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Old 09-18-2007, 10:18 AM   #21
Linda Ciallelo Linda Ciallelo is offline
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This is an excellent thread. The posted images speak so well in ways that words can't. This thread has greatly increased my understanding of what I am trying to do.
I was looking up Whistler and came acrossed this painting of his. I found it very interesting in it's use of flat color, especially when you think of Whistler as being a basically black and white artist.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:14 AM   #22
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Sharon,

I agree with your examples and your points on each. To me, though, each piece is a creation of the artist using color and form to one degree or the other. Thus, for me, we as portrait artists are colorists. I guess I should add "to one degree or another".

I, too, find this thread very educational. As you can probably tell that I speak from my personal point of view and it is enlightening to read other's views and the examples they post.

Perhaps I may learn something.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:40 AM   #23
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Reidy
You cannot represent a color accurately (or to more correct, to represent what you wish the viewer to see) without hitting its value and chroma. After all, if you miss on the chroma you miss the overall effect of 3 dimensions.
John, I'm confused as to whether you are confused ( how about that for a sentence?) but I just wanted to point out that there are three elements of color that (in my opinion) are frequently mistakenly condensed into two elements:
1. Hue
2. Value
3. Chroma (also called 'Intensity' or 'Saturation')
Personally, it helps me to think of color as a three-note music chord; you need to think of all three aspects to the color you are putting down.
Gamblin has an interesting discussion on this subject at this link . There's a dvd that you can order through the site that shows a 3-D model of the "color space" idea. I think it was free at one of the Portrait Society of America conventions and that's how I have it.
This is a wonderful thread and thank you all who have contributed to it, I'm enjoying it very much.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:53 AM   #24
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Linda,

You are correct. I'm bad.

I hope I paint better than I talk.

This is kind of funny when you consider the quote after my name at the bottom of each post . . . "It is more important what comes out of your mouth than what goes in."
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:43 PM   #25
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
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You're not bad at all, John! It's just that whenever artists start talking about color and color theory, things get confusing pretty quickly. I think that a lot of artists say they object to too much color when what they are really trying to say is that they object to excessively high chroma in a painting.

By the way, Gamblin's 'color space' discusses historic and 'modern' pigments and is styled (somewhat) after the Munsell system. A good introduction to Munsell is on Wikipedia here. I don't know much about the Munsell system beyond what's there.
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Old 09-20-2007, 10:55 AM   #26
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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Intuitive approach?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda Brandon
Personally, it helps me to think of color as a three-note music chord; you need to think of all three aspects to the color you are putting down.
Linda, do you actually think consciously about these three aspects of color when you are mixing it and applying it? Or do you just approach it intuitively? I think I'm the latter brand of artist, and I can't say it's been an easy road. I've made many mistakes and then have been forced to think about at least one of these aspects of color in order to work on a problem. For me, conscious thought about making art is painful. Although at one time I felt reasonably intelligent, painting has developed a different part of my brain. I'm not sure I'd do too well on an IQ test now. Sometimes I feel frustrated teaching because when I try to spout all this information I invariably forget something, i.e.:

"There are three aspects to color: Hue, chroma and...er..oh, darn, what is the third? It'll come to me in a minute!"

Then I end up saying "You just have to get it right!" and showing the student what they might add to get the desired result.

Sometimes I wonder whether my students think of me as inredibly goofy or incredibly ignorant.
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:22 PM   #27
Linda Ciallelo Linda Ciallelo is offline
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I find that images used as examples are much easier to understand than words. If one is using "words", it takes me a while to translate into an image in my mind. When one says"high chroma" or "hue" one is always not quite sure what the speaker has in mind. Everything is relative. People have been telling me for years that my paintings are "gray" and "flat". For a few years I had no idea what they meant. Sharon's examples demonstrate with most simplicity exactly what that means. And one has to always ask, gray and flat compared to what? Any time another artist says something about my work, the first thing I do is find an example of their work , so I can see where they're coming from. It drove me crazy that I was using cadmiums and vermillion and people were still telling me that my paintings were "gray".
People have different ideas of what is warm or cool also. Any time you say for instance "earth red" or "paynes gray", there can be a variety of different hues that could be called that. Talking about images can be very confusing because different people use the same words to describe different things. Posting an image as an example helps very much.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:20 PM   #28
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Alex

How ever you teach it it has to be wonderful. Color is intuitive and you have a sensitive grasp of it.

There are, I am afraid, so many methods out there how to teach a student how to get the color of an orange just right-sadly they are all too too common.

What is missing in these methods is the exquisite harmony and interrelatedness of color, how one color works against another, not just how to fill an object in. That you can teach in spades.
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:41 PM   #29
Laurel Alanna McBrine Laurel Alanna McBrine is offline
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Well, here goes. I have read this forum for a long time, but this is my first real post.

I am a little hesitant to put in my two cents on this subject, since I have noticed that some artists are passionately opposed to high chroma in painting. I personally can appreciate many kinds of art and will use whatever approach I think will work best for particular circumstances. I have also studied with great teachers on both sides of the spectrum, so to speak

When I hear the word colorist, I usually think of someone painting plein air rather than in a studio and I believe that a completely different approach is necessary when painting a subject posed out of doors rather than in the studio.

After viewing Henry Hensche’s work, posted by Steve Craighead, it is apparent that his color is very subdued in the indoor portrait (the seated boy) when compared with the outdoor still life. I don’t see this portrait as being a particularly “colorist” work of art and I believe it illustrates my point that painting indoors and outdoors require completely different approaches.

When painting a portrait out of doors, all the usual rules go out the window. Light is bouncing everywhere. There is a definite bluish influence on the upper planes of the face from the sky. Everything facing the ground usually has a yellow or greenish cast depending on whether there is grass.

The canvases of the Impressionists contain explosions of color (in contrast to studio landscapes done in prior times) since they were able to paint plein air with ease due to the portability of the metal paint tube. They were able to capture the true light key, with artists such as Monet painting the same scene at different times of the day and paying careful attention not only to the drawing but also to the specific color notes that made up the shadow and light shapes.

I thought that some members may be interested in seeing a few studies done during a week spent painting on the beach in Provincetown with Cedric and Joanette Egeli, who both studied with Henry Hensche. We did many studies of models on the beach each day, using mainly a palette knife on gessoed boards. We worked in the morning, took a two hour break at midday and painted again in the late afternoon. These are not finished paintings, but quick sketches which were done in a very short period of time. The goal was to try to and achieve the correct light key, the right value relationships and spots of color to capture the time of day and weather conditions. It is interesting how colorful white fabric can be on the beach.

When trying to get the correct light key, colors are not necessarily matched. They are interpreted. For instance, to get the warm effect of blue in sunlight you actually often end up using pink rather than a paler blue, which would look too cold. It sounds crazy, but it works!

Also, when working out of doors there is an even greater need to compress the value range than indoors since the separation between the brightest light (nothing is brighter than the sun) and the darkest dark is far greater than the white and black paints we have at our disposal. Therefore, if we attempt to exactly match particular areas of what we are seeing, we will not get the overall impression of the entire scene, although parts may be exactly correct.

Colorist painting, just like any other style of realist painting, is not just about color – it is getting the correct color in relationship to all the other colors in the right value in the right place.
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:02 AM   #30
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Laurel,

A colorist in the sense of an artist is someone who uses color well and harmoniously. It has nothing to do with high or low chroma.

It has nothing to do with form or light. It has everthing to do with color.

Here are some examples of paintings that depend on mainly on color harmony instead of form.

Klimt
Whistler
Friseke
Redon

Thank-you for those studies-they are very enlightening.
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