Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Color movement

I was looking for street scenes to sketch in a little Catskill mountain town. Nothing at eye level inspired me. So I looked up and noticed this false-fronted old building with a utility pole beside it. 

It was a cloudy day, and I wanted it to look bleak, so I used a very limited palette of watercolors and water-soluble colored pencils, just blues and browns. 

In order to balance the detail areas of the wires and the texture of the storefront, I kept other areas simple, such as the side of the building and the far trees.

But simple doesn't have to mean flat. Even in a limited palette like this, it's a good idea to look for color movement—the gradual shift from one color to another within an area. In watercolor, that meant wetting an area, preparing burnt sienna and ultramarine puddles on the palette, and then dropping more cool on one side and more warm on the other and letting them blend.
90 Degree Rule
Color Gradations


Unknown said...

Simple forms need detailed/varied colors, detailed forms need simple colors. The key is to get a good form/color balance. I should write it on my easel...

Thanks for sharing James.

Jay said...

Hello, sir.
I was wondering what are some good ways to get the most out of an art museum/exhibition visit? By get the most, i mean learning a thing or two that would help me in my art gurney(see what i did there?).

Vinod Rams said...

Can't ever go wrong with burnt sienna and ultramarine. My college professor Matt Faulkner drilled that into our brains on day one!