Monday, August 27, 2012

Friend Cover for August

The Christmas lights floating in the air are supposed to drape from the title.  Now that I look back on this I wish I'd made the table and chair a lot lighter to reduce the clutter in that area.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Class on sale

For those people who have asked me when the next sale for my class is coming, the answer is, apparently, now.
Thanks to Kei Acedera for the beautiful promo image!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Color Schemes

Though the accomplished author who made fun of me in the comments for using a real word was joking, I thought I ought to do a post on triadic color schemes.
Since James Gurney has already covered this subject in great detail, rather than cover the basics again, I'll just add a few thoughts to the discussion.
Many color schemes work just as well whether you are using the traditional color wheel (ROYGBIV) or the color wheel of light (RBG).  While the ROYGBIV wheel stretches the warm end of the spectrum, making the wheel a little more polar in its temperature, red and cyan resonate against each other as complements just as well as, and possibly more strongly than, red and green.  Same is true for magenta and green, yellow and blue (which is closer to indigo on most monitors), and so forth.
However, triadic color schemes---images using three equidistant colors from the color wheel---don't act  the same in both wheels.  This is probably because of the stretching I talked about above.
The advantage to a traditional triadic color scheme is that its even nature comes across in images using it.  It's not an exciting color combination, but the even and predictable nature of it makes it comfortable, almost friendly.
A triadic scheme from the RGB spectrum still works fine if you are just looking for interesting color combinations.  But for some reason it doesn't achieve the same effect as the ROYGBIV version.

This may not be a surprising discovery to some, but I've noticed that the farther you push a color scheme away from peak saturation and value, the more you lose the strengths of that color scheme.  However, the colors still retain a shadow of what they used to be, so even at its extremes a color scheme has a hint of the message that goes along with it.

While a triadic color scheme can feel balanced, safe, and even child-like, which triad you pick for your subject matter can still strongly affect the mood of your image.  Look at the difference that happens by shifting just a little in one direction:
See how much more off-putting and aggressive the character appears in the second one?

Don't expect too much from a color scheme, though, because the color scheme is often one of the weakest factors in communicating the emotional tone of an image.  If I were to assign a priority to the effectiveness of a design element in establishing the theme, emotion, or message of an image, I'd place the priorities something like this:

(Most effective)
1. Style
2. Subject matter/content (I would include shape language here)
3. Lighting scheme
4. Value/color composition
5. Surfaces/Textures
6. Color scheme
(Least effective)

These all might switch places depending on the image, but the point is, don't count on a color scheme to solve your problems if your drawing, lighting, etc. aren't saying what they're supposed to.
If anything, the primary colors make him seem even more freaky
So think of color schemes as modifiers:  A friendly color scheme won't fundamentally change how you feel about an image, but it might layer in subtext or cast something unexpected into the tone of an image.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


Trying out a triadic color scheme.  Not sure I'm 100% there with the color balance.