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Category Archives: colour

  In my last post I was talking about my earliest encounters with real artists who knew the value of earth tones. The other night when I should have been sleeping I was instead loitering about on Twitter. I’m in a process of amazed discovery as to what an astonishing resource that app is for artists. I came upon an artist called Murat  Kaboulov and opened his site (run by a relative as he sadly died in 2010). I was immediately not only entranced by his pictures but catapulted back in a kind of eureka moment to the unswept floor of a studio in Beaufort Street Chelsea where flakes of oil paint and toast crumbs stuck to my four year old knees as I played at my mother’s feet while she posed for a portrait.

  The beautifully presented website www.muratkaboulov.com even uses a version of the divine sludge colour as its background. But the paintings …what a joy to behold….take a look at these … I can’t show you a picture because they rightly have the images protected from download but here’s a screenshot you can click through on which I hope will entice you to visit and enjoy this inspirational work:

                                                       www.muratkaboulov.com/figurative
So in my dream painting Murat Kaboulov shall now be one of my guides. Each of those paintings is worth hours of study and each demonstrates masterfully how vivid colours need earth tones to work. In 60s psychedelic and pop art bright colours were allowed to stand alone but even then it was rare. A quick search of Google images for Peter Blake, that quintessential artist of the Kings Road era, revealed the use of the Divine Sludge time and time again. For just one example you might remember this piece for its bright colours but look carefully – it depends wholly on its earth colours for its impact:

I have painted pictures in the past, I’m proud of a few and not shy to sell them but I’ve hardly begun. I learn as I go, I try and look deeper, I know what I want to do. I’m going to have to live long I think.

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Agios Antonios HandpaintedACEO Print Copyright Luigina Ware 2012

Fishing Boat at Syros Handpainted ACEO PrintCopyright Luigina Ware 2012

Lalakia Garden Handpainted ACEO PrintCopyright Luigina Ware 2012

Wave: Handpainted ACEO PrintCopyright Luigina Ware 2012

I spent last weekend on an experiment, albeit one that I thought would succeed. Here are the results. These are my very first efforts at ACEOs* (see below for an explanation of what an ACEO is). ACEOs can be made in any media but they must be right size – these are quite tiny – only 2.5 by 3.5 inches. I had a particular aim with these ones which was to see what I could do with an image by painting onto a canvas print. I chose these four as they each offered a particular challenge – some like Agios Antonios and Lalakia Garden were originally paintings and Fishing Boat and Wave were both digital art. I originally got into making these digital pictures when exploring photographs I had taken in Photoshop with a view to painting them. They then became digital artworks in their own right. Now I am painting over those prints so I suppose you could say these images have come full circle. 


I have tried to photograph them so that the very nice zingy sharpness and vivid colour come out well and also so that you can see the scale – there’s a 1 euro coin in some of the pictures. They are still sitting on my chair in the kitchen in the afternoon sun and I just went to have a look to see how accurate the colour reproduction is. Hard to tell what you are seeing – always be aware when viewing art online that different monitors and computer equipment display colour somewhat differently. But I really don’t think anyone buying these would be disappointed in the contrast between these photos and the actual objects. I am really pleased with them and they were great to work on. I’ll photograph some of the print ones later, they also look pretty far out.

The little canvases are mounted on good quality mat board, the edges are all blacked and they are gloss varnished.

I’ve made up my mind to put them to auction on Ebay and see if I can catch the eye of some collectors. Might work, might not…let’s see what happens!!!
Click on the images to visit the relevant pages on my websites where you can buy the full size prints and read something about the original artworks.

 *ACEO is an abbreviation for Art Cards & Editions, sometimes also known as ATCs – Artist Trading Cards – other people might just call them Miniatures. The rule with them is that they are made on card and must measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches – no more no less. They are loved by artists for the scope they give to experiment without the commitment of a major piece and because there is a certain amount of craft in them. It also means you can offer customers a genuinely affordable artwork.

My desire to make pictures, even the digital ones, began firmly with a love of paint. My heart absolutely sang when I found this great blog post at one of my favourite Facebook ‘Likes’, Retronaut (highly recommended, one of the best little blue and white buttons I ever pushed). Feast your eyes on photographs of actual palettes of Seurat, Van Gogh, Renoir and Delacroix with images like these:

Seurat’s palette reveals clues to his technique as well as
use of colour
I have something in common with Gustave Moreau
at least, my palettes are as messy as this.

Colourlovers, another fascinating site for those who are intrigued by how great painters actually went about things uses colour analysis tools to explore the palettes of specific paintings. I really like the idea of being able to draw out a basic colourscheme from a painting that affects me visually. I think one of the greatest ways to learn anything is to look at things you admire and try and work out how they began. I went looking therefore for some tools to analyze palettes. I found several but  far and away the best one was this: http://www.cssdrive.com/imagepalette/index.php.
I chose my image Northern Lights because it has quite a broad spectrum of colours and fed it into the app and this was the result:

That site actually allows you to save the colour scheme as a CSS style sheet which means you can base the theme of a website or page on the colourscheme of an artwork or photograph you like. This app gives much much more colour information than the others I tried too. Give it a whirl, it’s loads of fun and the possibilities for artists and designers who want to get under the skin of what makes a particular image pop are endless.