Friday, September 17, 2010

An Artist's Challenge: A Color Theory Exercise

A Color Theory Exercise: Colored Cubes in Warm and Cool Light

Above is a demonstration of the effects of warm and cool light on cubes of primary and secondary colors.  I created this a few months ago after some intensive color theory study of my own.  I created one cube in Photoshop then copied and pasted it rows of 8 across.  I selected the proper color for each plane of the cube to depict the accurate color in either warm or cool light and filled each side.  The idea was to put any reference aside and try to predict how the colors would behave.  After more study and advice I intend to adjust the colors as I begin to see mistakes.

This is a challenging exercise I'd recommend for any professional artist and/or student with Photoshop savvy to create their own version.  I'll post the basic cube so you can do it yourself. It's like a Rubik's cube for artists!

Also, if you're a more experienced professional than I, please comment below and tell me how I could improve my color relationships with a short critique.

-Are the relative values correct?
-Is the background color hindering or strengthening the effect?
-Do the warm and cool versions of each cube seem like they are identical aside from the relative warmth of their lighting?

Here's the scrambled cube if you'd like to test or improve your skills:

Good luck!

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1 comment:

Giedre Olsauskaite said...

Hello. It is a brilliant study, but I noticed that in places the values change, eg. in the blue cube, the change is quite extreme.

I am confused myself about how much yellow should one add to the hue, did you use some kind of formula for it?
I studied your colour choices with a colour picker and it seemed pretty random for me. I am looking to learn how to change the local colour in different lighting conditions