Can you help me tie an im­age to­gether us­ing one or two colours?

Ja­mal Muham­mad, In­dia

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation Artist Q & A -


Dave replies

An easy way to ap­proach this is to con­sider your main light source. If it’s warm, the shad­ows should be cool, and vice versa. You can as­sign a hue to the shad­ows that com­ple­ments the hue of the main light, and re­in­force this re­la­tion­ship through­out the piece. This will give you a ba­sic one- or two-colour scheme, and the way these colours in­ter­act with the lo­cal colours of ob­jects in the pic­ture will pro­vide vis­ual vari­a­tion and in­ter­est.

I en­joy work­ing with re­duced pal­ettes, and they can help make this ef­fect eas­ier to achieve. When­ever you ap­ply a colour or tint, also take time to look over the im­age for other places where that colour can ap­pro­pri­ately be placed.

And re­mem­ber to ad­here to your cho­sen value struc­ture. Com­bin­ing a limited pal­ette with a strong value or­gan­i­sa­tion can pro­duce strik­ing im­agery, and you’ll find it eas­ier to pro­duce much more pleas­ing re­sults, too.

Here I’ve used a ruddy-golden light through­out the top part of the im­age, then dusted var­i­ous cooler pur­ple-blues into the shadow ar­eas.

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