Thursday, January 7, 2016

How Do I Make a Subject Look 3-Dimensional? Color Tip by Carol A. McIntyre

 You paint on a two dimensional surface, yet you want to make a subject look 3-dimensional, how  can  you do this?

 How many colors do you need to accomplish this?

 Perhaps, you have a yummy ripe red pepper you want to paint, how do you convince the viewer that  it is three-dimensional? Or how do you make that storming cloud billow? Or that boulder carry its  mass? Or that nose to bend?

We painters work on a two-dimensional surfaces – canvas, board, paper – yet many of us rally to the challenge of creating a sense of three-dimension on this flat surface. I know that I love projecting a sense of dimension in my paintings.

What do we need to do to ‘sell’ this idea to the viewer?

Line and iconic shapes – such as an apple or a daisy – play a role in creating a sense of dimension. See the apple line drawing below as an example. This is one approach, but in my mind, not convincing. It requires some knowledge of color and a willingness to mix colors to make a subject look 3-dimentional.

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