Colour Notes - 10 Minutes To Better Painting - Episode 7 | Marco Bucci | Skillshare

Colour Notes - 10 Minutes To Better Painting - Episode 7

Marco Bucci, Professional illustrator & teacher

Colour Notes - 10 Minutes To Better Painting - Episode 7

Marco Bucci, Professional illustrator & teacher

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1 Lessons (10m)
    • 1. ColourNotes 10 Minutes To Better Painting Episode 7

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About This Class

In this free lesson, we will explore how painters are able to be playful with colour, while still holding a solid image together. We will explore the mechanics behind how colour works, as well as various methods of moving around the colour space. Applicable to both digital and traditional media.

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Marco Bucci

Professional illustrator & teacher


Hello, I'm Marco.

I'm a professional artist with 15 years' experience in the film, TV, game, and print industries - primarily as a concept artist and illustrator. I also happen to believe that it's the duty of experienced artists to pass on what they've learned, with no BS and for as low-cost as possible. It's for that reason that I'm a passionate teacher. I currently teach at CGMA, and have previously taught at Academy of Art University, Centennial College, and more. 


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1. ColourNotes 10 Minutes To Better Painting Episode 7: break out your pocket watch and your paintbrushes. It's time for Episode seven of 10 minutes to better painting. I am your dubiously credentialed host, Mark Obuchi. Let's dig right in, Writer Hunter S. Thompson said. Life has become immeasurably better, since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously. This episode is about color notes, which falls under the category of taste. It can be difficult to craft a lesson around taste, but bear with me. Here's some work by Richard Schmidt, a painter known for expressive color. Look at any of these paintings up close, and you'll find that the objects are made of not flat colors, but a whole array of color color notes can help your paintings gain an extra layer of life . As is so often the case with art, life comes through a variety. Let's see if you agree. Here's the original painting, and here's a version where the color notes have been removed. There's nothing wrong with either of these, but if you ask me, the color notes help elevate a picture to paint Earleigh heights. These colors just haven't attraction to each other like positively charged ions negatively charged ions. I should have done research on ions. Forget the ions. The idea is you start with a flat color and you introduce variations on it. Keeping your values close and your edges soft helps the effect stay together. If I tried it with hard edges and contrast devalues, it doesn't look so good. Also, by allowing the original color to dominate, we can still tell what local color the object is. All right, let's investigate some of the actual mechanics behind these color notes. Here's a sampling of the original yellowy greenish base color, and here's a note of purple now to get from one color to the other. Using the hue strip, I have to slide from here all the way up to here. That makes it appear that there's this huge chasm between the two colors, and you might be timid about making such a big move. But actually, the distance between these two colors is not that great. In Episode five, I talked about how color harmony can be based on Grey's and color notes directly applies this theory. Our first color was here. Our second color was here. If we completely de saturated both of those, the resulting color is identical, even though there are two different hues. So allow me to offer you a different way of looking at the color space we have are two colors and let's flip one of these boxes around in this configuration weaken, join them and now through the Grey Weaken, link any two colors we want. But before you get all excited, there are still some questions that need answers. For example, how can we keep these color notes organized? Just how far can you stretch this whole gray thing? How can you trust your own taste enough to know what looks right? You know, like what matters and what doesn't. This is where I need a good analogy. No, not ions who I know. I went wine tasting in France this year, and my wine educator taught me that the drinking was step three of a three step process. The drinking is where you apply your taste. There's no right or wrong. You just go with your fancy and you like what you like. That applies to color notes as well, but to inform your whims. The 1st 2 steps were all about gathering context. For instance, the color and opacity of the wine can give you clues as to its structure, like its approximate age. The type of grape you know, useful information toe have. If you're serious about wine in painting its values that give you your structure, notice that most of those color changes are just not evidence in a value study. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that a variety of color means changing your values sporadically. No, it's a simple value structure that gives you the leeway to be more playful with color. And, as you can see, Richard Schmidt in Grayscale agrees. Okay, back to our list here, which I've updated for our purposes. The next step was smelling the wine. This is when you start to gather information about little flavors. It might have. I feel like this is similar to the overall temperature of a light source. Here are some common light sources on the degrees Kelvin scale, but, you know, forget about degrees Kelvin. What matters is that different light sources give you different starting points from which to explore color. For example, in the context of sunset light, your starting point might be way over here, but you aren't just stuck in that one spot you're free to do. Little hue shifts to neighbouring colors, and when you do these little neighboring moves, I