Thursday, March 22, 2012

neutrals and simultaneous contrast

pastel 10x10
If you want to make a high chroma color glow, what do you do? Place it next to a neutralized color, one with low chroma.
This, of course, brings us back to simultaneous contrast.  A color is not defined fully until you place another color next to it. It's all about relationships. For instance, that yellow in the sky didn't vibrate until the grayer/more neutralized violet was placed next to it. If I had place a high chroma rich light violet the relationship would be lost. There would be no yin to face the yang.
A color will appear darker in value on a light ground and lighter on a dark ground, more intense on a more neutral ground and grayer on a very intense ground. Green will look more yellow on a field of blue and more blue on a field of yellow. Size of the color mass also influences the effect of simultaneous contrast. Generally, larger color areas have more influence on smaller color areas.
The gray line going through the two bottom value scales is the same value. Amazing, eh? The lesson for all of us to remember when painting...nothing is in isolation.  Simultaneous contrast is the effect of how color and value are relative.


Lynne E. Windsor said...

Morning Loriann, I found this post very interesting in light of the fact that I am writing my essay on monochromatic images! Also, like the pastel very much.

Hope all is well?

loriann signori said...

Hi Lynne,

It's so good to hear from you! I have red about you and your travels. Love your new drypoints.I am delighted that you found the post interesting.
I am well and happy to be painting and framing. Right now I am getting ready for a solo show in April, so needless to say I am VERY busy. Egad!
Thanks for dropping by. I hope to meet someday, in person!

Donna T said...

Thanks for this post, Loriann. It's a good reminder at this time of year when intense colors can easily take over a painting! It's good to hear you are keeping up with your show preparations too.

loriann signori said...

Good point Donna! Intense and overly sweet colors can easily take over at this time of year. Keeping a good balance is the key. Paint on my friend!

Caroline Simmill said...

What a lovely wee painting Loriann, you always paint your misty trees so well with the golden light filtering through.

Gerry Snape said...

Great post ...I love the tones and values in this painting.

loriann signori said...

Hi Caroline,
Thank you for your comment. We so infrequently have misty trees and yet I love to paint them. That's why I always check the weather report to see if the conditions are lining up for haze/fog and then plan my painting time. I guess you can see that i love the colors that weather produces. I think you must experience much more of it in Scotland.

Hi Gerry! Thank you and welcome to my blog.

c.dingman said...

Thanks for posting this. It is so helpful.

loriann signori said...

You are welcome c.!