"ART is a word which summarizes THE QUALITY OF COMMUNICATION. "
L. Ron Hubbard

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Boy and Granddad by Phyllis Simard

Boy and Granddad by Phyllis Simard
This is a painting (yes, a painting) done by a student of mine, Phyllis Simard, in acrylic (yes, acrylic). It's done from a photo with some editing of content to enhance the composition. I think it's very impressive and wanted to share it with you. The style is reminiscent of Norman Rockwell, who painted more than 300 covers for the Saturday Evening Post.

Rockwell was looked down upon by some in the "Fine Arts" community as a "mere illustrator" until after his death when the pendulum swung and his body of work was recognized as art. Too late for Rockwell, but Wikipedia remarks that he didn't mind being called an illustrator. It's what he called himself.

I would encourage all my students: follow your personal dreams. There will always be people who make less of them; you are the one who can make them come true.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Color attributes and their relationship

A rough color value scale
I have often heard the plaintive cry from students that "I just don't know how to mix color." So I decided to offer a course in color theory, and I'm currently running a class of 8 students at the Reston Community Center. The major attributes, and those we're doing exercises on first, are hue, value, saturation and temperature.

I realized yesterday, from a student's question, that the relationship between these attributes is sometimes not well understood. For instance, "hue" refers to the quality that distinguishes red from green from blue. But hue refers to the saturated color: pure red, pure blue, etc. So a grey or a beige is a color but not precisely a hue. It's a neutral. In tinting or shading a pure hue, you're always going to affect that hue to some degree. Addition of white always cools the color. Addition of an analogous color (such as adding yellow to red to lighten it) changes the hue. Adding black or a complement to darken the hue brings it off the outside of the color wheel and it becomes a neutral.

Also, the beginning student may not realize that the neutrals include not only "grey" in various values from white to black, but warm and cool greys, beige, and the whole spectrum of neutral and partially neutral shades and tints.

When I'm having the class do an exercise to establish the "home value" (or basic value) of a hue (red, for instance, is considerably darker when applied as a fully saturated hue than yellow) against a grey scale, The hue will be modified  as to its value, saturation and even temperature as we lighten and darken it.

What splendor we can add to our paintings if we understand and can work with all the attributes of color.