I find it hard to pin down the right mood that I want with my final image. Any tips?
Nial Kendrick, England
Paul Tysall replies
There’s so much to the process of painting that, by the time we complete the image, sometimes we appear to be miles away from the original image in our heads. This is why making a colour comp before the rendering stages will help you stay on track.
More often than not, when we’re talking about the mood associated with a painting we’re focusing on the subject, but it’s the lighting and colour that enhances our emotional state. Obviously, you should be aware of the colours you’re applying throughout the painting process, how they react with each other combined with their subsequent colour theory properties, but sometimes this can become lost as we render the final piece.
The notion of colour theory stems from dividing the colour wheel into two halves: warm and cool colours. Where the dividing line starts and ends is debatable. The emotional aspects of colour are purely associative: from the warm colours of the sun or a campfire feeling welcoming, to the fresh greens-yellows of nature conveying serenity, all the way round to the blues that remind us of the night sky or cold weather conditions. These associations appear to be fairly universal, another reason how visual art can transcend language.
So if the colour palette has strayed off course, how can we get it back on track? There’s one powerful Photoshop colour correction tool among the Adjustment Layers options: Color Balance.