13. The theory of color impressions

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The starting point of the theory is the study of color impressions of color displays in nature. This means that we must study the experiences that produce colored objects on our vision. One day in 1922, shortly after the invitation of Kandinsky taught at the State Bauhaus in Weimar, Gropius, Kandinsky, Klee, and I quietly chatted, suddenly quite directly Kandinsky said, ‘What subjects do you teach? “Klee said that he lectures on shape, and I – your introductory rate. Kandinsky said dryly: “Okay, then I’ll keep drawing from life!” We nodded and said nothing more about our curriculum. And Kandinsky did for years after that began to conduct classes at the Bauhaus in the analytical study of nature.

It is symptomatic that in our time, with uncertain orientation of art schools, we have to discuss the need to study nature. Under her study should be understood not imitative transfer of random impressions, and primarily analytical, research, elaboration of objective characteristics of shapes and colors. For this study required an interpretation of nature, rather than its imitation. However, that interpretation is consistent with the essence of phenomena, requires accurate observation and clear thinking that must precede the creation of the image. The clearer the meaning becomes, the more acute senses and artistic sensibility is getting used to a logical analysis of the observations. Students must keep “fighting” with nature, for its possible impact and exceed those other visual tools that we have in the arts. Cezanne worked with great interest over the motives of nature. Van Gogh was destroyed by this struggle, trying to work tirelessly to convey his impressions of nature, transforming them into its own system of color and formal scenic.

Each artist in accordance with their inclinations should determine for itself the extent of their work on the study of nature. However, it would be unwise to ignore the outside world due to the excess of our internal. Nature in its rhythm of the seasons, converts it to the outside, then the inside itself could serve as a perfect example of us. In the spring and summer, the ground forces go outside, embodied in the growth and maturation, and in autumn and winter, returning back again and updated for future growth.

Consider now the problem of color in nature. From the standpoint of the physics of all things by themselves do not have colors. When white light – by which we mean the sunlight – illuminates the surface of an object, the latter according to their molecular composition absorbs some light waves of certain length or color, and reflects the other. In the “Physics of color” it has been found that the colors of the spectrum can be divided into two groups, and each of these groups may be combined into a single color using a collective lens. Obtained in this way the two colors complement each other. Thus, the surface of the object reflected light beams are color, additional to the amount of absorbed radiation. The reflected color seems the local color that is inherent in the subject.

The body, which reflects all the rays of white light and does not absorb any looks white. The body, which absorbs all the rays of white light and reflects neither one seems black.

If we illuminate blue body orange, it will appear black, because there is no blue orange, which could reflect that body. From this we can judge the enormous significance of the color of light. Changing the color of lighting changes and local color illuminated objects. The chromatic light, the more changes the local color. The light color closer to white, the more intense the colors are reflected nepogloschёnnye items and the more we seem to clean their local color. In the study of color in nature are extremely important observation of the color of light. In this regard, it would be helpful to refer to the methods of work of the Impressionists, who studied constantly change under the influence of local color changing lighting. It goes without saying that the color is important not only lighting but also its intensity. Light not only gives the painting a subject, but also materializes it plastically. To transfer these qualities must be, at least, keep in mind three different gradations of intensity, light with a full power, medium power and light, providing a sense of the shadows. When illuminated by the light of the average force local colors of objects are of particular clarity, as well as the textured surface features become more apparent. When the light in full force lightens the color of the object, and in the shade – perceived vague and obscured.

Reflected rays of color change is very much local color of objects.

The local color, as already noted, due to the fact that there is a color reflected rays pass into the surrounding space. If the object is red and red rays fall on standing next to a white object, then the last noticeable reddish reflection. If the red rays fall on the green thing, we will see it on the gray-black reflection, because the interaction of red and green leads to the destruction of each other. If the red rays fall on the black surface, it can be seen in the black-and-brown reflexes.

The more glossy surface of objects are, the more tangible and is reflected. By studying changes in the actual color of objects in a continuous change in color of sunlight and the reflection color, the Impressionists came to the conclusion that the local color dissolve in the overall color atmosphere. This means that in the study of color impressions should pay attention to the four main points: the local color of an object, the color of light, color and shadow with intensive coverage.

The object may be represented in different ways. It can be depicted from the top, front and side of the finest of its proportions. And it will be an analytical form of its image. Then the object can be according to the laws of perspective is drawn or transferred to plastic with light and shadows. Red vase and yellow box can be drawn in the future and flat covered each its local color. Then, shape and color with the light and dark tones can get plastic elaboration. In this interpretation of the plastic can be converted into a planar, if the color of objects in tone and brightness will be associated with a background color and lightness. It is thus achieved a tonal relationship depicted objects with the plane of the picture. If each object and each represent a plane in accordance with their real natural color, it is possible to achieve quite realistically specific image. But this song will be composed of many individual parts, which will be reluctant to strive to unite.

