When mak­ing a vir­tual plein-air study, how can I ac­cen­tu­ate the colour vi­brancy?

ImagineFX - - Your Questions Answered... - An­swer Donglu replies

It’s re­ally easy to fall back on a generic pal­ette and limit our­selves ar­tis­ti­cally. I of­ten ex­ag­ger­ate the colour sat­u­ra­tion and use com­ple­men­tary colours for paint­ing the lit ar­eas and the shaded ar­eas. This boosts the colour prop­er­ties of in­di­vid­ual colours.

To put things in a sim­pler way, when com­ple­men­tary colours are placed side by side, they ac­cen­tu­ate each other’s colour prop­erty. And when sat­u­rated colours are in­tro­duced into an area of shadow, they vi­brate more than if they were painted in lit ar­eas of the com­po­si­tion.

Chro­matic shadow is an­other ef­fec­tive way to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of de­tail in shadow ar­eas. Of­ten, lay­ing down a few strokes of sat­u­rated colours in shade can trick the brain to in­ter­pret those strokes as a re­sult of bounc­ing light from the sky light.

Colour vi­brancy can be a strong de­sign lan­guage, be­cause it plays a big role in how the brain makes sense of cer­tain light­ing sit­u­a­tions. As long as you ap­ply the ba­sic rules, you can ap­ply more stylised colour choices to give your scene a real sense of per­son­al­ity to your scene.

No­tice how just a few sat­u­rated brush­strokes bring out the colour vi­brancy in the shadow ar­eas. This sim­ple en­vi­ron­ment scene has ben­e­fited from light­ing and colour tech­niques that in­crease vis­ual in­ter­est.

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