Bob Goldsborough – Colour in Composition

Bob Goldsborough travelled from Birkenhead to talk about using colour in paintings. He illustrated how a colour can appear to be darker in front of a light background. It can also appear to change its hue (colour), shifting away from similar nearby colours.

He explained how the traditional primary colours of Red, Blue & Yellow can mislead artists when mixing colours. The ones he used to construct his colour wheel are based on the primary colours used by printers and graphic designers: Magenta, Cyan & Lemon Yellow.

He briefly showed how colour wheels are based on positioning three primary colour around the wheel. Opposite each primary colour its complementary colour. If the primary colour is mixed with increasing amounts of its complementary colour, the mix will gradually lose its intensity, dulling towards grey or black without changing its hue (colour). The mixed colour gets darker and can be lightened with white.

He proceeded to paint a landscape on a light purple background, mixing colours using complementary colours (opposite colours on the wheel), plus white where needed. He painted quickly in blocks of contrasting colours with other interlaced colours.

He also illustrated aerial perspective with a tones reducing at further distances from the observer. He did not proceed to the next step of creating more detail in the foreground which would emphasise the perspective.

Bob brought along images of his paintings, showing his use of colour.

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