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The Way To Happiness The philosophy of these lessons: Look, Learn, Practice

Chapter 17 of "The Way To Happiness" deals with Competence. I've found that too many limit their own progress as an artist with the concept that they "haven't got the talent." 90% of being a good professional artist is about looking for yourself, learning (including good study habits), and practicing what you have learned to become Competent. If you are interested in a free copy of "The Way to Happiness", please email me for one.

Lesson 11

1. Thought

Color Temperature: In addition to hue, value, saturation as factors in the painting, "color temperature" plays a part in establishing a mood. A painting can be warm or cool. A warm painting has more warm or sunny colors in it: orange, yellow, brown. A cool painting has more cool colors: true blue, purple, pink, cool grey. Even grays can be cool or warm and you need to be aware of this when painting your neutrals.

2. Words:

Hue: The particular shade of a color. Red and orange are hues. Fire engine red and rose are hues.

Value: The relative lightness or darkness of a color. You are familiar with the grey scale. Notice that if you held any color up to the grey scale, it would be located somewhere on that scale, yellows towards the light end, blues and reds towards the dark end.

Saturation: The degree of intensity of a color, as measured by its freedom from mixture with white. Notice that a fully saturated yellow is still fairly light on the value scale.

Often the problem in painting is how to maintain a color's saturation while changing its value or how to darken its value without changing the hue. For instance, when you lighten red or blue for highlights, you may find that the quality of the color changes. When you try to darken yellow for shadow areas, you find that, when mixed with black, it becomes a dirty green. The challenge is overcoming the limitations of the paint.

3. Practice: "Learning bears fruit when it is applied."

Exercise: Painting in a cool or warm temperature.

Try an exercise in which you limit the color scheme used in the painting to either a cool or warm feeling. In other words, mix colors that are only cool or only warm. Even the neutrals should be cool or warm (i.e., blue grey or brown grey.) If this seems too extensive a first step, limit to neutrals only, but use only cool or warm neutrals (warm brownish greys or cool blueish greys.)


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Last updated: March 1, 2004