find you can often keep a similar saturation. You could also venture toward the gray, pick up a few color notes as you do and pop out into the blues. These greys by themselves are a little Kulish for sunset, but because they're linked to those initial warms, they can really work as accent notes. However, if you were to forsake that connection and venture too far, you're painting will look less like color notes and more like a color cacophony. A more neutral light source will have a more neutral starting point, perhaps allowing this kind of exploration. So armed with context, we can finally indulge in the wine. Any volunteers to do the drinking? Look, everyone the interns back. Hey, no hard feelings from that last episode. We're cool, right? Okay, well, drink up, buddy. While the intern is drinking delicious wine, let's look at the delicious notes in this zone. Ming Wu Sunset painting the sunset colors air rooted in saturated reds and equally saturated neighboring colors. A little further back. He moves toward the gray, exploring notes in this range and in the very back. He continues that trajectory, finding gray notes that work in context with the warms up front. The shadows received their illumination from the environments. Ambient light and the color notes here follow a similar path. Onley in a totally different area of the color wheel. Color notes can come in endless combinations, so it's up to you to explore and find what suits your taste. And just remember, if you ever get stuck, you can always go back. Two steps one and two Check your context. Make sure you haven't gone overboard. Oh my God, the interns wasted. This is not good. Just get off the screen. Wait a second. Hang on there, in turn. Okay, stumble around again. Stumbling is another way to find color notes. So long as your context is well understood, you're stumbling, will be contained, and all kinds of color relationships can happen this way. Who would have known that being impaired could possibly help art? I should have seen that coming well switched to water everyone because we're headed to Part two. Let's do a little color study of part of that Richard Schmid painting. My intention here is not to do an exact copy. Rather put my focus on building similar color notes. I'm starting, of course, with a basic value pattern, not thinking about color just yet. The structure needs to be there before I can build on it. So here I'm just tinting the canvas to give me something. Toe work out of the main light source in this painting is a cool overcast, so tempting the canvas, slightly warm, will help some of those neutral cools punch out just a bit more. But it's not just cool colors I'm playing with. You can see some neutral oranges, neutral pinks, even some neutral reds there. Now, this is kind of a rapid fire stage. I'm just throwing colors on their and exploring, not taking any choice to seriously yet. I need to audition the colors before I can make any decisions. The value is what insurers that the form stays solid. Then, when it comes to the color notes, I have to just use my taste. Do I like a certain passage, or do I not now contextually? Because the light is Kulish I and Richard Schmid are favoring cooler notes in the light you can see as I get into some shadow areas. Now I'll switch to favoring warmer notes. In fact, one of the things I love about the Schmidt painting is that some of the neutral warm color notes in the light, for instance, some of those neutral oranges those same Hughes are brought into the shadow. On Lee, they get a little warmer, more saturation. It's an interesting way of carrying a color note from, like to shadow in this case, and as a result you gain an extra layer of structure, a subliminal sense that there's a method to the madness, which in my opinion, is always nice. There's also these tasty saturated notes of blue in the lights and equally saturated notes of red in the shadow there used sparingly enough that it doesn't look like the wall is blue or red. To me, they read as accent notes and really are abstract color choices, meaning they're not related to the fact that this is a house. The physical subject ceases to matter past a certain point. Those saturated blue and red color notes are related more to the overall color design of this painting, there's just something pleasing about how they magnify the more neutral versions of themselves. Now I just like to say that there are other factors that can contribute to color notes, things I didn't cover in this video, like the physical texture of something atmospheric perspective. Color is such a deep subject, and this lesson is certainly not meant to be the end of it. But I have found that for me, it's the quality of the light more than any other physical phenomena that drives most of your color decisions. So anyway, I'm at a stage now where everything is in, and I'm consolidating my color choices. Colors. I don't think fit. I'll just paint right over them. Or maybe an area has too many color notes, so I'll smooth it out a bit. This process can take hours, as every little area is connected to every other area. So I'll stop right here. You know, I used to look at good painters, pallets and think man, what a mess. But now I know what we're really looking at. Here is a map, a map that charts the color notes in the painting But these maps don't look technical or intimidating. To me. They look fun. I often look to the painter's palette as evidence of the sheer joy that can come with mixing color. You know you can explore all these different color notes before committing to them. Now digital painting removes the necessity for having a physical palette like this. So if you're a digital painter who's never tried mixing traditional pigment, I say give it a shot. You might be pleasantly surprised at how it can nurture a love for color. Well, that's it for today. And I'm Jeez. How much wine did you drink? I'll call you a cab. Just give me your address. Okay. Is there someone who can come and pick you up? This is not where I saw this lesson going.