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The fine art of mixing color

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jan 04, 2012 04:18 AM
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by (Rachel) last modified Jan 24, 2011

Justin Clayton is an artist I have been following online for several years. He used to do daily paintings , and now posts several a week. images source He creates the most texturally beautiful little oil paintings of fruits and veggies, landscapes, and now, people.   image source Impressionistic in his loose rendering of forms, his use of lighting reminds me of the painter Vermeer , one of my all-time favorite artists.  I've always wanted one of his pieces, but haven't taken the leap just yet.  Now, Justin has a second blog, called the painter's box , devoted to the topic of learning how to paint and other general tips for painters. If you've ever wanted to lean over the shoulder of a painter while he or she creates some wonderful piece, here's your chance! The wonderful thing about Justin's demo blog is that he goes into great detail about his color use and layering to achieve the final effect. For instance, he says that it's easier to judge colors more accurately by painting on a warm grayish tone on the canvas versus a bright white. Hm, sounds just like what I do when I'm presenting color palettes to business clients- I mount my images on a neutral 50% gray matte board to best represent colors and value. images source   Ever wonder how to mix colors for realistic Caucasian skin tones? Justin mixes yellow ochre, alizarin crimson and viridian to create the shadows for this little girl's face. (For those unfamiliar with traditional paint colors, yellow ochre is a brownish yellow, alizarin crimson is a blueish red, and viridian is a blueish green.) Layering one color over another can also help achieve a greater sense of depth and dimensionality. Justin states, painting cool colors on top of warm colors often adds an effect of realism. Want to learn more? Head over to his new blog to see for yourself. These tips and examples are not exclusive to fine art painting. Borrowing from a diverse range of sources and backgrounds can sharpen your color knowledge and help you in just about any color application.






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