Transcript Lesson V

Under standing C


R Theory V

presentation by Pam Coulter


Color lightening and darkening.

Local color is the basic color of an area excluding the effects of light and shadow. Light will tend to wash out the color and shadow darkens and dulls it. If you can establish the basic “local” color of an object and then lighten and darken, using analogous or complementary colors rather than white or black, your painting will be richer than if you just “paint what you see” or what your reference photo shows.


“Home” colors/modeling

Using analogous and complementary colors, lighten and darken the home color. Some example exercises below:

Review: light—using color to model

“When the light is cool, the shadows are warm; when the light is warm, the shadows are cool.” How does this seem to you? We’ll discuss more later. corot italian girl elgreco-Portrait-of-Jorge Manuel-Theotocopoulos

Review : Warm and Cool Examples

ingres-marcotte dargenteuil-1810 corot-bridge


warm and cool shadows

practice warm and cool shadows if you finish previous exercise.

“When the light is cool, the shadows are warm; when the light is warm, the shadows are cool.” This is easy to see in landscapes on a sunny day. Lets do a sunny landscape – either that shown here or one of your own.

Pause for exercise

• • • Students do painting of landscape, observing how, on a sunny day, the places where the sun hits are warm and the places in shadow are cool. (Note: the shadow places are also dark.) Advanced exercise: if you have a picture of a face with light and dark sides, try this on the face. If the light hitting the face is cool, the shadow will be warm. If the light is warm, the shadows will be cool.

In face to left, the light is cool, so the shadow is warm

Example of face

In the face to right, the light hitting the face is warm, so the shadow is cool


Each student should bring some pictures or photos of landscapes and/or faces to the next class. There are two aspects of color that we will be examining next: 1. Atmospheric (or aerial) perspective 2. Warm colors approach; cool colors recede

What’s next?

Color proximity: colors affect colors they are near. (lemon exercise ) Color proximity: using a colored ground . (Exercise: doing a primarily green landscape over a sienna ground) Color opacity and transparency, how it affects your painting in acrylics, oils. How to combat problems. Give examples. Have students demonstrate. Exercise: do a chart of opacity/transparency.

color and composition: hard and soft edges ( exercise with still life) broken color and why it is used ( exercise with impressionist landscape example and mabe student’s own picture.

why the “old masters” used dark backgrounds in their pictures ( examples) Mood and color (“psychological” aspect of color.) Maybe use Picasso’s blue guitarist and changethe color. Have students mock up own examples.

High and low key; high and low contrast