Painting Landscapes: What are cool and warm colors?

What makes the artwork easily identifiable by its viewer? Well, it’s the colors and lights that make an artwork more realistic! These concepts are easy to learn and can be mastered through careful observation and of course practice.

Fall Landscapes Colors

Most artists recognize that common colors for this season in a landscape are red, orange, brown, yellow and gold. However, it is important to take note that just any version of these colors won’t necessarily work for an autumn painting. The reason is that fall colors are warms colors.

What are warm hues?

Warm colors are those contain a little amount of yellow or red and because orange is a secondary color made of yellow and red, any orange is perfect for autumn paintings. This is also applicable for tertiary colors such as gold and brown.

However, reds from a tube can be tricky in a landscape painting. They can be blended with a cooler undertone that will make them look out of place with warm colors of fall. For instance, Alizarin Crimson has yellow, warn undertone while Permanent Rose has a cooler undertone since it has a touch of blue, which is a cool color.

The key to determine the warmness and coolness of the color is by dividing the color wheel. Those hues that range from the darkest red to the lightest yellow are belong to the warm colors. On the other hand, the colors that range from the lightest green to the lightest purple are cool.

Autumn Lights in Paintings

As the world turn its way from the sun, the outdoors light gradually disappear. In short, it is not as strong as the light during the summer. Because strong lights can washout hues, soft, fall light can increase to the richness to the already energetic colors that flourish during this time.

To imitate autumn light in paintings, you should prevent using strong contrasts in light and dark. The light should combine from one extreme to the next without harsh lines.

Another thing is that you should avoid pure white highlights on objects. White with a touch of yellow tones will seem less harsh and will unify your painting.

Thus, in painting autumn landscapes you should not forget to keep subjects warm and soft to obtain a realistic look that transports the viewer to fall.

Though this rule applies in painting fall landscape, in abstract art paintings the artist doesn’t necessarily pay much attention to his abstract art work’s color. Abstract painting is more of expressing the painters’ abstract view on a certain object, but of course right combination of colors adds to drama to an art piece.

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