Keeping My Cool with Warm and Cool

Nearly a year on from my blog on not using warm and cool as I paint, I’ve been looking at warm and cool again, in anticipation of a portrait painting workshop I’m going on. I started on a random empty page in my sketchbook — the lefthand page — with a little of each colour I had decided to take with me:

The right-hand page is ‘thinking notes’ from when I was doing my Colour workbook.

Then I had a go at organising the colours into cool and warm by instinct, and getting it muddled by having different criteria in a what was meant to be a binary chart (eg an orange may feel cooler than other oranges but it’s always a warm):

Next the in-house art critic and I had a long discussion about which were what, over coffee. Then I found Gamblin’s comprehensive list and had another go:

It still leaves the question: why do I put cool on the left and warm on the right?

Next I’m going to have another read of colour temperature on Handprint and see if I can internalise more of it.

All of this so I can divide the colours into warm dark (for cast shadows), cool dark (for form shadows), warm light (for direct light) and cool light (for indirect light) whilst trying to paint a likeness. Time to remind myself about why it’s good to get out of our artistic comfort zone!

Share Your Thoughts