Friday, August 19, 2011

Color Wheel Paintings class results

This turned out to be a very instructive class, even to the instructor (not an uncommon thing!)

Here's what we did. I gave the students a cartoon to use, derived from a photo of a barn:

Feel free to copy and print to use for your own color studies.
You can see that I reduced it to grayscale so we could see the values easily. I asked them to paint the 'real' colors first, then using another person's painting as inspiration, to interpret the colors they had used and plug them into the cartoon.

Then I asked them to use the color chart to derive new colors, for instance in the third box (in the lower left of the four color studies above) I moved three spaces to the right and used whatever color I found there. My inspiration was Carol Marine's painting of the green apples you see to its right.

The class was quite revealing, as they often are. I think the most inspiring idea was to look at the color work from other artists, but not just copy it. By plugging it into the cartoon we were forced to take a step away from the 'thing-ness' of it, and think about why the color worked and how to apply it to an entirely different subject. The cartoon releases you from dealing with subject matter, to concentrate only on the color.

But we discovered we needed to look at the balance of colors, too, and sometimes it was good to pull out a little bit of the application, like how the artist built up a beautiful color relationship by layering or putting colors side-by-side, and in what measures, to make one area more beautiful in our color studies. Interesting!

Here you can see the first of my studies inspired by Susan Ogilvie's painting to its left.  I love what happened with the roof, sky and trees, as well as the fore. The barn in sunlight and the darks still need work, I think. That can be my next two color studies. I want to analyze how she used the blues amid the the green/red areas.

It needs more time, and probably at least one more class devoted to it, but it's a good way of inspiring color, I think. I hope you all will find it inspiring and have some fun with it.

Keep painting!