Eva Schuster

Creative Language Learning and Visual Artist

Colors and comments

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Eva Schuster <evaschus@gmail.com>
PAINTING: Jane’s tips
1 message
Eva Schuster
Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 11:41 AM
To: Eva Schuster <evaschus@gmail.com>
Jane to me: Wow! Thanks for this. Interesting journey you’ve had, and awesome paintings. Your most recent
ones are more sophisticated than the process paintings, though those have their own charm. I think process
painting IS therapy, and it does not require you to SEE in the same way that regular painting, especially
abstract painting, does. Keep doing what you are doing. Take classes and workshops, paint as often as you
can, regularly.
Jane about lesson 5: Some principals may apply more of the time: for example complementary colors are
likely to contrast highly. But when we get into more subtle relationships and specific pigments, you really have
to rely on your eye and teach each pieces as an individual.
Jane: Great that you tested each of your colors against FOUR other colors. Josef Albers app
Lesson #5 pretty
but 4 colors!!
Lesson 5 Donna
I think the effects of the color-in-context exercise are exaggerated when your swatches are so small compared
to the background color. You can REALLY see the difference, or I can anyway.
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Example 11: Lime green against violet and medium gray
The lime green is brighter on the violet. The yellow in the lime green causes an additive effect pulling the lime green closer to
yellow, the complement of violet.
Lesson #5 Lexi
Observations Jane liked
There were lots… here are just a few:
Complementary colour pairs always popped, but especially if there was a difference in value
between the pairs
More saturated colours popped against less saturated
Cool background colours made sample squares appear warmer; vice versa for warm background
colours, samples looked cooler
Saturated colours looked darker against colours that were more analogous (closer on the colour
Complementary colour pairs seemed to advance the colour sample (floating); analogous colours
seemed to make the samples recede
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Lesson #5
EXCELLENT work, Amy! Great exploration on the little swatches, with very interesting results. Your mini-
collages are terrific. What is it about using neutrals that you found “unsuccessful”? If you can be specific in
your observations it is a lot more helpful (to you) than making a judgement about its “success”. These are
explorations, not attempts to make “good” pieces.
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Lesson 6 from Robyn Anderson
Great job on the color field paintings, and the color “quilt” is just gorgeous!
More about lesson #6
Excellent job, Lexi!
You are right that too much texture can look messy or busy.
It only takes a little bit
to really make the color area sing. But you often have to create
texture all over, by layering and layering,
and then gradually edit it back
(with more layering). So it IS a long process. I would not worry about
whether the colors in your pieces exactly match those in your swatches. The mini-collages are just the starting
point; as you develop the color areas in your pieces you can give them a little variation as you go. THanks for
being in the class!
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Another guy to check out
You might want to check out his YouTube videos, under the name “thomgains1727” (his tribute to Thomas Gainsborough).
They’re studio visits where he discusses art, his artistic philosophy, etc. I find them pretty interesting…
He also has about 60 “studio visit” films. I have found these very valuable as
he is most generous with his experience, insights and tips.
Lesson 4
Jane: I think they need to be more different from the color they are over the turquoise.
Also some colors need to be close to each other on the color wheel and still you need to be able to
create a transparent color for the over lap.
Lesson 4
These look GREAT, Jeanne. You have done the overlaps with a lot of attention and care, and they are very
convincing. Don’t worry about “finished” compositions at this point; you got the main part of the lesson.
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Lesson 4
G R E A T job, Jennifer! You are as much of an expert as any of us. I think accurate observations on individual
“tests” can be at least as valuable as definitive conclusions.
SEEING is the important part, and any
definitive conclusions you may come up with should be treated as hypotheses.
Sometimes (well,
often), a “rule” gets in the way of seeing. I ask you to note any conclusions or generalizations so that you will
REALLY look for patterns. There may be some, and there may not, depending on particular colors you choose.
I am sure there are some general rules when it comes to pure color – light – but when you are using pigments
in acrylic binders (i.e. acrylic paint), it might be more individual.
You did really thorough tests, and your observations are terrific.
I would only add that what holds for
Cadmium Yellow Light may not hold for all yellows, and ditto the other colors.
Your hypotheses are
well-founded. Excellent work!
Lesson 3
Jane: Are these the “tones”? Did you check them against desaturated images to see if the values are
GREAT job on the tones! Really close values. In the red neutralizing with neutral, what neutral did you use?
Looks like you could have taken it a bit further. In the complementary pairs, I would like to see the whole
spectrum: from green all the way to red, and from purple all the way to yellow.
The collage-painting as much too wide a range of value to be able to see how much you can do with
saturation. Also much too broad a range of hue. Read the lesson again.
Robyn Sand Anderson
