Color Exercises for the Color novice?
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    Color Exercises for the Color novice?

    Hello everyone, I'm hoping I'm posting this in the right area. As of late I've been feeling that everything I do in color turns out Bland and boring, and doesn't have the right sensitivity to color that I need as an artist. Are there any exercises I could do to improve my color selecting/usage abilities? Or does this just come with a LOT of practice.

    On the same token, while using color I find I have a lot of issues with pushing Value also.

    I just finished my first year of Art school, and I know basic principles of color, as well as the different types of Palettes. And I can look at a piece and discern the way they used the colors. But even still I have a really hard time with it. I've been reading a LOT of color books (Color and Light: Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney) and while they've really helped me understand certain lighting types and situation, Understanding and doing are two different things lol. Also, things from Observation I can get the colors fairly spot on, it's only when applying color to things from imagination where things get muddled.

    I'm hoping this can be a generic "Help with color thread" for others also.

    I'll go ahead and post an example of where I'm at with Color, and the sensitivity I hope to achieve.

    A quick Doodle I did mostly to practice with color, I realize there are Anatomical issues as well as brush problems and some color issues with the hair:
    http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot..._3793250_n.jpg

    The sensitivity I hope to achieve someday:
    http://lucasgraciano.deviantart.com/...airy-193544653

    Thank you ahead of time for any responses!

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    One thing I advise people new and new to the forum is to stop sticking around and posting in 1-2 forums.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=7

    Great bits of information for what you're looking for. You'll also find more information in other forums.

    However, I find that Fine Arts and studies gets neglected way too much for this "quick let's run to Art Discussion" to get an answer. Somewhat understandable because the Tutorials forum had become bunch of questions already answered and less tutorial submissions (that blocked out resources and tutorials for other people to learn).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    One thing I advise people new and new to the forum is to stop sticking around and posting in 1-2 forums.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=7

    Great bits of information for what you're looking for. You'll also find more information in other forums.

    However, I find that Fine Arts and studies gets neglected way too much for this "quick let's run to Art Discussion" to get an answer. Somewhat understandable because the Tutorials forum had become bunch of questions already answered and less tutorial submissions (that blocked out resources and tutorials for other people to learn).
    Thanks for the link! I actually saw the Color Theory sticky before I posted this, but I didn't realize it was also a discussion thread where you could talk about your problems as well! I will go ahead and move my question over there then.

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    You don't necessarily need to ask your question there actually. You just need more practice. As you said it's the difference between reading and doing. You need to be doing a lot more to really understand.

    Those artists didn't become good in months, most took many years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    You don't necessarily need to ask your question there actually. You just need more practice. As you said it's the difference between reading and doing. You need to be doing a lot more to really understand.

    Those artists didn't become good in months, most took many years.
    I realize that, though my question was if there were any good exercises to really push myself in the color department, since I realize that's a major weakness to me right now (Actually I have quite a few but I have exercises that help those out. Mainly it's just Color that's really frustrating me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XxMikaruxX View Post
    I realize that, though my question was if there were any good exercises to really push myself in the color department, since I realize that's a major weakness to me right now (Actually I have quite a few but I have exercises that help those out. Mainly it's just Color that's really frustrating me.
    And the posts in that forum do have exercises to further you. Take some time and read them.

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    One (common) problem that you have at the moment is that you are still thinking of value as something separate from colour. Value is to colour as tree trunks are to trees. The way to begin thinking in terms of "the dimensions of colour" is to make up an even grey scale of say nine levels that you take with you everywhere, and practice thinking of colours in terms of those fixed levels.

    When you are ready to start tackling the other dimensions of colour, the best beginning exercises on this forum are still the ones that Idiot Apathy used to supervise in his Peer Project. I think people still occasionally post there, but if you want I'd be happy to give you some feedback on my thread.

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    briggsy: I've been having problems because I think of color and value separately. It is hard for me to think of them at the same time. So, good point and I will also make my way over to that discussion thread.

