Painting Color and Light for illustrators and artists: contest part 2

Start with a good drawing.

There’s still time, to do the Coloring contest, see post

It seldom works to start with a bad design and then just fix it with color. Good light and color will look better with a well designed drawing.

It would be nice to give you all the answers but I think I’ll give you all the questions, that way you can come up with the answers.

Things to consider for your artwork

Light and Shadow What is value and how is it used?

What are gradients and how do they work in a drawing?

Can drawings work in mostly light values, dark values, both?

Lighting shapes, What direction should my light be coming from?

How does light fall on a sphere, cube, cylinder, & human form?

What is the relationship between the darkest dark and lightest light?

Why is reflected light important to show form?

What are cast shadows and what happens to their edges?

What direction do shadows go?

What are occlusion shadows?

Painting Color, What colors should I buy or use?

Are white and black colors?

Should you ever use black?

What happens when you mix various colors?

What are cold & warm colors?

What is a vibrating color?

What are color opposites?

What’s the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary colors?

What are tints, shades, and gradients?

What is a triad?

How can you neutralize two colors?

What’s is a complimentary color scheme and an analogous color scheme?

How can I get rich color in my painting?

Where can I learn to draw and paint better?

How can I enter the little coloring art contest for artists and illustrators everywhere?

You can’t just fix a bad design with good color

If it don’t work in Black and White, it ain’t gonna work in color. 

A good painting will also look good in Black and White. That is to say, if you can’t work out your value patterns in black and white, you won’t be able to just fix it with color. Have you ever heard of a grisaille, (that was a tough one to sound out, let alone spell) It’s a black and white under painting. I think the word gray, or grey, as I like to spell it, comes from the same root.

What is a Grisaille and how do you pronounce that?

Grisaille (/ɡrɨˈz/ or /ɡrɨˈzl/French: gris [ɡʁizaj] ‘grey’) (Giz-eye is how I pronounce it) is a term for painting executed entirely in monochrome or near-monochrome, usually in shades of grey. ~Wikipedia 

Work out your lights and darks before you add color

So, where was I? Ho yeah, it is often wise, especially for beginners, to work out you lights and darks before you move to color. I like to give it the squint test. Squint at your work and see if it reads well. Do the wrong things disappear? Do the right things stand out?
The under painting can be in a sepia or other tone too, for a nice effect, it doesn’t have to be BLACK and White.

Light and Shadow

Where is your light source? Is it in the picture? If so, you shouldn’t have anything in the painting that is brighter than the light source.

Are the shadows, cast, core etc, in the right places? I am thinking that the cast shadow in this piece is not dark enough.

Do you have reflected light in the right places?

Just add Color, or Colour as my UK friends like to spell it.

If you are painting digitally, like in Photoshop or on the iPad, you will enjoy the ability to undo. If you are using water colors then you can just glaze transperant colors over you black and white under-painting. AKA Grisaille.

If you are using oil paints, you may want to try a water color, acrylic, or gwash, (i better look that up) Gouache. The oil paint goes right over the aqueous paints without disturbing them and it works really well. You should see how Robert Barrett uses gouache, for under-paintings to create a beautiful effect. He calls it a “Rub-out” technique.



Working with Color