If the color of the objects appears as a local color pictorial composition as a whole, and the object acquires here its own color like red is generally red or yellow generally yellow, the subjects lose their isolation. They dissolve in their own atmosphere, which becomes a picturesque atmosphere of the picture.

Plastic impression can be achieved due to modulation of cold and warm colors, that facilitate dissolution of local colors. In this case, the place settled in black and white relations on an equal them in cold or warm tonality variations of local colors. This contrast of light and shadow is largely mitigated, causing a feeling of increased picturesque. In the study of local color should pay attention to changes caused by lighting and color of the light. Thus, in the bluish light green vase will look blue-green, for local color mixed with the hue of light. Reflected dissolved local color tone, free form and color of objects from the rigid certainty, turning everything into a polyphony of color patches. Delacroix said in this connection that “the whole of nature is a reflection.”

For the study of Impressionist color development is also a problem of color shading. If a summer evening in the orange light of the setting sun and blue sky in the east to watch the shadows of the trees, it is very clearly seen their blue color. More noticeable color shade of winter, when all the streets are covered with white snow. Under a dark blue night sky in the orange light of the street lamps in the shadow of the snow become a deep, glowing blue. Passing winter evening after a snowfall on the street, lit colorful color advertising, it is easy to notice the red, green, blue and yellow shade, lying on a white ground.

In painting these natural phenomena have been mastered Impressionists. Blue shadows of the trees, which appeared in their paintings, caused great excitement among the visitors of the exhibitions. As to this general opinion prevailed, that the shade should be gray-black color. Although the Impressionists came to the image of colored shadows, relying only on the careful observation of nature.

However, the term “Impressionism”, in the sense in which it is used at the moment, is not limited to just the actual membership of the impressionist school of painting. I count among impressionistic-minded artists and the Van Eyck brothers, Holbein, Velasquez and Zurbaran, and the brothers Le Nain, Chardin and Ingres as their works owe much accurate observation of nature. Chinese ink painting also largely impressionistic. World of ancient China called for respect for nature and its forces. Therefore we can not be surprised that the artists have paid serious attention to the study of natural forms. Mountains, water, trees and flowers were their spiritual symbol. Chinese artists have studied natural forms so long as they have not mastered how mastered its literal characters. For images of natural forms are, in most cases, used alone paint its black ink, which makes sound in all possible shades. The abstract nature of the mascara strengthened the symbolic meaning of their painting.

In contemporary art, you can find pictures in which human faces are shown green, blue or purple. Uninitiated viewer often does not know what to think. The artist like the use of color can have a variety of causes. Blue and purple color for the image of a human face can have expressive value, expressing a certain psychological state. Green or blue face may have a symbolic meaning. In these images is nothing new. Such a symbolic relation to color can be found in the art of ancient India and Mexico. The green or blue color can be attributed to the person and his own shadow, which gives the color of the light. Problems colored shadows could clarify the following experiments.

In 1944, in Zurich, on the occasion of the exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts, dedicated to the phenomenon of color, I was read by a report on colored shadows. I demonstrated that the white object illuminated by daylight red light gives a green shade. Green – cast a shadow red, yellow – violet and purple – yellow. Each colored light in daylight casts a shadow to it additional color. I asked the head of the class pictures of Hans Finsler take a picture of this phenomenon. Color photographs have shown that colored shadows were really real, and were not the result of a simultaneous contrast. In this regard, it should be emphasized that in these experiments, all the color mix was the result of a complex fusion of color, because it came to the actual color of light rather than pigment inks.

Research has colored shadows, taken in subsequent experiments yielded striking results.

When red-orange light in the absence of daylight turns dark shadow. If blue or green lights and shadows are black.
The lighting of the subject in the absence of daylight two colored rays gave the following results:
– With red and green, red rays cast green shadows and green rays red cast. Crisscrossing shadows gave black color, but a mixture of green and red light was yellow;

– Experience in the red-orange and green-blue light, red-orange cast a shadow blue, green and blue – red-orange. Two beams intersecting shadows gave black and mixed color of the two illuminating rays – purple-pink;

– When used for lighting green and blue color, a green cast blue shadows, and blue – green. Crossing shadows cast a black shadow, and the shadow of a mixture of the two illuminating rays were blue-green.

If the experience to take three different light – namely, red-orange, green and blue-green, then the red-orange light is discarded shadow cyan, green beam gives the shadow a purplish-pink and blue-green – yellow . At the intersection of all three color shades obtained black color, and the combination of color rays themselves gave a white background.
The study of color impressions gives the artist much more possibilities for understanding the color secrets of nature and their use in art.