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The Way To Happiness The philosophy of these lessons: Look, Learn, Practice

Chapter 17 of "The Way To Happiness" deals with Competence. I've found that too many limit their own progress as an artist with the concept that they "haven't got the talent." 90% of being a good professional artist is about looking for yourself, learning (including good study habits), and practicing what you have learned to become Competent. If you are interested in a free copy of "The Way to Happiness", please email me for one.

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Lesson 15

1. Thought

At the time of the impressionists, some innovative theory on color was being developed. Chevreul was establishing a color wheel and Rood had just published a work on the theory of color in 1881, The Impressionists (and Neo-Impressionists) adopted these theories and arranged their palettes according to the chromatic tables furnished by the physicists. "Following the theory that light, broken up in a prism, gives off seven colors, they adopted these seven colors on their palettes." They excluded black. Duranty, a prominent writer of the time, felt that they were handicapped by this. Unlike the "true" Impressionists, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and Edouard Manet did not exclude black, but used it richly. (Extracted from Mary Cassatt 1844-1926, National Gallery of Art, 1970 Exhibition Catalogue)

If you get the opportunity, look at works by various "Impressionists" and "Neo-Impressionists" and compare the use of color.

2. Words:

Hue 1. color. 2. a particular variety of a color; shade; tint.

Chroma the purity of a color, determined by its freedom from white or grey; color intensity.

Get the difference in meaning of these two words, use them in some sentences, demonstrate with colors until you feel personally certain of their difference.

3. Practice: "Learning bears fruit when it is applied."

Exercise: Experiment with only the colors laid out in a limited palette (one warm and one cool yellow, one warm and one cool red, one warm and one cool blue) to get various hues and chroma. Try to get some grays and browns as well as secondary and tertiary colors by finding and mixing complementaries. Specifically, see if you can mix a good yellow ochre and a good earth red, since these are useful colors.

(Possible colors to use on your "limited palette": Lemon yellow (a slightly greenish yellow), cadmium or hansa yellow, cadmium red light or similar orangish red, alizarin crimson or purplish red, ultramarine blue or cobalt, and thalo or prussian blue.)

This is an example of what your palette might look like when you do the above color mixing exercise.



This is an example of the color mixing exercise

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Last updated: August 1, 2008