Practicing color theory digitally ?
 
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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Practicing color theory digitally ?

    I don't have money pouring out of my hands and I have no paints or brushes, I'd like some, but no money. The final part of my summer studies is color theory and I was just going to basically do every exercise I need to do digitally.

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  3. #2
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    If you cannot spend $10 on a mouthful of paint, then color theory is not your biggest problem...

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    I too never did colour theory traditionally. I do not know whether or not I missed out, but with the aid of video tutorials, colour studies, and practise, I am at a comfortable state at the moment. Cost was one of the hindrance for me as well. Paint is so expensive, as well as buying the canvas, etc.

    That said, I believe that life studies are very important to bring out realism in the work. As for me, I am patiently waiting for Intuos to update and release a revised Cintiq Companion, which by the way would be pretty expensive (2 grande.. I believe), so that I have a true substitute for traditional paints.

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  7. #4
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    Well considering I'm only 16 years old in a low income family it isn't really that out of this world

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  8. #5
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    Pretty similar to what I was thinking of doing. I guess once buying actual paints and canvases you would just have to learn and adapt to it, as long as your strong in color theory principles there shouldn't be any major problems ?

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    I think that the only person who can really answer if it is possible or not is your teacher. Some teachers has a very theoretical approach and then it will probably not be a problem others want you to really work with the material.

    Personally I think that you will miss out if you work digitally. You get a whole different feel for it with traditional materials. Most importantly traditional media will force you to really think about what you are doing.

    I really think that you should contact your teacher in advance and see if you can work something out.

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  11. #7
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    I don't have any teachers or mentors, I just make my own studies/HW and go ? I'll eventually start painting traditionally for sure, but I just don't have the cash right now.

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    ChaseNNN. I just wanted to say that for me master studies have been invaluable in learning colour. When I did them they just became entrenched in my brain, and I do not have to consciously think about them to get good good natural colours.

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  14. #9
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    Oh I haven't been doing any master studies, I have just been studying color via apples,people, the general basics. I will eventually do master studies but not currently. In all, I think to master color you need to experience and learn it for yourself. I think studying from both past artists and from today's photographs are great to learn off of, but in the end I just want to learn how to properly and effectively use color in what ever means possible

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    I think you may be confusing "Color Theory" with material handling...

    Color Theory is about understanding how colors work together to create specific moods and effects in a painting. Examples include understanding color temperature, optical blending (a la impressionism), color schemes (full palette, limited palette, monochrome, etc.), complementary color juxtaposition, simultaneous contrast, etc., etc.
    Color Theory is medium independent...the same principles apply whether you are working digitally, oil painting, using pastels, crayola crayons,...whatever.

    Material handling is a whole 'nother thing. That refers to how the physical properties of different media work. Mixing oil paints is different from color choosing in Photoshop. Both are different from using transparent watercolors, and blending techniques for chalk pastels are completely different from blending techniques for wax crayons.

    So, in a nutshell, you can learn Color Theory using pretty much any media you like. You miss nothing of this aspect by working digital instead of traditional. However, painting digitally will give you very little insight into the proper way to mix, apply, and blend colors when you switch to a set of oil paints. The reverse is also true. Oil painting skills do not directly translate to working digitally. Each medium has its own quirks which have to be learned through direct experience.

    As the ego shrinks, so the spirit expands.
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  17. #11
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    That's why I started the thread, I knew I was going to be missing out on some key stuff such as color blending and learning to think before applying each stroke, which I tend to keep everything on one layer n Photoshop and opt out of using ctrl+Z to learn how to fix mistakes,that and I hate using layers. I just wanted to know if there would be any impacts when I do decide to do some traditional stuff.I can completely understand not being able to have a very good mindset when mixing colors traditionally painting when I study color theory digitally. All I can do is wait to see how things pan out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grin Without a Cat View Post
    I think you may be confusing "Color Theory" with material handling...

    Color Theory is about understanding how colors work together to create specific moods and effects in a painting. Examples include understanding color temperature, optical blending (a la impressionism), color schemes (full palette, limited palette, monochrome, etc.), complementary color juxtaposition, simultaneous contrast, etc., etc.
    Color Theory is medium independent...the same principles apply whether you are working digitally, oil painting, using pastels, crayola crayons,...whatever.

    Material handling is a whole 'nother thing. That refers to how the physical properties of different media work. Mixing oil paints is different from color choosing in Photoshop. Both are different from using transparent watercolors, and blending techniques for chalk pastels are completely different from blending techniques for wax crayons.

    So, in a nutshell, you can learn Color Theory using pretty much any media you like. You miss nothing of this aspect by working digital instead of traditional. However, painting digitally will give you very little insight into the proper way to mix, apply, and blend colors when you switch to a set of oil paints. The reverse is also true. Oil painting skills do not directly translate to working digitally. Each medium has its own quirks which have to be learned through direct experience.
    Wrong

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  19. #13
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    with traditional you limit your colors which is good for beginner because you have to mix your colors and you learn lot more about colors and how they work together, with digital you don't

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    I understand exactly where you are coming from. I am broke myself. I also didn't have the funds to go out and buy paints either. My suggestion is that if you do decide to go to college, then you can take out some grants/scholarships or loans to buy several things for paints. I know many people may say that taking out loans is bad, but in this case, it is justified in that it will help push you towards your goal. For now, it won't hurt to continue practicing digitally if that is your only means of being able to mix color. Something IS better than nothing. Also, many companies prefer their work to be produced digitally, so you are getting a good headstart.

    Also, have a look at this resource. It's very short and simple but to the point.

    http://www.worqx.com/color/color_systems.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Wrong

    Where was he wrong exactly? You can't just call it wrong without elaboration. That's just confusing. I can't see any mistakes in his answer to OP's question so i would love to hear what exactly is wrong.