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    Briggsy, thanks for taking the time to respond. The Peer project was exactly the one I was trying to get the OP to see and take time looking through posts. There's fantastic ideas for beginners in that forum, but people don't take the time to look through and read them

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    Arshes...we are waiting for the magic pencil and paint. We don't need to read theories and sciences. Once I find the magic pencil I will be the best artist. I think Glen Keane had a Layout pencil that goes for like up to $300 if you can find one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamFox View Post
    Arshes...we are waiting for the magic pencil and paint. We don't need to read theories and sciences. Once I find the magic pencil I will be the best artist. I think Glen Keane had a Layout pencil that goes for like up to $300 if you can find one.
    Each time I have to post links because people want instant gratification answers instead of just doing a bit of research on their own...it feels like the equivalent of rubbing a dog's nose in dookey.

    Which ironically both don't really help correct people's behavior in the end because they don't have at least some willpower to think things through.

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    Maybe auto response.
    Concept Art Wiki...read this and it will answer almost all of your questions.
    Most of the questions aren't discussions anyway. The best thing for most is to start a sketchbook and get active feedback.

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    @Arshes, While I can understand your frustration, CA.org isn't a small Forum and to find everything it has to offer would take a long time, especially someone who is unfamiliar with the forums and what each has to offer. I find it almost offensive that you had insinuated that I hadn't done research on my own, Because I have. I just needed an actual personal response than textbook reading because I've done a LOT of textbook reading and it hasn't really helped me apply it. Which is why I came here, to see if any other artist have/are struggling with the same thing I am and could point me in the right direction, or at least tell me what I am doing wrong.

    @Briggsy Thank you so much for the link and response! I'll check it out and most certainly ask for some feedback once I need it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by XxMikaruxX View Post
    @Arshes, While I can understand your frustration, CA.org isn't a small Forum and to find everything it has to offer would take a long time, especially someone who is unfamiliar with the forums and what each has to offer. I find it almost offensive that you had insinuated that I hadn't done research on my own, Because I have. I just needed an actual personal response than textbook reading because I've done a LOT of textbook reading and it hasn't really helped me apply it. Which is why I came here, to see if any other artist have/are struggling with the same thing I am and could point me in the right direction, or at least tell me what I am doing wrong.

    @Briggsy Thank you so much for the link and response! I'll check it out and most certainly ask for some feedback once I need it!

    I'm sorry, if you feel insulted it's your problem in the end. I spent years lurking for information on this forum before I even registered for an account. So when a forum seemed large I broke it down, took time to digest it. Stuff I thought I knew, got corrected, doesn't matter it's all learning and learning to make mistakes.

    In the end it doesn't matter how much you read but how much you do. Most of these books give you the exercises and tell you the application. You want exercises to improve your color theory? Keep drawing and coloring it. Go back and read you books again. Make the same damn mistakes over and over, learn that it's going to keep happening for a while and one day it will really click and you'll make less of the same mistakes.

    Several of those posts in the forum had exercises that helped with color. How much time did you actually spend reading them and not just the title? I mean the sticky threads? Just because the forum is big doesn't mean a lot of the important stuff is buried. Take your time going through them.

    Because color is definitely not your only problem in art. So don't compartmentalize one problem.

    Last edited by Arshes Nei; July 21st, 2011 at 02:00 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    I'm sorry, if you feel insulted it's your problem in the end. I spent years lurking for information on this forum before I even registered for an account. So when a forum seemed large I broke it down, took time to digest it. Stuff I thought I knew, got corrected, doesn't matter it's all learning and learning to make mistakes.

    In the end it doesn't matter how much you read but how much you do. Most of these books give you the exercises and tell you the application. You want exercises to improve your color theory? Keep drawing and coloring it. Go back and read you books again. Make the same damn mistakes over and over, learn that it's going to keep happening for a while and one day it will really click and you'll make less of the same mistakes.

    Several of those posts in the forum had exercises that helped with color. How much time did you actually spend reading them and not just the title? I mean the sticky threads? Just because the forum is big doesn't mean a lot of the important stuff is buried. Take your time going through them.

    Because color is definitely not your only problem in art. So don't compartmentalize one problem.
    Well all the books that I've read thus far (And let me tell you it's no meager amount) haven't really had exercises, only application, and I'm not the kind of person who can learn through just reading. Typically it is easier for me to learn through watching Demos (Which I have done plenty, Hell I feel like I've grown a lot in the past six years that I've been truly devoting myself to art for my future) I just wanted to make sure I was covering every method I could to improve.

