Take a close look at Matisse’s painting The Dance, shown above. What is it about this painting that makes it “pop”? The dancers seem like they’re almost floating on top of the background. Why is that?
Matisse was a master colorist, so he chose his colors carefully. He knew that when orange and blue are placed next to each other, they each appear brighter and more intense. Here’s why:
Orange and blue are complementary colors. Complementary colors have a special relationship because they are opposites on the color wheel. Take a look at the color wheel below:
You’ll notice that yellow and blue are also complementary colors. Red and green make up another complementary pair.
When complementary colors are placed next to each other in a painting or drawing, the artwork seems to vibrate. Complementary pairs can make an artwork more eye-catching and dynamic. For this reasons, many artists (like Matisse) make the conscious choice to use complementary colors in their compositions.
If you look closely at the color wheel, you’ll notice that the complement of each primary color is the combination of the other two primary colors. This means that:
- Yellow + Red = Orange, which is the complement of Blue.
- Red + Blue = Purple, which is the complement of Yellow.
- Blue + Yellow = Green, which is the complement of Red.
When you examine these colors on the color wheel, you can see how they are related. You will also note that the complements of the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) are all secondary colors (green, purple and orange).
The next time you make art, keep the complementary colors in mind to see if you can make your painting more dynamic.
Look around you. The buildings, the streets, the trees – they all look pretty much the same, day after day, don’t they? So much so, that you probably got to the point where you don’t really notice your surroundings anymore, other than to get from Point A to Point B, or to admire an occasional flower or sunset.
What would happen if someone painted multicolored stripes across the street you take every day to work? Imagine how much that would change your perception of the street and alter your day to day reality. Color has the power to lift you into another world, and take you beyond the ordinary. Many artists are utilizing this power to transform our everyday surroundings so that we see our own familiar spaces in a new light.
Here are three examples of how color can transform space:
- In the image above, artist Mokha Laget, in conjuction with the Corcoran and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, recreated a striped street painting that she originally created 20 years earlier on 8th St. NW in downtown Washington DC. The painted stripes are an homage to former Corcoran professor and noted color field artist, Gene Davis, who died of a heart attack in 1985. The bright colors enliven the street, bringing a sense of wonder and whimsicality to the US capital.
- Rio de Janeiro, capital of Brazil, is a city with striking disparities between the rich and the poor. Twenty percent of Rio’s inhabitants live in densely populated favelas that crowd the hillsides overlooking the capital’s more wealthy residents. The ‘O Morro’ Favela Painting project is an attempt to bring color and culture to the impoverished community, injecting vitality and pride into an otherwise depressed area rife with social issues. The Favela Project is employing favela residents to paint their houses in specific, carefully-designed patterns that when finished, will be a display of beauty and color visible from the center of Rio.
- Christo and Jeanne-Claude, famous for “wrapping” buildings, bridges and entire islands, once again soared into the spotlight in 2005 with their “Gates” installation in New York City’s Central Park. For 15 days in February 2005, 7,503 vinyl saffron-colored gates rising 5 meters into the air were displayed along Central Park’s pathways, stretching a combined length of 23 miles. Although the public had mixed feelings about the installation, the gates undeniably brought color to New York’s austere winter landscape.
Yellow is one of the three primary colors, which means it is often used in painting – from capturing the warm rays of a golden sun, to a field full of sunflowers, to the flickering flames of fire. Here is an overview of some of the most common yellow pigments you’ll use when painting:
Yellow Ochre (sometimes called Mars Yellow) is a non-toxic natural clay pigment. In fact, it is one of the oldest pigments in the world, used by our prehistoric ancestors. Yellow Ochre has a tan, sandy appearance.
Naples Yellow was once made from toxic synthetic pigments that were used abundantly by the Old Masters, but today’s version is made from modern, non-toxic substances. Naples Yellow usually has a light, pale appearance.
Cadmium Yellow is another historically toxic pigment (Cadmium Sulfide) that was used by artists in the late 19th century. It now contains a non-toxic replacement (usually Azo pigments), but is still called Cadmium Yellow. Cadmium Yellow has a very bright yellow appearance.
Azo Yellow (also called Hansa Yellow) is a dye-based synthetic pigment invented in the early 20th century. Azo Yellow is usually bright but it is also pale and translucent compared to Cadmium Yellow.
Each of these yellow pigments adds something different to your palette. If you are painting a still life, landscape or portrait that requires the use of yellow, consider the different properties of these yellows to decide which one (or more) would work best for what you need.
The human figure is one of the hardest things to draw accurately. When drawing a human figure, you need to be aware of technical issues such as proportions, shading and foreshortening, but you must also be able to portray the figure with emotion and sensitivity. Even if your figure drawing isn’t 100% accurate in terms of resembling real life, a drawing imbued with creative energy can create a powerful effect upon the viewer.
