Artist at Work: Creating Depth of Field
Illustration by John Hersey

Relating the foreground color to the focal point


From:

Artist at Work: Creating Depth of Field

with Mary Jane Begin

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Relating the foreground color to the focal point

Now just the sake of toying with this thing, what I'm looking at is, is a curtain that's actually blue. It's a little bit of a problem, because I don't want I don't want something really cold in the foreground. Because it'll deny the temperature range that I'm trying to establish between fore and middle ground and background. So what I'll do is, I'm going to cheat a little bit here. I'm going to edit what I see and it make it a more purple kind of curtain instead of a, a pure blue, which is what I see.
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Artist at Work: Creating Depth of Field
1h 6m Beginner Feb 12, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

If you can convince a viewer that there is depth in a flat image, you can increase the emotional resonance and believability of your artwork. In this course, professional illustrator Mary Jane Begin explores how color and contrast affect the illusion of space. Mary Jane shows how to choose a focal point for your image, use temperature to define your foreground and background objects, employ contrasting colors to create depth, and work with edges to create contrast. As with all Artist at Work courses, the techniques shown here can be applied to both traditional and digital media.

Mary Jane uses the following materials in this course:

  • Arches 140 lb hot press paper
  • Tube watercolors - Winsor & Newton Cotman brand
  • Paper stumps for blending
  • Pastels - a variety of stick and pencil forms (including Conte pastel pencils)
  • Short, fat, fine-bristle Winsor & Newton #2 and #4 brushes (for scrubbing color off)
  • Sceptre Gold II sable/synthetic blend #3, # 6, and # 10 brushes
  • Winsor & Newton Cotman brand 25 mm/1 in. flat brush (for washes)

Subject:
Design
Author:
Mary Jane Begin

Relating the foreground color to the focal point

Now just the sake of toying with this thing, what I'm looking at is, is a curtain that's actually blue. It's a little bit of a problem, because I don't want I don't want something really cold in the foreground. Because it'll deny the temperature range that I'm trying to establish between fore and middle ground and background. So what I'll do is, I'm going to cheat a little bit here. I'm going to edit what I see and it make it a more purple kind of curtain instead of a, a pure blue, which is what I see.

But it's just an issue of editing. So let's see if I can mix up a purply color. I'm going to keep it translucent, so that I can use the color and shadow as shadow, and then really pop the opacity in the lit areas, which are strongly lit. So let's just try this. I added a little bit of cerulean blue, which is sort of, a little bit greenish, so that's creating the shadow color. But it's not cold. I don't want it to be ice-cold. I want that greenish color to still have some warmth and relate back to the blues that are in, this green tone and in the shadow of the mug, So I'm just going to lay it across the whole thing.

This is cerulean blue, white, and little bit of purple. And there's a lot of purple already on the scene. And again, I can test it over here if I'm really not sure. But I think this is a good color for this area. And the reason why I think so is when I look up there, I do see green in the shadow. It's being reflected from somewhere and it's it's what I observe and it also works in this space. So I'm just laying this in very translucently, which mean translucent is partially transparent, partially opaque. You can still see some of the color of the ground underneath.

This is just a pure shadow tone and then I'll pop the, the light in, still keeping in mind this is the middle ground. It's pretty close. It's almost in the foreground, it's pretty close to the foreground. Sometimes middle ground can be quite far away from what's in the foreground. And what's in the distance, you know, really in the background. But in this case, you know, middleground and foreground are fairly close to each other, and what's in the background is in quite the distance. And that's the Eiffel Tower and the river. Okay, so that's the shadow tone that I see, relating back to these elements.

Try not to keep it as contrasty as what's up here. Now, this is a warm light so I am going to make it kind of I see it as lavender instead of blue but I'm going to put a little bit of blue in it as well let's see how this looks. It's a good color. But I a fear that it's just a little bit thin. There's a lot of water. So I'm going to try to maybe push it a little bit, little bit less thin. Let's try this, too yellow. When you're painting, you know, you can make changes on the spot.

Just like, you know, Photoshop you can flip back a layer. And I think you have to be free to do that. Otherwise you know, you get too tense about what you're painting, what you're making. I don't worry about it. If there's something I don't like, I'll just hide it in the painting. I'll put paint over it, make it go away. Now this might be too yellow, but I'm going to start out just trying to keep this area warm, because as we talked about, it's the warmth that's keeping the things in the foreground in the foreground. So, I don't want it to get too cool.

It's a fairly light thing, this curtain. So I'm just going to do this, and then I can always go back in and add a little more color to it, A little more of that light sort of creamy tone, maybe make it slightly more blue. And also that I'm adding to this as a cerulean blue, and a little bit of white. Just to shift that a tweaky bit. I'm painting wet into wet, so that that curtain is fairly smooth looking. And I want to capture that.

Might even push this I'm thinking about pushing it a little pinker. So let me just see if that'll work. That's more what I thought it'll look like. Okay. So, the hard part here is I still have to figure out the, the other colors of these elements in the foreground. But I feel like, without knowing what's happening in the background. It's a little hard to assess, so I, I feel like I need to start thinking about what's back here. I'll just do one more thing in the foreground, and then maybe hit the croissant and these other warm elements.

There are currently no FAQs about Artist at Work: Creating Depth of Field.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Artist at Work: Creating Depth of Field.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.