Sunday, February 9, 2014

Shifting the Color Scheme

Here is a sketchbook exercise I did yesterday. It was based on a gamut mapping exercise from James’ Gurney’s book, “Color and Light: Guide for the Realistic Painter.” He does an excellent job describing this exercise and also how to create a gamut mask in his blog.

My goal was to shift the color palette of my photo reference in a triadic color scheme from cool to warm colors. I did two small drawings to try this out. The first drawing used the natural (cool) colors of the photo. In the second drawing, I shifted the colors across the color wheel to warm colors in a similar triadic relationship.

I started with this photograph I took on Orcas Island, WA.

Next, I did a small drawing using a yellow-orange, a red-violet, and a blue Prismacolor pencil. I also used a 50% cool gray, and a black pencil. I mixed my secondaries from the primary colors and got a purple, a green, and a red-orange, as well as a subjective (visually correct) neutral - a reddish gray that “read” as true gray next to the other colors.
Color test #1 - natural colors (cool).
Prismacolor drawing in Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook.

In my second drawing I used three colors – yellow-orange, red, and blue-violet, as well as two grays – 50% and 70%, and black. My mixed secondaries were red-orange, violet and a very weak gray-green. The green was so weak that it barely reads as green at all, only in comparison to the rest of the colors in the drawing. The subjective neutral (gray) in this drawing is a pink-gray, which reads as true “gray” in comparison to the other colors.
Color test #2 - shifted colors (warm).
Prismacolor drawing in Stillman & Birn Zeta sketchbook.
I was pleased with my test, and my shifted color palette. (I actually liked the shifted color drawing better than the original.) If I were going to do a painting next, I’d probably do a few more color tests, to find the perfect color scheme to get just the right feeling for my painting.

No comments:

Post a Comment