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[Enrichment] - Color Studies

Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
edited February 2015 in Art Assignments and Resources
Color Studies
>>Enrichment Directory<<
dv-tyu_web.jpg

One of the best ways to make a picture come to life is by having a strong color composition, but often times color is made an afterthought when it comes to study- a touch of local color under a line drawing and calling it a day is often the case.

This month's exercise puts color front and center: by stripping down our compositions to the barest, basic elements, we can concentrate exclusively on the tricky subject of figuring out just what does make for "good color", without getting bogged down in other issues. By engaging color as a crucial compositional element, we can invoke a strong sense of realism or mood with very little in the way of actual rendering. Think of it as a color thumbnail.


You may choose to work on some, or all of the following:

Do quick color studies exploring a color concept (analogous/complimentary colors, saturated vs desaturated colors, etc, using color contrasts to guide the viewer's eye, etc.)
Make a series showing the same objects/setup under various different lighting conditions or moods
Analyze a painting, reference or scene from life by breaking it down into simple color shapes, showing how color concepts function in a real world scenario


For these exercises, try to keep your rendering simple and broad, without going into much detail. Try not to spend more than a few minutes on your rough sketch, and instead try to work exclusively with color. I would suggest working more with opaque blocks of color to encourage you to be bold and decisive with your color decisions, rather than trying to "sneak up" on a color by using transparency, airbrushes, excessive blending, or Photoshop blend modes.

Remember- use color to capture the mood and the light, not the details!

Inspiration and Resources

Toy-Story-3-Color_Script_Woody-Sunnyside.jpg

tumblr_mk3tqtUUY81rp3zzco1_500.jpg
http://imaginateur.tumblr.com/

a--color-roughs01.jpg
a--color-roughs05.jpg
http://nathanfowkes-sketch.blogspot.com/

This site gives a decent idea of how to determine color schemes based on the color wheel:
http://colorschemedesigner.com/

James Gurney's blog has tons of posts about colors, color wheels, color schemes, lighting, etc.
http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/search?q=color

Iruka on
IrukaProspiciencemageormike
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Posts

  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    I am SO excited about this! The pictures you've posted are exactly how I want to paint, and I'm never able to, because I always succumb to detail.

    Draw an egg.
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    Hooray! I really need to work in this category!

    Prospicience
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    Great one, AoB! I could use this.

    I'm so busy I barely have time to eat anymore, but I took a few minutes to do a scribble in this general vein this morning after reading this topic (I've got some illegal transparency going on though):

    5ABUaO3.png

    Time permitting I want to take a more structured stab at this.

    header_image_sm.jpg
    tynicIrukaAngel_of_BacontapeslingerMustang
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    I think I may try to tackle this with real paint after I'm done moving. Thanks for making the topic AOB!

    ninjai
  • ProspicienceProspicience The Raven King DenvemoloradoRegistered User regular
    I'm totally gon' get on this, even a little bit if that's all I can muster. I am not good with them colors.

  • SeraphSwordSeraphSword Registered User regular
    Quite a coincidence. Just ordered Gurney's Color and Light, should be here in a couple days.

    Mastery is the result of ceaseless error, combined with ruthless self-appraisal.
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    The task of painting without inked lines seems really daunting to me.

    All the more reason to participate!

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
  • mageormikemageormike Registered User regular
    Yessss! Been awhile since I've last done a series of these. I will definitely be on board :)

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Ive been wrestling with this for an hour and have no idea how to begin. >.<

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
  • Red RaevynRed Raevyn Ooga booga booga Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Ah frick frack, I feel like I'm floundering. I guess that means I'm in the learning process.

    My first attempt, ugliness:
    Reference:
    DMYYFTn.png

    I figured I am just doing blocks of color so initially I used Paint.Net at work. I tried to pick about 6 colors in advance and do it with that, thinking restricting my palette would help. I think it's just awful, once I started painting the colors didn't look right:
    xjiofgB.jpg

    So I tried again at home with CS2 eyeballing a mid color for each thing (wall, shirt, skin) and then adjusting up and down from it.
    z1eGY21.jpg

    I think the background is too busy and there are issues with the forms (I only spent about a minute roughing in their outlines), but I'm not happy with the colors, either. I look at these and feel like the guy posting his mis-proportioned anime fan drawings. I'm more proud of this 6-color MSPaint art I did two years ago:
    forested_hills_by_redraevyn-d3cb0of.png

    I think I'm going to go find a tutorial or something, I'm trying not to bite off more than I can chew but I feel like a little mouse trying to find purchase on a large sphere (all the bites are too big).

