ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Experiments in Color and Light

Updated on March 20, 2012
signgirl profile image

Carol attended University of Calif, at Davis, San Francisco Art Institute & Graduated SD State.She has written and illustrated several books

The First Under-Painting
The First Under-Painting

Under-painting my Canvases-Experiments in Color

My sister, who is a professional artist, taught me how to do under-painting of my canvases, before my final work of art in oil. Lately, however, I have wondered what it would be like to paint various color designs ( instead of the single color backgrounds) under my paintings. I've read about color and light waves and different effects it has on our visual perception of color, and thought that it would be fun to experiment somewhat. My newest series of paintings are on Africa. My niece, who lived and worked there, sent me many of her interesting photos, and I have always wanted to do paintings from them. So, they will be my first pieces of art to try these experiments.

Color Theories

First, here are some of the color theories that I read about--see what you think: The primary colors in art are red, yellow and blue, in print making and dyes, however, they are cyan, magenta and yellow, and for light displays (when light is split by a prism) they are orange-red, yellow-green, and blue. They say that our eyes see cyan because this color absorbs the red wave lengths, that we see yellow because it absorbs the blue wave lengths, and when white light falls on cyan and yellow both red and blue are absorbed and we see green.

My Experiment With Colors

So, how does one color over another affect our visual perception of these colors--or does it? As I continue my experiment with colors, I will show you all the before and afters. The pictures shown are of the first under-painting that I did, and the final oil painting (on top of it). I could see how the darker purple and blue changed the lower portion of the painting to feel somewhat cooler to the observer, even though I was using the same colors over the top.

I'm no rocket scientist, so if anyone can see the difference between the effects of the under-painting and the over-painting and how, if any, your perception is changed---let me know!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • signgirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Carol Hill 

      6 years ago from Palmetto, Florida and Herriman Utah

      Thanks so much; I still don't know what I'm doing yet, but appreciate your encouragement.

    • cookies4breakfast profile image


      6 years ago from coastal North Carolina

      Voted up and interesting! My medium is fabric rather than paint, but I love your painting. As far as the theory, I get what you're saying as I've layered thin materials together to get the color I want. Again, love your painting!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)