Monday, December 15, 2008

Landscape Echoes 16 & Tips on Using Color

Semi-Abstract Landscape, painting by Jan Blencowe

About This Painting: Semi-Abstract Landscape

Artist:Jan Blencowe
Title: Landscape Echoes 16

Media: acrylic
Size: 14 in X 11 in (35.6 cm X 27.9 cm)

Price: $300 + $10 shipping in the USA

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How to Purchase:
send me an email

Confident Color by Nita Leland is my book recommendation for December. I love this book already and I've only had it for a week! First off, like Nita Lelands other books, it's hardcover on the outside with a spiral binding inside so the book opens and actually lays flat on the table allowing you to have it open and on your work surface as you do the exercises. I find that very practical. Here are a few kernels of truth I've gleaned so far......

While there is a place for student paint, it isn't in an artist's studio. Use the best materials you can buy. Better to have a few richly pigmented artist's colors than a paint box filled with low tinting-strength paints. A tube of student paint may cost half as much as the same color in artist's paint, but you have to use twice as much paint-and time- to get the color effect you want. Cheap fabric or collage papers are likely to fade or deteriorate. Where is the savings? Show respect for yourself and your art by using quality materials. pg. 13 (emphasis mine)

Be bold with pure hues. this is your opportunity to have some real color fun. Believe it or not, you can use pure colors at their highest saturation-as many colors as you wish, the entire spectrum. Consider the rainbow. Specteral colors don't clash. They're a feast for the eyes. pg.52

and Nita writes....When I began painting in 1970, it was`a value-painters world. I heard it said that if the values are right, the color doesn't matter. I wondered why anyone would think such a thing. Today, value is still important, but there is far more emphasis than there used to be on color in every aspect of art, craft and design. pg 35

This last quote blew me away because I hear the same thing about value all the time, and it never quite sat well with me either. Something inside me kept saying that color was more important than that. It did matter for mood, expression, symbolism, emotion, excitement and pure visual joy.

Not to leave you thinking that this book is all philosophical I'll give you the table of contents:

Ch.1 How Color Works

Ch.2 Color and Design, (this includes a good review of the elements and principles of design, partucularly in relation to the use of color)

Ch.3 The Seven Contrasts of Color ( this is an extremely important chapter)

Ch.4 Creating Color Harmony

Ch.5 Color Choices: The More the Merrier

Ch.6 Color Schemes: Your Playbook

Ch.7 Colorists in Action

Ch.8 Make Color Sing


Nita said...

Jan--Thanks for your positive review of Confident Color. You hit on some key points. And by the way, I love the directness of your painting-a-day paintings. I'm adding you to my feed list!

Jan Blencowe said...

Hi Nita,

I'm so honored that you came for a visit! I do indeed love your books, I've also benefitted so much from your book the New Creative Artist. In fact it was that book that gave me the confidence and inspiration to jump into the semi-abstracts I'm doing now after many years of painting traditional plein air and studio landscapes. Your books are encouraging, informative and always remind me of the joy it is to create! Thanks so much Nita for sharing all that in your wondeful books!

peartreestudio said...

Great post!
I too have been reading a book and the author suggests the principles of NOTAN. Tonal values are soooo important. Now, before I start a painting I do a tonal sketch, and colour sketch and composition sketch, and when I think I've finished the painting I photo it and convert it to greyscale to check it. :))

peartreestudio said...

Excellent Post. I too have been reading a good book, and he stresses the idea of NOTAN. The tonal values are soooo important. Since I took note of his advice I now ALWAYS do a greyscale photo check of my painting in PaintShop before I declare it finished :) In fact my sketch plan now has a colour, a composition and a tonal value sketch to help me out.