Thursday, May 10, 2012

Black is not Black, White is not White

Here is a series of block quick-sketches (10-15min) done on a mostly cloudy day with some intermittent creeping sun, done about every hour. The point here is to observe subtle light changes throughout the day. The paintings are not overly chromatic but subtly intense and I'm not sure how well they would read online compared to the originals as they are layered and impressionistic  (which is always a problem with photographical translation so I tweaked in them to look a little more correct on a computer though this makes them less subtle compared to the originals). There are some important things to note about this exercise: I did not use black paint, only a full spectrum palette; the emphasis is not on value contrast but color and not on over-emphasized color but truthful, relative color intensities. Drawing obviously took a back seat.

My goal here is to show that black is never really black and white is never really white (except if you design it that way) and that careful observation of color leads to understanding that it is not absolute color that is important but the intensity of color relationships.

I hope to show more of these types of sketches when we get some more consistently sunny days (without that veil of clouds) here so that you can see that  outdoor lighting is never consistent and that registering color atmosphere doesn't always mean painting loud color.

Our next book is coming out soon and will address the myths of color design out there and give practical advice on how to learn color design without falling into these traps..I'll keep you posted!

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