I chose Pyrol Orange.
and I painted 20 squares of paint around it.
This revealed how the orange is affected by the colour that surrounds it (the orange might appear to be in front of the other colour of course).
Several things occurred to me during this process:
- The colours of similar hue looked lovely. Even when using red, which is a quarter of a colour wheel away, the orange looked calmer than it looked on the pallet.
- Yellow also looked pleasant around it – the effect is colourful and bright but the two colours seem to meet and match nicely.
- The complementary seemed to be something like Cobalt Blue (Cb Blue bottom right) and which I added white to match the tonal values better it became more vibrating.
- Sometimes I messed it up and accidentally mixed the surrounding colour with the Orange. This produced streaks of a dull mix and interfered with the vibrating effect.
- I used Pyrrole Orange right out of the tube having never used it before… but it looked like a great colour – very saturated and bright… however, which orange is it? I found that when I varied the hue of the complementary colour I got bigger or smaller effects. I suppose that the most complementary colour produces the greatest effect?
- Cobalt blue turned out not to be the most vibrant combination 0 that was achieved when I combined Cobalt Blue with Cerulean Blue and white. (4 down, 3 Across >)
- Pyrrole Orange is supposed to be “Red Orange” but I considered it to be on the Yellow side of Orange on my colour wheel… the one which I painted. There is a degree of subjectivity in everything so my colour wheel may not be as per Daler-Rowney’s. However, as I edged towards violet for the complimentary I found a more exciting effect.
- Green, on the other hand, although it produced some vibrancy was not so exciting… although it did make the orange stand out more compared to other closer hues. When I was experimenting with darker greens I produced a tonal contrast so it may be that I simply heightened the brightness of the colour using a darker one (green as it happens) without producing that vibrancy.
To produce squares of neutral grey I tried using a prepared piece of board already painted in neutral grey.
The effect of each coloured square was to nudge the brightness (tonal value) of the centre square in the opposite direction to the relative brightness of the colour to the board’s colour… the white made it darker, the black made it (look) paler.
The green had a tonal value very close to the grey and became almost invisible… I think it might have been a bit transparent too.
Other thing affected the effect: larger areas of colour and smaller centre squares (like the violet one, row 3 right) produced an effect that was easier to see. I’m not sure the tonal shift was the greatest but the paint was also neat and even.
Overall this was a very slight effect.
- Adjacent Tone and colour differences impact on the way a colour is perceived – context is important.
- The two effects are independent (I didn’t test this, but it looks like it from the accidents). Combining them will combine effects.
- Bright and colourful is not the same as ‘vibrance’ – the yellow and orange are bright and colourful but do not create a ‘movement’ or ‘shimmer’.
- Catching the vibrance by not directly looking at is attention grabbing or distracting… depending on your point of view. I can imagine how a central subject that is not ‘vibrant’ can be made to move within its context using a background (or surround) that is vibrant… the slightly peripheral vision will pickup on this.
- Adjacent is important… as soon as there’s a separation things are different.