Schoolism: Nathan Fowkes Color and Light Week 03

If you want to use a palette which spans across the color wheel then you need to have a unifying element.

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A painting might appear to have a lot of variation but when the colors are put in a different context then they will take on different properties. All the colors are mixed with one unifying color e.g. a warm yellow ochre.

Consider how your main character will stand out from the others. E.g. Sinbad is red clothed. However, the color should also represent the character’s personality. The strong saturated colors seen in animated movies result from a highly organised palette.

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Create a scene and then rework it with different color palettes. Spend at least 5 hours a week on these homework assignments. Make these paintings as tight as you can. Start afresh or use a grey render from last week to paint over.

Consider all hue, saturation, value and temperature.

Week 03 Feedback 01 Pay closer attention to where translucency might be occurring in your image. If an object is producing light, follow it to where it will be caught on other surfaces. Think of the light color, direction, source and quality.

Week 03 Feedback 03 Experiment more with the arrangement of your values and not just your hue, e.g. light against dark versus dark against light. (Note, I have a tendency to create dark foregrounds receding into light into the distance to make the characters stand out. I need to try out different approaches to lighting.) Beware of light sources appearing as a local color on a surface instead of a light.

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Student work on schoolism

Think about the storytelling within the scene and how a poorly placed highlight might direct the viewer’s attention to the wrong place within the frame.

Week 03 Feedback 03 For doing studies, it is simpler to paint a scene without characters so that you can just focus on the color and light. You can use value in the same sense that you can use color to create a mood with palette. Use the presence of extreme darks of an abundance of light values to your advantage.

There are more variations than just warm and cool.

Week 03 Feedback 04

Experiment more with the arrangements of value. E.g. try light foreground and dark middle ground and vice versa.


Think in terms of varying the degrees of black and white also.


Note to self: Try a simplified version of this assignment with spheres. Try creating simple value arrangements with spheres/simple objects. Vary the type of light sources and vary the subject slightly so as to create different local colours if need be e.g. a grassy sphere versus a colder rock/paved sphere.  Try a narrow versus a broad value range. Try a narrow versus a broad palette of colours. You could narrow the value range and then choose one area of subtle highlight.

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