Seeing RED

The month of March was named for the Roman god Mars, whom we remember nowadays only when we contemplate the 'red planet'. The old god hasn't been spotted yet by the Mars Rover, but the lack of any blues or greens up there has definitely been confirmed!

This Sunday the 28th is our last sketchers date for March, so in honour of the old god (and the science that is giving us such a close look at his abode) we're going to focus on how to make the most of the colour RED. Red can be overpowering and difficult to incorporate in our sketches because it can throw everything off balance. The way to tame it is to offset it with cool colours. This Sunday let's find a red subject (a flower, a piece of clothing, a household item) and practice balancing hot and cool hues in a colour composition. If you don't have something red, try orange or yellow - the principle is the same as long as the main subject is in a warm colour. If you're new to this, remember the complementary colour pairings are red/green, orange/blue, yellow/purple as shown on the colour wheel.

If you want to take this exercise a bit further, you can practice using colour theory for shading and shadowing a hot-colour subject. We often tend to dial down a hot colour using grey or black for shadow, and the results can end up looking muddy. Instead, let's try using colour theory for a more believable result. This is especially helpful in flower painting: think carefully about the complementary shade that corresponds to your main colour, and try blending the two opposites to represent the darker hollow spaces. Have fun experimenting!

If you are new to Dublin Sketchers - we normally get together on a Sunday afternoon somewhere around Dublin to sketch from 2-4pm, and meet at 4pm for a drink and to check out each other's work. We’re doing things a bit differently at the moment...

On Sunday 28 March at 4pm we'll meet on Zoom to show each other our work over a drink. You'll need the meeting ID and password to join. If you are on the Dublin Sketchers What'sApp group, you'll find the info there. If not, email before noon on Sunday to ask for the details. There'll be a waiting room to join the Zoom, so wait a few minutes to join.

Keep sketching!

Above Image: Goethe's symmetric colour wheel with associated symbolic qualities (1809),
Wikimedia Commons