COLOUR THEORY – EXERCISE 1

EXERCISE 1

COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS

We recently looked through some very basic colour theory. I am writing these posts as I study too so I guess it must be quite helpful for absolute beginners. Even if not everything is absolutely clear; at least these articles should be providing a starting point for further research and study. Also I am aiming to create an organised file of articles for someone to follow; then it’s up to you to further expand your knowledge.

Today we will do our first exercise, applying the knowledge we obtained about the Colour Wheel and Complementary Colours. If you haven’t read these articles yet, I strongly recommend you do before starting with this exercise. It will be much easier for you to understand what we are doing and why things happening.

Quick Summary:

  • Step 1: Starting the Exercise: Outlines
  • Step 2: Adding Background
  • Step 3: Base paint for the fruit
  • Step 4: Adding secondary and complementary colours
  • Step 5: Adding Shadows
  • Step 6: Adding highlights

Some advice before you start painting; be patient between steps and let layers dry before applying the next ones.

What will you need?

  • Acrylic Paints: Blue, Yellow, Red and a tiny amount of White.
  • Pencil and Eraser.
  • Canvas (canvas board or some thick paper will do alternatively) and brushes.
  • Finally, it will be very helpful for you to have a reference photo. I literally put two bananas a tomato and a green apple on my kitchen’s counter, used some spot light and click a picture. If you can’t do this…feel free to use this photograph below:DSC_0074f.jpg

Step 1: Starting the Exercise: Outlines

First of all you will have to roughly sketch the shapes of your fruit. Use your pencil for this. No need to spend ages detailing the fruit; remember, everything will be covered in paint anyway. What is important though is to double-check that your proportions are correct. Make sure that your tomato is not very small compared to the apple or the bananas too long compared to the other fruit. No need for precision but be proportionally correct. Allow for 20min maximum (if you spend much more than that you will start overworking the outlines which you don’t want).

20180523_201914.jpg

Step 2: Adding Background

With your outlines roughly sketched we are ready to start painting! Grab a thin round brush and load it with some diluted blue paint. Draw a lines which separates your background from you foreground. Again, you can experiment and see where you like it more. Once you have made this decision you can start blocking in with colour the surrounds of the fruit. Remember, the background will be darker than the foreground. You can apply more than one layers of colour until you achieve the desired density and thickness.

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Step 3: Base paint for the fruit

The background and the foreground are now ready and the separation with the fruit is already obvious. We need to provide a nice light base colour for the fruit. I have chosen yellow for the bananas and the apple as it is very easily covered by any other colour. For the tomato use directly red…

20180523_203510.jpg

Step 4: Adding secondary and complementary colours

For secondary colours have a look here. Mix some blue with some yellow to create a vibrant green. In reality there is no right and wrong amount of colour. Add a little bit of both until your green satisfies you.  Paint your apple with that and also paint the edges of your bananas. It is important at this stage to define the different planes (top of bananas, sides  bananas). To do this just add a little bit of green to the side of the banana-this difference in light will immediately inform your eye that this is a different plane. Read below for the shadows.

20180523_211249

 

Step 5: Adding Shadows

If you are aware of the complementary colours,  adding shadows on the fruit is actually very simple. (If you haven’t heard the theory do take a look here). Take some green and mix it with a tiny bit of red  This will create a darker green which you can use to add a shadow to your apple. Similarly, take a small quantity of green and mix it with red. This will create a dark, muted red (adjust the amounts of paint to achieve the desired dark colour-you might need bigger amount of green here). Use this one to add shadow to your tomato. The green darker areas you have used on the bananas will serve as shadows. A trick here is that you can add some orange on the bananas, reflecting the red colour of the tomato. (See photo above).

We also need to add shadows on the table behind the fruit. To do this simply mix some purple. Again do not go crazy. Adjust your colours as you don’t want a very deep dark shadow behind a small tomato which is lit uniformly.  Similar for the bananas. Be careful with the proportions of the shadows too. Don’t make them huge or too small; they are connected to the size of your fruit.

