Deviant since Jul 2, 2007 | Premium Member until Jan 17, 2017
keep drawing until it gets good
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"You know... this whole dying thing is quite unsettling... "
Welcome to the internet. A place full of keyboard warriors that will hurt anything and everything, even a harmless kitten.
Crowned with chaos
"Level 0, they called it. Godmode; a state of power that was unimaginable for humans before. A class that was even above the dreadful level 1, in the sense of sheer powers. The scientists embraced the concept of a man-made god. And to be honest; so did I. But neither of us knew the consequences. That a human mind isn't made to contemplate multiple truths and dimensions at once. Evolution only got us so far over the years. There's a reason why Elysa died. Her mind must've been torn apart in the chaos..."
As a follow up of my "How to: Anatomy" journal that was received so well by the community, I will continue this series with a how to on color. Color is considered to be one of the hardest subjects when it comes to art. Most beginners (and even some advanced artists) struggle to get the colors of their work right. I myself do as well. This journal is by no means a full coverage on how to color. It will however be a good list of resources to get you started on this hard subject.
A few things to get started
There are a few things to color There's hue and value. Hue determines what place in the color spectrum the color is in (red, green, blue.. etc). Value determines how dark or light a color is. In order to understand colors, you have to know how to influence and work with both of them.
Your brain is deceiving you Our brains are really, really clever. Even with limited vision, we're able to perceive the color of objects that we can't really see. It's like our brain learned to fill in the gap. In order to learn how to use colors; become aware of this fact. A red car under a blue sky is rarely really red. Shadows are rarely really black. Colors are rarely fully saturated, most of them are awfully mudded in real life. Observe, watch and colorpick until you develop a better sense for color!
Color and mood / emotion Colors aren't just colors; they influence your mood. Like how this brilliant scene from the movie Up plays your mood by using color and composition in a way that it only takes you a few minutes to actually feel about those characters. As a matter of fact; color is so important that it fuels many important decisions on design in the marketing world as well. Want to make something with impact? Then you need to take your use of colors into consideration.
Analyze colors Perhaps the simplest start you can make in daily life is start to look at colors, because most of the time in life we actually don't. We perceive color, but we don't actually see it. Try to look at colors with new eyes. What is the color you see, opposed to what your brain makes you think you see? Why do you like the colors in some pieces of art work? What are the color combinations used? How does color affect your mood? Art, but also movies are great resources for studying color. Especially in movies color is often used to play on your mood.
Start painting with values only There are two things to color; hues and values. Perhaps doing both of them at the same time is too hard. Just start with the values then. Yep! That's it. Good old black and white might learn you a lot about how shadows work and how to use light and shadow to show certain shapes. If you manage to get this right, you'll have an easier time moving on to full color paintings.
Study from realism No matter if you do fantasy paintings, realism is important. In order to make your paintings believable, you need a touch of realism. Because even a made up universe won't be believable without the universal rules of light and color. Studying from realism is the best tool in the box you get, because unlike with photo's, you have the possibility to observe the subject from multiple angles (and believe me; this 360 degrees view will help you actually understanding how it works). To study realism, just place an object on your desk and draw it, ask your friend to pose for you while you draw him/her, or take your sketchbook into the city to paint some buildings or trees.
Study from photo's Yeah, we get it. You can't place all objects on your desk and you can't travel everywhere in the world to study everything from realism (unless you have infinite time and money). That's where photo's come in. Photo's are great to study from, especially since the subject doesn't move and the light doesn't change either. Just keep in mind that photo's are never a 100% realism. A lot of photo's are digitally enhanced these days and even if they aren't, camera's come with limitations. Just compare what you see at night with the average way your camera captures a city at night, and you'll have an idea of how a camera distorts an image. Also; if you use somebody else's pictures to study from, don't forget to credit the original artist of the picture when you publish it. You wouldn't like it if somebody just copied your picture and claimed it as their own, and so won't the average photographer.
Study from other artists Often also referred to as master study's (as a reference to students in art school that had to study the old art masters). Skillful artists have often learned the rules of reality, but also found their own unique way of breaking them. This might be worthwhile studying. But also here goes, credit the original maker of the picture. And in the case of the original artists still being alive (most old masters aren't XD) ask for permission. Not every artists might be okay with you publishing a copy of the work they originally made.
Color scheme challenges DeviantArt has many challenges when it comes to color. They might not learn you as much as the previous exercises, but they're fun to do and allow you some artistic freedom while they still drag you out of your comfort zone. Also; activity's like these are very fun to do with a bunch of friends!
Here are some books that were especially helpful for me. I know there are many more books about color on the market. The website Parkablogs made a very thorough list about all kinds of art instruction books (and has reviewed all of them). It might be worthwhile to check out if you're interested.
Color and light Color and light - James Gurney (ISBN: 0740797719) There's a lot of theory in the book, but most of it comes from the real life experience of a painter. A huge part of this book talks about traditional paint, but even when you're not a traditional painter (like me) it's interesting to know and it'll help you a lot in understanding how colors work.
Light for the visual artist Light for the visual artist - Richard Yot (ISBN: 185669660X) This book takes a more technical and theoretical approach to how colors work, but it might work very well on for people that are more apt to that kind of mindset. It goes through various types of lighting circumstances and explains all of them with plenty of pictures.
There's a whole lot more to color than mentioned in this article, but there's only so much stuff I can post here ^^ Color is a hard subject. It'll take you quite some time to master it. This goes for every artist. Even those that are masters now once started as beginners. Using color correctly comes down to understanding it. So yes, that's science. But don't worry... science is awesome! Trust your eyes when it comes to color. Your brain is lying. Using the work of another artist for a personal study is fine, as long as you ask the artists for permission before publishing it, and credit that artist properly. Don't rely too much on model pictures in magazines. They're often photoshopped to have more pleasing (and less realistic) colors. Studying color can be a harsh and tedious process. Studying it together with friends/fellow artists might help you to keep motivated. Don't throw away your paintings. Use them to learn from your mistakes and keep track of your progress.
Yep, that's me. I'm not a professional artist, and I'm not aiming to become one either for now. I usually work on art in my free time, especially on my main project; Emion, a novel I've been working on ever since 2006. So yeah... I'm more of a writer than a visual artist. I enjoy both digital and traditional art, and practice both. I'm a huge nerd --the kind that pulls apart computers and does programming-- and I love everything technology related.
Favorite visual artistHave a look at my favsFavorite moviesInterstellar, The Shawshank redemption, Inception, V for vendettaFavorite TV showsBreaking badTools of the TradeAnything that I'll get my hands onOther InterestsDrawing, Writing, Cooking, Computer programming & anything nerdy
DamaiMikaz is one of the most inspiring artists you'll find on DeviantArt. A long-time dedicated member of the community, her journals regularly provide insight into creating art, inspiration for art and life, and thought-provoking ideas that spark magnetic conversations. Her approach to digital art has kept her creating, growing, and improving throughout the years, and one glance into her gallery is enough to see the progress that she has made and continues to make. It is with great pride that we name DamaiMikaz the recipient of the Deviousness Award for August 2015.