Introduction To Tone - Master Basic Painting Fundamentals | Robert Joyner | Skillshare

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Introduction To Tone - Master Basic Painting Fundamentals

teacher avatar Robert Joyner, Making Art Fun

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Intro To Tone

    • 2. Tone Demo Part 1

    • 3. Tone Demo Part 2

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About This Class

In this class you will learn the basics of tone and how it impacts your artwork. To help illustrate what tone is I create a side-by-side demonstration that includes a 'bad' and 'good' version.

In the 'bad' version I use tone poorly which results in a flat painting. In the 'good' version I use tone to establish the feeling of depth which results in a more dynamic painting.

Who is this class for?

This is an excellent class for beginners, or aspiring artists that understand the value of developing good painting fundamentals. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Robert Joyner

Making Art Fun


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1. Intro To Tone: All right, Welcome to the lesson. We are going to discuss town now. Previously talked about value and how that's important for your artwork. And hopefully you were able to grasp how did shift lights and darks a little bit to perhaps create a sinner Ventress to create depth in our landscape and so long? The idea is to understand it, experiment with it, and then you use it right with tone. It's really about the saturation of your colors. Okay, So, for example, if I just for to take variety and green, this is a already in green hue and just go straight onto my surface here undiluted, um, you can see the intensity of that color. Now I have a little bit of Mars gray on my palette. Now, I will take that same Hugh saw use at Meridian, and now I'm going to add a little bit of that Mars gray to it. And if you can't see it on camera, sometimes I get glare from the lights. I'll get a close up for you, but hopefully you can see the difference there. I'll take a little more my Mars great and go a little bit. Here So it's a little bit here, and I'll continue that process right on down. I'll just do one more to the point where we have lost Ah, lot of that feeling of green. Okay, so with Meridian, um, with the original color here, I was going to intensify that. You can see how saturated that green is. And then, as I've added Mars gray, um, to it, the color began to tone down. Okay, so this is very intense. And over here on this scale, it's very, um, very soft. Okay, So that Meridian has almost disappeared from the color. Okay, So the idea behind this is, um you have to know how to manipulate your colors. Okay. Now find, you know, many artists, Um, you know, whether they've been painting for two days or two years, they simply don't know how to use color in a way that's effective. Okay, so there would I would normally see his artists will discontent ain't a pound their their canvas and their surface with very, very intense colors. Okay. On day, just go. You know, more color, more color, more color. I'll fix that by adding more color. More color, More color the next thing you know, you had this very intense, colorful um, painting that screams at you. And and for those artists, I don't understand how to effectively tone down their colors. They their art is very loud, but also that they lose the ability to really put to accentuate or put a focal point on their artwork. War to perhaps make abstract style or expressive paintings work because this this tell understanding, toning, using tone properly can do a lot of things for your art. Not only does it just tone down the color, but using this ah range of tone and your landscapes will create a feeling of depth. So if you want to push something farther away from the viewer that you tone those colors down and you by using those grey so you may have brown reddish buildings in a city scape, you wanna push them in. The background will tone them down. You want to bring the paintings in the foreground or in your focal point towards the viewer , make that center of interest that you want to use more saturated colors to make that pop. And like with an abstract painting or an abstract expressive painting. Maybe like one of my cow paintings or something like that, where I have just a kind of a subject. It's not really layered in terms of background, foreground and mid mid ground. All that thing that that kind of staging, if you will, um, then I still have to understand tone. I can't just sit there, slap one intense color after another over top of each other, thinking well, eventually, something's going toe work. No, that's not the case at all. And in May eventually, I don't know. But I can tell you, if you start to understand and use tone, then you could start to subdue certain details, start to lose certain edges and then use more saturated, intense colors to pop certain features to pop certain edges. And then the painting becomes more dynamic. The artist has understands the subtleties of colors, and they become much better and making a balanced painting and not just making us such an intense painting that the viewer just has to stand back and put their sunglasses on because it's just too bright. It's too much information is too much intensity coming at them, So this is the just of tone. And now I will do a demonstration. Where a couple of them, actually where I used tone and my colors to create a certain look. Okay, so this is the overview. I will see you in the demos. 