Sunday, June 28, 2009

Proof of the power of adjacent color to empower another Color!

I have had quite a few discussions answer the critics of the limited palette, my belief being there is limitless possibilities.

For one...when an artist has that option to simply buy another tube of color, they may well have missed exploring the full depth and range of the fewer colors they could get away with. Oft..I have suggested if you don't have the red you think you need (red being one example), you can influence that red to appear to take on another nature by the colors you mix up and surround it with. Johanne Itten did those color experiments with smaller gray squares inside a larger square of color. A small gray square inside a large box of red takes on the complement and appears greenish. Inside an orange square, appears bluish...and so forth.

Well take a look at this color illusion...

The color green and the color blue are both one in the same color. If you have photoshop and sample the two colors, you will see this to be true. Amazing is it not? To read up on this in more depth go to this blog post- the blue and green to read more.

I'm rather insistent in my teaching that a good limited palette becomes a powerful empowerment for the painter, as the artist develops an intimate knowledge of its possibilities. Cadmium lemon yellow is a cool yellow, and my yellow of choice...but in how one uses it it neither has to appear cool, nor as lemon yellow. Thus its use is limited only in one's lack of understanding.



Jeremy Elder said...

Wow! That is mind boggling. I am reading Walter Sergeant's book on color, which has tons of theory but few pictures. It is neat to see how these hues interact with each other.

Mick Carney said...

This is the most graphic illustration of the idea of colours influencing each other that one could imagine. Much food for thought here.

Larry said...

thanks Jeremy, Mick...

I know..isn't this a hoot!!!

I have argued so much with artists that have insisted you cannot paint good paintings with a limited palette, and I find a limited palette unlimited in what I can do with it.

That we can cause a color to appear differently by the colors we not only mix into it, but surrounding and adjoinig it is worth the lifelong pursuit of its knowledge and understanding. This optical illusion serves I think to demonstrate such conclusively.


Kevin Menck said...

Amen, brother! If you need help defending a limited color palette I'll be glad to put my two cents in anytime.

Larry said...

thanks for catchin' my back, Kevin!!!

People might be surprised just how many artists, how many past recognized masters...painted with a limited palette...

..from Edgar Payne, Emile A. Gruppe, and many others...and I believe most artists of reputation in plein air today!

Good hearin' from ya!