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[REQUEST] Using colour contrasts

Permanent Linkby johncee on Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:06 am

This is a new request which hasn't been taken on by any user.

One of the better guiding principles towards better use of colour is "The law of contrast should prevail" by A. Voronsky and nature herself is full of contrasts and gradations; because it is in motion and change with fleeting lights and darks.
When we attempt to capture natures effects, the contrasts are of a relative character, subtle, rich and not absolute colour opposites. So by this, it is meant that more thought should be given to richer and subtle use of contrasts. Shadows too have colour and are a relative contrasts. Colour that vibrates and sings does not imply direct opposites, but often rich charming harmony can be achieved using two adjacent or neighbouring colours contrasted against an opposite colour on the colour wheel.
We should go much further than the colour wheel with its tendency towards colour only and flat tones, which explain little about colour.
The colour wheel's guide is a good start but its limitations are that it is one sided, that is, only contrasting colour. Just like a slice or cross section of colour. Colour should be thought about as all sidedly, like a ball, with its many facets and features: That is, it should include contrasts of brights and darks, tint and tone, light and shade, cold and hot, colour and gray, bright and drab, colour too can be mixed slightly with its opposite, and gradated. Going from pure colour into another tint, tone or gray. And adjacent neighbouring hues rather than direct opposites which work superbly when interwoven. As an example instead of red contrasted against green - its two adjacent neighbours on the colour wheel.

As an example, let us use red and green. Contrast would work better for the larger, coooler, drab, colour green; and smaller areas for the warmer richer red. The green area could be more thick impasto, and the red a thin glaze. But within the green there should be contrasts including lights and shadows. Colour could also be glazed over the two colours with the underlying colours still partly visible. As well, within the red, pinks and orange could be added as contrast. And for that matter, yellows and orange added into the green.
Green and red can work well together or displeasing as it depends on many things. Grayed colours contrasted against dull grays too can be beautiful. The impressionists spoke of black as the queen of colour but other artists thought gray is the king of colour when used masterfully. One preference is gray gradated into colour.
But to emphasize these contrasts are SUBTLY introduced. Of course there are no absolutes formulars but always require experimentation.

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