Part 5 Colour my World

International Artist - - Artistic Elements: Part 6 -

Colour is pos­si­bly the most ex­pres­sive el­e­ment in our paint­ing day; only brush­work can come close. I be­lieve it’s our per­sonal im­print on our art­work; it’s that im­por­tant, and it can be what makes or breaks a paint­ing. We must re­mem­ber though, if our val­ues aren’t ac­cu­rate or pre­cise, all the colour in the world won’t help us. That’s why the say­ing “Colour gets all the credit but tonal val­ues do all the hard work” puts colour well into fo­cus. That’s why I place a very high im­por­tance on colour in my work­ing day. Be­fore I start a paint­ing, I’ll an­a­lyse and sort out what the theme colour or colour tem­per­a­ture needs to be; I can get into trou­ble if I try to wing it. From my ex­pe­ri­ence, most artists are ei­ther tonal­ist or colourist. Some­times an artist will pos­sess both fields and they are the real lucky ones. Mostly I take my cues from the orig­i­nal sub­ject, even though, I’ve no­ticed most sub­jects seem to be on the colder side of things, so I tend to be adding more colour than tak­ing away. It’s a wise move to con­sult a colour chart to make sure that you have a sound grasp on colour the­ory. I can’t talk about colour with­out ad­dress­ing tonal value con­trol, the fact that when paint­ing a tonal paint­ing, colour is not an is­sue, it shows the true value of tonal con­trol. When I’m mak­ing my paint mixes, I tend to use the three pri­maries into just about ev­ery mix, it’s a mat­ter of getting the bal­ance and amounts cor­rect. When think­ing about colour and tone, it re­minds me of the sym­bi­otic re­la­tion­ship be­tween mu­sic and lyrics in a piece of mu­sic, ei­ther can be miss­ing from the mu­sic score but when com­bined they make a pow­er­ful duo.

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