Art how to paint - make tints, shades, tones and colors.
Painting - Tints, shades, tones and colors
© frangipanni 2013. All rights reserved.
Have you decided to release your inner Monet but have no idea what the difference between tints, shades, tones and color are? Read on for a simple guide to get you understanding and underway with your painting.
Tints, shades and tones
- Tinting – leads to white (add water in watercolour)
- Shading – leads to black
- Toning (desaturating) – leads to grey.
Converting an image to greyscale on your computer is ‘toning’ it. The original colours are not darker or lighter, they have been removed and replaced with tones from light to dark grey.
Working with Colour
When we look at a painting we read the shapes, lines and tones – not necessarily the colors
e.g. a purple tree will read just as well as a green tree.
To tone down a color you can-
- add black. Occasionally you have no other choice.
- darken it with a color closer to blue or purple. However then you are adding another color so it will change your original color. Eg, If I darken yellow with dark blue I will get dark green instead of dark yellow. Black will also turn yellow into green.
- buy a tube of ready mixed darker color (eg + Yellow Ochre/Raw Sienna, Umber, Sepia etc) Cadmium yellow
To tint a color -
- add white
- add medium or water
- add yellow (might also change the color)
- buy a lighter color ( eg Cadmium red – Cadmium Orange)
ON THE WHEEL
Yellow is the most vibrant color.
Purple is the least vibrant color.
To SUBDUE a color (for shadows or if it is too bright) move DOWN towards the bottom of your color wheel.
Use anything that is closer to blue or purple. Eg:
- To Cadmium Red (warm red) add Alizarin Crimson (cool red with blue in it).
- To Alizarin Crimson add any purple (has more blue in it).
To blues and purples you can really only add dark earth colors (ie burnt umber, Vandyke Brown, Sepia) or add black or buy blues/purples with black already added (Prussian Blue, Indigo, Paynes Grey etc)
To ENLIVEN a colour (so it look like sunshine striking it) add white/water, yellow or move UP the color wheel towards yellow.
.To yellows you can only add water, white or buy lighter and darker yellows.
REMEMBER: Yellow + Blue + Red = Brown/grey
If the color you are adding crosses one of the lines on your wheel, the mixture will become muddier as well as darker/lighter.
Try it with your own colors.
The rules above actually apply to all paints and colors so it won't matter if you're attempting watercolors, acrylics or oils ( with exception of adding water to oil paints - of course this won't work) the outcomes should be the same.
Mix, experiment and play. Happy painting!
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Check out my other hubs on painting and art.
Some other great hubs to read on watercolor are