Saturday, May 02, 2009

Colour Theory & Practice

     On Wednesday night I attended my 1st Colour Theory & Practice class at SMC (Unfortunately I missed the previous week, which I was really mad at myself for)

I am taking the class so I can understand colour more than I do now. What is complementary and what enhances an image, mostly, how to recognize subtle colour in tones ie: There is a little too much yellow in a subjects skin). While the class I am taking is directed solely at art (painting etc) and colour theory in photography and cinematography differ from what I'll be learning about, it is all still relative to some extent. The fundamental recognition of values and tones, I believe, are applicable over both mediums. 

We started with the colour wheel that, at a glance, has all the basic hues and how they relate to each other, something everyone has seen in school. What were complimentary colours, analgous colours, warm and cool colours, and values- Tones from white to black. ie: Greys

I learnt that even while you'll see a painting in colour... 2 colours can have the same value (brightness) ie: Green & Red have the same value. Most paintings have 4 values, except in abstract art. It can have 3 or 2. Values are recognized as high key, medium key and low key. (mmm sounds not unlike Cinematography when talking about lighting)

We have been looking at examples of modern masters & abstract expressionists. We also went over the 9 values of B&W with greys in between. See above picture to see exercises of 9 vales and colour values.

We then went on to do exercises in space exploration using regular & irregular shapes in 4 values. We covered this in B&W & colour using complementary, analagous, monochromatic & contrasting colour. We are using acrylic paints for these exercises. 

I wont lie... some of it is a little confusing... when dealing with cinematography or photography the primary colours are RGB (red, green & Blue) and the secondary colours are cyan, magenta and yellow. I was on struggle street when I had to forget what I knew in art and change it for cine... and now I am so used to cine, I have to remind myself that these changes apply to paintings.

I still feel that all I am learning is relevant to cine & photography, I am understanding how to achieve certain colours and thus recognizing colour in images more... and I am wanting to see this so I can make educated decisions about colour to enhance in an image subtly & with taste. 

Next week we will look at Geometric Painting (although we did cover some of that already). Should be fun