by Debra Disman
One of the things we discuss often during our Color Muse segments on Artistically Speaking Talk Show is how we can make our lives just a little bit easier as decorative painters, faux finishers, muralists, artists, artisans, and ‘atre-preneurs.’ Learning and experiencing more and more about the function, properties, and effects of color can help us in this endeavor, which ultimately will support not only our bottom line, but our ability to offer more effective service to our Clients, as well as enhance our creative efforts. Color know-how is another tool in the kit we can bring to our work, our art, our business, our Life…
This article is a round-up of sorts, a quarterly review of Color Muse since its debut in May of 2010 on Artistically Speaking, helmed by the inimitable Rebecca E. Parsons, creative entrepreneur extraordinaire, and master decorative artist, Lyna Farkas.
In May we discussed ways to add ease to our glazing life!
By keeping base coat and glaze colors close together in hue (color), we can effect easier, smoother blending of the glazes over the base coated surface. This can make any joins, overlaps, or other undesirable drama created by drying glaze edges less visible.
In order to create the sunset sky requested by the Client for their daughter, the ceiling below received five successive application of colorwashed glaze. The base coat is purple, and four of the five glazes are hues of purple, including the almost white clouds, with a fuschia pink added for intensity. Because all of the glazes were related in hue to each other, as well as to the base coat, they blended easily, and created the sense of depth and airiness desired by the young inhabitant, and an immediate tie-in to the rest of the base painted room.
We also talked about using the base coat color itself as one of the glaze colors, which was done in this breakfast room. What could have been a daunting challenge; blending fast-drying latex glaze over a domed ceiling that sloped into wall sections, became a gratifying creative endeavor by tinting clear glaze with the chiffon-colored basecoat paint, and using it as one of several glazes blended together with sponges over the surface. Use of the basecoat color softened the mix of the other neutrals, so that the treatment texture and color flows smoothly over the entire surface with no breaks, streaks, or heaviness to mar its subtlety.
Perhaps inspired by June’s golden sunlight, we talked about gilding, and how we can make our leafing life easier by choosing our base coat color with care. Whether we are using “schlag (combination metal leaf), or the real thing, we may be working under time restrictions, material limitations, or other challenges on a site. By choosing a base coat color related to our leaf color, we can camouflage any tears or holidays in the always precious metal leaf we are applying.
Here is the original Cross for All Saints Episcopal Church in San Francisco, which was stripped down to its original wood, primed to seal the word, then base painted in an ochre color, to coordinate with the 22 carat gold leaf applied over it. Ochre , black and red are some of the colors of “clay bole”, used historically as a preparation for gilding, “There are many shades of bole that may be used including ochre, red, black, orange, blue, and green, imparting various tonal affects under the layer of gold leaf.” —CHARLES DOUGLAS GILDING STUDIO, (Please click link for further information on GILDING).
The Color Wheel
July found us musing about the Color Wheel, and some of its many applications to the work of the decorative painter. “As the Color Turns,” Color Muse article #1 in Cre8tive Compass Magazine discusses primary, complementary, analogous and “neutral”” colors, how we can use them, and why “neutral” may be a relative term!
Tints and Shades of Color
In August, we heated up our Muse, with a chat about how to use tints and shades to create highlights and shadows. A tint of a color is created by adding increments of white to it, and a shade, adding black.
In this color-saturated logo at left, a tint was mixed from the white, red and yellow used in the rest of the painting, while just a pinprick of black was added to both the yellow and the red to create shades of each. Creating even a hint of highlight and shadow can create dimensionality to make your treatment, design, image or mural pop, and add life to your walls!
We also offered up some advice on how to use color “tactics” in laying out your website’s image thumbnails, in order to catch the eye of visitors and surfers!
In this set of 7 thumbnails (above) introducing glaze-based decorative finishes on a website, a balanced, yet not symmetrical distribution of hue (the “color of a color”), value (lights to darks), intensity (saturation, or concentration of color), texture, and detail creates a pleasing composition which catches the viewer’s eye without giving away too much about the image as a whole. Create thumbnail images that entice your site visitors to want to click on them, and see the whole thing!
As always, we continued our Muse on the relationship between Color and Light, with the help of Donald Kauffman and Taffy Dahl, creators of Donald Kauffman Color, and their beautiful book: ‘Color and Light: Luminous Atmospheres for Painted Rooms.‘
Say the authors; “Glazed walls refract the light—bending each ray as it moves through two different mediums, from the translucent layers to the more opaque undercoat. (Whenever you glaze a wall, if you make the undercoat lighter and warmer then the topcoat, it will create a more luminous effect.)”
What a luscious, luminous world we have as finishers, decorative painters, muralists, artists, artisans and humans, to explore! Please join our Color Muse exploration on Artistically Speaking Talk Show, and Cre8tive Compass Magazine, “where we honor your passion, and your vision, in this community we are co-creating”
Here’s to a colorful journey!
Debra Disman’s passion is to translate her Client’s inner vision into concrete visual form. She is principal of ArtiFactory Studio, a decorative painting company based in San Francisco, which provides custom decorative painting, murals, and color consultation to customers from all backgrounds and walks of life. She is a member of the International Association of Colour Consultants/Designers and serves as the Color Muse for blog talk radio’s “Artistically Speaking Radio” and Cre8tive Compass Magazine. To learn more please visit ArtiFactoryStudio and “Artissima, the Blog of ArtiFactory Studio”, or visit her on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.