Why is color so important to everyday life? Remember when I posted the other day and it was gray, overcast, and rainy? The landscape was devoid of color and excitement for this girl. Today, however, is sunny and bright! I can see new green growth starting, trees beginning to bud with shades of pinks, and flowers starting to show their colors.
Colors play an important part of my artistic life and knowing how to play with them also provides enjoyment to the viewer. The other day, I was ecstatic when marbling for the first time in a long while. I continued working with only four colors!! Here is a black and white of a marbling piece I created recently. The pattern is clearly visible, though not exciting to me.
French Chemist, Michel-Eugene Chevreul was instrumental in opening artists eyes to the value of colors placement next to each other. He noticed how the hues interacted and appeared to be brighter or duller depending on what color was beside them. Chevreul's theories guided Impressionists work and use of color in the late 19th Century. Find any of Claude Monet's paintings and pay attention to color placement. Check out Cezanne's paintings and look where the warm and cool colors are painted.
When I am teaching marbling, I talk about the colors-warm colors are red, yellow, and orange; cool colors are blue, green, and purple. Set up a good color contrast between warm and cool colors and you get a POP to your image. Play with the complementary colors-a color directly opposite each other on the color wheel, and you create more vibrancy!! The complementary pairs are red & green, blue & orange, and yellow & purple. Learn these combos and you can have fun with color too!
Now take a look at the B & W piece in color!! Now, can you understand why I was so jazzed in the studio the other day?!
Try your newfound knowledge out with the media of your choice!! Get back to me with your results!
Next installment--The importance of color and emotion.