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Interpretation of direct daylight - diffuse light - artificial light - Easel - optical assistance

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Interpretation of direct daylight - diffuse light - artificial light - Easel - optical assistance Empty Interpretation of direct daylight - diffuse light - artificial light - Easel - optical assistance

Post by Admin Sat Apr 13, 2024 7:18 am


Direct warm light and incandescent light are not so helpful as northern daylight, which is counterproductive in blending colors. Under warm light, colors appear warmer when they get brighter and colder when they get darker. So the challenge of downtuning in warm light is: how to lighten the color without cooling it. Cold colors like white can't be used. Of course, it can also be brightened by other ways, but the color must be discounted here. A common approach is not to paint according to the color, but to paint the effect of the color relationship on the object. A common way to achieve these effects is to exaggerate the coolness of the dark or adjacent colors, so that the light appears warmer. There are a few other tips, but this book focuses on painting in the daylight of the north, so I won't cover them.
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Diffuse light
The diffuse light coming in through a skylight is completely different from direct daylight. It doesn't create a strong shadow. It makes colors appear warmer and softer as they lighten and darken. Because diffuse light makes dark colors appear warmer when they become darker, it tends to narrow the contrast between light and dark (color). On a sunny day, the bright diffuse light coming through the skylight can form color relationships that are not present in direct daylight.
Artificial light
As a student, artificial light was my only source of paint. Artificial light, like direct sunlight, is also warm, making it difficult to mix colors. To make matters worse, the painting room used fluorescent lights, while the models were completely immersed in the incandescent light of the spotlights. Fortunately, my teacher, the late William H. Mossby, knew this well and guided me through the maze of color theory until I learned that I could paint under a flash if I had to (as I once did while camping in New Mexico!). But when I first experienced northern daylight, I gave up artificial light altogether, except for monochrome paintings, which do not involve color.
easel
Indoor easels should have strong, will not warp, can be moved at will and other conditions. But good easels are expensive. A combination easel can cost $0- $350. My easel is made out of a few 24-foot ankle moulds worth a dollar that can hold a canvas 9 feet high, tilt 40 degrees back and forth, and have wheels that can be moved or held in one position.
Optical assist
Somehow there is still a popular saying that the use of mechanical or optical AIDS in painting is a kind of fraud, as if art is also like wrestling, which requires obeying the rules of the court and having an honest style of play. The use of photography in painting is particularly criticized by some die-hards and laymen. I believe, however, that since the completion of linear remote viewing in the fifteenth century, there has been no technological innovation sufficient to have a profound effect on art, except the development of photography as an instrument of use.
Painters are born eager to find new ways of looking. The Dutch masters generally experimented and applied any new methods that might help to improve technology, and the value of optics has been recognized since ancient times. Many optical devices were used at the beginning of the Renaissance. Leonardo Da Vinci understood the laws of optics; One of his valuable legacies is the pioneering darkroom (mirror) that developed modern photography (Note 1). Authorities on Vermeer, such as Hans Koeningspauger, author of The World of Vermeer, believe that he and several contemporary painters used the bewildering image of such a camera obscura to remarkable effect in light and tinting, thus characterizing their work.
What worked for Da Vinci and the Dutch masters, will certainly work for me at least until I find something better. I use photography when I draw the human body, mainly as a substitute for sketching. Photography is more accurate. Modern photographic technology has inspired a new realm to be reached by the naked eye. Very moving objects, short lighting effects, good angles of capture, difficult poses are all easily solved by the camera. Every time I start to paint the human body, I also take some pictures for reference and to help the model recover the original pose after a break. Before the use of photography, the model must have a high degree of endurance, the artist also had to resort to a lot of suspenders, pillars, etc., to help the model maintain difficult poses, so as not to be too tired. Think of the endurance of the models who pose as martyrs, Greek gods, flying angels and stormtroopers!
However, photography must also be used with caution, or it can easily become a crutch for the lame. Painting with photographs is not a substitute for sketching. I recommend that people who have not sketched for a few years do not use photography. Because photographs have their natural limitations. First of all, the photo is flat. The use of photography in the visual training stage (such as in art schools) will impair the ability to draw three-dimensional images, even people who have years of sketching experience, if the use of photography too much, there will be this danger.
Another big drawback of the photo is that it has a narrow range of colors and shades. Even if the object's light and dark contrast is normal or small, and the exposure and color balance are accurate, it will still have this disadvantage. In a photo, dark colors with low brightness become indistinguishable from each other. Similarly, the color of the bright part above a certain brightness will appear pale. Moreover, this problem cannot be solved with two photos (one slightly overexposed and one slightly underexposed), which simply mixes the difficulty, because both photos will be incorrect in light, shade and color.
My experience is that the inherent defects of photography can only be compensated by my own knowledge of color and memory of color. This means that when I have to use a photograph, I first draw the subject in the same light to figure out the lighter and darker tones.
In addition to taking pictures, the other optical aid I use is an ordinary mirror. When painting a portrait, it is good to put a mirror behind the easel and above it, where you can see both the canvas and the model. If you turn the painting upside down in the mirror, you can find mistakes in the sketch and the tone of light and shade. One of the more common sketching mistakes is when horizontal and vertical lines are in parallel. Being left-handed or right-handed causes the right-angled lines in the cat to skew to the left or right. This defect is impossible to detect except by looking at it from a distance or from the mirror. This defect caused by the habit of technique seems to be a lifelong problem for a painter, despite his rich experience in drawing. The only way is to pay more attention.
Black mirrors are also useful for beginning painting students. A black mirror is a piece of glass painted black on one side. Objects appear in a black mirror, and other tones of highlights and highlights are exaggerated because they are easy to see. But the notes in the Black Mirror are only their relationship to each other, not their true notes. So when students have mastered the true relationship between light and dark, they should not use this device.
There were also many mechanical and optical devices, which some painters found useful. But I regard them at best as unnecessary crutches, and at worst as harmful. There are some auxiliary tools and methods, not good or bad, but just a waste of time. For example, the picture is seen upside down, through a tinted glass or a lens with a false focus, and the picture and the object are seen through large or small squares woven with thread or wire, or symmetrical patterns called forces. This lattice is similar to the lattice pattern of Mensini, described by Televosage in Antonio Mensini, and the lattice used by Durer, described by McDornan in the Painter's Materials and Their Applications. There are many such methods, but they are not worth mentioning.
Another harmful method is to use a concave lens to zoom out the picture. A painting often looks better and more realistic when reduced in size. Because the strokes are not clearly seen, so the fault can not be seen, the picture seems to be more correct. You are only deceiving yourself by adopting this approach. My teacher, William Mosby, once said, not in a purely humorous but rather humorous way, that if a customer was hesitating about buying one of my paintings, I should immediately hand him a concave lens.
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