LEARNING TO SEE COLOR
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"The Importance of Broken Color"
1 hr. 22 min Video -
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How you handle color and detail can kill a painting or enhance it. Broken color allows you to add detail with color without a value change, allowing you to create the impression of detail without creating a “busy” painting that doesn't work out.
For most painters, color is the main focus of the painting, it has an emotional aspect to it and it’s the first thing we notice when looking at a painting. Color is also the hardest thing to understand in painting, everyone sees it differently. Coming up with guidelines or rules is like nailing jello to the wall. One of the problems I had early on was that I was trying to copy the color that I was looking at. I would isolate the color I wanted to mix and try to reproduce it. The problem with that is I wasn’t comparing the value and color with surrounding areas of color and I wasn’t SEEING the color correctly.
You might ask, "If I keep everything big and simple what about detail or finish? I don’t want my painting to be posterized or flat.” That’s where broken color comes in. I can break up these big areas with different colors that are the same value. This gives the painting a more refined or finished look without overdoing the detail. Detail is smaller value changes and too much of it can ruin the design and sense of light in your painting. Broken Color can refine or help finish without ruining the design and sense of light.