2. Tone Demo Part 1: All right. So now that you understand a little bit about what tone is and how we can use graze to tone down a color and to decrease the intensity of it, that's really the key. I want to do a little demo here, Um, so you can see the difference in how and how it can benefit your artwork. So So we're saying this is not good, and this is good. Okay, So the the image I'm using is just really, um, their homes on and Monhegan on Monhegan Island Rather and has a little bit of feeling of distance. So you have some trees in the background, some homes in the background, and then they trickle forward into the foreground, where you have war homes, more greenery, more leaves, ground area. So I think it would be a good example on how I can adjust tones different to us seeing the image. And that's the key. The image may not always give you exactly what you need in order for it to work on canvas and paper. So the idea idea for me is to use the image for inspiration and then always adjust things as I create because that's the key to being an artist is to take it like an image like this that doesn't have good light. Shadow has a distance in terms of foreground and background and layers, but it doesn't breed. Well, I want to read well on the paper. Okay, So let me Gramma Palate and I will start right away with the not good section here. This Just say the layout all just using square doesn't really matter. So we have a squarely out here. I'm not gonna worry about the sky area. So I see these trees and I look at the trees, like about that they're really dark. So let's say I want to put them in this really dark green case. It goes something like this. All right. And then I see some homes back there in the homes, some seeing back there. Some have, like, a gray roof of black roof, and they're in their white. For the most part, the homes are so let's say I Well, I'm gonna go ahead and put in a dark roof. Second kind of put a dark roof here, have a great roof. I have a little bit of Mars gray on my palette, So I kind of Adam a little gray roof back here and so on. Now I'm like, Okay, we'll see the the white homes. So I'm going to you add this kind of bright white whom they represent, what I'm seeing back there. And some of them are great to Saul. Kind of mixing, Ah, a little gray area, a few grey homes just just to mix it up. And that's good. And then let's say we have some more trees. I'm looking at the trees where they looked really dark and the image so I will try to copy what I see, and it's mixing in mixing up some dark greens. I can even go a little bit lighter. Okay, that's good. Now, OK, well, I've got some other homes here. They're all kind of greyish and white, so I have a few brown homes in there, too. Okay, well, let me and brown whom and we have a few light brown, no roof lines in here, and I see some kind of grayish homes, so I'm going to add these guys in there, and now I'm like, Ok, well, I've got some more greenery here coming at us, and it's getting a little bit lighter so I can start to kind of get that feeling of, um, those homes here and Maurin the foreground area. And we have, Ah, nice white roof here. I'm not getting every single home. I'm just kind of hitting a missing here just to kind of get my point in there. And let's see, we have, Ah, the house there. We have a little peek here and this, something like that, and, uh and they say, there's We'll pretend there's another home right here in the foreground, so well, that's closer to us. Let me make that a little bit really white. We'll get some dark, um, value here, Um, and, uh, let's go with some greens again and would have slapped a few bushes in here and we'll get a darker green. Ah, good. We look at that. It's tough to seeing distance there. You get this really bright white building. Look at that. This building back here is about as white as it gets, and the image There's another little roof over here. This really white so and that's what I did. I basically put the lightest light where I felt it waas in the image. So I'm basically getting attached to what I see and I can go ahead. But through a little bit of light blue in this, let's say I want to add this feeling of the trees, some that's going to give it a school, a little line there. Now that's going to take that same color while having on my brush and get over here now. 3. Tone Demo Part 2: now and this example, I'm gonna think a little bit war about tone and how I can manipulate it through what I feel What would capture distance. Okay, so I can take the trees and let's go with Ah green. I'm gonna gray that green out a little bit And until nothing, something like that, it worked good. And so just kind of splashing in the tree line there. And this is our kind of our key home here, that really white one. And it's going to splash this color down. I will put a little bit of yellow in it right here. All right, so we're a little bit lighter and value there in tone and value because it's a lot lighter color. And now I've got this kind of home here that really sets everything off. In the first example, I'm one of mix up mawr of a cool white. So I took a gray light blue and white, and I'll pop that in about right here. And just so every home is not the same color. I'll mix it up a little bit, so I'm just gonna splash. I'm taking a little bit of white and I'm gonna lighten up these graze a little bit too. Just so we have a little bit of variety, but not not not too light. I don't want it, um, completely weight, because that would not be good either. Now I've got some brown say, this brown roof in here that's moving a little bit closer, so I'm not going to use as much grey in it. So let's say I popped that in about right here again, that feeling of distance and these homes air moving towards us. So I've got, say, a little bit of a white home here. I can throw a little brown roof over here so you throw another brown house here and thats working good, and