“When I admire the wonders of a sunset, . . . my soul expands in the worship of the creator.”
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Painting Class Three
Learning the Basics
Even well-seasoned artists can use a refresher in the basics. This is where I like to start:
- Shape: the outline of an object or group of like values
- hue: what the color would likely be called
- value: how light or dark
- chroma: how pure or diluted
Thankfully there’s YouTube to explain these much more eloquently than I can and with better graphics. Also, the cat videos are hilarious.
Getting the Right Color Mix
Now that we have some terminology under our belts, we can use it to match color. First, start with the closest hue to what you’re trying to achieve. Then adjust the value. Lastly, adjust the color’s tone. That’s what I do, but you might want to go crazy and adjust the tone before the value.
It’s actually easier said than done, like finding somebody to help you at Home Depot.
To practice, I like to pick up paint chips at the store, laminate them, and let the students try to match the colors on the strips as best they can. This is a great exercise for getting the paint and color under control. It also helps the students verbalize what might be going wrong. Is it too light or dark? Is it the wrong shade? Is it too cool or too warm? Am I asking too many questions? When I get the students thinking about these, they’re better able to problem-solve in their paintings.
Our First Painting
The next step is to practice with a multi-colored painting. I printed and laminated some simple landscapes that I felt the students could tackle quickly (less than the viewing length of a Law and Order episode). We then put glass over the image so they can practice their color mixing while painting directly on the glass. This makes color checking and correcting super simple. “Super Simple” was my proposed superhero name, but apparently nobody wanted to see “SS” on a uniform.
Notes For Next Time
There’s still so much more to cover. Here’s some thoughts I had about next class.
We need to control our paint
What is Payne’s Grey?
Review hue, chroma, value
Tint, tone, shade
Random other terms
Solvents, mediums, gel, and impasto
Cool versus warm and relativity (E = mc2)
More color theory
See you next time!