Monday, February 13, 2012

Seriously GRAY matter

So....first entry in a while. Just thinking about colors.

I started noticing something about colors a long time ago. I used to despise beige and gray. I thought who would have ever decided walls need to be gray or tan or some other neutral color. Now I get it. Give me a William Alexander (famous PBS TV artist/instructor) moment. Art 101. Grays make colors POP. But the lesson doesn't stop there. Watch any old B&W TV show or movie; Casablanca, I Love Lucy, Superman, The Lone Ranger--or the greatest crossover from Sepia to Technicolor, The Wizard of Oz. Superman's costume in the B&W episodes wasn't red and blue. It was a couple shades of tan and brown

The world of B&W/grays is full of wonderful tones that mix and match beautifully. And what does high contrast + grays do for the story? Doesn't it make everything seem to be precisely planned.....each scene is easier to 'read' as our minds are not as confused with too much information. We tend to process only what's important; the picture story flows like a river. That's the moving picture in B&W.

What about natural light? I'm experimenting with grays and blue grays lately. I noticed after a good rain, the sun came out just before sunset. The sky was still mostly gray, but the sunlight glow was a bright yellow. The yellow street light was more vivid than normal. And the greens were saturated--grass, trees, and bushes were technicolor green. A true magic hour.

I had my office painted last year. I had chosen a couple colors but before anything was done, I got a beautiful shade of a cool gray primer on every wall. I almost couldn't paint over it. It was so incredible how the other colors in my office even the wood tones seem to jump out. I lived with that for a day or so and hated to see the gray go away, but it did. Someday I'll go back.