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November 13, 1998
Well, we've finally started color! There's great articles about color already on FARP, so I won't get into much except to say that blue, purple and green are cool colors, while red, orange and yellow are warm. This article concerns transparent color, as opposed to opaque or waxy color. (watercolor pencils are transparent, prismacolor/crayola pencils are opaque.)
First we began with just two colors. Pick opposites (or near opposites), such as Purple and Orange, or Blue and Yellow, or Red and Green (not the best for skin). We used the dark/cool color to get down the basic figure/proportions, using tone to push things back and create the basic forms. We then came in with the light/warm color to model the skin and the forms, creating detail but avoiding outlines. Cross-hatching will help give the illusion of 3 dimensions. If modeling an arm, for instance, use curved lines following the form of the basic cylindrical shape rather than straight or diagonal lines (which will make it look flat-- and in places, my example does). Always retain some of your whites when using transparent color; the best way is to let the white of the paper serve as a highlight, I've found. For shadows, we used the dark color again to *degrade* the light color. Since they're opposite, they create a neutral when blended together. Purple and orange seem the most pleasing to me, and you can use them together to create a very dark dark.
After using two colors for a while, we moved to 4-color: red, orange, yellow and one opposite; I used purple, but it could have been blue or green. Same idea applies here; opposite color to do proportions/shading, and the warm colors to model the form. Put more chroma (color) on areas that are closer to you, it will help the illusion. Once again, the opposite color will degrade all of those colors for shadows. Don't put too much of a cool color on skin or it will look like a corpse.
Some words of wisdom from my art professor:
Keep colors transparent -- don't press too hard.
When blending, use lighter (tonally) colors first.
Degrade (reduce chroma) colors with the opposite (complimentary) color. This makes objects appear to recede. Remember, art is an illusion.
Do not use white except as a paint to hide an unwanted color. Do not use black -- Black is flat and boring. You can achieve very dark darks with opposite colors, and they have life to them. [See the Spawn pic above, with its heavy negative. Not a black to be seen!]
Right, they aren't complimentary but they are still triadic, and thus harmonious.
Not complimentary though.
22 Jul 2003
Thank ye, this helps alot..my proffessor explained it and I didn't really know whatr the hell he was talking about. burt thanks to the examples and stuff you put in I understand better now.
6 Oct 2003
EARTHWORM JIM i havnt seen him in awile
11 Jan 2004
Hi i am not new to drawing but i am new to art i am only 13 but i think it is better to get all of these ideas in my head so by the time i am in my 20's my art should be good thanks for all of your help in this and the 1-2-3 drawing
12 May 2004
At the very beginning of the article above, Gayle mentioned
"...There's great articles about color already on FARP, so I won't get into much except to say ..."
Does anyone know where this "great article" is, please?
7 Sep 2004
Ewj drawing fan
EWJ rules!!! (earthworm jim) just love that picture of him
21 Mar 2006
This helped me a lot in coloring(personaly i have never been real good at drawing or coloring) but i was wondering, do you think you can make a tutorial for photoshop?
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