这是用户在 2024-6-7 12:03 为 https://app.immersivetranslate.com/pdf-pro/351b255a-6b32-42e8-ad46-97949caa0928 保存的双语快照页面,由 沉浸式翻译 提供双语支持。了解如何保存?



Please dear friend, bear in mind as we begin this look at the subject of drawing that my point of view throughout this book is largely centered on painting from life. Working from a photo is fundamentally different. Why? Because one of the many challenges in working from life is the transformation of a three dimensional image into two dimensions, which has, in a limited way, already been done for us in a photo. Unfortunately that same convenience carries with it the intrinsic limitations of photography (compared to the measureless range of human vision). In any case, whether you work from life or otherwise, you must be sharp and never drift into thinking drawing is a casual skill. Of course if you trace your pictures from a projected image, only some of what I have to offer here or elsewhere in this book will be of any relevance.


There is a popular notion that artists are artists because they are somehow born with a unique ability to draw. As we who draw as part of our life's work know, that is not true, but the impulse to draw is definitely within each of us in childhood. All kids from all cultures make scribbles and eventually images of a sort, but no soul arrives in this world endowed with the necessary skills to convincingly depict visual reality with a pencil or brush. I have never known of a painter who could do it without some structured training. That doesn't necessarily mean art school, because there are a few other ways these skills can be acquired. For example, if you were lucky as a youngster, and you had an obvious love of drawing, you might have had parents or teachers (as I did) who gave support or even early lessons. The Atelier system (studio apprentice) is another example. Every artist I have asked about their own early start in art tells more or less the same story of loving to make pictures and getting encouragement and help in doing it. Even the self-taught probably have a well-stocked library of how-to-do-it drawing books.

DRAWING IN THE CONTEXT OF PAINTING (Please read this carefully.)

For most of us, the word "drawing" brings to mind an outline of something. This deeply ingrained assumption originates in childhood when we learned to use lines to make pictures. Yet in real life there are no lines around things. As beautiful as many line drawings are, they are only linear diagrams of what we see. Painting, on the other hand, the kind I am dealing with here, attempts to create a two dimensional depiction or visual replica of my world by using all of the visible treats of Mother Nature-her limitless colors, her range of brightness and darkness, and her ever-changing tapestry of multicolored forms.
So, throughout this book when I use the word "drawing," I mean the size, shape, and arrangement of all the patches of color which collectively make things look the way they do (and which also constitute a painting). When I render those patches the right size, the right shape, and fit them together with their distinctive edges and colors, my painting will look like my subject. If I fail to do that, it will not. It will look different.


Sound drawing is the skill which allows all of the other visual elements to come together and form a true-to-life image. Why? Because colors, values, and edges are meaningless shapes by themselves. They are like the letters of the alphabet or individual musical notes in a scale - mere sounds or little black marks on a page until they are rationally arranged and joined just so. Only then do they make sense and thus facilitate instant recognition and convey meaning. Skillful drawing is just like that. It is the ability to see those shapes (notes and letters) in a landscape or a child's face and replicate them as a painting.
声音绘画是一种技能,它使所有其他视觉元素能够汇聚在一起,形成一个栩栩如生的形象。为什么?因为颜色、价值和边缘本身是毫无意义的形状。它们就像字母表中的字母或音阶中的单个音符 - 只是页面上的简单声音或小黑点,直到它们被合理地排列和连接在一起。只有这样,它们才有意义,从而促进即时识别并传达含义。熟练的绘画就是这样。它是能够看到风景或孩子的脸上的这些形状(音符和字母),并将它们复制成一幅画的能力。


Although drawing from life is a skill that must be learned, it isn't like learning to swim or ride a bicycle. Once you get the knack of it, you can't just relax and let it happen all by itself. It takes constant practice and the resolute dedication of a bird dog. Why? Because it is not a physical skill, or simply a body of information like English grammar or arithmetic. Drawing is a mental discipline - a state of mind requiring heightened perception, observational skill, and analytic ability. You might say it is perpetual learning, because it deals with continual variables rather than the repetition of memorized data or images. I always have the fond hope that someday it will get easier, but it never does. Sound drawing always demands great care right down to the last dab in my painting.
尽管素描是一项必须学习的技能,但它并不像学游泳或骑自行车那样。一旦掌握窍门,你不能只是放松下来,让事情自然发生。这需要持续的练习和坚定的奉献精神。为什么呢?因为这不是一项身体技能,也不仅仅是像英语语法或算术那样的信息体系。素描是一种精神修养 - 一种需要高度感知、观察技巧和分析能力的心态。你可以说它是永恒的学习,因为它涉及持续变量而不是记忆数据或图像的重复。我总是怀着美好的希望,希望有一天会变得更容易,但事实并非如此。精准的素描始终要求极大的细心,直到我画作的最后一笔。
Interestingly, children under ten years or so are not the least concerned when their art doesn't look the way things do to grown-ups. This is because when little kids draw they are not trying to replicate nature (they couldn't anyway). They are simply telling a story. Adult drawing should not be forced upon them at an early age, because certain motor skills and mental developments should be allowed to happen at each child's individual pace first.


