Friday, October 27, 2006

Color Theory 5 - eye relief

Here is a bit of stuff to wash away the dirty pictures I violated you with yesterday.This is a great establishing shot from Yogi's Big Break painted by Montealegre and drawn by Dick Bickenbach.
The strongest contrast in the picture is the cliff and tree in the foreground.
It has more saturated color than the BG and stronger contrasts in coloring and texture of the 3 objects that make it up.

1) Dark grey-green tree
2)Green (slightly bluish) grass
3) red brown cliff with dark purple-brown sponge texture

Look at all the textures on these things. They are different tints than the color underneath-unlike all the crappy BGs in the last couple posts that just use darker and lighter shades of the same purples and pinks.

Using different tints and values to texture your surfaces adds depth and makes even stylized cartoony or artistic paintings seem more real and inviting and natural.


The background in the painting-the ground, hills and sky are allvery similar in value-lighter and greyer which makes it seem farther away and attracts our eye to the foreground.

The whole beautiful scene invites us into the cartoon. It pleasures our eyes and tells us fun is on its way.

That is good logical thinking. Tell your audience you like them by giving them sensory pleasure right away!

Samurai Jack was full of brilliant color schemes. Look how moody this poster is. All the colors are related, yet the picture is not monochromatic-because of the theory I mentioned above.

Also there is a hierarchy of contrasts in the picture.

Jack is lighter than the BG which makes him read against it.

But he also blends with the scene by having the reds mixed in with his colors.

At the top of the pan, the abstracted shapes are silhouetted against a bright orange spot circled by a wash of brownish tan.

Glenn Barr has a book out now filled with brilliant color paintings that are full of thought. If you are seriously interested in learning about how to control color get this book and study it! Copy the color schemes and try to figure out the general concepts behind them! I wish Glenn would do a blog and explain his technique and thoughts. It would benefit mankind.

Jamie Hewlett's Gorrilaz- the best cartoons today in my opinion.
The foreground characters are cooler colors against the hot reds behind them. The characters instantly read even though their colors are muted.
How much more interesting is this than seeing the same old pink and purple color schemes in so many cartoons? (Actually there are some in Gorillaz, but the drawings are so great I forgive them!)

I also really like odd skin colors.

I hate the concept of "flesh color". There is no such thing! Flesh comes in an infinite variety of colors and tones. Throw out your "flesh colored" paints and mix up interesting colors that suggest flesh but aren't really.

Here is some greyed bluish flesh.

Greenish flesh

Look how different each of these color schemes are-all from the same cartoon!

I wish I could find more of the good stuff from Powerpuff Girls. The show is loaded with clever and effective well thought out color. When I googled for pics I mostly found purple and pink scenes! But I don't remember the show having mostly that.

Why can't we have more stuff like this?

Now, if I were a BG painter or color stylist and I had to go into work everyday and paint the exact same 2 or 3 color schemes that I have painted for the last 10 years I'd be suicidal.

I just don't get it.

Color can be so fun. Our eyes crave it. Artists are supposed to CREATE. Why do so few do that? What a great job it would be to invent new color schemes every day and new brush textures and techniques.

If you are some bored painter who likes inventive and succulent colors and nobody lets you do them you better post some links to your stuff in the comments because I will give you something to do that the whole world will see.