Class 4

How to create a deckle edge

Class 3

Class 2

In class, I recognized confusion about the tonal study of the landscape that I did in greyscale. I would like to clarify the difference between bright colors and light colors.

Bright refers to the intensity of color, whereas light colors refers to the tonality (whether a color is light or dark).

It is a common misconception that bright colors and light colors are the same thing. Bright and light are not interchangeable terms, they actually mean different things in art. The image above shows how, for example, bright red does not mean a light grey – tonally, bright red is a dark grey. The way to make bright red tonally light is to make red, pink (in watercolors, to make pink, you have to dilute the red with water).

The grey boxes surrounding the colors equates to the tonality of the color. I took the first image and made it into black and white, as you can see, the colored boxes inside seem to disappear – because now you’re seeing the tone of the color. If you don’t believe me, take the first image and made it into a greyscale photo and you’ll see how incredible it is.

The first landscape I did in black and white was a monochromatic value study to be our roadmap for your color study, so you think in terms of tone, not just in terms of color. When you’re painting and you find that your painting looks flat, it’s because you did not put the tonality in yet. Remember in watercolor, we go from light to dark.

This is exactly why we recommend learning how to draw when you’re learning to paint (or even before you start painting), because in drawing, you’re not distracted by color yet. Once you understand the fundamentals of tonal values, learning to paint becomes much easier.

Click on the photos for them to open in a new tab. Please print these photos or have them pulled up on your computer/tablet. I will also share them on my screen during class.

Email hello@primamateriainstitute.com with any questions.

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