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Old 12-09-2001, 05:21 PM   #1
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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A quickie lesson in layering warm and cool paint




It is OK to paint what you see, but it is much more important to paint what you know. The human eye is not always "sophisticated" or "trained" enough to observe reality and the Old Masters certainly knew this.

Here is a quickie visual lesson in layering warm and cool paint to define realistic looking form. It is excerpted from a longer and more detailed post "Building Art Beyond the Image" http://forum.portraitartist.com/show...s=&threadid=58

As a highlight transitions into a deep shadow, warm and cool tones begin to alternate. This creates each layer that defines form. The overlapping of warm and cool color is essential in building realistic form. (The terms "warm" and "cool" color are relative to the specific color used...i.e., warm and cool skin tones)

1. Highlight is cool. The lightest value, cool color paint on an object.

2. Light is warm. The next lightest value, warm color paint - and it continues to get lighter still as it approaches the area of highlight.

3. Halftone (where light and shadow meet) is cool. A mid-value, cooler color paint where light begins to turn into shadow - but can't be defined as either light or shadow.

4. Shadow is warm. A dark value, warm color paint.

5. Deep Shadow (cast shadow at the origin) is hot. Darkest value, hottest color paint.

6. Reflected light within a shadow is as close to pure color as you can make it. The reflected light should match the value of the shadow and it can be either warm or cool in color.

I like to make reflected light by mixing two color opposites (i.e., red/green, purple/yellow) to neutralize each (can look like mud). Add enough white to this mixture to match the value of the shadow (and sometimes a touch of blue in addition).

Below is a detail of a face by Rubens. With specific reference to the numbers above, I hope you can see the layering technique I have described. If you can begin to see this, you can begin to paint it.
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Old 12-08-2002, 01:58 PM   #2
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
FT Pro, Mem SOG,'08 Cert Excellence PSA, '02 Schroeder Portrait Award Copley Soc, '99 1st Place PSA, '98 Sp Recognition Washington Soc Portrait Artists, '97 1st Prize ASOPA, '97 Best Prtfolio ASOPA
 
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Posts: 1,114
NOTE: This demo has been edited and off-topic matter was removed. It was copied from the complete thread which can be found in another section of this Forum.

The above illustration is meant to help the beginner "see" and is not meant to be a set of rigid rules. Sometimes I think of painting as somewhat like learning to ride a bicycle. Some of us don't learn as quickly as others and training wheels come in verrrry handy. Eventually though, those training wheels will get in the way - but in the meantime they are darn useful.

So many begining painters crash and burn...sadly, left alone to suffer from an untrained eye. Unless they learn to "see" they will never learn to paint well.

I feel that any help a beginner can get to produce a good result is valid. With a few successful paintings under a belt, so to speak, a beginner can gain the necessary knowlege and experience with which to judge what methods and techniques work for himself/herself.
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