    Red Raevyn on
    League of Legends: Gergor Smite: Gergorgamesh Forza: Dr Gregulator
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    Enc wrote: »
    Ive been wrestling with this for an hour and have no idea how to begin. >.<

    If you're painting something with depth like a landscape, try painting whatever is furthest away first, using large block colours, and gradually work in to the foreground.

    Flay on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    uQwzm7mG

    About 3 hours in on this so far. Gonna pick back up this afternoon after some chores. Thanks to Flay and Tynic for the advice on how to get started. :D

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    For those having trouble getting started, here are a couple of step-by-steps:
    http://nathanfowkes-sketch.blogspot.com/2009/06/blog-post.html
    http://nathanfowkes-sketch.blogspot.com/2009/09/demo-for-you-this-week.html
    http://nathanfowkes-sketch.blogspot.com/2011/11/i-promise-to-get-back-to-good-ol.html

    One thing I would definitely suggest for anyone working in Photoshop, is to make a second window for their document by going to Window>Arrange>New Window for _________. Zoom way out on it so it's really small, around an inch and a half to 2 inches wide/tall. Keep that on your screen while you're working on your primary window, so you can keep referring back to it when working. If you've put in a bunch of work and you can't see much of a change on that tiny window, you are working too tight and not working towards the overall, broader picture.


    Couple of these- took roughly 25 min-40 min per. Process for these was I closed my eyes and just scribbled with a pencil brush just to get something down, spent a minute trying to sort the randomness into something slightly tangible, and once I had a vague notion of what it could be, started into color.
    I like doing this just so I can go at a picture without any preconceived ideas of what it should be- it's easy if you're going for something specific to shy away from making decisions that go against that idea, even if it would make the overall image more interesting than that initial idea. By starting out completely randomly I feel less attached to any one thing, and feel free to explore more. (Though for the same reason, this is a terrible process for anything involving real anatomy.)
    colorStudy_2013-4-6.jpg

    Process .gifs
    colorStudy_2013-4-6_gif_1.gif

    colorStudy_2013-4-6_gif_2.gif

    colorStudy_2013-4-6_gif3.gif

    colorStudy_2013-4-6_gif4.gif

    Enc
  • jwaddjwadd Registered User regular
    i decided to color the doodle i did this morning
    RFUKReUl.pngk30gnqDl.jpg

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    @jwadd, it's awfully desaturated in relation to the fact that this challenge is about colour. You should try and go a bit more nuts on that one. Maybe add some coloured light sources to spice things up.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Two from this morning:
    raqCWS31
    dzlQWBYz

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    Enc, I feel like you're improving already. The bottom one is super nice, but honestly I think you're worrying more about details than is necessary for the spirit of the challenge. There's a ton of little noodling brushstrokes apparent and you could accomplish almost the same read with virtually no colors in huge blocks, which is I think what Bacon is getting at with the challenge. Here, a quick paintover thing:

    NMw8nNS.png

    Zoomed out comparison (I could have done better on your midground cliffs; whoops:

    HzTx0at.png

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • Red RaevynRed Raevyn Ooga booga booga Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    That's helpful AoB, thanks. I'm going to work on that, and also apply what squidbunny is saying.

    This is from yesterday:
    Ixmk4Rr.jpg

    Edit:
    Today's
    tumblr_mkw7gbVV7L1s9cildo1_400.jpg

    Red Raevyn on
    League of Legends: Gergor Smite: Gergorgamesh Forza: Dr Gregulator
  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    To stop myself from being tempted towards detail, I went for a nice sunset:

    tumblr_mkwdl0By9C1ql500mo1_1280.jpg

    Draw an egg.
    Juggernut
  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    colorstudies1.png

    tapeslinger
  • ChicoBlueChicoBlue Registered User regular
    I did a couple of WALL•E studies because I like WALL•E.

    walle.jpg

    I used Sam Nielson brushes on them. Mostly the conte brush at 100% opacity.

    m3naceKochikensAngel_of_BaconMoorkusninjaiIrukaEncF87ProspicienceRed RaevynJuggernuttapeslingermageormikeh3nduCorehealerbombardiermullyAnialosIncenjucar
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    squidbunny wrote: »
    Enc, I feel like you're improving already. The bottom one is super nice, but honestly I think you're worrying more about details than is necessary for the spirit of the challenge. There's a ton of little noodling brushstrokes apparent and you could accomplish almost the same read with virtually no colors in huge blocks, which is I think what Bacon is getting at with the challenge. Here, a quick paintover thing:

    NMw8nNS.png

    Zoomed out comparison (I could have done better on your midground cliffs; whoops:

    HzTx0at.png

    Thanks! I'll try and push the OCD part of my brain away on my next ones. :)

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Also, @chicoblue that gloss on the white robot is inspiring. I stared at it for a long, long while trying to work out how you did it, it's amazing.

