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Methods of Color Transitions in Painting

Gloria Ukaoma

Posted on December 20, 2020 02:35

3 users

Different blending styles and the feelings they evoke.

As a medium of potent emotional expression, art lends itself to the diversity of the human experience. Each character or object or landscape evokes a certain feeling. As a result, it is the job of the artist to portray those ideas accordingly. Paintings with low contrast, whether dark or light, can compensate by using a variety of hues and saturation levels. The transitions, therefore, are key to providing a cohesive look to the work. Consider the following example. When painting an ambiently lit face, areas under the eyes, nose, and bottom lip can be shifted to a bluer hue to represent the shadows there. However, the nature of the transition between the base skin tone and the shadow tone can change the portrayal of the character

Smooth gradients: The simplest solution to bridging regions of different colors is a gradient. This can be accomplished with a simple watercolor wash or mixing a set of transitional colors. If painting digitally, using varying opacity or the gradient tool can produce the same effect. For most small or non-critical sections of a painting, this method of blending is ideal. It allows for the focus of the painting to be drawn elsewhere, usually to the main figure. The lack of texture that this method provides can also be used to render glass, metal, and other smooth objects. For that reason, it is not a very good choice for painting faces, trees, or landscapes. These have varying degrees of texture and should be dealt with accordingly.

Polygons: By using the planes of the face, simple polygons can be formed to aid the painting process. They divide the subject into hard-edged sections of approximately the same size. To create the transition between colors, hue, and saturation are shifted step-by-step over the shapes. This approach usually results in a blockier end product, which is desirable for portraying characters with strong features. Additionally, this style is often used to emphasize the planes of canyons and mountains in landscape paintings. Hard, jagged surfaces benefit from the stark shadows this method provides

Textured transitions: There are many types of textured brushes, especially in digital art. Here, I will be discussing the grainy or speckled brushes that aim to mimic the texture of oil pastels. I personally like to use these brushes when emphasizing a shift between two values. The texture at the edge of the darker region gives the scene a gritty feeling. This technique is best used with a limited set of colors because the texture can easily overwhelm the actual form of the figures being portrayed. Consider using another brush with a weaker texture for non-critical or smoother areas of the painting.

Blending techniques are not limited to the ones above. Experimentation is the key to finding the perfect fit for your art style. 

Gloria Ukaoma

Posted on December 20, 2020 02:35

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