To better study and render the human figure, Renaissance artists dissected and studied corpses, taking detailed notes and making realistic drawings from their anatomical observations. Learning about the structure of muscles and other internal organs helped Renaissance artists create more precise artwork. These days, you don’t need to visit a morgue to brush up on your figure drawing skills. Ample books and websites focus on drawing the human form, providing countless illustrations of body parts, both externally and internally.
Figure drawing classes are invaluable for enhancing your ability to draw the human form. Most community art centers offer figure drawing classes with instructors who can critique your artwork and give you pointers. Most figure drawing classes are conducted with live nude models, which may come as a shock for people who have never been to one before, but this is standard. Drawing the nude figure helps artists gain a better grasp of the human body and how it looks in various positions.
If you are unable to attend a drawing class, you can search for free reference photos online. Many “artist community” websites offer a bank of free reference images that you can use without worrying about copyright or obtaining a model release. For specific poses, expressions or costumes, you’ll need to take your own reference photos. Hire a model or bribe a friend to do the posing for you.
If you want to draw a person is a specific pose but you do not have a model and can’t find the right reference photo, use a poseable mannequin, such as the one shown above. The poseable mannequin will give you a general idea of where to place the various body parts, but you’ll have to “invent the details”, such as facial features, clothing, etc. For this reason, a wooden mannequin is usually more ideal for gesture drawing, rather than a figure drawing that needs to be true to life.
Who was the model for Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa?
Unfortunately, one of the mysteries of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is who was the model was a Male or Female? What age was the model? Where was the model from? Was it his wife? Did da Vinci know the model? We may never know who the model is and of course some may say why does this matter anyway right?
One thing we know for certain is that this portrait has led to many discussions. One discussion is about the Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile. I am sure you have thought about that part yourself. I often have wondered who was this model in such a wonderful piece of art? When I look at the different masterpieces myself that other Historical artists have painted, I often ask myself this same question being who was their model or models? Also, how do these famous artists select their models? Is it their wife, themselves, mistresses, children, lovers, worker, apprentice, grandparent, high school sweetheart, coworker, neighbors, people randomly picked off the street? When the artists select a model or models, what is the artist looking for in the models? What method are the looking in their selection for a model? Are they looking at some unique feature? Unique features such as their smiles, such that the smile is mysterious, sexy, sad or interesting?
When I go the the art museum, I like to look at the famous paintings from all different angles. Do you find yourself doing that as well? When I recently went to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, one of the first things I did was to walk into a room and look at the paintings from a distance. This is sometimes a hard thing to do, especially when the room is large. When the room is large, how do you really know which masterpiece to look at first. I usually look around to see which one intrigues me the most. When I find the one that interests me the most, I then look at them straight on. I often like to talk to the docents to find out what they like about the certain pieces displayed at their art museum. The docent is the true expert as they should know which pieces are the most interesting and any unusual facts about the paintings. I wonder what was the artist thinking before they started to paint on their canvas. Is there a hidden agenda on their canvas that we may never know such as the hidden identity of who their model is?
Most scholars think that da Vinci’s Mona Lisa may be his wife but have you ever thought it could really be one of his apprentices? Perhaps da Vinci had a companion that was even a male and this was the person who da Vinci drew in this well known painting? Was the model Salai who had been a model for Leonardo in several of his other paintings? So the question really is then who was the model and was it a male?
Be a Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC Leonardo da Vinci (see more details here)
A great way to drum up interest in your art is to hold an open studio. Instead of waiting for your art to get accepted into a gallery, why not turn your work space into a temporary showing space? Remember that most art lovers enjoy spending time in artists’ studios because it allows them an inside peek into the process behind the art.
Here are several tips for hosting a successful open studio:
- Send invitations to local gallery owners, local art critics, and anyone you think may be a patron of your art. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family also, because they will help stir up conversation about your art amongst the other attendees, and their enthusiasm will be infectious.
- Make sure your studio is neat and presentable, but you don’t need to go overboard. People will expect paint splatters in an artist’s studio! You should leave some of your art materials (paints, brushes, palettes, etc) in their natural positions, so that your tidied studio still retains the essence of your creative energy – but make sure all toxic chemicals are safely stored away.
- Arrange your artwork in an organized display around your art space. Add title cards underneath them with your name, the title of the work, and the price, if it is for sale. It is also a good idea to display one or more works-in-progress, because many people will be interested in seeing the evolution of an artist’s work.
- Have plenty of business cards available. A guestbook is also a good idea for adding to your mailing list.
- Consider selling prints of your art for people on a budget. You could also sell other low-cost items with your art on them, such as cards, magnets, bookmarks, etc.
- If your art space is big enough for people to linger, offer a plate of hors d’oeuvre. If your budget allows, offer your guests wine or other drinks.
- To set the ambience, select appropriate music to accompany your open studio – but play the music softly. It’s important that your guests are able to hear you and vice versa.
- Once the doors are open, socialize. Don’t be afraid to start conversations with people you don’t know. You’ll be asked a lot of questions by people who want to know more about you and your art, so be mentally prepared. Your open studio is an opportunity for networking, so make the most of it.
