Do You Paint What You See?

When we paint, either from a photo or from life, are we painting what we see, trying to match the colors or are we painting what we know?I suppose we do both, trying to identify colors we see and match them, but I think the more you paint the more you try to paint what you know, using colors that give you the best effect of light or mood despite what you see. If your goal in painting is to reflect the beauty that's around you then you want to use colors that work best. I realize that I can't come close to copying what God has created. But with knowledge of value, color temperature and how the colors interact with each other I can capture a sense of what I'm trying to show the viewer. By understanding the color wheel ( not just for 1st graders ) I can learn about color combinations that create different moods, mix cleaner color instead of just mixing to match what I see. If I use the 12 colors as a starting point for each object or plane of color I have a better chance of achieving color that works. Its helped me to make my own color wheel with the colors on my palette to get a better sense of what I can mix and think in terms of what I'm trying to achieve instead of just copying.

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