Sunday, June 15, 2014

Color complexity, the virtual palette, and painting vs airbrushing/drawing

Still riffing on the 2 pics from the last post.

Thumbnails serve a valuable purpose by letting you really compare and contrast images rather than get lost in the details. Like this you can really see certain differences - notably the fact that Frazetta's image probably uses terries rather than secondary colors (Hah!! I had tried to type tertieries, but it autocorrected to terries! I like it!) The yellow of the bright fleshtones is very greenish, while Bruce looks almost fluorescent pink overall. First of all I'm falling into the trap of thinking flesh needs to be pink or brown. Ok, so I visually mixed an orange and a purple to get that, but they're very simple and bright secondaries. Very warm, even hot colors. This also tends to emphasis a certain femininity (at least the choice of colors does).

I remember some time ago I was mixing all my colors on a virtual palette - when was I doing that? I don't remember which paintings it was. Need to skim through and find it (times like this I'm extremely glad I've been keeping this journal!)

I understood then that the colors coming from the picker are too simple and too primary/secondary, and that to get a complex palette (to borrow from wine tasting terminology) with subtle notes you need to mix them together across color families. Warms and cools blended, but with one dominating so you don't get mud.


Ok, looking quickly at my adjusted gallery again, it seems like I used the virtual palette concept or something very similar on most of the early paintings, the MMA fighters. Also I was using a PAINTING technique then - this latest one looks more like a cross between meticulous drawing and airbrushing. And that smooth airbrushed appearance also contributes to a feminine roundness. You know, I think it's time to start doing oil painting. There are certain inherent problems with digital painting, especially the way it lets you make endless changes and choose fluorescent colors and use that addictive soft round brush..

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