Thank you to Lava Soap ® for sponsoring this post.
I had this small little canvas panel sitting around so I decided to borrow some of our citrus fruits from the kitchen and make a little painting from them. It was a regular ‘ol lemon and this orange-thingie that was quite reddish in hue. It definitely wasn’t a normal orange.
For this painting I wanted to practice my color-matching. I would mix a hue and hold it in place in font of the real still life on my palette knife. Once the color disappeared into the real scenery behind it I knew I had the right color. I do experiment with color-matching often. It’s an interesting exercise to do and if you ever try it remember this:
The color will always deceive you. (at first)
Seriously, we see colors based on the colors around them. When you match a color and lay it down, it won’t look right at first. This is especially true if you are working on a bare white canvas!
The only reason I was working on a bare white canvas was due to my own impulsivity in this case. I had a small, primed canvas panel ready to go and a really big urge to paint.
Color matching gets tricky too because if your lighting on your painting is different from the lighting on the still life things are not in sync. You get different results than expected, which can occasionally be good, sometimes be tolerable, and frequently turn out bad. This happens because our eyes amazingly adapt to the colors/scenes we are looking at.
A great example of this is in wearing sunglasses that favor red, blue, or even orange. After a few minutes our eyes see colors “normally” again even though they are not really seeing all the colors normally.
Check out all the spots in the painting above. Those are all the actual colors I was matching to. I set them up just to see what was going on. Wow! Who would have thought there were that many subtle changes in a seemingly simple background? The background was a piece of canvas curled up from underneath the fruit and continued curling to form the back drop.
This topic of matching colors does get complicated. If you try to match colors in your painting to the colors in your subject matter just try to keep the same temperature lighting on both your canvas and your subject matter. It’s worth trying though. You can learn a lot about your paints and realistic colors by practicing it. Realistically, most colors are way duller than you would guess.
Here’s the citrus painting completed:
Remember, when cleaning up your hands and brushes it’s a good idea to pick a soap and brush cleaner that is effective at removing oil. Lava Soap will help you remove stubborn oil paint off your hands! Lava Soap is available at Walmart or you can find a retailer near you on Lava’s website, as well as print off a coupon. Follow Lava Soap on Facebook for more tips on how to clean up after art projects.