“The elements of composition embrace the whole creative process.”
The Art of the Artist – Composition – by Fletcher Martin
The COMPOSITION #8
Color is an informative, structural component of a composition. Each and every color has a “value scale” of it’s own as well as a several other attributes which I will touch on in this post. Understanding and practicing with color, in my view, is an important part of developing a strong composition. Color often helps describe the mood and energy of a painting. All of which are parts of the composition.
The following definitions may help give clarity to the components of color and their potential in contributing to a composition. I’ve added images from some master works as a visual reference to aid in understanding. A few of the works I’ve converted to gray scale so you can see how color becomes very important in defining the “values” of the composition.
Tip! Read all you can about color
Tip! Arrange the colors on your palette from light to dark
Tip! Experiment with color value scales
- COLOR – “the aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources”
- HUE – The color family – Example: There are a variety of “reds” in the “family” of RED. This differs from “COLOR” in that each color has a set of attributes that define it. Hue is just one.
- TEMPERATURE – The visual warmth and coolness of a color or hue. A simple example / yellow = warm, blue = cool
- VALUE – Lightness or darkness of a color on a value scale.
- SATURATION – Saturation defines a range from pure color (100%) to gray (0%) at a constant lightness level. A pure color is fully saturated.
Stay tuned for more on color next week! It’s a big topic and an interesting one to read up on and practice with.