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Thread: The Dimensions of Colour - a colour theory discussion thread

  1. #157
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    hello, thanks for your replies Elwell And Briggsy.

    Briggsy: I started to explore various light situation using the technique you mentionned in your last post. Its really quite interesting. Im trying to get an easier understanding and see if theres reoccuring patterns as the result of the mixing of the local hue of the object in relationship with the hue of the lightsource. At which point of the wheel will a color start decreasing more in S than in H.
    I just had a couple of questions, maybe you can help me.
    I noticed a difference between the blending modes in photoshop CS vs Photoshop CS4
    in CS4 the Linear Dodge is also named ( additive ) and seems to do proper additive mixing.
    But the Linear Dodge in Photoshop CS seems to gives different result depending of which layer is on top. I tried the Screen blending mode and it seems to do proper additice blending ??

    I'll show you what I come up with, ill probably post some stuff in my sketchbook and share you the link so you can give me some feedback I dont want to spam your thread with pictures.

    Thanks !
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  3. #158
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    Thanks Virg. One tip for your experiments: avoid fully saturated colours (S = 100) for your objects and lightsources, as these don't exist in nature, and can give you some strange results.

    I don't know why CS would behave differently to CS4. You're not in a different Image Mode in CS are you? Linear Dodge is exactly additive while Screen Mode is quasi-additive in a way that is less prone to clipping against the limits of the RGB gamut.

    I'll keep an eye on your sketchbook but please feel free to post anything you want here.
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  5. #159
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    Colour and Light, by James Gurney

    If you've looked at The Dimensions of Colour, it won't surprise you that I'm very pleased that James Gurney's new book "doesn't contain recipes for mixing colours or step by step painting procedures" (Color and Light, p. 9). Much much better, it shows how an artist of his calibre thinks about colour and light.

    Any single book on this subject can only be an introduction, but what an introduction this is! The book is very generously illustrated with his own works, plus those of many of his favourite past masters. These images fully justify their place by showing us what it is possible to achieve, especially from the imagination, by those who are willing to go beyond a simplistic approach to "colour theory".

    Gurney admits that when he set out to write the book, he himself at first underestimated the complexity of the subject (p. 222), and that he had to research aspects of physics and visual perception more deeply than he had previously. I suspect it's no coincidence that some of his most perfectly realized imaginative paintings, including the sleeping dinosaur on the cover and Titanoboa on p. 165, are from 2009.

    The modern books and websites recommended by Gurney for further reading (pp. 220-1) will probably be the most accessible resources for the next steps in your explorations, but it may be worth mentioning that many of the older texts he lists are available for free download or reading online:

    Chevreul, Michel Eugène, 1839. The principles of harmony and contrast of colours ... (1860 Eng. tr. by Charles Martel).
    http://books.google.com/books?id=LIMOAAAAQAAJ

    Goethe, Johann Wolfgang, 1810. Goethe's Theory of Colours (partial English tr. of Zur Farbenlehre by Eastlake, 1840).
    http://www.archive.org/details/goeth...ryco00goetgoog
    http://edoc.hu-berlin.de/ebind/hdok/...xml?part=thumb (German edn plates)

    Guptill, Arthur L., 1935. Color in sketching and rendering.
    http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015009248579 (read online)

    Hatt, J.Arthur H., 1908. The colorist.
    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=3f_VAAAAMAAJ (US access only)

    Hawthorne, Charles Webster, 1938. Hawthorne on painting.
    http://www.archive.org/details/hawthorneonpaint00hawt (Daisy/borrow)
    http://www.archive.org/details/collectionofnote00hawt (NEW LINK WITH PDF)

    Minnaert, Arcel G.J., 1954. The nature of light and colour in the open air.
    http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015065972997 (read online)

    Munsell, Albert H. 1905. A color notation. An illustrated system defining all colors and their relations by measured scales of hue, value, and chroma.
    http://www.archive.org/details/acolornotation00munsgoog (1st edn)
    http://www.archive.org/details/colornotation00muns (5th edn, 1919)

    Munsell, Albert H. 1913. Color balance illustrated.
    http://www.archive.org/details/color...ated00munsiala

    Pollock, Montagu, 1903. Light and water, a study of reflexion and colour in river, lake, and sea.
    http://www.archive.org/details/light...udyo00polluoft

    Rood, Ogden, 1879. Modern chromatics, with applications to art and industry.
    http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924031167889

    Ross, Deman Waldo, 1912. On painting and drawing.
    http://www.archive.org/details/ondra...dpai04rossgoog

    Ruskin, John, 1843. Modern painters, Volume 1.
    http://www.archive.org/details/modernpainters01rusk (1888 edn)

    Ruskin, John, 1857. The elements of drawing. With 8 illustrations drawn by the author.
    http://www.archive.org/details/elementsofdraw00ruskuoft (1920? edn)

    I'm quite certain that Color and Light will mark the beginning of the end for the simplistic approach to color that still predominates in art teaching. If you are an art or design student, get this book, study it, and then pester your teachers ceaselessly until THEY study it.

    At the moment you can buy Color and Light from Better World Books for only US$15.98, with free shipping in the US and only US$3.97 worldwide.
    http://www.betterworldbooks.com/colo...740797719.aspx

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edit: James Gurney's comment on Dimensions of Colour!

    "David Briggs is none other than the mastermind behind the website "Dimensions of Color". It’s one of the best resources on light and color on the Internet. I owe much of what I’ve learned on the topic to Mr. Briggs. ..."

