Some basic guidlines and suggests a logical, step-by-step process to colour mixing.
In order to understand color in painting one first has to have a basic knowledge of color theory. The retina of the eye receives input from objects outside. Sensitive cones in the eye translate these sensations form the outside. These cones in the retina respond the wavelengths of light and "decode" or translate these signals in terms of color to the brain. A tree appears green because the cone in the retina responds to the light energy and this overrides the other cones. Because of this process, and due to that fact that the signals to the brain determine the color of an object, we could say that things in themselves do not have color. If this is the case then there can be no objective colors. The point is that seeing color is a personal and individualistic experience. The process of being an artist is making yourself aware of color and this awareness can only be achieved through training and practice.
A first experiment in color: complementary colors
One of the most important aspects of color in painting is to understand complementary colors. Complementary colors are opposite colors and are very important when mixing colors for painting. Green and red are complementary colors. They are opposites in the sense that they are diagonally opposed in the color wheel. This means, practically, that they tend to react against each other if put side by side.
Try this exercise as a first experiment in color. Paint a red rectangle on a piece of paper. Once this is dry, paint a smaller green block in the center of the red rectangle. Take another piece of paper and paint a blue rectangle and then a green block in the middle of the blue rectangle. Place the two pieces of paper side by side and step back to look at them You should notice that the green block placed against the red background is far sharper and more predominant than the same size green block against the blue backgrounds. This is due to the fact that the green block was painted directly over its complementary color. Complementary colors contrast and therefore tend to complement or "show up" each other. This knowledge will come in good stead when painting a landscape or a human face. The purpose of this experiment is also to emphasize that the mastery of color requires study and practice.
Complementary colors also have another painting advantage. Try the following experiment. Place equal amounts of red and green paint next to each other on a tray or palette. Take a palette knife and begin mixing the two colors in the center of the tray or palette. You will notice that the mixture turns darker and muddier the more the colors are mixed. This is an important principle in using color. Commentary colors contrast and tend to produce gray tones or variations of the original colors that are darker. There are many tonal variations of colors in nature and mixing complementary colors can produce these different tonal ranges. Here is another experiment to try out for yourself.
Paint a tree in nature or from a picture. As you begin to work on the green leaves, you will soon begin to notice that there are various differences in the tone of the green. Some greens are lighter and some darker and some purplish. Mixing the original green with complementary and similar colors creates these variations. Variations of green, for example, can be made with a mixture of red. Shadows and purple tones can be made in this way; and if green and red are mixed in equal parts, a nearly black color will be produced, which is perfect for dark shadows. A note on this aspect is important there. Instead of using ordinary black for your shadows, you should mix the colors that you are using with their complementary colors to create a deep black. For example, by mixing the green with the reds you will eventually create a deep black which will have the advantage of having elements of both the original colors, and so create a shadow area which is much more realistic.
All that you need to know about color.
The basics of color are disarmingly simple. You will, however, find that working with color is a lifelong and complex practice.
Primary and secondary colors: Primary colors are basic colors that cannot be mixed from any other colors. These colors simply exist by themselves
The primary colors are: red, yellow and blue Secondary colors are those colors formed by mixing any two of the primaries together. Secondary colors are: Red and blue mixed creates purple. / Read and Yellow mixed together creates orange. / Yellow and blue create a green.
If one mixes all three primary colors together the result will be a neutral brown-gray. The rule with regard to determining complementary colors is that it is the primary color not used in the mixing of any secondary color is its complement. For example, mixing yellow and red creates orange; the primary color that is missing here is blue. Therefore the complementary color of orange will be blue.
There are numerous theoretical rule that can be cited about color. The artistic truth is that none of these rules will truly teach you about color and color mixing. The following is a far more practical method of learning about color.
Once you have understood the basics of color theory and how complementary colors are produced, then begin with the following procedure.
Take some paper and begin creating swatches of color. The paper you use will depend on the medium in which you are workingin. For example, if you are working in oil, then use paper that has been prepared for oil painting. Alternatively, coat the paper with a layer of acrylic paint. You can also, of course, paint on a prepared canvas surface, but this may prove to be somewhat expensive. If you are working in acrylic, then any paper will do.
Begin experiencing with mixture of primary colors. In other words, mix red with blue, and red with yellow to produce a range of different hues and tones. The key word here is experimentation. Taking one color at a time, experiment with mixtures of other colors and find a range of possible variations within that color. For example, if you start with red, then mix blue and create swatches of different gradations of blue and red. Move onto red and yellow and create swatches of different degrees of orange. Once you have worked your way through he primary colors you can begin creating variations on the complementary colors. The entire purpose of this process is to train your eye to the endless variations within the three basic primary colors. Keep these swatches or place them where they will be visible while you paint. Add to these swatches as you work on your paintings, and use them as a reference point when searching for as special tone or color.