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Project 1: Tones
I tried a couple of colors mixing carbon black and titanium white for my gray. Celadon and No. 6 Gray are on my list for my
next Blick Materials visit. It would be nice to have that consistency. To the right is the de-saturated value of the scales on the
Project 2: Neutralizing with Neutrals
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It was fun to add white at the end of these two tries to see how many different tones I could get. I’m sure there are more!
Project 3: Neutralizing with Complements
What I am realizing is that I need to do multitudes of color studies to find the ones that thrill me the most. This I want to do.
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Project 4: Composition with Saturation & Collage
I love the contrast between the organic and geometric, between muted color and bright, vibrant color. This was an interesting
puzzle in contrasts.
Lesson 3 good
Jeanne – Lesson Three
Great job on the neutral gradations! On the complementary pairs, did you also try mixing them with white?
Good job on the first collage painting. The idea is to get the values close, and the colors close as well, so that it is saturation
that does the work. The second one is a lovey piece, but you have used blue and red, and the color (hue) contrast gets in the
way of seeing how much you can do with saturation.” (I didn’t copy the red/blue collages, because they’re wrong for this
In all of the mixing/neutralizing projects in this lesson, I was delighted to discover so many different colours; what happens to yellow when
gray is added? when beige is added? Beautiful colours. I have only included a few of my results as I created several sheets of experiments
with different starting colours and different neutralizers.
Project 1: Tones – Neutralizing with Gray
For this project, I used Napthol Crimson, Ultramarine Blue and Azo Yellow Medium.
Azo Yellow Medium with gray
Values are close but getting a little darker as more gray was added
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Ultramarine Blue with gray
Values are a lot closer
Naphthol Crimson with gray
Values are pretty close
Project 2: Neutralizing with Neutral
As Jane did in the demo, I used Burnt Umber and white to create my neutral. The desaturated scales show a variation in value
not the close range of values I was trying to achieve. I think my neutral was too white?
Left: Azo Yellow Medium with neutral
Right: Naphthol Crimson with neutral
Project 3: Neutralizing with Complimenary Colour
I was surprised at how dark these became.
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Quinacridone Purple and Nickel Azo Gold
Naphthol Crimson with Hooker’s Green
Hooker’s Green with Naphthol Crimson
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Project 4: Compositions using SATURATION to create a focal area
I found this project challenging, especially using dark neutrals as the starting point for the ground. I forgot to take photos as the work
progressed – only the last stage. Oops.
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Lesson 2
Jane Davies
October 20, 2017 at 8:32 PM
Great job on the value scales! In the monochrome collages, you need to show us your gray scale collage AND
the desaturated version of the monochrome collage, to see how well they match. Great job on the collage-
When you say “I always understood the importance of strong values” what do you mean? Distinct values?
Strong value contrasts? What you say in the rest of the paragraph is much clearer: sometimes strong value
contrast is important. In some pieces subtle contrast is key; sometimes color or saturation is key. Value is
ONE component.
Lesson 2 – Deb D
Values with Transparent Paint:
Colors used were top to bottom Yellow Green, Indian yellow, Pyrrole Orange, Manganese blue, pyrrole orange and quin red.
The ones on the left are mixed with titanium and on right with medium.
Some of the lighter value colors, as we expected, were a bit different when mixed with white or medium and may have been
tricky to match but got pretty close on most, not perfect.
The Indian yellow seems to shift to a more lemony yellow in the lighter values.
When not using my iphone app to change images to grayscale, I used Photoshop for these large curly papers.
Also what may
be of note some may have found, is that I found “desaturate” in PS works differently than changing the image to grayscale. I
find grayscale much more accurate because desaturate doesn’t simulate colors at the same shade of gray it seems. Surely
there is a more technical term for this but for our purposes it seems to work. Like I said before, it’s more accurate than
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Monochrome Collage:
These were a blast. Had so much fun designing these and a limited palette was useful. Color is important but you can
accomplish so much for limited color and of course attention to value. There were a good reminder for me.
Left is with tones of cobalt teal. Right is in grays.
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This is the color version desaturated.
Top monochrome, bottom monchrome desaturated.
This is the version done in grays.
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Guess I was feeling like tearing paper – the edges left the lightest values. After I painted the papers, I put them down and took
a shot, then viewed as gray. Yes, still some surprises. But it helped in figuring out the best placements. So I made some
intentional decisions, knowing some colors might be the same value in gray, but still trying to keep interest. Only had time to do
three, but I have lots of paper left over and added it to my box of ColorAid papers from school many years ago.
Colors: Chromium green oxide, cad red, indian yellow, pyrrole orange, manganese blue.
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