    - James Gurney
    http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/20...-teachers.html
    Last edited by briggsy@ashtons; January 26th, 2012 at 08:19 PM. Reason: New link
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  7. #160
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    I won't be posting any art here for awhile, because I have nothing worth showing yet, but I just joined the forum to give briggsy a huge "thank you!"
    I've never seen color explained so well or so in-depth. Seriously, it seems like nobody knows what the hell they're talking about when it comes to color, so finding this here is awesome. Looking forward to finally learning how color actually works over the next few days. This is gonna change the way I paint forever!

    Thanks again, briggsy! =)
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  8. #161
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    question

    Hi,
    i'm new to the forum as a registered member but it has been a while that i'm following the forum and this thread specially. Thankyou very much for all the info and the superb website Brigg!!

    I thought i was in the right track of learning the color theory you so well explained and i came into this page on the book called "painting light - the hidden techniques of the impressionists" that i attch..

    My question is that : under 2 sources of illumination which one is red and the other is pale yellow (as in the last ill of the image) the cast shadow "of" the red source light thend toward green... I thought this was created by the princeple of simultaneous contrast and that can be seen only by the human eye and not by a camera.. now i'm a bit confused.. i tried to figure out why the shadow looks greenish in this shadow but i could not find a solution.. can you give some advise? thanks
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  9. #162
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    I think the Gurney works look like paintings of photographs whereas something like a claude lorraine although not as 'coloured' looks like a painting of 'life'.

    IMO All the colour theory in the world will not produce a 'life'like atmospheric relationship if its not painted without a sound gestalt tonal conception and for me ends up with that well entrenched copying photographic look. For me that is the difference between illustration and art.

    If there are some examples to the contrary I would love to see the contrast.
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  10. #163
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    Well guidosalimbeni, you're looking at the image with a human eye (I assume), so why would'nt you expect to see "simultaneous contrast"? The image colours of the shadows on the right are much the same in all three pictures - they're all a very low-chroma orange grey (check for yourself in Photoshop!). The greenish hue we see in the bottom right one could be said to be the result of "simultaneous contrast", although I think that term is used for more than one kind of effect. In cases like this I think it's the automatic color correction filter in our brains coming up with a slightly wrong answer. (The shadow is less red than everything else, so our brains "assign" a slightly greenish colour to it).

    Welcome aboard, by the way, to you and jams - Hope to hear from you guys here often!
    Last edited by briggsy@ashtons; January 10th, 2011 at 07:03 AM.
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  11. #164
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    I'm scratching my head over a few things in that, draw, but I guess the main point is that I would have thought that the ultimate aim of undestanding colour (for some painters anyway) would be to obtain a "sound gestalt tonal conception". I'm wondering what you think of Tim Miller, for example, who we both know has an intense interest in understanding colour and light.
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  12. #165
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    thanks

    i checked in photoshop!! thankyou very much.. guido
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  13. #166
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    Painting coloured illumination from the imagination

    I posted this little tutorial yesterday in another thread for someone who was having trouble with making up the effect of coloured lighting, and thought I'd post it here as well, so it won't sink out of sight.

    With Linear Dodge you can easily "clip" the upper limit of your RGB gamut and start getting strange results; if that happens you just need to keep your colours a bit darker.

    Bear in mind that the procedure applies directly only to this simple situation, and will lead you into trouble if you apply it blindly to more complex situations. Try instead to understand the reasons for each step.

    Also bear in mind always that these tips are meant as aids to getting physically correct colour relationships when that is what you are after, not orders to get those relationships. Plenty of lovely painting styles do not use "correct" colour and lighting, or correct perspective or anatomy, for that matter.
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  15. #167
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    Thanks for this David... a very effective tutorial
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  16. #168
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    Dear Dr. Briggs,

    Thank you so much for your invaluable website! have been reading it the whole days and i feel like i just had a new birth! I've been painting digitally for a while but always confused by how to pick up colors. Now you made everything so clear to me. Thousand thanks!!!

    Xi
    Last edited by spinor; February 9th, 2011 at 06:17 PM.
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  17. #169
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    questions about uniform saturation

    hi and thank you again for taking the time to answer these questions. as per your suggestion in the email, i will post them here so everyone can benefit. these were the major points of confusion that i forgot to ask.

    in faber birren's book 'creative color' he mentions, "the most beautiful of all formal color gradations that is known" as the "uniform chroma scale-which have the same apparent color content but which differ in lightness and darkness." is that in fact, the same thing as your described "uniform saturation shading series?" (if its not, how are they related as to what happens in nature?)

    if so, he also suggests an "easy" method of making one of these scales by mixing a tint, a tone, and a shade of the same hue and then intermixing them for in-between steps. if this is the case it raises questions.

    1. doesn't much care still need to be taken with the tint, tone and shade to ensure they are constant in color saturation amongst themselves? this doesnt just happen naturally, right?
    2. assuming you have step 1(question 1) done correct, is he implying that all in-between steps will then be balanced, saturation wise, inherently? if so, by that logic, couldnt i do away with mixing the tone all together and just use the tint and the shade to make the tone? and if not then it would seem this whole approach falls apart a bit.
    3. lastly, if i use red, add black and then a bit more red again to bring it back on the saturation line, couldnt i have just used less black to begin with or is it not the same thing? how does this affect step one?

    ok, sorry, i guess there is one other thing as well. so what is the proof/evidence that this is actually true and that saturation doesnt decrease or increase in the shadows? im guessing the shoddy results of just color sampling images isnt enough.

    thank you thank you, very much appreciated.
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