Thursday, June 14, 2012

PALETTE & PAINT: Temperature of lights and shadows

When I first started Palette & Paint my intention was to share with you my palette & paints and also talk about my studio equipment and about the technical side of creating a painting, however the more informative posts about colour, value, brushes, brands of paint etc. were pushed aside as my time was spent on doing the showcase each week.  Things will be changing a little with the blog party which will free up some time for me to share with you more in depth posts.  I'll be doing a P&P party post a little later today with all the details, but in the meantime, I still need to share with you my palette and paint from last week and talk about colour temperature in lights and shadows. 

Above is what my palette looked like last week, quite the mess! It's all been scrapped back and is clean again - for a short period of time anyway.  I've added some little captions in the photo above to point out some of the features of my palette. The grey scale is handy for seeing just how dark or light a colour I've mixed is. Instead of mixing up all of Sanden's Pro Mix colours and alining them under the standard colours (like Sanden teaches) I now just mix as needed using the guide in the left bottom corner of my palette.  I've listed the standard colours I use in this post from a few weeks back and I'll go into more depth about them in a future post. 

Progress on 'Luke and Puppy' painting

Let's talk about the temperature of colour and more specifically the temperature of shadows and lights being opposite to each other.  I touched on this over on my post about colour temperature and transparency a while ago, the examples given in this post were about warm colours coming forward and used in the lights and cool colours receding and being used for darks. Interestingly enough when  I stumbled onto the work of Daniel Keys recently I discovered that  warm shadow and cool lights can also work very successfully.  Daniel talks about the temperature of the shadows being opposite to the lights in this Youtube video series.

Painting by Daniel Keys 

Sanden also talks about the importance of colour temperature in his book 'Painting the Head in Oil'.  he does not go as far to say that shadows are opposite in temperature to the lights, but he does say to observe what you see and determine what temperature the colour is and paint that.

Also recently I ordered this DVD 'Portrait Painting Duo with Scott Burdick and Daniel Gerhart'
and they talk about colour temperature and the shifts in temperature as the form turns.

All this, and my chat with Tracey Fletcher King yesterday (where we discussed Australian light and the temperature of light and shadow -amongst other things) has got me to thinking about colour temperature more while I'm painting. If you're an artist yourself, is it something you consider while making your images?

Comment on this post using Facebook:
Comment on this post using Blogger, WordPress, Type Pad, LiveJournal, OpenID, AIM or Name/URL:


  1. I have been thinking shadows since our chat as well... took some time out and really looked at the shadows in the garden this afternoon and warm and cool is so important, especially when dealing with seasonal light... love how Luke is coming along and adored our catch up, and those yummy yummy choc cakes... you are such an inspiration...xx

  2. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

  3. I had never considered the temperature of shadows or lights before, but it makes sense as soon as I read it. I see examples in my head instantly, and I also know I will be studying colours from now on, to look for the temperature of the colours I paint, not just the colours. Thank you for sharing. :)