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Monday, 23 August 2010

Projects 3, 4& 5

2. Colour Theory and Practice
Having undertaken all the exercises, it becomes clear which, if not all of these need to be extended, given time. Have started a personal on-going chart of colours from own mixing, including mixing browns and greys with white or black. In addition I am contrasting them proportionally; a helpful log and reference.

Looking at some problems I have had with paintings, I can see that the juxtapositions of colour temperature/proportion of contrasting colour etc is just one of the issues. This list of Qs to ask re tone/saturation/texture/temperature is so functional.

Having said that, a glance at 'The Blue Boy' Gainsborough, alone as well as many contemporary paintings, points to the challenge !

Advancing or receding squares:

One could do without the form in a painting or let the form be governed by the colour juxtaposition as many artists do! Interesting to see the matching of saturation- a green and orange and a cerulean blue and orange. But a pale violet and orange was unexpectedly different with the orange receding. Also cad yellow with ultra blue and cad red equalised, but with a light green, it shrank a little! Yo! I need trillions of these squares. Having recently seen a painting by one of the St Ives painter: The big blue circle with a white surround buffer - need to check up the name. This poses some stunning questions and concepts.
Visited Tate summer exhibs recently and stood before the Ben Nicholson 'The White Relief' Did not understand it but have a little more insight now.

How colour can induce another:

Interesting to see how similar dots 1m apart merge with some colours and not with others. The spectrum colours used Cad Red, Cad yell, did not merge. Cerulean or a pale blue merge and at a distance some larger dots merge somewhat, as do lemon yell and a mixed pale blue, and an orange and mixed blue. Having seen this, I re-visited the work of Seurat, and some of the French painters of the period, with much greater interest and scrutiny. Must see if violet and ultra blue merge at a distance.... Would it depend on saturation and dot/space size?
Thinking back to the theory, the spectrum colours cannot 'merge' because of their wavelengths
as ALL other colours are absorbed. So they should not merge at all. Finally got hold of the Ittens, Wilcox, et al . Riveting reads. How I managed mainly intuitively in the past I don't know. Relied on studio colleagues though when stuck. We were told to 'try it out' and I did most of colour trials via monoprinting. Clearly the theory would have helped. One of my collegues painted in tiny squares most successfully so must have isolated other colour factors thereby. I would build up form via colour marks but sometimes, could go no further. I think I know why now.

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