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Step 6: Adding highlights

This is the final detail and here is where we will need the small amount of white. Before you apply pure white for the highlight we need to brighten the areas around that dot of light. For your apple you can mix some of your green with some extra yellow and little bit of white (mixing with white will be looked at later. If interested you can read the theory here). Do the same for your tomato; mix some red with a little yellow and white.. You only need small amounts and you don’t want to make it stand out too much; just prepare the ground for the light. Finally, drop a touch of pure white for the light concentration reflection.

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As mentioned above, this is an exercise…do not expect to create the most beautiful painting of your artistic career! Focus on learning and applying the theory!

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The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“I have been passionate about painting since I remember myself. I started by just eexperimenting with colours, colour mixing and colour application. However , it’s not always easy to achieve what you want unless you know exactly what you are doing. Techniques are different for different media; colour theory though is the basis of painting and is the same for everything! I decided to teach myself the basics; and here I am sharing that with you!

 

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

 

 

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COLOUR THEORY – TINTS, SHADES & TONES

TINTS, SHADES AND TONES

ADD SHADOWS AND LIGHT

Before moving on to a series of exercises covering the theory of the recent articles we will have a look at another aspect of colour theory; the tints, shades and tones. This is nothing more than mixing your base colour with white, black and grey respectively.  Recently we discussed how we can create shadow and “mute” our colours by mixing them with their complementary ones (COLOUR THEORY–COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS). In this article we will see how this can be achieved by using only your base colour, black and white.


Previous Article: COLOUR THEORY – SHAPES


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  • Tints – Colour + White When mixing your base colour (for example a blue) with white, you create a tint of blue. This is paler than the original colour and can be used for various purposes. It could be applied to a well lit surface of an object or maybe applied it to a mountain which sits quite far from you in the landscape you are painting. When you want to make a less vibrant colour then just mix it with some white; it instantly becomes paler.
  • Shades – Colour + Black In the contrary when mixing a base colour (say a red) with black it instantly becomes darker. Depending on the amount of black you add your original colour could disappear completely. Therefore be careful to keep a balance between your initial colour and the very dominant black. These colours could possibly used for darker sides of an object. Of course uses are not limited to light and shadow. Sky is the limit for use of tints and shades.
  • Tones – Colour + Grey In reality this is just a combination of the above. If you Add some white to your original colour (tint) and then you drop a little black in the mixture then…obviously you have created a tone! Again here there is no limit to different mixtures; one must play around with the amounts of black, white and base colour to achieve the desired outcome.

Materials

As always we are trying to keep this as short and simple as possible. Our focus is to learn the theory rather than spending time preparing loads of materials etc. For now you will need the below. Allow for 1.0hour.

  • Acrylic paints: Blue, Yellow, Red (or any other you fancy!) + White, Black
  • Canvas
  • Brushes
  • Water and Cloth to clean your brush (avoid mixing everything together and ending up with a messy canvas)
  • Pencil, Rubber and Ruler (if you are very organised) for your grid

Exercise

Lets quickly put all this onto a canvas sheet to witness the difference between tints, tones and shades and realise how dominant black can be. Quickly sketch with a pencil a 4×7 Grid. 20180608_222111

Fill the first line with white, grey and black and the first column with various colours you would like to explore. For ease, I have just used the primary and secondary colours (COLOUR THEORY – BASICS). Now the fun part begins; we need to start mixing and making combinations. It is pretty straightforward but as I mentioned above…be careful with the use of black! It is dominant colour and you could end up having a muddy black table in the end!

  • Summary
  • Colour + White = Tint — use it for highlights
  • Colour + Black = Shade — use it for shadows
  • Colour + Grey = Tone — use it as midtone (bridge light and dark)
  • Black is dominant colour; be careful with the amounts you use

The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“I have been passionate about painting since I remember myself. I started by just eexperimenting with colours, colour mixing and colour application. However , it’s not always easy to achieve what you want unless you know exactly what you are doing. Techniques are different for different media; colour theory though is the basis of painting and is the same for everything! I decided to teach myself the basics; and here I am sharing that with you!

