Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Color color color...V A L U E.  Every color derives it's value from the color wheel.  We mix 2 primaries next to each other on the wheel and the color we get falls between them on the outside ring of the wheel.  They are pure made from two parent colors.  Take any of those colors and cross the color wheel we get what Cynthia Grilli referred to as "ISHES" .  Kitty Wallis says they are not pure and those colors fall in the  wheel close to there origin, but moving toward the color across that pulls it away from pure color.  I love those wonderful "ishes".  Some might call them gray, but I see wonderful interesting colors.   One of the things we did was try to place our colors in our pastel box on the wheel where it belonged.  Trickier then it sounds.
Another think we did was match value (the light and darks of color ).  That would be finding a red and a yellow for example that when you squint down they appear to be the same value.  We created many value scales the were fun and playful with many different colors that were placed by value.  Next we used our value palette to create a painting.  Again not so easy and really quite challenging.  We worked from black and white photos and matched our color value to that of the gray scale in the photo.  I needed a few more days of this.  I was happy with all the starts of paintings and hope to finish them up or not.  Most of all I am still thinking about what I learned and will continue to learn as I use what was taught.

Kitty's Color Wheel Example
Here is one completed or close.   This is an exercise that could go on daily.  Pick a color and place it where it goes everyday.
This was my first try.  Trying hard to not to think about, what I think it should be and stay with matching value for value from my color value palette.  Not worried about the drawing, because I was so focused on understanding what I was doing.
This was in the afternoon and we started from one of our own color photos just copying value for value.  This one stared with a dispersion color wash or under painting.  They are pure intense colors the don't fill the grain of the paper.

Next do we started with more matching of color values and created another run of value colors.  I thought I would try my guy again to see how I would do.  Better I think.  Mind you I still was not sure what I was doing.   Which was totally fun. 
In the afternoon we did washes again.  This is my beginning wash.
Here it is using pastel over the under painting and using my selected palette of 15 colors in value scale.
We then worked on temperature in the selection of two value scales of color , one warm on cool.  We then used them to create a painting from a black and white photo of Kitty's.  Reality was not important, only value.

This was the last thing I did starting with a wash and working over it with color.  I realized at this point that I was still not grasping the whole idea.  I wanted to make it realistic.  Kitty came up behind me and said get more expressive and just match value.  Forget what color is there.  I realized how tied I am to realism and how fun it is to let go with some control.  That would be V A L U E, the most important part of painting a convincing painting no matter the color.

Below are some of Kitty's examples of value and expressive color.


Dana Cooper said...

Wow Dori, what a wonderful experience your workshop must have been...thanks for sharing, your work looks great!

Virginia Floyd said...

This absolutely sounds like a great workshop! Your paintings look great!

Celeste Bergin said...

really beautiful work!

Gary Keimig said...

great exercises and love your examples and explanations.

Stephen Parker said...

What a great post, Dori. You created great looking work and obviously had a blast doing it. Thanks for sharing the theory behind the exploration.