Thursday, June 18, 2015

Color Harmony Training - Green Side

25 cm x 30 cm, Oil

I had never really understood what color harmony even meant until I started doing blockstudies in context of the painting program of the Virtual Art Academy. My idea was more like which colors go together well when choosing clothes. That is just a matter of taste and ever changing fashion. Color harmony is not. Our brains use color to identify the shape of objects to generate a feeling of space. A threedimensional object in space is seen with with different colors from the different sides of the object depending on the direction of the illuminating light. We do not see the actual color of a cube but three shapes of different color. Using these three colors our brain can identify the actual color of a cube (although these three colors are often very different in value, hue, and saturation) because they are harmonized by the illuminating light. To create a realistic illusion in a painting it is crucial to get the colors right. Our brains only have a very small tolerance until things start to look wrong/unharmonic. The more one works on color observation skills the narrower this tolerance becomes. So if you don't want to reduce the number of paintings you like in a museum/gallery/exhibition to just a few, better do not work on these skills. 
Like in music, unharmonic tones can be extra fantastic within a piece of art that feels flawless. I think to create this feel takes many years of hard work in any kind of art and plenty more of these studies for me.

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