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.

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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

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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.

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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

 

JOANNA – 1

04/06/2018

This Monday’s drawing session was very enjoyable! We had a new model, a middle aged yoga instructor, Joanna. Joanna had a thin but well shaped figure. During this class we did three different poses during which I put in practice my Human Anatomy – Ribcage studies.

The session started with a 5 min pose; the model was lying down, leaning against a low chair. This was literally a warm up exercise for me as I had not drawn from life for almost two weeks. You will notice that proportions and tone are not great. I was not too worried though as I knew it is just a quick introduction to the session.

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The second, was a sitting pose. I was sat behind and to the side of the model so I had a good view of her ribs and  side of  legs. In reality I could only see a very limited amount of her back as that was hidden by the chair. I didn’t bother sketching the chair. I focused on capturing right the pose of the body and the relationship of the head with the shoulders and back. I quite enjoyed sketching the cross leg. Again this pose lasted for less than 10 minutes so I was not too worried about detailing.

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The last pose was again a sitting one, however the model was now on the floor. The chair used previously was now just supporting her one arm leaving the rest of the body visible to detail. I had a brilliant view of her torso and her legs. I am  pleased I didn’t change my position during the break as with this pose I had the opportunity to properly sketch the ribcage and then develop the skin on top of that. Please notice the plane on top of which the head is based. See the connections of the collar bones to the shoulders and how the muscle extends to her breast. I am also quite happy with how the legs turned out. Although I appreciate the drawing is not perfect (ie not even touched tone) I am very satisfied that last week’s hard work studying the ribcage and the upper body structure assisted with this drawing here.

…notice the plane on top of which the head is based. See the connections of the collar bones to the shoulders…

 

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The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“It is so amazing when you start studying the human anatomy before you go to the next class. You gain an understanding of how things work together and then instead of just sketching individual shapes and planes you understand how the body structure works as a whole!

 

 

 

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

 

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

 

JULIAN 3

21/05/2018

As mentioned in the previous article (see Julian 2), I realised how important is to know what actually lies underneath the skin. Having a good understanding of the anatomy and the structure below the surface actually helps to make quicker, more accurate and eventually correct decisions when it comes to life drawing.


Read theory about Rib Cage here.


The previous session went relatively ok however, my tutor and I decided that this time I had to spend some time learning “theory”. Instead of rushing to catch up with the rest of the class drawing the models short poses, I had to observe and draw from a skeleton. My task was to draw the rib cage. No detail was needed really, just trying to be proportionally right. Apparently, the width and length of the ribcage were pretty similar so I ended up with a square.

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I picked up the middle bone which approximately reaches the middle of the rib cage and then tried to shape the outline of the rib cage. I also tried sketching from different angles and this is why you can see the small boxes in perspective. I tried to outline the “box” within which the rib cage would fit later. This is an amazing technique if the ribcage (and later the model) does not look directly at you.

…outline the “box” within which the rib cage would fit later.

Once I got a grasp of what the proportions should be and how the outline of the ribcage roughly is then I tried to understand what the structure of the ribs themselves is. It is fascinating how this slim elements actually form a nice “tube” where all the important organs of a human are protected. It is a very architectural form if you think about it! Once the outlines are in place and you have defined the connection points of the ribs (bottom of the bone in the middle and spine) then the 3D feel of the ribs is not difficult to achieve (my sketch of course is not even close to how the arrangement of the ribs actually is – that wasn’t my intention anyway).

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After spending the first half of the class training my eyes and hands to work together by observing and sketching the rib cage of the skeleton we had a brief break. After the tea break the model returned to his previous long pose (see Julian 2). I got a different seat (on purpose – to try a different angle). During the week I had read that it is very important to define where the joints are and this is what I did. I also tried to implement my new knowledge…you can see the rib cage below.

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30 mins before the end of the class our tutor had a quick look at my drawing. She acknowledged that the upper body structure is looking better and more structured than previously. We were of course not looking for a perfect drawing showing details or tone. Don’t forget that the aim of this class was to learn about the rib cage! Something she highlighted as a serious mistake is making very dark and bold lines. This is not a good method as does not allow you any flexibility to rectify your mistakes.

…a serious mistake is making very dark and bold lines.

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Enjoy the Bank Holiday!

 


The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“Since I joined the life drawing classes, I have really developed a completely different way of looking at the objects around me. I try to spot the details and I try to understand how different elements of an object affect the proportions, the shape and the tone. Studying the human body is quite challenging but really rewarding!

 

 

 

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

 

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

 

 

JULIAN 2

14/05/2018

This time I decided to delay my article for a week to have a shorter gap until the next issue (the second part will be published tomorrow). The main reason being that they are kind of complementing each other. We had the same model as previous week, Julian . However, this life drawing session revealed a weakness in my drawing and in the second session we tried to improve that aspect working with my tutor.

Last week (14/05/2018) Julian, started as usual with a  short pose where his back muscles were stretched. He was just lying on the table looking the opposite direction from where I was sitting. This was a great angle if you wanted to observe the structure of the back. I didn’t spend too much time detailing as it was a quick pose anyway. Very roughly sketched the outline and a few basic lines and then I blocked in some tone to make it look slightly more complete.

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We then spent ages trying to set the second short pose. In fact we spent so much time trying to sort that out that eventually we decided that this could be the long pose. So we ended up with quite an interesting pose where the model was sat upright on the table with his legs bent. One of his arms was just hanging supporting its own self weight on the table. The other one though (which made the drawing more difficult for me in the next session) was resting on the man’s knee.

