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How to paint emotions using warm and cool colors.

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This video is an advanced lesson is about color temperature; that is, warm and cool colors, which carry the emotional impact of a painting.

 Watercolor paintings, demonstrating warm and cool color schemes.

Two watercolor paintings showing warm and cool colors. The warm painting on the right is predominately shades of orange and yellow. The cool painting on the left is predominately blue and green. These two paintings serve as demonstrations of how different the feelings are between the color temperatures.

All the following information is applicable to any art medium, not just watercolor painting.

I have more to say about color than about all of the other compositional elements of a painting combined. That is surprising because color is the only one that is totally subjective.

Beyond the basics of color alone (hue), is the concept of darkening the color (shades), and lightening the color (tints). Shades and tints are referred to as neutrals and semi-neutrals. Semi-neutrals (grays) make the colors sing.

Analogous Colors are colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. Within any group of analogous colors there is very little contrast. Therefore images or portions of images which are analogous are harmonious.

Complementary Colors are those colors exactly across the color wheel from each other. They are of the highest possible contrast. Because of their high contrast, they are useful for calling attention to important areas of the painting, such as the center or interest.

There are three main complement pairs. Red - Green Yellow - Purple Orange - Blue

The last pair, blue and orange are especially interesting. We call blue the color if ice. Orange is the color of fire. We call the analogous colors of blue, cool colors. We call the analogous colors of orange, warm colors.

Nature is painted with cool colors, blues and greens. The cool colors come from the blue sky, also reflected in the shadows and waters, and the green of the vegetation which covers the earth. These colors remind us of the many faces of nature: verdant pastures, adventure, travel, work, play, and also dark woods, lightening, flood, night. In other words all the wonderful and not so wonderful things about the world.

People are painted with warm colors. Red, yellow and orange (brown) hair, pink babies and orange flesh. Warm is the color of love, friendship and mother.

We can use this knowledge to add feelings to our work.

I have a long standing love affair with color. This lesson is will put you on the same path.


MATERIALS LIST

Hover Or Click
A Color For Information
Sedimentary Warm        

Burnt Sienna

A sedimentary color; sediments quickly offering a mottled or shimmery look to the final (wash)

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Viridian

A sedimentary color; sediments quickly offering a mottled or shimmery look to the final (wash)

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Pthalocyanine Blue

A "warm" (greenish) blue.

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly yielding a uniform finish (wash)

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Pyrrol Red

A "warm" (orangish) red.

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly yielding a uniform finish (wash)

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Arylide Yellow FGL

A "warm" (orangish) yellow.

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly yielding a uniform finish (wash)

There is not an industry standard name for this color. I am offering DaVincis Brand name.

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Yellow Ocher

A sedimentary color.

sediments quickly offering a mottled or shimmery look to the final (wash)

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Cerulean Blue

A sedimentary color.

Sediments quickly offering a mottled or shimmery look to the final (wash)

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Ultramarine Blue

A cool (purplish) blue.

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly, theoretically yielding a uniform final (wash).

Actually Ultramarine Blue "flocculates" (gathers in clumps) so we only get a fairly smooth (wash)

Sadly, it's the only purplish blue thats light-fast and available to artists.

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Alizarin Crimson
( Quinacridone )

A cool (purplish) red.

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly yielding a uniform finish (wash)

n fact, Alizarine Crimson (a very early man made pigment) lost favor when it was found non light-fast.

Today we replace it it with a better version of the same color called Quinacdridone Red.

Nevertheless, manufacturers still call it Alizerine Crimson.

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Arylide Yellow Deep

A cool (greenish) yellow

A non sedimentary color settles out smoothly yielding a uniform finish (wash)

There is not an industry standard name for this color. I am offering the DaVincis Brand name.

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Cool        
Brushes

Brushes

I use mostly "Kolinsky" (Highest quality) red sable brushes. I also have some nylon brushes that are pretty amazing. They are on the high priced side of nylon brush prices.

Brushes do the actual painting. If the brush cannot do it ; neither can you. If you are a beginner, you should watch my videos All About Brushes.
and
Watercolor Brushes – What to look for when buying them.

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Papers

watercolor Paper

I use 140 pound cold pressed paper.

I buy "full sheets". Everyone will know that means 22" x 30". They are actually a little oversized which is true for all "mold made" papers.

Heavier thicknesses than 140 pound are nice but more expensive. "Rough" as opposed to cold pressed is also nice.

"Arches" brand; actual spelled D'Arches by the manufacturer.

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Palettes

Palettes

PALETTE Has Two Meanings

1) The selection of paints available to the artist.

2) The surface upon which the paints are stored and mixed.

In this case, the paint holder is a cut down ice cube tray. It stores, along with a wet sponge, in a zip lock bag. That keeps the paint fresh.

For a mixing surface I use a flat sheet of white plastic.

Another good one is clear plastic with white paper under it. A matte surface is preferable to a shiny one.

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A wet in wet watercolor painting of a glass vase filled with flowers.
A Wet In Wet Watercolor Painting Lesson. - Flowers.
Captain Watercolor Demonstrates How To Create Depth In A Painting.How To Create Depth In A Painting. Captain Watercolor demonstrates how to paint a basket. A lesson in lifting watercolor paintPainting A Basket - A Lesson Lifting Watercolor Paint - Part 1. Captain Watercolor demonstrates how to paint objects and their shadowsFilling The Basket - A Lesson In Painting Objects And Shadowst- Part 2. Captain Watercolor demonstrates a monoprint. Adding texture using plastic wrap.Watercolor Lesson - Monoprinting - Texturing With Plastic Wrap.
Captain Watercolor demonstrates why shadows are so important in a painting.Landscape Shadows. A Demonstration How to mix all the colors from just six.Color For Beginners - How to mix all the colors. Example of complementary colors - How to plan the colors of a painting or anything else.Color schemes - How to plan the colors of a painting. Picture show contrast between warm and cool images.How to paint emotions using warm and cool colors. Captain Watercolor discusses abstract art.Abstract Art - A discussion.
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