You’ll find in our SegPlayPC Leonardo da Vinci pattern collection. This is a fun, off-beat set of great colorful digital patterns. We know you’ll enjoy coloring these great patterns! What a great stress reliever as well.
Gorgeous art painting patterns to color and relax with. You don’t have to be a professional artist to enjoy this. Join the fun today! Segmation.com
Leonardo da Vinci was an amazingly talented and well rounded individual who lived in Italy during the Renaissance period (1500-1600). His talents included architecture, engineering, mathematics, music, and of course painting. Considered one of the greatest painters of all time, we are excited to bring many of his famous works into the creative world of SegPlayPC (No doubt Leonardo himself would have enjoyed this form of painting!). This collection contains all of his well known images including the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, Bacchus, The Baptism of Christ, Madonna Litta, Annunciation, and many many more.
You can find a wide collection of Leonardo da Vinci Scenes paint by number patterns and is available at the Segmation web site. These patterns may be viewed, painted, and printed using SegPlay™PC a fun, computerized paint-by-numbers program for Windows 7, 2000, XP, and Vista. Enjoy!
Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso are two of the most famous painters in history (if not the most famous); one a Renaissance genius renowned for his skillful realism, the other a modern legend and co-founder of Cubism.
Did you know that even though Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world, he only produced less than 30 paintings in total? Even then, many of them were left unfinished. Picasso, on the other hand, created nearly 2000 paintings – plus sculptures, drawings, ceramics, and hand-pulled prints that combine to over 50,000 works of art! (To be fair though, Leonardo also left behind a substantial number of drawings, sketches, and pages full of notes.)
One reason for this vast difference in the number of paintings produced is that both artists were products of the times in which they lived. When Leonardo was alive, artists didn’t have the luxury of creating art for art’s sake. Instead they were commissioned by the church, guilds and wealthy patrons to create paintings and sculptures that were expected to depict certain themes. For this reason, Leonardo needed to find work where he could. During times of war, he had to work as a military architect and engineer, designing methods of defense. Making art took a backseat to the work necessary for survival.
By the time Picasso was born 362 years after Leonardo’s death, the world was a different place. Artists had more freedom than ever to paint what they wanted. Self-expression in art was more widely accepted and expected. Instead of being commission-based, most artwork was sold in galleries to private collectors, as money flowed more abundantly through society than it did during the Renaissance. By the 20th century, successful artists such as Picasso were able to sustain themselves from the sale of their artworks alone, and did not need to seek alternate forms of employment to make ends meet.
These factors may contribute to the reason why Picasso created so many more artworks than Leonardo, even though Leonardo is the creator of the most famous painting in the world. Who knows what more Leonardo could have accomplished if he’d been alive in modern times?
Segmation Pattern Set for SegPlay® PC by Segmation (see more details here)
ChromaBlend Pattern Set for SegPlay® PC by Segmation (see more details here)
Longtime Segmation SegPlay™ contributor, Susan Richardson, has created a second set of exciting set of multi-colored images for us to use with SegPlayPC™ These chromatic patterns are a joy to look at and utilize a vivid color palette. Have some psychedelic fun with the ChromaBlend collection! If you enjoyed coloring the first ChromaBlend set, you’ll enjoy these 20 abstract patterns as well. Crazy, Falling Leaves, Leaf Gear, Anger, Jazz 1, Hearts, Fuzz, Opaque, Jazz 2, Scratches, Fall, Nap Time, Tongue Tied, Faires and Fantasies, Forest Fire, Water Colour, Broken Heart, Storm, Blinds and Grid collections are included.
This set contains 20 paintable patterns.
When these patterns are completely colored, the resulting image has a very strong resemblance to the original artwork. These vibrant and colorful pieces of art are truly engaging and exciting for you to paint, and especially a joy to look at when completed.
With over 2800 available patterns from an ever growing collection of artistic themes, SegPlay® PC will provide you with hours upon hours of painting fun and entertainment. SegPlay® PC Splash Screen With SegPlay® PC as an Art Appreciation teaching tool, students can memorize famous works of art, color by color. Children can truly touch images related to a wide assortment of subjects. As a parent or educator, the learning possibilities stretch as far as your image-ination!
SegPlay® PC is in the computer software category known as “casual gaming”. While it provides a pleasurable and creative escape from mundane computer activities, the program is simple to use and new players can begin the painting function immediately, with just a few, intuitive tools. However, the program also offers rich features with challenging and engaging options, so it expands with each user, whether they seek an education in art appreciation or just want to enjoy a creative gaming challenge.
With a dynamic and clear user interface and fun sound effects, the program’s gaming features compliment the artistic benefits and engage users at all levels. For a gaming challenge, users can race against a timer to complete patterns in a given timeframe at levels from Easy to Experienced and Expert. Users can also employ speed-painting tools, monitor the mistake counter, and track the number of remaining pieces and colors to increase the program’s challenging and addictive potential.
Have fun and relax with beautiful online painting art. So fun and easy to use with no mess but just a mouse!
Be a Artist in 2 minutes with ChromaBlend from Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)