Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Let's talk about color theory. Part 5: Color "Temperature".

  This part is written basing on the wonderful article by artist and colorist Nadezhda Azarova.  (Russian) My advise is to read it full, it is really very useful and accessible material.
    I have outlined some of her thoughts and adapt the examples to our area - painting miniatures.

 For artists, the warm and cool colors have a great importance. The artist will try to convey a warm sunny day or sunset in the warm colors. Cold paints are indispensable for the cool mornings and crystal freshness of a winter landscape. The same picture, painted in warm or cool colors, will produce a different impression on the viewer.
  That is, going back to our first part - setting goals, one of the first thing we must decide is a "temperature" of work at all.

  A wonderful example - two Sirens, made in the 
opposite color temperature schemes, they convey a completely different mood and athmoshere:
Siren by Arsies
Siren version 2 by Arsies
And руку you can see a Dark Angel hero in ordinary color scheme, but how are they different depending on the selected color temperature:
Azrael by skullboy
Azrael by Ana 
And one more example: cold elf assasin and hot demonic tower:
Demon tower of Mid Nor by Yellow one
Cynwal warsym male by Yellow one

So, let's talk what colors are cold and what are warm.
Warm colors (yellow, red, orange) psychologically associated with the sun and fire,
cold (blue) - wuth water and ice.
Usually the color wheel is divided exactly in half for cold and warm sectors. However, this division is not always the same:
Drawing by Nadezhda Azarova
This difference is due to the relativity of color temperature.
 All colors have a relative "temperature." The "temperature" of the color increases at movement from warm to cold pole (red arrows). Conversely, "temperature" of the color falls when moving from the warm to the cold pole (blue arrow). This clearly shows that the yellow-orange is  warmer than green, blue-violet is colder than violet.

At the same time, if the color is far from the heat / cold poles,  its perception as a "warm" or "cold" is more relative, i.e., independent of the neighboring colors. So it is not surprising that the evaluation of the intermediate colors disagreements. Often, only at the comparison of two colors we can say that one of them is warmer, and the other - colder.

      This implies a useful corollary: Each color has a warm and cool tint.
In addition, even achromatic colors have their temperature as in real life, they still have some shade - either warm or cold.
     The heat and cool tone of any color depends on its subtone. When you add a warm impurities - you create a warm tone, adding cold impurity create a cool tone. In addition, the shine is always cool color. Especially in contrast with the matte version of the same hue.

And let us consider one more property of warm and cool colors. As you know, warm colors does the object closer, and cold - alienates the object. This is due to the wavelengths of the color spectrum.

There is a short wavelength (400-500 nm) on the left side of the spectrum - the blue-violet and the other side of the spectrum - red and orange - is characterized by a longer wavelength (600-800 nm). The colors of long wavelength - red, orange - seem to us warm. Color with a shorter wavelength - purple, blue, blue - look for us cold.
     Our body is designed so that red rays are more complicated to focus to the human eye. This requires more changes of the lens  than the perception of blue colors. A similar correction of the eye is doing every time you looked from near objects to far. Perhaps these similar physiological processes equate to us such concepts as far and blue, and red and close.
      In addition, we've learned that blue sky is  far and distant mountains are always shrouded in a cool bluish haze. Therefore, we believe that the cold blue tones are  more remote, air, retreating deeper. In contrast, we perceive that the warm red tones  as similar, outwardly, dense.

 This feature of colors helps us to "deepen" the shadows on the miniatures using cool colors, and emphasize the prominent place using "warm" colors. But more about how to use warm and cold on the miniature will be considered later in the next part about contrasts.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I super happy I have read your articles on the color theory. I have been painting inactivly for 10 years and I was searching for such an article for a long time. Thanks a lot for sharing and I hope you will post the next part as well