 

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

 

COLOUR THEORY – SHAPES

SHAPES ON CANVAS

DRAW OUTLINES FOR YOUR PAINTINGS

Today we will keep the article very short and simple; not because sketching is an easy job but because going into very deep detail is beyond the scope of this tutorial. For more information about sketching you might want to start reading here:

In any case, applying sketching knowledge to painting will definitely help you and allow you to progress and understand things faster. Very roughly, due to perspective, shapes distort; for realistic paintings you have to draw in perspective rather than regular shapes as you already know them (read here). Also, tones change due to distance; colours look paler as you move further away and more vibrant and “complete” as you come closer. We will cover all these aspects in due course. Regarding the basic shapes for painting, all you need is either a hard pencil (HB, H or 2H) or a thin brush and acrylic paint.


Previous Article: COLOUR THEORY – COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS


 

Using a Pencil

In the first case, using a hard pencil will allow you to draw your basic shapes and will prevent leaving very heavy and bold marks (which would definitely happen when using soft pencils 2B, 3B etc or charcoal). Light marks on your canvas can easily be covered with paint. Also, you will avoid mixing your paint with black dust (ie. charcoal) which will make the final result dirtier and darker. Of course you can always apply more than one layers of paint to avoid this problem; it’s entirely up to you. I just find it easier to roughly and lightly sketch the shape using a hard pencil and then paint on top of that. See below:

Light marks on your canvas can easily be covered with paint…

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Using brush and paint

In the second case you start shaping your subject directly using paint and brushes. This is very good fun for two reasons. If you use reasonably diluted paint you can always rub it back and clean your canvas. It might leave a mark on your blank canvas but you shouldn’t worry too much as this can easily be covered by the next layer of colour. The second reason is that using a brush and paint you can’t be too precise with your shapes; this way you avoid spending ages detailing something you will then completely cover with paint. I find this technique quite easy, fast, fun and relieves me off the stress of detailed drawing. Of course the amount of detail you want to add is up to you but remember…this is just a trace to help you paint a bit more accurately later.

…avoid spending ages detailing something you will then completely cover with paint.

Few tips when using a brush:

  • Use diluted paint – it’s easier to cover it up later
  • Use light colours – for the same reason
  • Use slightly thicker paint for shapes that are closer to you (gives a sense of perspective – helpful for you); see the blue garlics above.
  • Start simple and experiment – trying a very complicated composition will not help you – most probably will frustrate you.
  • Use less  defined shapes as it is less probable to look wrong (a wobbly building looks very wrong while a wobbly tomato looks like a wobbly tomato…still tasty though!)
  • You might want to use a combination of pencil (for some basic shapes or for perspective lines…) and brush (for rougher shaping afterwards.

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Materials

Presumably, you have already experimented with one technique or the other. I would suggest you choose a simple subject (like the bananas and the apple I sketched above) and try shaping the outlines on two separate canvases using both techniques. You will have the chance to compare the two sketches in terms of detail, speed, accuracy and ease. Allow for 0.5 hour.

  • A small brush (a round brush will be helpful),
  • Some diluted acrylic paint (light colours will be covered easier when you block in colour later).
  • Cloth to erase/rub the paint if you need.
  • 2x Canvas (canvas pad – easier and cheaper for this exercise)
  • A hard (2H or H) pencil  (for part of your sketch you might want to try using a soft pencil – 3B or softer to see the difference).
  • Rubber

 

A quick summary of the above is here:

  • Principles of Perspective and Tone.
  • Pencil – More detailed sketch – think if necessary
  • Brush – less detailed but quick and easy

The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“I have been passionate about painting since I remember myself. I started by just eexperimenting with colours, colour mixing and colour application. However , it’s not always easy to achieve what you want unless you know exactly what you are doing. Techniques are different for different media; colour theory though is the basis of painting and is the same for everything! I decided to teach myself the basics; and here I am sharing that with you!

 

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

 

COLOUR THEORY – COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS

COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS

AN EASY WAY TO ADD SHADOWS

Last week we looked at the Colour Wheel which is the foundation of the colour theory. The complementary colours were mentioned in that article, however we didn’t look at those in detail.

20180523_195621When mixing primary colours (red, yellow and blue), the secondary colours occur (orange, green and purple). An easy way to remember which the complementary colours are, is to visualise the colour wheel. Those sitting opposite are called Complementary colours. See below; green is red’s complementary colour, purple is yellow’s and orange is blue’s.

Another easy way to memorise this is that its primary colour’s complementary is the one created by the other two primary colours. ie. red’s complementary is green (blue + yellow). Anyway, lets not make it to complicated. With practice you will be able to remember instantly, until then just open the Colour Wheel and have a look.

