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Old 09-11-2007, 09:41 AM   #1
Debra G DeRouen Debra G DeRouen is offline
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Colorist




can anyone give a definition of a person called a colorist
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:59 AM   #2
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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I'll give it a shot. A "colorist" is a person who relies more on color for expression than on, for instance, line or value changes. I usually think of a person as a colorist if they seek out brighter colors or more interesting color combinations: it seems to my eye that they delight in the intrigue of color.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:02 AM   #3
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra G DeRouen
can anyone give a definition of a person called a colorist
Here is a definition for the word COLORIST.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorist
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:17 AM   #4
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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I think this part of the wikipedia definition would apply to portraiture:
"The term is also used to describe a painter using strong color skillfully in realistic or impressionist paintings."

I think of Sharon as a colorist.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:34 AM   #5
Steve Craighead Steve Craighead is offline
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"Colorist" is a pretty broad term. I suppose in its broadest sense it could include anyone who is not painting monochromatically. Often those painters who use paint directly from the tube and avoid the duller earth colors like raw umber etc. are called colorist.
Many would say someone like Wolf Kahn is a colorist. However, I find his color a bit too arbituary and nonsensical.
I think of Henry Hensche as a colorist. In fact, he called himself a colorist as opposed to being a "value painter". He said every form change is a color change. In other words, form is created on the canvas not by lightening or darkening color by adding white or black, but instead by painting the distinct and unique color that desibes the form.
Some of his former students have set up a website in his honor if you would like to investigate him further. http://www.thehenschefoundation.org/

Steve
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:12 PM   #6
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Color-ist as color-doest

I think there are two kinds of colorists. Those who profess to eschew all for the sake of color and those whose strive to capture the pure and subtle essence of color in it's proper context.

In his book, "Jan Vermeer of Delft," Philip L. Hale states the following:
"The moment a man searches one quality for itself alone, he does, by that very act strip it of it's most important attributes. We too often forget that all things are made manifest to us through the action of light. 'Light and Shade' cannot truly be rendered unless it includes colour and form. Form as it appears to us cannot be rightly indicated without the aid of colour and of chiaroscuro. Colour, true colour, cannot be well suggested unless the shapes are right and the modulation: in other words, the drawing and values."

Interestingly, William McGregor Paxton was heavily involved in the writing of this book, which is actually the manifesto of the Boston School. Anyone who who has had the opportunity to see an original work by Paxton has seen the hand-print of a truly great colorist.
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:13 PM   #7
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Craighead
I think of Henry Hensche as a colorist. In fact, he called himself a colorist as opposed to being a "value painter". He said every form change is a color change. In other words, form is created on the canvas not by lightening or darkening color by adding white or black, but instead by painting the distinct and unique color that describes the form.
This definition and artist nails it for me. Thank-you Steve for that wonderful post.

The brilliance of the Impressionist movement is that they released the pictorial from the grip of chiaroscuro and form. It was the influence of the beautiful art coming in from Asia that alerted artists to the beauty of color and pattern alone.

It is a rather unusual perhaps but exhilarating way to paint. I simply mix the color and bring up to my model to see if it matches. After a few matches, you can judge if it needs to be bluer or pink etc. It simplifies the palette for me, anyway, to only white, naples yellow genuine, yellow ochre, vermilion, pyrolo ruby, raw umber, ivory black, ultramarine and viridian. You keep working until the color vibrates.

It becomes like a play and removes the mechanical and intellectual aspects from the process. When I had my workshop in Scottsdale last summer, I has my students running back and forth to the model with bits of mixed color on their knives. The poor model. Mine is used to it.

I have actually moved my model to face the light directly, thus de-emphasizing the form and playing more with a flat background. Klimt did that with great success, elegance and originality.

Julie-Thank-you for that lovely compliment.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:20 AM   #8
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Here are some examples of colorists at -I think-their best and most inventive.

Manet "At the Bar at the Folies Bergere", Klimt's "Eugenia" a Frieseke's " The Birdcage" and a gorgeous Chinese painting.

Manet, dearest to my heart, was a seminal figure in this movement. Bored out of his gourd , he fled Couture's atelier and left classical realism in it's stale old dust. He started by placing his figures directly facing the light, thus emphasizing the design and placement and lessening the influence of form. "The Bar at the Folies Bergere" is an example of that.


The Klimt painting is a, masterpiece of color organization. I love the way he used the bright green to describe the form of the face. He made a gorgeous painting out of a rather uninteresting subject.

The Frieske painting "The Birdcage" is a masterful play of light and complementary color -yellow and purples.

The 17th Chinese painting is a total delight -an important and overlooked feature in contemporary art. The beautiful arabesque of the pink and red peonies is anchored by that startling teal flower.
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:20 PM   #9
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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kuhl-er-ist

Obviously everyone has their own take on what a colorist is. Dictionary.com provides the following definitions:
col?or?ist [kuhl-er-ist]
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:37 PM   #10
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Moor kuhl-er

This is a painting by Paxton called "The Breakfast" which was recently on exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. The first image is a full crop and the others are details. To me it just doesn't get any better than this.
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