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Choosing Background colors

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  • Choosing Background colors

    I put this background together tonite just to X plane how well the little app Color Schemer does to help one choose the background for paintings etc.
    The pic is just one iteration of my red headed girl series and not a real well finished one, but it works for this, I think. Oh, and I want to thank who ever turned us on to this deal.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    kinda looks like a shower curtain in background to me (not in a bad way). Nice piece fugitive - hair is great


    • #3
      If I understand it correctly, this app decides what background color to use?

      How does it do that? you 'select' the subjecct in your painting and the app gives you a range of colors to choose from?

      Wouldn't that mean that every time you paint a nude for example, you'd get the same hues to choose from?

      Wouldn't that sort of destroy your own creativity?

      IMHO background colors should be decided by the artist, not by the program..It sort of kills your creativity, doesn't it?

      Of course when I was studying art, we learnde which color combinations work well, but the fact that the artist can decide to ignore this and choose whatever colors they feel appropriate is what makes, isn't it?


      • #4
        I'd like to thank you for instilling that thought in peoples minds, that should help a lot.


        • #5
          Part of the reason why I felt it necessary to reply to this was also that I noticed in the challenges, for example, that people tend to 'ignore' background.. While in my humble opinion, they should be treated equal, since the whole artwork can stand or fall with the background, now matter how well you paint/retouch/restore/ your subject.

          Being a professional photographer and painter, I know the use of background has a huge impact on the way the subject is 'perceived' by the viewer.

          If I may use your painting posted above to clarify:
          Using skin tones like you did, a 'traditional' choice could be a light blue tone to offset the skintones, giving nice color contrast and bringing focus to the subject. Using a color wheel and simply picking the complementary color to the main tone of your subject is a safe bet and generally works well.
          But what if we were to choose a tint very close to the skintones of your model, just a tint or two lighter, with a hint of texture and shading? Then the same image has a totally different feel.
          That's why it is important to 'see' the picture as a whole.
          Latley I've been getting the impression that many artists tend to add the background later as an 'afterthought' It's easy..subject on one layer, background on another...

          However, when you actually paint on canvas, you'll realise that you can't paint subject and background sperately, because of the huge influence the background has on the subject. If only because the background color has an immediate effect on the way you actually perceive the colrs in the subject. The same shade of red can look totally different when viewd with different background colors. Not to mention the 'underpainting' effect it can have on the subject.

          Please not that this is NOT criticism towards Fugitive's artwork, but just a ...reflection?...inspired by the words 'color schemer'
          Don't get me wrong! I'm not telling you not to use it. By all means do. it will teach you about colors and about using colors. But please make your own decisions when choosing your colors. If you think a purple background is great, by all means do it and don't change it to mud-brown because color schemer suggests it.
          YOU are the artist. Use all the resources you can get your hands on, but please stay an artist. Not an extension of a program.


          • #6
            I appreciate your comments, as coming from someone who sounds like he knows of whereof he speaks.
            I want to know everything, but there's not enough time for that. I use whatever tool helps me get the job done. I have half a dozen color wheels, but I like this guy. Your right about the skin used as a base, but there are other colors to choose from, like hair color. Leonardo spent 4-7 yrs on Lisa, and I bet several were on the background, so I know your correct about it's importance, and I'm trying to get there, to know more about the background. I am not interested in just being someone who uses a filter to get a cool effect, I want to be a good painter, nothing else really matters. I welcome good smart critisism that can help me grow to that goal, and I don't come here just to get another attaboy. looking foreward to hear more of your opinions.


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