Sunday, March 4, 2012

Warm and cold colours

 This piece is relatively old, creation date listed is 3.5.-11. It was actually one of the key pieces of my portfolio that I showed at the entrance exams/auditions for the school at which I currently study (Scored maximum points, i did.)! As i promised, I will walk you through the steps of the painting process.

1. Begun by blocking in the general shape and value for the head. I think i made a mistake by not painting in the neck/body too at this stage, drawing it later on was awkward at best, and it looks not as good as it could have. It pays off for me personally to sketch in the whole figure before i proceed in rendering and shading, as is the case with most of you, too, I am sure. If not, then good for you.

2. I refine the structure and shading, using both the original normal layer and a couple overlay layers. One thing I often do is I paint the shading and highlighting in 2 different phases. Shade completely, then only once this is done, i add in highlights. After this i will adjust as necessary, if necessary. That way usually works out best for me, it may or may not work for you. 

3. Started out colouring by slapping on a big fat overlay layer filled with green ._.
How to properly colour a grayscale picture ive found hard in the past, and Ive found that Overlay layers seem to be the best way. One thing that is good about them, as opposed to colour layers, is that they also allow you to change values at the same time, which is nifty. 

I put on some warm and cold colours in an overlay layer to create some depth and that sense of pop-out, since it looked so flat.
And this is how it turned out in the end. The things that bug me the most is the sense of detachment between the neck and the head, and at in some places the shape is incorrect, for example the lower jaw should be nowhere that wide. Easy to see now later on, but was not evident when I painted it.

Ah, and as for the subject i was supposed to talk about... 
In our world we have such things as warm and cold colours. Once i read some gibberish about how they move backwards or forwards in space, and how this makes your eyes can pick up on this and youll think theres some depth, i remember not exactly, but visually warm and cold colours clearly exist.

By using for example orange and blue, and creating a contrast between them, it will create this effect of coming at you. Even subtle hints of it will suffice, you need not even use a cold colour, warm to neutral or cold to neutral contrasts will work aswell! But the bigger the difference is, the more it will catch your eye. Some artists will be bored to death by this following picture, and some will praise it like the holy grail.

(If the source were ever to go offline, and the picture would no longer be availible, it is a simple colour-wheel. Google it.)

It illustrates which colours are considered warm and which cold. For maximum pop out, one would contrast the cold colour with the directly opposite warm colour, for example, vibrant yellow and that deep, marine blue.

Other factors that create the same effect are contrasting values, say for example a white spot in a black field will stand out pretty well, and differing saturation.  A stronger red will stand out more than a weaker shade of red. In practise one could blend the objects farther away with grey, and staurate the ones closer, and a sense of depth would be created. I combined all of these things in the piece above, and i think it created a very interesting look. 

If you havent thought about this before, by all means do experiment! If you feel like youre chewing the same gum over and over again, good for you, atleast you know how to employ an important asset of painting!

Gosh, all my entries here seem to be so long! Too long, I worry? So much to write, yet the human attention-span is so little. Feedback would be appreciated! Feel free to leave a comment below.

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