    I'm really wondering if you're actually reading my posts, because I've said I KNOW it takes time and practice and making the same mistakes. But if I'm doing something wrong now, what's the problem with asking from ADVICE from people who I know are serious about art who could help me? I've read the stickies, though to be quite frank I didn't even know resources like that existed in the Fine Arts thread since I thought the information I was looking for was elsewhere (Tutorials, Community Mentoring) not to mention I was looking for something specifically with "Color" in the title, which was a mistake on my part.

    In the end, you should have just let your first post be, since I wasn't planning on continuing this thread and exploring more in the stickies in Fine Arts (which since then I have been reading up). Instead of continuing with your whining and passive-aggressive insults. I only came back to thank those who had contributed and given me more resources , so if you have nothing further to contribute other than repeating things I have said I already know and making snarky comments then just leave and let the thread die.

    Oh and regarding your last comment, "Actually I have quite a few but I have exercises that help those out. Mainly it's just Color that's really frustrating me." Post three, Learn to read.

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    You know that "Stop Whining" sticky in this forum? Read it.

    I just keep reading excuses from you. I simply replied that you didn't need to ask the question on the color theory thread. The forum had the answers you need. In other words, SLOW DOWN and take your time and read some stuff. The slow down applies to drawing too. For example instead of a quick doodle with "all these mistakes". SLOW DOWN. Take your time with drawings. Just because "you know" doesn't mean you do.

    You say color theory is your major weakness, it's not. If the drawings are bad, color theory isn't going to help because the drawings need to be worked as a whole. Now you can still be better at color eventually over drawing but right now work on drawing. Everyone has that point where we think one thing over the other. I certainly did, we (other artists on this site) understand and get it.

    If you complain you need videos there's also plenty on sale here too for 7.99.

    So Gurney didn't have exercises? So just to check, on page 90 and on, there wasn't anything? Such as choosing limited color pallets and gamut an exercise (after understanding what to buy in terms of paints/supplies) on working with limited palettes?

    But let's move on. When I pointed you to the forum, did I just say look at the threads with title color or did I say look at the forum?

    So before you're sitting there "oh god she's so mean look at what she's saying to me *huff huff*" Isn't what I'm saying very true?

    Instead of rushing to questions would it be better to slow down? That includes drawing. Don't rush to a quick doodle that's full of other errors to describe your problem, take some works you've done and taken your time on and show your problem. If starting up a sketchbook here helps you, go ahead. But overall I'll caps it again SLOW DOWN, take your time.

    I know it's frustrating, information isn't in obvious places. However, when you learn to take your time oddly enough it makes learning go more quickly.

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    I think you'd do better with colour if you did more work from life with traditional materials. Especially work where you try to push the colours you see beyond the obvious, local colour. Digital art allows you to pick any colour you like! And overwhelmed with choice and with nothing in front of them, people often pick poorly. What you want is something limited from which you can mix lots of colours but which really makes you think hard about every choice. And you want an example to work from because without one you'll just make shit up and it'll be harder to learn from it.

    Pick some difficult subjects like a white cup & saucer on a white cloth and try to render the object using as little white or gray as possible. Get outside with some pencil crayons and paint and start looking real hard at objects.

    *** Sketchbook * Landscapes * Portfolio * Store***

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    I think it's really easy to interpret simple text as insulting when it's not. Maybe it's one of those 'get off my lawn' things, but I don't think so.

    Mikaru, Arshes DID answer your question in post number 4 - you just need a lot more practice.

    These forums have been around for a long time, and every time someone new arrives they often ask questions that have been asked over..and over...and over..and OVER. Nobody likes to repeat themselves ad naseum when the information is still out in the threads. So before you ask a question, pause to consider whether or not someone else could have asked it first. The FAQ clearly states the Fine Arts threads is for the nuts and bolts of art.

    I'm more concerned that with so many books, you haven't been able to come up with any of your own exercises. Study. Experiment. Experience. Most of them will be failures. Start a fine arts thread and post them. Don't expect feedback on every single piece, since most of your posts should be exercises. This is a learning process that can take years, so start simple and allow yourself to make mistakes. There is no paint by numbers system anyone can give you. Continue to study from life, but don't just try to replicate what you see - think about it. Study from masters. What did they do different that worked? Ask the questions of yourself and artwork first.

    What I'm trying to say is that you need to learn how to teach yourself, because that will carry you much further. Then a place like this becomes a wonderful resources for another set of eyes, and a resource to read discussions about questions you may not have even thought to ask.

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