Painting with Colour and Light: Lesson One

Hello there! It’s been a while since my last post, I have once again been shamed. But I have many plans for stuff to blog about that I’m excited about! Soon is Inktober, and this year I’m more determined than a sloth racing another sloth for a sloth muffin to actually keep up with it! I couldn’t really think of anything determined, there. Also me and some chums are trying to set up our art group page again so we get to do little challenges as a group, which should be fun. Recently I’ve been rekindling my love of film analysis; I did media in college and I always loved dissecting the films we studied. It would be pretty fun to do something with that! To be honest it would just be fun to write about my other interests as well as art, I’m big into books and music and exploring and stuff so I might try and bring that stuff into the blog a bit more.

HOWEVER my most recent project is what I shall be writing about today! I have been listening to some amazing creative videos; I say listening because i put them on at work so I can listen to some great wisdom to inspire me and give me ideas and such. If you’re interested in checking out these videos, here is my playlist:

Whilst listening I found a bit of a recurring theme, that quite a few artists had decided to further their skills using Schoolism. This sounded really exciting to me, because although I learnt a lot in uni there is still so much I need to improve on, particularly digital art. And so I decided to subscribe to schoolism, and the first course I shall be taking part in is “Painting with Colour and Light,” which is taught by two of my favourite artists in the industry, Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi of Tonko House. If you’ve never seen their work, check it out: their digital work has beautiful lighting and a very painterly style. I recently bought the art book for their short film “The Dam Keeper,” but I accidentally bought the Japanese version…like a fool. The pictures are still lovely though!

The first lesson in the course was all about diffused light. They decided to start with this because diffused light shows the local colour of objects. Also, when designing environments both artists find it helpful to paint the setting in diffused light first, so they know what the colour of everything is and how it looks under natural lighting. Then they will use this image and paint their desired lighting effects over it. The main things I learnt in this lesson was that you should squint your eyes to detect the values of what you’re paining better. Also, there are still shadows in a diffused lighting set up, but they fade out fairly quickly. You should still pay attention to the direction of the light, because although it’s diffused through clouds or a window, it still will have a direction. You should also try and detect the colour of the shadows and light areas; is the light cold or warm? This has a big effect on the painting! Edges are also important, soft edges make things blend a little whereas the hard edges create more contrast. I also just learnt a lot about using photoshop and the different blending modes, I feel like I’ve learnt a lot from this lesson and it’s only the first one!

SO here are the paintings I created! In general I’m happy with what I’ve done as I can see an improvement, even if I look back on some of them and want to fix them up a bit. I think my photoshop application improved after the first one here, some of the brushes I used look pretty hideous now haha! Also the thing about using edges wisely, this one looks a little harsh. I think it might need more shadow under the lighthouse, too. But I quite like the waves, and the top of the lighthouse!

01 - Lighthouse

Next I did a painting of my bedroom. This actually turned out to be one of my favourite ones, I think it helped that I spent quite a few hours on it. Hopefully if I keep practising I can finish the paintings in less time but I don’t mind putting a bit more time in while I’m learning! I think the brushes I used here are nicer, they blend a bit better. Also I kept in mind using hard and soft edges, which I think helped on the objects like the record player. I prefer the shadows and the colour of the shadows in this one too. I think I could’ve put more clean detail into the blankets, but if I remember rightly my leg was SO DEAD by this point! I had my legs crossed like an ingnoramus.

02 - Bedroom

Number three I painted within an hour I think. I think I got a bit too excited with the tonko house brush in this one; the lighting isn’t really diffuse, and it kind of looks flat. The shadowss are alright under the apple and on the shed but I don’t think there’s enough highlight to balance them out. I did have fun painting the foliage in the background though! I used the lasso tool layered over and over and for some reason it was just really fun!

03 - Apple

Painting number 4 is of a bridge in Cardiff where I used to meet with my lovely uni buds and we would walk to uni together. I was pretty happy with this one too, I painted it over a few days after work. I think taking a step back from it and coming back helped me to see things that were wrong with it. Although I think the trees could possibly do with a bit more work, but I like the sort of messy look.

04 - Bridge

FINALLY I chose to paint a picture using a photo I took whilst visiting Scotland with my boyfriend Tom. He’s the tall one in the picture! Tall and real lovely. His family are lovely too, the two in the background are his mum and dad. I found the water a real challenge! It was hard getting the right colour whilst also trying to show its translucency. But I had a good time trying to incorporate people into the painting this time! It’s a bit messy, but it was a good challenge!

05 - Loch

So that’s all for this lesson! I think the assignment was to do three, but I wanted to do 5 so I understood everything I was meant to be learning. At least I think it was supposed to be three, I really don’t remember anymore. Next up is value, so I’ll post again once I’ve done the next assignment! I’ve had such a great time completing lesson one so I’m real excited for the next one! WEYOOH!

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