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    @Red Raevyn Nice work on the Monument Valley one in particular.

    @chicoblue Goddamn. Great work and great choice of scenes.

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • lyriumlyrium Registered User regular
    edited April 2013
    One thing I would definitely suggest for anyone working in Photoshop, is to make a second window for their document by going to Window>Arrange>New Window for _________. Zoom way out on it so it's really small, around an inch and a half to 2 inches wide/tall. Keep that on your screen while you're working on your primary window, so you can keep referring back to it when working. If you've put in a bunch of work and you can't see much of a change on that tiny window, you are working too tight and not working towards the overall, broader picture.

    That is super nifty!!

    lyrium on
    Prospiciencetapeslinger
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    ION CANNON IS READY!
    cSkfv0K.png

    Enc
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    bone saw is ready!!!

    Mice scratching at the walls inside of your head.
    This is a warning that my sig was too tall.
    You could have sent me a PM or something.
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    Well, this is an area I struggle with. These are probably the most successful thing I have done with color in mind. A series of Earthbound posters done with a limited palette. Would love to get feedback on what works and what doesn't with them:

    WHnfUpo.jpg

    tapeslinger
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    I like Twoson the best.

    brokecracker
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    Actually I like them all but Threed, which is a lot more obvious and less clever (the palette's nice and Threedy, though). I love the meteorite impact site mirroring the sun in Onett. I like the Fourside/Moonside mirror, too, but wonder if it'd be more effective actually mirrored, i.e. the Monotoli building opposite the Moonside skyscraper, with the word "Moonside" on the bottom opposite Fourside? I know it'd disrupt the balance but I feel like it'd say more about their weird relationship in the game.

    header_image_sm.jpg
    brokecracker
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    @m3nace thanks! I think that one is my favorite palette for sure. Has that hot muggy summery look.

    @squidbunny thanks for the feedback! I actually had "Moonside" on there at one point but wanted it to look more "series-esque" so I ditched it :( And I think your right about Threed, a bit on the nose compared to the rest.

  • kevindeekevindee Registered User regular
    I actually find Onett very, very pleasing. But I'm a total sucker for orange. All of them are enjoyable, though I'd try swapping house sizes in Twoson around, it feels jarring to have the more distant house be bigger, even if it actually is - same for the tree!

    I say this without knowing what Earthbound is, though, so I might be missing something.

    brokecracker
  • jwaddjwadd Registered User regular
    jwadd wrote: »
    i decided to color the doodle i did this morning
    RFUKReUl.pngk30gnqDl.jpg
    update
    kdowEGal.jpg

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Two quick color pieces, just sort of goofing up tonight.

    pastel-thumb.jpgrvd-thumb.jpg

    Guns make you stupid. Better to fight your wars with duct tape. Duct tape makes you smart.

    I make Encounter Maps for Pathfinder and D&D! Check them out here: https://falleron.com/
  • Red RaevynRed Raevyn Ooga booga booga Registered User regular
    Oof. This was definitely too complex to go straight to painting - I should have sketched some shapes and outlines first. I bit off more than I could chew regardless, but it's such an interesting shot from a friend who just moved to AK.

    jCWOzGf.jpg OwAftIN.jpg

    I think I'll do it again tomorrow, and try to use simpler shapes and communicate with strokes instead of literal shapes.

    League of Legends: Gergor Smite: Gergorgamesh Forza: Dr Gregulator
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Red Raevyn wrote: »
    Oof. This was definitely too complex to go straight to painting - I should have sketched some shapes and outlines first. I bit off more than I could chew regardless, but it's such an interesting shot from a friend who just moved to AK.
    I think I'll do it again tomorrow, and try to use simpler shapes and communicate with strokes instead of literal shapes.
    There's plenty of places where you could add dashes of blue in those shadows.

  • HalenHalen Registered User regular
    Jwadd, I think you could really benefit from some big blocks of colour instead of scribbling all the time. Also your palate is very muted.

    Draw an egg.
  • jwaddjwadd Registered User regular
    Halen wrote: »
    Jwadd, I think you could really benefit from some big blocks of colour instead of scribbling all the time. Also your palate is very muted.
    ty I will try and work these things into my next revision. The blue areas were larger initially.

  • NakedZerglingNakedZergling A more apocalyptic post apocalypse Portland OregonRegistered User regular
    landscape1-1_zps6bd73ae1.jpg

    squidbunnyRed Raevyntynic
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