See pic rel
left to right, top to bottom:
John McCartin, Krenz Kushart, John Fabian Carlson,
Petar Meseldzija, John Michael Carter, William Herbert Dunton,
Alexander Max Koester, John McCartin, Hiu Lai Chong
These artists/art pieces seem to have special color/hue thing going on, where attention to detail has been paid to varying the hues and adding bits of colors that at times (to me) seem odd and unintuitive. However, although these colors feel unusual, and sometimes untrue to life, the overall image still feels realistic (and doesn't cross over into the surreal).
Some of the color choices I can understand, such as bounced light from the sky, grass/ground and surroundings, and some understandable subtle hues (faint colors of veins and arteries beneath skin) appear to have been exaggerated into brighter pinks and blues. And yet, there are cases where the artist paints the 'right' colors that wouldn't have been there (even faintly) in a reference or real life equivalent.
What is the logic behind these color choices? How much is training the eye to pick up on and exaggerate faint hues that appear in real life and how much is purely an aesthetic choice/artistic liberties? And in the case of the latter, why do these colors WORK?
>What is the logic behind these color choices? How much is training the eye to pick up on and exaggerate faint hues that appear in real life and how much is purely an aesthetic choice/artistic liberties?
Could be logic, could be intuition. Could be the artist has an affinity toward a certain palette/combo of colors.
And in the case of the latter, why do these colors WORK?
Their values are correct. If your values and drawing are correct you can basically get away with murder.
if your value hierarchy and temperature structure are solid, you can be pretty liberal w/ the hues.
it's the meeting point of the structural logic of the subject matter and the abstract compositional logic of the shapes/colors
robh ruppel sort of talks about this in simpler terms
ruanjia's studies also demonstrate the thought process pretty well
Two things I might be able to add,
1: overstate saturation at the edge of shadow, or across the surface where form transitions into shadow (when it's a soft transition). if you keep your saturation across the whole image somewhat subdued (uniformly though), overstating it at this point can have an amazing effect.
2: know how to shift hues without affecting values. for this you need to be able to spot exact accurate values when color picking. you cannot rely on a b/w toggling layer or any other b/w technique to compare the values, because the chroma introduces shifts and relativitiy. so you can only do it visually. Ruanjia does this a lot and to great effect (achieves really smooth broken color planes, atleast that's what i think they are called). this is kind of hard to explain withot showing, i've been wanting to make a youtube video about this for ages but i'm too much of a pussy to make myself vulnerable to hate and dislikes.
you can also not rely on HSB sliders for this purpose (and this is the main reason many artists ditch them at some point in their evolution, i think) because you'll get the ilusion of the same value when you only shift the H or S sliders, but that is of course total bs, the actual value measured by ps is something completely different to the visual value your eye sees.
Hope I'm making sense here. I don't think I 100% understand this stuff either but maybe we can get the discussion going and learn something together by sharing our experiences. no homo.
i think you are speaking from a lack of observational painting experience.
paint from observation and find hidden colours.
colour becomes less of a mystery when you study from life.
use a limited palette.
these colour choices are very deliberate.
adding saturated colours to a otherwise muted painting can create interest if done correctly.
the harmony and balance of it comes from experience.
value designs are still probably the driving force behind the paintings you like
OP here, thanks for all the replies - VERY interesting read. From what I'm getting, messing with hues in this way is a fairly advanced skill that requires that you really know your values and have a shitton of experience painting from life.
Values. I will remember that. Looking at the art I got overwhelmed by their use of color and completely overlooked the role of values.
Haha I definitely feel like I'm barely scratching the surface now. I kind of get it, but am probably still too inexperienced to fully comprehend what you're saying. I will keep this in mind though.
Also, where'd you get your pic rel - found it really interesting and was wondering if there was more to it.
1) Ah, I just read something like that recently (see pic rel). What do you mean by 'when it's a soft transition'? Would you recommend against saturated edges of hard shadows?
2) This one is new (and very enlightening) to me. Never considered visual value as differing from actual value as measured by Ps - I can only assume it's something to do with how damn relative everything becomes as part of a painting and how perception works.
No worries, no homo, glad you shared.
>a lack of observational painting experience
Well, you've got me there.. but I'll will make sure to work to remedy that.
So study and paint from life, really get a sense of color (hue, value, relationships), and then ..experiment?
You've gotten some good replies, but I'll try to point out something that might help you see it better. Look at the 'extreme' colors. Where are there, and why are they there? Shadows tend to have extreme blues and purples, even reds. Light tends to have extreme yellows/greens/oranges. Think about why. Study real life and try to see what they're seeing. Art is about accentuating what's already there to help showcase it's beauty and send a message.
Value is king. You master values and comp, and you'll be able to play with hue and chroma to lovingly fuck with the eyes.