Everything was going relatively ok with no major frustration or any problems. However, when the drawing was finished, a quick evaluation from the tutor revealed major issues which I didn’t spot when drawing (I didn’t even realise I made mistakes…). The way the head was positioned on the shoulders and neck and the alignment and angle of the model’s torso was wrong. It might not be visible in the first instance however not being accurate causes this feeling of unnatural pose.

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the alignment and angle of the model’s torso was wrong…not being accurate causes this feeling of unnatural pose.

Not having enough time to start from scratch, I decided I would try to sketch the head only, this time in the correct angle. All the drawings included in this article show the correct head position. The head was tilted downwards with the chin resting almost between the shoulders. What I like about this sketch is the kind of free-ish charcoal marks.

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We decided that in the next session instead of following the rest of the class I would spend more time “studying” the rib cage and the upper body structure (which was genuinely very interesting!)


The Artist says:

28407451_1162363890564038_455176961_o“Since I joined the life drawing classes, I have really developed a completely different way of looking at the objects around me. I try to spot the details and I try to understand how different elements of an object affect the proportions, the shape and the tone. Studying the human body is quite challenging but really rewarding!

 

 

 

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

 

CHROMA

Love Sketching & Painting

Παρουσίαση2

JUIF GAETAN


Aurore

House2

House

Snake

La vie en Rose

 


THE ARTIST SAYS:

e1ZjOzpJuif Gaetan is seriously interested in painting in the age of 25. He is self-taught painter working mainly on the paint substance, experimenting by adding unconventional materials like coffee and acid. His first achievements dealt only with the work of the susbtance of paint itself in an instinctive way. Only hand-made and slowly he goes to a more representational style for to be able to communicate also other messages; that only that of the instinct.

He is also an author, songwriter and performer, having realized 7 albums to date.

  

 

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ALICE FRANKOVICH


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THE ARTIST SAYS:

31948992_1913624328928297_6364340306522931200_n.jpgMy name is Alice Frankovich. I am a self taught abstract/fluid artist based in San Diego, California. Growing up, both of my parents were very artistic. My dad had an extraordinary imagination and my mom could draw or paint just about anything. Their influence definitely contributed to the love and need for art to be a part of my life. For years, my medium was just a #2 pencil. I spent countless hours as a teenager sketching animals, nature, and even portraits of my friends. Over time I dabbled in pottery, fimo clay, water colours, and candle making. About 10 years ago, I started to paint acrylic abstracts and absolutely loved it. About a year ago, I stumbled upon fluid painting. I still paint with brushes and dabble in other mediums, but fluid painting has become my favourite medium. With this medium, there is little control, and I am loving that challenge. Learning different ways to manipulate the paint into a design or something that is beautiful, has been extraordinarily fun and rewarding.

  

 

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DINA AYOUB

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THE ARTIST SAYS:

30831543_1857003791031089_1677926444_n.jpg“Hi! I’m Dina from Dee’s Fine Art. I live in Seattle, and am originally from Egypt. I used to be a product manager in the tech industry but a few years ago I quit to pursue my artistic ambitions. I wrote a fantasy novel that will be published soon, and have taken up full time painting. I use both oil and acrylic paints, but I really love the oils. I love painting fluid art, abstract art, landscapes, and am currently fascinated with painting the human figure.”

  

 

Loved Dina’s art? Follow her work on social media:

 

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or visit her website here: www.deesfineart.com

 

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FIONA McGOVERN

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THE ARTIST SAYS:

30233030_293549677845719_45443870_o.jpg“My name is Fiona Mc Govern and I come from a small town in Ireland. I have, since childhood always loved drawing, painting and creating. I have dabbled with oils but never really took to them as a medium. I found acrylic about 10 years ago and have not looked back. I am self taught and learning everyday. I paint anything but especially love urban landscapes. I love abstract/impressionist styles which give freedom of colour and structure. Art should not only grab your attention but it should hold it and always encourage you to colour outside the lines.”
  

 

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KRYSTAN-GRACE SHARPE-YOUNG

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THE ARTIST SAYS:
30232544_2016512091934082_1217164226_o“I am a self taught portrait and animal artist based in Manchester, UK. At a young age I began experimenting with art (I come from a very artistic family, so art was always a large part of my life), but quickly found myself overwhelmed with education and jobs. Because of this I went through a 7 year period of not drawing, not painting, not even thinking about art. It was only 2 years ago that I picked up my pencils again and decided to make a career out of my artwork. I now work as a freelance artist and couldn’t ask for a better job. Art, for me, is just like meditation, it relaxes and helps clear my head of any day to day stresses and I honestly couldn’t imagine a world without it. I mainly draw in chalk and charcoal but am starting to experiment with oil paints.”
 

 

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Website: https://www.krystangracedesign.co.uk/

Email: krystangdesign@gmail.com

 

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MARILYN BOISSONNEAULT

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THE ARTIST SAYS:
29197237_10157189769628294_6036905292799672320_n“My name is Marilyn Boissonneault and my artist name is Pouliche Electrique. I’m from Montreal, Canada, and like so many others I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pen. Doesn’t mean I was good! But I kept practicing, practicing, and practicing even more. I am in love with Acrylic painting at the moment but I’m always thrilled to try new mediums.”
 

 

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