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Secondary and reflected light

From: Foundations of Color

Video: Secondary and reflected light

Using multiple light sources and reflective color creates the magical illusion of believe-ability, and pulls the viewer in. This might be easier to see if we look at one of my pieces in progress. The linear structure and composition of my pieces are always established first as a small thumbnail sketch, then revised to this larger image. The final sketch is then copied onto a tone paper, in this case a vibrant blue because it takes place under water and this serves as a unifying ground.

Secondary and reflected light

Using multiple light sources and reflective color creates the magical illusion of believe-ability, and pulls the viewer in. This might be easier to see if we look at one of my pieces in progress. The linear structure and composition of my pieces are always established first as a small thumbnail sketch, then revised to this larger image. The final sketch is then copied onto a tone paper, in this case a vibrant blue because it takes place under water and this serves as a unifying ground.

Remember, a ground is the color that you start with as an overall tone for an image when not working on white. As I develop the form with the most opaque color in the highest light, I consider what colors will pop off the chosen ground. Because the ground is vibrant, deep, cold blue, I choose to push a yellow green tone on the highest lit area with flecks of a peachy tone and let the shadow be closer to the blue. As a purple tone, then reflect a vibrant minty green, much cooler than the light, and a deeper value than the highly lit area to pop off the background and turn the form around.

I use reflected color that is cooler in temperature than the slightly warmer light to create an illusion of dimension. It appears to be reflected from something blue-green near the characters. Here you can see that the color value is being addressed as I push the overall contrast of the image, and focus more attention on the intensity of the light as it hits the characters in the foreground here. Contrasting the dark water and the background. I've also used complementary relationships to make them appear closer to us, spatially, because the ground is blue-purple, I've made the narwhal overall blue-green and pink, over green in the shadow area, so that the color in the shadow is a bit more neutral, and the seahorse is a green, orange, red, and blue-green, to contrast the background color.

Arrows face is the exception, as it is a blue, not unlike the background. A design that works on most of the other pages of the book so here I edge the color in a minty green so that he would still be visible. Tada! The finalized painting explores the overall color. I added in more blue over the entire piece so that it would feel as though it were under water. My goal in addition to creating drama was to push the dimensionality of the forms and create the illusion of depth of field in the image.

I contrasted value. Temperature, opacity, and complimentary color against the background color. This helped to create the maximum amount of space, perceived space, between foreground and background. For dimensional form, I use reflected secondary light to achieve volume, making sure that the color was a compliment to the color used in light. Into the shadow tone as well. By using light in a more complex designed way, I captured the feeling and concept that I intended, for maximum drama and interest.

But you'll have to read the book, to see how it all turned out.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Color
Foundations of Color

42 video lessons · 14396 viewers

Mary Jane Begin
Author

 
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  1. 5m 20s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Traditional media to digital: The long and winding road of color
      3m 48s
    3. Exercise files
      22s
  2. 14m 40s
    1. Introduction: How color shapes meaning
      2m 23s
    2. Universal, cultural, and personal symbols of color
      2m 52s
    3. Concepts made clear
      4m 1s
    4. Brand identity and language
      2m 53s
    5. Sequence and pattern
      2m 31s
  3. 14m 18s
    1. What is the color wheel?
      2m 20s
    2. Primary colors, primary concerns
      3m 59s
    3. Playing with complementary colors
      3m 40s
    4. Tertiary colors: The basics of brown and gray
      4m 19s
  4. 17m 20s
    1. An overview of elements
      2m 48s
    2. Value is not a moral judgment
      2m 26s
    3. Saturation to neutralization
      3m 22s
    4. Temperature: How hot is hot?
      3m 12s
    5. Textures, marks, dashes, and dots
      2m 59s
    6. Seeing through color: Opaque, translucent, and transparent
      2m 33s
  5. 12m 25s
    1. What is contrast?
      3m 10s
    2. Creating focus: Living on the edge
      1m 15s
    3. Creating the readable image
      4m 6s
    4. Connecting contrast with content
      3m 54s
  6. 17m 29s
    1. Illuminating light
      1m 54s
    2. The effect of contrast in light
      1m 53s
    3. Value and saturation
      2m 27s
    4. On temperature
      2m 58s
    5. On complements
      2m 10s
    6. Secondary and reflected light
      3m 5s
    7. RGB vs. CMYK
      3m 2s
  7. 14m 24s
    1. An introduction to palettes
      2m 15s
    2. Limited palettes: A harmonious color palette
      2m 35s
    3. Harmony and discord
      2m 33s
    4. Unifying color grounds
      2m 40s
    5. Unifying glazes and layers
      2m 13s
    6. Charting a color family
      2m 8s
  8. 20m 25s
    1. Balance of shapes: How much is too much?
      3m 36s
    2. Weaving textural color
      2m 50s
    3. Color in context
      2m 31s
    4. Color blindness
      3m 15s
    5. Challenge: Deconstructing color
      1m 28s
    6. Solution: Demo of deconstructing color
      6m 45s
  9. 1m 3s
    1. Conclusion
      1m 3s

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