Remember that working with color must be essentially intuitive. Applying rules will not be sufficient. Color is most of all about awareness and perception. Study the colors around you. Study and sketch the objects that are commonplace in your home and garden. The purpose of this is to begin to actually see color. This is something that many people think they do, but very few actually achieve.
Tips about Writing a Computer Book, how to make the process of writing a computer book easier.
What is it like to write a computer book? Let me start by saying that it can be difficult at times. While writing my first computer book, I also had a full-time job in the computer field, and was helping my wife raise our two children, who were 3 years and 14 months old. Writing a computer book was enjoyable, but not perfect. I offer here a few tips to help you make the process even better.
Find and Research a Topic
If you are interested in writing a computer book, you probably have some computer expertise already. Or, you may be a technical writer who wants to transfer existing writing skills to publish in a lively and interesting field.
First, you'll need to find a topic you can be committed to writing upon for 3 and a half to four months. If it is a topic in which you are already an expert, some of your research has been done already. However, nothing can stop a good writer from researching a previously unfamiliar topic or product, and teaching themselves everything they need to know to write a computer book.
Computer book topics must be timely. This is the key. So when you choose your topic and focus your research, keep up with current magazines and the Internet to think about which topics are likely to be "next" in the interest of the publisher. Is XYZ Computer delivering a new version of their desktop publishing software? If so, that's an area to investigate first.
Are you an expert in a programming language or database tool? Could you focus on it for three or four months--enough to write a book about it? This too, is a topic for further investigation.
How will you do your research? Sources of research are many: the Internet, using the software or product you are writing about, and previous books on the subject. I was able to download documents, white papers, and sample programs from industry Web sites, and did much research that way. I found my computer science textbooks from college of general help, and halfway through I bought good college text on grammar and usage.
Write a Proposal
Computer book proposals have many features in common with all non-fiction book proposals. You'll need sections describing your topic, an annotated table of contents and outline, background information about the market, description of competing books in your area, and information about yourself: your qualifications for writing upon such a topic.
The proposal also includes a writing sample. This may be a couple of sample chapters, or just one. However, pick a section from the meat of your book--it doesn't have to be chapter one. This sample demonstrates how you write, how you handle examples and refer to figures (you don't need to include the figures at this stage).
Your publisher accepts your proposal because they want to market your book. After which, they may request modifications of your outline. This is totally normal, and good. It means the marketing department is taking your book seriously.
Consider an Agent
Articles about writing often address the topic of how to get an agent, and the difficulty of getting an agent when you have not yet written a book. In this case, I had written some articles for computer magazines. An agent read one, liked it, and contacted me via email.
As you should do with any unknown agent, I checked a book of literary agents, then decided to give book writing a try. He helped with writing a persuasive proposal, and talked me through my initial concerns (read: fears!).
Agents are good at negotiating book contracts. Many features are standard, but agents know about rights that can be negotiated: foreign rights, translation rights (which may not come up with a computer book unless it is very successful), and are good at communicating to the publisher any concerns you have about the feasibility of the schedule.
Here I am speaking of the positives of having an agent, but in computer publishing it is very possible to approach the publisher directly. Many computer publishers are eager accept proposals directly from authors. Look through the computer section of Writer's Market and read their guidelines.
Advances seem to run from $8000-$12,000, with experienced or best-selling authors getting the higher numbers--or higher. An agent will likely receive 15% of that.
Keep Making Progress
I thought that writing a computer book would be exciting, and it was, but the truth is sometimes I had to drag myself down into the basement after a day's work and putting the children to bed. It is common for a writer to become occasionally bogged down with their writing, but in the computer book field it is made worse because of the fairly tight schedule some computer books are produced under.
The key I discovered: make progress. Toward the end of the schedule I was writing mostly on weekends (I was just too tired during the week!). Still, I looked at my outline and told myself: "You've finished chapter seven, start on the introduction for chapter eight." Checking your progress against your outline will help you keep on track.
You may occasionally feel merely like a supplier of words. As your understanding of the publishing field improves, this feeling diminishes. Rather than a supplier, think of yourself as one member of a team that includes the author, the publishing company, the project editor, the development editor, the copy editor, the proofreaders, the indexer, the marketing department, and--for getting paid: the accounting department.
If you have a concern about some aspect of book writing or organizing your book, call the editor. Once you are over the hurdle of selling the book to a publisher, they have adopted you (at least for a time), and are usually very willing to help.
If you have an agent, he or she can suggest a work-around, or intercede, if you have any trouble with the schedule while writing your book.
Writing a computer book can be fun: a chance to learn a lot about a specialized and interesting topic. It can also be challenging, but is within the capabilities of most writers willing to do the required research. And, the feeling of holding your first book in your hands is unforgettable.
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