If you want to learn to see and understand color there is no better training ground than learning to duplicating what you see in paint, pastels or colored pencils. It requires you to really see the color of things. In fact, most artist spend as much time looking at what they are painting as they do actually putting marks on the canvas.
I enjoy the artistic process but since I don’t find as much time as I once did to paint on my own so I try to participate in a workshop or class at least a couple of times a year to keep my color “seeing” and color mixing skills sharp. Knowing what color to choose for each stroke of the brush, pencil or pastel requires being able to see color and how it changes based on the colors that surround it, the colors that are reflecting upon it, and how the light hits the surface.
The colors of an object is referred to as local colors. Local color basically means realistic color or the color that is actually seen. In art school a teacher might says to paint the local colors when she or he wants the students to render the colors as realistically as possible rather than take artistic license with the subject matter.
Recently I attended a painting workshop with artist Bonnie Auten. I have admired Bonnie’s work and looked forward to picking her brain about how she paints and makes color choices. The images above are a few of Bonnie’s paintings. Read more »