The Middle Ground Between Two Colors

The Middle Ground Between Two Colors

 

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Figure 1.

Flavin Dan (1933 - 1996, New York)
Untitled (inscribed “for the citizens of the Republic of France on the 200th anniversary of their revolution”), 1989

Red, Blue, and White Fluorescent Lamps, height depending on venue
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York

     The change in colors that can be created by each other is really boundless, seeing as the universe is a massive palette. With nature as the color magician and the universe with various colors and light as inexhaustible pigment, there can be all kinds of color interlaced in the universe. Regardless whether human eyes can see or comprehend it, this large palette is busy, with everything in modulation of color. Looking between an apparently simple two-color gradient, there are countless levels of color; but if we attempted to mix our own colors, we could never achieve anything as vivid as a natural gradient. However, what we can achieve by mixing in our palettes is a heightened color ability.
Many color experts believe the more developed the civilization, and the more attention a civilization pays to nature conservation, the more likely they will be to utilize middle colors and have extensive levels of color. This is why when you visit European countries with long histories and many years of culture, you can see that they are extremely beautiful. This is especially visible along the road from the north to the south of Italy. Whether you observe a rustic or urban building, there is an ancient view of history that gives a visual impression of harmony and comfort. Color literacy and culture are indeed very related to each other. Likewise, anyone can, and must, go through practice, so as to enter the world of the mystery of color.

    Using red and blue mixing as an example, Figure 1. "Untitled" is a modern sculpture, which is coincidentally what we are discussing: the result of mixing red and blue. With three colors, red, white, and blue, instead of one color, the colored lights emanate a fairly balanced purple effect on both sides of the white light, each affected by each other, evidently partially blue and red on the left and right side, respectively. Even just the one color purple, while adjusting the ratio of red to blue, and having more or less of each, can in itself be fun. Figure 2, Klimt’s "The Virgin”, and Figure 3, Duffy’s “Interior with Open Windows" are two pictures that focus on the amount and proportion of red and blue, making clever changes with these two colors, causing colorful, beautiful visual impression. In addition, using the effects of other color pairs such as yellow and green or black and white makes the painting even more so vivid. Therefore, even with only red and blue, two solid colors, mixing them still can make many layers of the middle color.
 

  Figure 2 Gustav Klimt (1862-1918, Vienna) The Virgin (Partial), 1912-13 year    Oil on Canvas, 190 x 200 cm National Gallery Prague, Prague   

Figure 2
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918, Vienna)
The Virgin (Partial), 1912-13 year

Oil on Canvas, 190 x 200 cm
National Gallery Prague, Prague

 

Oil on Canvas, 190 x 200 cm
National Gallery Prague, Prague

    Children shouldn't for a second believe that being a genius is something you're born with. As Thomas Edison once said, a so-called “[g]enius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration”. An artist can use just two or three colors in combination extraordinarily effectively. The reason for this is their depth of study and extensive practice. The number of colors is not as important as the application of knowledge and skills. To overcome the color barrier, you must enter the world of color and directly practice color exercises. First take two primary colors, and mix more and less of each to change the combined color, learning to modulate the middle color. You can also add some neutral colors such as black, gray, and white, through which there are unexpected possibilities.

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Figure 3
Raoul Dufy, (1877~1953, France)
Interior with Open Windows, 1928

Private collection

     Although individuals taking art class have more or less mixed experiences, the scale of potential color knowledge is too large and complex. If we do not set a goal, systematic practice is too difficult in order to understand the mystery of color. Often, we see children use watercolor paint that can clearly be used to infinitely create color as mere colored pencils, only individually, even though they are painting with a material called “watercolor;” they do not know the process of producing new colors. Unfortunately, they are neglecting the beauty and intended function of watercolor. Therefore, the only way to improve the perceptive ability of color is through the actual experience of mixing.
 

  Figure 4 YouTing Hong (8 years old)    Bloo

Figure 4
YouTing Hong (8 years old)

Bloo

  Figure 5 XiangLing Yan (12 years old)    Self-Portrait

Figure 5
XiangLing Yan (12 years old)

Self-Portrait