Friday, 5 November 2010


A couple of weeks of colour theory. While I do not use colour much at the moment, understanding more about it should help me be more effective with what I do use.

Following a suggestion from an artist friend and playing with complementary colours, I painted up a piece of wood in violet and ultramarine to use as a base for the yellow/orange Uglow beakers (yellow-violet and orange-blue being compliments);

on plain white background

on ultramarine painted background

on violet painted background

In theory, complementary colours should make each other brighter when placed next to each other. Not convinced by this example - to my eyes the yellows and oranges look most vivid on the plain white background. However, the strong ultramarine blue does lift the overall composition and look good next to the beakers. 

I was so focussed on taking the pictures that I did not really compare the set-ups visually, just set them up and took the pictures thinking I could compare on screen. However, I do not trust the camera completely as it was on auto and may have been adjusting factors to compensate for the colours. Although all pictures taken in same spot within 1 minute, they do look different and I think that when presented with a strong colour in the frame, the camera was overcompensating by making the overall picture lighter. More investigations, trusting my eye rather than the screen and manual camera settings needed...

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