Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Frank Brangwyn

I just finished reading a dizzying dissertation on color theory, specifically about warm vs. cool color theory. What is coming to mind after that is something that Greg Manchess said to me. "It doesn't matter what the color is if the values are right. Could this truly be the key? Is this perception of warmth versus cool colors related to intensity and saturation rather than warmth vs. cold? If it is purely warmth vs. cold, how do you have relative warmth and relative coolness. In this painting by Frank Brangwyn, I am looking at what is pushing the figures to the forefront. Even though the ship has reds in it, they are less saturated that the browns in the figures clothing. So the figures push forward. There are sharper details and line in the figures than the ship, so the ship pushes back. There are higher value contrasts in the figures than the ship, so the figures push forward. And if you view the image in grayscale, none of these observations change. So I ask, does color temperature matter if value and edge and saturation and intensity are correct?

1 comment:

  1. what Greg is saying is that the values are more important. so you can flip around the colors and keep the values and it will work. what's pushing and pulling is that the values are in sync with perspective of color. The colors will change our focus as well. remember cools recede and warms come forward? I know you know this so here you have it in this painting. The ground is warm the figures are warm and get cooler as we go further back. see how many of the people further back are wearing black clothing? there's your cool pushing the other forward. But they aren't darker than the foreground either! very important. and the sky might be lighter but its cooler with all the greys. making the warm ground come forward.
    the ship is red alright but look at that guys scarf in front of the boat, POP, red makes the boat go back.

    cool piece. keep at it.