Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Neutral Colors

Ok, time to get at the neutral colors...
Neutral colors are colors that are not primary or secondary colors. They are colors not easy to name because they are much more subtle blends. "Brown" is the simplest form of a neutral color but even "brown" is usually too harsh to use as a main area of color.

Gray is neutral too, but there are many tints of gray. Add a touch of blue for a cool gray, a touch of red for warm gray, etc...Grays, tans, earthy colors, creams and a myriad of shades can be found in nature and not in enough cartoons (not since the 40s anyway). In the cartoon world trees are thought to be "brown" with "green" leaves. Which is why so many cartoons have unsubtle pure brown and green trees - and blue skies. If you actually look at any trees, very few are actually "brown". Again - the psychological danger of thinking of art in terms of the simple words we use to describe things. Words are crappy artists. Eyes and brains make better pictures.

Here's a wonderful painting of trees made with subtle neutral colors:


What color is a fart cloud? "brown" comes to mind, but I would rather use more subtle grayed brown-ish colors. And some olive green tints and fumes suggest a particularly rancid odor.
All these neutral colors are tinted in various color directions, some towards the yellow, some towards magenta, etc. Using a variety of tints enriches every fart.
I do Stimpy's nostrils in brownish colors - but over top of the blue shades. Blending the two color groups harmonizes them by lessening the contrasting hues.
I'm using cooler colors for his eyelids - grayed blueish, purplish colors to give a subtle contrast to the warmer gaseous part of the waft.
"Delta Brown" is more gray than brown. I'm using it for the darkest deepest part of the nose-hole.

I'm using "Cinnamon Toast" around the rim of his nostril, just to make the orifice that much more delicious.
I can never remember what color Stimpy's eye mask is. You've probably noticed it changes all the time. Perhaps it changes with his emotions.

OK, it's almost finished.

Next step is to touch up the lines and add some more shades and to make it look worked.
Let's give a special thanks to my all time favorite dream pet with the gorgeous neutral colors and Clampett -like appeal and proportions.

16 comments:

Laylassong said...

Really looks beautiful all finished! All the details you did with the different colors really enhance ren and stimpy and make them look alive!

ickybones said...

Great mention with the trees. I was having thoughts about how trees were to brown or how pure green grass appears to be in some cartoons I've watched. I've been taking notes and photos just from looking at my backyard.

Ha love the almost finished product and that photo at the end.

Sandra Rivas said...

John, this is looking amazing! I can't wait to see it finished!!

HemlockMan said...

That's "Fat, Bloated Eediot", sir!

Pete Emslie said...

"All these neutral colors are tinted in various color directions, some towards the yellow, some towards magenta, etc. Using a variety of tints enriches every fart."

A virtual spectrum from the rectum!

Gordeaux said...

I can hardly contain myself!! Thank you dream pet with the gorgeous neutral colors and Clampett -like appeal and proportions. I will attempt to draw you in order to improve my skills!

BlakeJ said...

Awesome stuff, John! This is really inspiring and informative! I thank you for these tutorials.

I'm glad you are updating more frequently again, it's always fun to get to see what you are up to.

Joshua Marchant (Scrawnycartoons) said...

Ha, you're right about Stimpys eye mask. I always thought it was a neutral grey/yellow color.

And that Ass doll is great! I like all the little toys and things you have around your desk.

Steven M. said...

Very pleasing to the eyes.

Your grat use of using various tints and mixtures makes for a very rich piece of eye candy, rather than Saturday Morning eye torture.

Paul B said...

The good old Neutral Donkey...

Archie said...

Awesome work John! Can I buy one of these to treasure forever :)

Zoran Taylor said...

I wanna see you render a Milk Hotel. (Never mind, just tell Kali I said this, she'll get it.)

jmdude said...

John,
I`m sorry to bother you here, but I`m trying to get in touch with you. My name is Juan Manuel Dominguez and I`m a film programmer from Buenos Aires, from a Festival called BAFICI. We`re starting to prepare our 2013 Festival, and since I`m in charge of animation (and this something that has just happened a few days ago) I wanted to reach you in order to see If you were interested to come to the Festival and do a big how of your creator owned work. Obviously this is an unofficial proposal, but we wanted to reach you unofficially before making a real proposal. It would be increible. I`m a huge, huge, fan of your work. My mail is estonoesundominguez@gmail.com
Best,
Juan Manuel Dominguez

fandumb said...

For Stimpy's eye mask I just use light yellow. And I seem to remember it's his whole body that changes with his emotions (like in 'In the Army' it turned olive green).

fandumb said...

The first time I watched 'Ren and Stimpy' I thought Ren was a rabbit for some reason. Now that he's a buck-toothed Chihuahua in this drawing, I can see it.

Jeff Read said...

Awwww, Stinky has a little brother!

He seems less happy to be in the world than Stinky was. Can't say I blame him.