Colour theory and lighting?

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  1. #1
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    Colour theory and lighting?

    Hi,
    Currently I am struggling with painting subjects illuminated by a coloured light source. I've been told that the shadows will be the complementary colour of whatever colour the light is (eg yellow light, purple shadow), but I'm having trouble understanding and rendering this and have not had any luck with finding good colour theory reference material.

    Does anyone know of any really good colour theory books to read through? Or any tips in general?

    "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
    ~Robert Louis Stevenson

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  3. #2
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  4. #3
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    Thanks so much c:

    "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
    ~Robert Louis Stevenson

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  5. #4
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    The Conceptart.org Colour Theory stream was a fantastic investment for me. Along with Gurney's book and huevaluechroma, those three are top 3 for me at least.

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  6. #5
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    I also think this is a worthwhile investment - Practical Light and Color from Gnomon...

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  7. #6


    A coloured light source has the effect of throwing off the colour balance in the shadow area in the direction of the additive complementary, which for a yellow light is either blue or violet depending whether the yellow is orangeish or greenish. This effect is as if the illumination was actually blue/violet, so that red objects become relatively darker, blue objects relatively lighter, and so on, so if you want to paint in this effect you need to understand the effects of coloured illumination. Even if you don't paint it in, the effect will appear to some extent by itself due to simultaneous contrast (as in the image above), though not as strongly as it would in nature:

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...35&postcount=8

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  8. #7
    Oh thanks so much for that post briggsy@ashtons, thats really helpful.

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  9. #8
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    Thanks for all the comments guys! C:

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    ~Robert Louis Stevenson

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  10. #9
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