Thursday, January 6, 2011

Intuitive Color

                                                              Spring Point Light
After you've decided on a subject and a composition, next comes the decision about values and colors.
When I finished the arrangement of this painting, I had no idea what colors were going to be used.  I soaked the page, and then, without really knowing why, I reached for the lemon yellow.  I worked outward from there, mingling blue onto the yellow producing green and then on to blue.  As I worked down the page, I made sure to repeat some of the green in the sea.  I dashed in a bit of violet for relief.  From there on, the colors reflected the actual local color of the lighthouse roof and the rocks. 

Decisions have to be made quickly in order not to let the next color be introduced on a damp or nearly dry page.  It helps to know ahead of time that two primaries--blue and yellow--make green.  The green acts as a bridge, both in color and value.  Staying with those two colors resulted in unity.  But it was still basically instinctual to choose those colors.  This can't be taught, but it can be learned.  Practice and lots of painting is the key.

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