Part 5 Colour my World
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.