The amazing thing with complementary colours is they have the ability to “mute” the primary colours with which they are mixed. This allows you to easily add shadows to your paintings. It is very very useful when you are working with limited palette of colours (ie. red, yellow, blue).

…complementary colours…have the ability to “mute” the primary colours…

Try mixing red with some green. You will instantly notice that the red becomes darker, almost dirty, which gives the impression of shadow. You might want to experiment with the different combinations. I did my exercise recently; see the results below. Later this week we will look at a more comprehensive exercise.

Materials

Again just try to keep it simple.This is not an attempt to create a beautiful painting; we are just trying to explore how complementary colours work.  Allow for 1.0 hour.

  • A small brush (any type will do),
  • Yellow Acrylic Paint
  • Blue Acrylic Paint
  • Red Acrylic Paint
  • Canvas (canvas pad – easier and cheaper for this exercise)
  • A pencil and a rubber

20180523_201132

A quick summary of the above is here:

  • See the primary and secondary colours on the Colour Wheel.
  • Those sitting opposite on the colour wheel are called complementary colours.
  • Mix complementary colours to create muted colours which can be used as shadows.

The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“I have been passionate about painting since I remember myself. I started by just eexperimenting with colours, colour mixing and colour application. However , it’s not always easy to achieve what you want unless you know exactly what you are doing. Techniques are different for different media; colour theory though is the basis of painting and is the same for everything! I decided to teach myself the basics; and here I am sharing that with you!

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

 

COLOUR THEORY – BASICS

COLOUR WHEEL

THE FOUNDATION OF COLOUR THEORY

I recently decided to teach myself the basics of colour theory; I started with the colour wheel. This provides the fundamental background of colour combination and allows you to further develop techniques. In following articles we will explore other aspects of colour mixing and combination.

Materials:

Keep it as simple as possible. The aim is to explore the colours and their combinations, not to make the most beautiful colour wheel ever created.  Allow for 1.5 hours.

  • A small brush (any type will do),
  • Yellow Acrylic Paint
  • Blue Acrylic Paint
  • Red Acrylic Paint
  • Canvas (canvas pad – easier and cheeper for this exercise)
  • A pencil and a rubber

 

…fundamental background of colour combination…allows you to further develop techniques.

The principle of the colour wheel is very simple. You start using the three basic colours; red, yellow and blue. These colours are called the primary colours and are the base and main components of every other colour. Having these three and mixing them in different quantities allows you to mix any other colour. The primary colours wheel is the one right below.

20180523_191822.jpg

Once you have created the primary colours wheel then, we are ready to start mixing those three together to create our second colour wheel; the wheel of secondary colours. The colours sitting opposite each other in the secondary colour wheel are called complementary colours (this will be useful for creating shadows – see next article). As you might already know mixing the primary colours with each other gives you a first set of very useful colours: Orange, Green and Purple.

  • Blue + Yellow = Green
  • Red + Yellow = Orange
  • Blue + Red = Purple

20180523_192829.jpg

The second step has now been made. We have our secondary colours filling the second wheel. Final step is to create a third colour which will be filled with the tertiary colours. As you can easily guess, mixing the primary colours in different quantities (exactly as you did for the secondary colours above) gives you greens, purples and oranges of different strength. So here you can experiment and create colours you like more by mixing slightly more blue, or a bit more yellow or maybe a bit more red? Create as many mixes you like. For the sake of this exercise I created only a couple of each combination.

20180523_214232defde.jpg

 

A quick summary of the previous steps is here:

  • Primary colours are: Yellow, Blue, Red
  • Secondary colours are: Orange, Green, Purple
  • Tertiary colours are: The combinations of primary colours  using different quantities of each colour. Create Yellowish Green or Blueish Purple etc.

 


The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“I have been passionate about painting since I remember myself. I started by just eexperimenting with colours, colour mixing and colour application. However , it’s not always easy to achieve what you want unless you know exactly what you are doing. Techniques are different for different media; colour theory though is the basis of painting and is the same for everything! I decided to teach myself the basics; and here I am sharing that with you!

 

 

 

 

Art is more fun when you meet the artists themselves! Visit THE ARTIST…

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2