Friday, July 31, 2009


It seems like there are challenges everywhere I turn. First of all, the internet signal to my computer keeps cutting out. Just when I want to post to the blog, no connection! Irritating to say the least.

The second challenge is really comprehending all the color ideas in Faber Birren's book, "Creative Color". My copy dates back to 1961. I think it may be out of print. It was the text for the college class I took in color. I am rereading it and trying some of the exercises. Above is the latest "Frenchman" painting trying to get LUSTER effect. This is the use of HUE, SHADE, BLACK combination of color forms. It turns out that DOMINANCE is critical for the effect. A small amount of pure hue surrounded by dark shades or black give the optical illusion of luster. Luster is generally "seen" in metal or fabric, not skin. In a portrait the effect isn't exactly lustrious but a beautiful glow. Rembrandt did it best! I think this version from the "Vern" series worked better. At the time I was translating a beautiful landscape painting by Wolf Kahn into a color scheme for a portrait. Now I realize that it followed the HUE, SHADE, BLACK formula which produced this beautiful glowing light. My latest version isn't as dramatic and has a much warmer set of colors but I think it works. I did lose the "intensity" of the yellow when I glazed the painting with red. A little watercolor crayon should bring it back.

The next painting will be pure hue surrounded by gray or neutral tones to capture "luminosity". I have attempted this before with limited success.


jgr said...

I love the lighting you achieved, very dramatic and yet subtle.

Barbara Sailor said...

Your book is going to be a real gem and goldmine of instructional material. I can't wait until it is published. All of these "lessons" have been so informative and useful.

carol said...

I feel my biggest problem is understanding the use of color. Your posts have been extremely informative. Thanks for the info !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Myrna, It's interesting how you sort of cycle through the design elements and each time get deeper into theory and practice.

I like the series of posts and the dramatic color you're achieving!

RHCarpenter said...

I keep returning to this top painting, Myrna. There is something very haunting about it.

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