that's fine. I want to throw some a little bit taller trees a little bit darker, and you see, it's just a little bit darker and what we had there. And, uh, and now, even though this is a really dark roof in the image, I don't want it to look that dark because I know that's going to not work with what I have that's looking good. Now these homes are getting a little bit closer to us. so I'm not going tone things down as much anymore. So I will clean my brush and let's say say I have Ah, really nice. Um see, there's, ah yellowish home over here in the corner. But when I move that over and here just so we get that that's a nice bright yellow. And now I can take a little bit of blue and brown and went to Ah, a little bit of red. I can add, um, come a shadow side of that home and that home has Ah, dark gray roof. So I want to exaggerate that cause I don't want to want to be a little bit darker than this one and look at what I have. So that's the shadow side. Lightened that up a little bit now on so on. So these colors are a little more saturated that they're not as, um toned down as the ones I had before. Now can change things a little bit. Okay, I cannot say Okay, Well, how can I make this work and to make this more believable? And what I can do is I can add a nice a nice dark roof right here, something like this That's nice and saturated. That's just a little bit of fail. A little bit of my crimson. Now, let's say this is a white house, so I'm gonna go almost pure white and warm that up a little bit of Sienna. So we had this, um, warm side. I'll go right into these greys over here, and, um, I kind of get this cool side, and that's looking pretty good. So now I can look at my grass. I can go into some of these greens. I just added a little bit of white to him Touch of halo. And, um, I'm really adding these come lighter greens through the foreground. Now we're going to my blues A little bit of my, um yellow iron oxide touching yellow Get a nice dark green. I'm a dark and a little bit mawr with some red. And I could start to add some more saturated colors here. So these so the painting and what's in the foreground has much more color to it, okay. And has more lightness to it. So you can see with even the ground area trying to mix up another little green here. Um, and now I can. Adam, This a little feeling of light hitting some of these trees, something like that. So now, if I wanted to at even more of a feeling of light and shadow and a better feeling of tone, I can get a little bit of these really light colors. I can look a, um no, my inspiration here. I had a little some trim and features of these homes in the foreground. And, uh, because, well, what's closer to you? You're gonna be able to distinguish Mawr. The core splits away from you. Now we'll go with a little bit of the Sienna and not agreeing this out. I mean, this is just sienna and fellow. So a nice little touch of red, you know, nice dark color here. And I can add it's a little more feeling of color there in the foreground. And I'm just going to adjust the sky a little bit. Wade had another little home here. Maybe I'm gonna go with my grey a little bit later. Nice, intense blue here. And this kind of top it off. I can add a little chimney stack or two. See, we have ah, cool side hair good. So now hopefully what you can see is that with this demonstration over here, I was able to tone things down in the background. Okay, As I worked the painting forward, I use more saturated color. So I so I didn't tone them down as much. I use brighter colors, colors that were a little more vivid to give that feeling of depth. Okay. And then over here, I just looked at the image. I'm basically copy what I was seeing. So it didn't really doesn't really give me that same feeling of depth as this. And now I'm not saying this is a terrible way to pain. I mean, you can create expressive artwork and different things like that, using this technique and make it still interesting. But the idea behind this demonstration is too really just just to make you understand tone , okay? And really, it's about toning down mawr specifically your colors in order to create impact in order to create the say in this case Ah, feeling of distance on in your artwork and landscapes. And, um, once you start to understand this, you hopefully you will get away from, like, copying your images and then being able to take complete control of your images by by adjusting colors, whether it be through value or tone. To put the the emphasis and focus where you want it to be, Um, and then also to manipulate your images so that you can take bad pictures and still create good art out of it on. That's a really, really nice thing to do, because myself, I don't take great pictures. I take a lot of them to see a lot of things I want to paint. I'm constantly searching for stuff, but get back to the studio. I look at them. They're not as they're not great. So I can't, like, print him and hang him up and think they're finished photography. I'm not a good photographer, but I could draw from it. I can create interesting paintings from it cause I use my imagination, tweet values or tweet my tones in order to make the painting my own. Okay to make it personal. Okay, so that concludes this demonstration in. I will talk a little more about tone and of course, value as I move forward. And but for now, I think you got the gist of it, I hope. Just practice greater colors out. Understand how to tweak, Then use saturated colors. Practice that in areas that you wanted to pop your paintings toe really had that impact. And then I think you will start to grow from it. And then as you move forward, you keep. It'll trickle into your artwork, the more you practice with it. Okay, I'll see you in the next.