Friday, 14 March 2014

It's a matter of Tones.

This week my students have been marvelous. No change there then. I did an oil painting workshop and had lots of props left over, so used them for a water colour exercise for my weekly students. It was an aubergine and a lemon on coloured paper. The thing that is so intersting about these objects placed together is the huge range of tones - from the very bright lemon to the highlights and darks on the aubergine, with the paper in between.

This photo is a bit blurry, but it shows clearly what the brief was. Painting by Carolyn G, student

The task was to draw the objects, twice, on water colour paper, then do a one colour tonal study using Payne's Grey, and then a colour version. 
And how much suffereing was there...? Well, I couldn't possibly say, though on the whole students wimpered fairly quietly. The one colour painting took much more time than the colour one, which was interesting. 
By Thomas R, student (Thomas managed the colour painting in about 20 minutes!) 

The challenge is to get the contrasts right, and most avoided the very dark of the aubergine for as long as possible. But, until the dark is dark enough, the lights won't shine, so eventually, the layers built up and those contrasts really began to work well.
Not the best photo, but two lovely studies, by Ruth T, student

By Jayne McC, student
If we painted in black and white more often, our colour work would benefit hugely. Black and white forces us to observe tonal contrasts in order for our wrk to look 3 dimensional. Understanding tones helps us be less intoxicated with actual colours, allowing us the freedom to see far MORE colour than if we'd ignored the tones. 
Hard at work...

Up and coming - Friday homework club for teenagers. 

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