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  22. #16
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    Color theory doesn't work the same digitally because it is a mishmash of subtractive and additive color with very little personal control. subtractive color works one way and additive color works another. Traditional painting skills give you everything you need to work digitally except the specific function of the software which anyone can learn in a month or two. Knowledge of Photoshop or some other software doesn't give you anything that has to do with the creation of a piece of art or illustration. I trained artists as an art director and lead artist and anyone that could paint could use the software but anyone that used the software without years of traditional training couldn't paint digitally. They thought they could but they relied on the tech to do their thinking and it showed in their work, it still does. The best way to learn anything is to engage all of your senses, can't do that with digital. Its an orders of magnitude difference between the two in knowledge.
    You can't learn the percentage of what you are mixing when it isn't real and depends on an algorithm. When you set a slider percentage for a color what are you blending the hue, the saturation, the value ? You don't really know because its not built into the properties of the medium. Its all pretend and dependent on the programmers understanding and the constraints of the budget for that version of the software.
    The reason is that digital is trying to mimic real media and so will always be less than what real media can be to someone with skill and knowledge. Here's an example, try and mix a color from two other colors in Photoshop. make a swatch of color with 100 percent opacity in normal brush mode then add another color on top of it using 50 % opacity Everyone knows in subtractive color theory, blue and yellow make green and red and yellow make orange and red and blue make purple One of those three mixes doesn't do what the other two do in Photoshop, tell me why using color theory to explain it.

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  24. #17
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    The aspects of colour theory that do apply in digital all pertain to the "final product" (as in colour harmonies/ colour schemes/ gamuts/ compositions), not to the actual painting process (mixing/blending). Which makes it harder and in a way more indirect to understand. When I paint digitally, I don't mix colours. I pick 'em.
    So dpaint is right in that regard, it isn't the same thing by a long shot, but there are certain, albeit limited, aspects of colour theory that you can learn with digital.

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  25. #18
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    Color theory is one of those areas where it really helps to be hands on in a way that digital can't give you. Once you have learned at least the basics of the concepts then you can replicate them digitally and to some extent improve from there without paint, but you really should start out with some paints.

    They don't have to be expensive oils; get your hands on some cheep tempera paints at Walmart if you have to. Start with primary colors and see how well you can replicate the color wheel. There will be some problems, like secondary colors being less saturated than you expect, but you will be learning. Often times learning requires making mistakes, and working with real paint allows you to learn from mistakes that you might not face when working digitally.

    A word of advice though; "color theory" is not something that can be learned in one summer. You will be able to learn some basics, some common types of palettes, and start applying them... but there are some people who spend a lifetime studying color relations. It is good though that you are starting in on it early.

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  26. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Here's an example, try and mix a color from two other colors in Photoshop. make a swatch of color with 100 percent opacity in normal brush mode then add another color on top of it using 50 % opacity Everyone knows in subtractive color theory, blue and yellow make green and red and yellow make orange and red and blue make purple One of those three mixes doesn't do what the other two do in Photoshop, tell me why using color theory to explain it.
    No problem. Blending in Normal Mode at fractional opacity involves what is known as additive-averaging or "partitive" mixing, one of the three basic kinds of colour mixing (the other two being simple additive and subtractive mixing). Additive-averaging mixing is seen in the "optical mixing" of object colours, such as those of spinning discs or dots of physical paints viewed at a distance:


    http://www.huevaluechroma.com/044.php


    Additive-averaging mixing is the easiest kind of colour mixing to visualize, as the mixtures follow a straight line in colour space between the two components. Working digitally you can obtain subtly different results by choosing whether these are straight lines in RGB space (by mixing in RGB mode) or Lab space (by mixing in Lab mode).


    This straight-line mixing typically gives a result that is intermediate between those of additive and subtractive mixing. For example, additive-averaging of a primary red and green, either digitally or with physical dots or discs, gives a light olive/brown that is intermediate between the dark brown you would expect from subtractive mixing and the bright yellow you would expect from simple additive mixing. Additive-averaging mixing is not however a "mishmash" of additive and subtractive mixing, it is a kind of additive mixing in which the combined light is perceived as being averaged over an area. It would however be true to say that the colour mixing of physical paints is usually a "mishmash" of subtractive and additive-averaging mixing:


    http://www.huevaluechroma.com/061.php


    How much personal control someone has in digital painting depends on whether or not they have taken the trouble to understand how the many available options work.

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  28. #20
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    You didn't answer the question as usual. Do any painting lately?

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  29. #21
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    Well, in your example the result depends on what yellow and blue you use, but if you choose two that are additive complementaries then additive-averaging gives you grey rather than green, as shown in the diagrams in the first link I gave.

    Mostly landscapes again this year; thanks for asking. There's one online at the top of this page:
    https://sites.google.com/site/djcbriggs/oilpaintings

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    Last edited by briggsy@ashtons; August 28th, 2014 at 09:40 PM. Reason: Added diagram for those who don't follow links.
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  30. #22
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    One thing I thought about. Aside from what I see as an unnecessary argument that basically amounts to deriding a different form of color mixing/color theory as "not real color theory" or whatever... meh, I don't feel like going in depth.

    Anyway, a thought has been bugging me since last night and I have to ask; how can you afford to work digitally but not with real paint? I realize that some paints cost a pretty penny, but you have to be buying bulk size series 3 quality brand name oil paints for a basic setup to cost the same as buying a copy of adobe photoshop or corel painter. If you are going to learn digitally you should be using a good program. If you already went our and bought photoshop or painter I have to wonder what possessed you to do that before buying paints?

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