General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

How does an artist address a subjects fixed color with its appearance in a world of shading and perspective?

Asked by Ltryptophan (11049points) September 14th, 2010

A red ball is perfectly black in a room with no light. But the fact remains it is still very much a red ball.

It seems to me reality is made up not of objects with subtle shades, but rather that the way light plays on the set color objects is what changes their color and makes their capture in a painting so appreciable.

For a realist I imagine making something akin to a photograph is the truest way to address the issue.

But there is something more here to me. It seems like when the artist reaches to the palette to color the red ball nearly black on one side, it is not unlike a lie. The inspiration of the ball might have a shadow on it, but the ball is still red all around.

Is the subject then the shadow that is on the ball?

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6 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Yes, very much so. I know that it has been recommended that if you are going to work from a photograph, not to use flash photography when you are first learning. Flash photography destroys a lot of the shades and shadows that are necessary to make an image jump off of the page. The natural shadows that we see in the world around us can be very subtle at times, but the beauty of art is creating the illusion of something that is not really there. Taking a flat image and giving it depth, that is what creative license is all about.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

It’s a balance of observation and knowledge. The fixed, interpreted color is acknowledged and taken into account, but the artist also observes the quality and color of light around and on the object. If inventing, the artist also knows that incorporating the color of the object into that of close surfaces, and the color of the surfaces onto the object will create a more convincing space, because this happens in reality. Similarly, the artist knows that a dark mixture of the fixed color and its compliment makes a more visually natural shadow, and so rarely uses black, especially in black objects. Realists will rarely, if ever, use the pure fixed color when painting the object, because real objects are rarely simply their fixed color.

The subject is the “true” colors and the transitions/interactions between those.

nebule's avatar

what a bloody amazing question…although I don’t have the wherewithal to answer properly tonight I will tomorrow!! xxx

angelique_1's avatar

we did shading in art in school. when the light as you say hits one side of the object or subject the other side looks black or gray because of the lack of light on it. if you use blackor gray on the darkest side it really looks like the object or subject is seperated because of the shading. but indeed it is the same object. it is hard to paint an object with shading to look correct

truecomedian's avatar

Both, but then again being a realist you must deal in absolutes, but when factoring in human perspective, or more accurately human error, you get a situation like this. One with two right answers, one just an amount truer than the other. Imagine someone seeing everything in black and white, what would their art be like?

angelique_1's avatar

i guess they would just see black and white. the colors wouldnt matter to them because they couldnt see it. you know i never really thought of that until now. if someone were colored blind, they really couldnt see a red ball or the blue sky, only what theyre told what color it is.

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