeks I've enjoyed catching up on your paintings!

Karen said...

I think all the hard work/thinking/dipping/etc. with the color harmonies builds a richness that simply can't be duplicated any other way. It's like you have to go through and come out the other side, and it can get pretty messy while you're in there, and scary because there's no formula, but, the results!!

That totally sucks about the computer!! I would be in such a state. You sound reasonably calm. Hope it's getting resolved.

loriann said...

Thanks for stopping in Brian. I checked your blog and it sounds like you had an amazing vacation. Welcome back!

loriann said...

Thanks're right there is no substitute for the work.
And about the computer...there's is nothing left that I can do, so I will just look at it as time to revamp the website and get a new photoshop! I will wait till I receive my new computer though. Till then paint, paint, paint!