[Reposted from CricketDiane blog 2008]
On Paints and Color – Tips for Artists – 2008
Written by Cricket Diane C Phillips, Cricket House Studios, 2008
Artist paints in the tube are not the current fashion colors. While some very rich, jewel tones can be achieved by using artist colors straight out of the tube, today’s color trend hues are mixed, either on the palette or on the painting as it is painted.
In order to get these tones of color, use a color chart from any paint or discount store used for wall and house paints, *(interior and exterior paint color swatches.) Using these as a guideline, mix to match.
Series colors are simple additions of white or grey within the same range. Almost all fashion colors are mixtures and blends of artist’s hues in combination. Compare to swatches and if necessary, write down the ingredients and ratios used to create them on palette cards. Be sure to dot color on palette cards and remember – fully dry is a slightly different variation of the wet color. In use, it may have to be changed to read correctly.
Complementary colors and secondary color groups can be created in either the same range of hue and tone, or for visual tension and contrast, can be dissonant to one another; for example, bright red and soft, pastel turquoise. These dissonant combinations will either brighten or grey each color when used together or near one another. They can bring objects closer to the viewer, make things appear to stand out in the composition or appear distant and muddied.
True complements used in strength, flatten the picture plane which when juxtaposed with elements of technical perspective to create illusions of depth and volume in a flat surface. Look at the work of Chagall and Gaugin for comparison.
I’m adding this today to go with mixing designer colors from artist paint tube color –
Many home improvement stores including Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ace Hardware and paint stores for home decor and home exterior paints have small quantities of mixed designer colors in acrylic liquid paint.
These are suitable either for making art paintings directly with them or to use in mixing artist tube paints into their matching and complementary color palettes for artworks using artist’s paints.
Usually these small quantities of designer colors are found in the paint departments, are acrylic paint basically and the quantities are about $3 – $4 each. It is possible to design a range of colors to match cohesively and attractively with them by having these small jars to use for creating the matching palette.
There are of course, paint swatches also available but they can be misleading by themselves, since the range an artwork must provide needs to have a minimum of, a full palette in the dominant and secondary hue ranges to accomplish the artist’s visual tasks.
Magazine pictures and photographs of where the artwork will eventually be displayed are also misleading and it must be kept in mind that lighting alters the tones and character of paints, both in designer colors and artistic colors no matter how they are mixed.
Photography of a room’s decor can seem to be one set of hues, when in real life under natural and on site lighting, as well as the position where the artwork will be displayed, will host a much distant reality for the work.
Designer colors change and what looks right online is far different than what any of the colors would actually be, as well. Taking these things into account in the studio as the palette of colors are created, it is possible to either ignore all of it and simply create.
Or, to create using a palette that can most reasonably accommodate these difference in lighting, staging, photography, online presentations of the work both individually and in the rooms where it will be displayed as well as in matching the designer color palette used within the environment where the artwork and artist’s reputation will live.
Also, a last note – keep in mind that often in magazine publication practices and in many advertising applications, online applications and printed artworks, the color range is altered using the color levels function of various software apps. The end ranges are removed to the point on the levels charts where color graphs indicate positions of strongest color to enhance the visual impact of the photograph, ad or artwork.
Since that changes the color true visual facts, do not assume that an artwork’s color palette and paints as seen in person will match a designer or decorator themed room as seen in photographs from a magazine or online feature article.
Even if a tablecloth seems to be a certain range of color, chances are that the levels function was used to visually enhance the colors for publication and in person, artwork made to work cohesively with it will appear washed out or occasionally, completely at odds with the design colors.
For more tips and tools about making art, painting, design, creativity and making – check back with my blog. I will be adding more information from my older blog at CricketDiane as well as creating new articles and blog posts for this one.