I do not mean to dismiss line drawing as being in any way inferior to painting. By itself it is a separate and beautiful art form with endless expressive power. My point is this: from here on I use the word drawing to mean the character, the dimensions, and the relationships of elements in a direct painting from life, not necessarily to the art of linear representation. All forms of art have their strengths and limitations. One is not better than another, but each does certain things better than another.
Having said all of the above, I must hasten to say line drawings are universally used (and often indispensable) in various early and middle stages of paintings as temporary guides in all media. Please refer back to pages 69 and 73 for examples.
说了以上所有内容,我必须赶快说,线描在各种绘画的早期和中期阶段普遍被使用(并且常常是必不可少的),作为所有媒介中的临时指导。请参考第 69 页和第 73 页的示例。


It shouldn't. After all, at its core most drawing is simply measuring and seeing the relationships among shapes. As it applies to direct painting from life, it comes down to little more than figuring out the width and height of color shapes and then fitting them together one at a time (assuming you have already determined what shape is to be measured). Still, certain things about drawing remain very difficult for nearly everyone.
I find it odd when I think about it because drawing is the only aspect of the images we work with which deals with a measurable and definable aspect of the visible world. The other three elements: colors, value, and edges, are relative qualities with generous room for interpretation. By contrast, drawing is about specific dimensions. If a nose or other feature in your painting is "out of drawing," it is either:
  1. TOO BIG. 太大。
  2. TOO SMALL. 太小。
  3. THE WRONG SHAPE. 错误的形状。
All of the above are measurable qualities which can be verified with a ruler or calipers. Therefore, you would think good drawing could be nailed down exactly, or it is almost mathematical, but as we all know it doesn't quite work out that way. Theoretically at least, all things visible in this universe, including many invisible things (empty space, for example) can be measured with precision when they are reduced to two dimensions on a flat canvas. Well, not quite everything. Fog and mist, blazing fires, flying birds, explosions, squirmy little children, rain, crashing waves, and other such things are a bit hard to pin down. On the other hand, houses, mountains, grown-up people who sit still, and potted plants, all have very definite sizes and shapes which present us with measurable dimensions-but even then we still miss the mark!
oil on canvas,  帆布油画,
Careful drawing need not result in "tight" or excessively detailed work. On the contrary. As this little painting shows, drawing well gives me the freedom to play with interesting brushwork as much as I please. Control through fine drawing is the key.
"Looseness," as I am very fond of pointing out, should be the way a painting LOOKS, not how it is accomplished.
Many of the loosely painted bravura works from the great period of painting in the 19th century were done with slow and deliberate brushstrokes.
19 世纪绘画的伟大时期许多宽松绘制的壮丽作品都是通过缓慢而审慎的笔触完成的。
Masters such as Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones (before her illness), John Singer Sargent, Cecilia Beaux, Anders Zorn, Joaquín Sorolla, William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and the man called "the Master of Swish," Giovanni Boldini, and others, were professionals who planned and thought carefully before touching a canvas with paint.
Unlike super-tight realism, which tends to downplay a painterly look, the dashing style of bravura painting combines the resplendent qualities of paint itself with the experienced discipline of controlled application.
The American illustrator Haddon Sundblom, who mastered Zorn's free flowing style, would sometimes plan his brushstrokes for an illustration by drawing each one beforehand with a light blue pencil outline, like a paint-by-number picture. Sundblom was famous worldwide for his depictions of Santa Claus in Christmas ads for Coca-Cola. Practices like his were not unusual in the commercial art business, where a client paid for an artist's recognized style.


If almost every shape can be measured, why is drawing so tricky? Why can some people see that their picture is "out of drawing," but cannot see where the mistakes are? Why are others not even aware their drawing is wrong - that it does not even remotely resemble their subject?
如果几乎每种形状都可以被测量,为什么绘画会如此棘手?为什么有些人能够看出他们的画“画得不对”,却看不出错误在哪里?为什么有些人甚至没有意识到他们的画是错误的 - 它甚至与他们的主题完全不相似?
To begin with, I don't have to construct my face in the mirror each morning the way I do a portrait. My face is already there-complete and quite handsome too-and I simply recognize myself (backwards, no less). I do not have to scan myself analytically as I would a subject to be painted. In my usual early morning stupor I am not conscious of my specific facial relationships and dimensions - the things I must figure out from scratch when I do a portrait.
The very last thing on this earth I could possibly imagine doing before I've had my first cup of coffee in the morning, would be to measure my eyes and nose and ears! (It's hard enough just keeping my eyes open.) Later of course, I must make similar measurements as a routine part of my job as a painter. In a portrait, for example, it is the effort of determining those exact measurements and alignments that is often so taxing.
One reason it is sometimes hard for me to grasp those measurements, and then make them fit together just so, is that I must measure the shapes of color which make up my sitter's features rather than the features themselves. To make matters even more interesting, those shapes change with the light and angle of view. The same holds true for any subject. Landscapes and still lifes are just different arrays of large, small, and medium-sized colored forms. Most of them are abstract shapes. Sometimes though they will be geometric, resembling squares, rectangles, triangles, and so on.
Each time I begin a painting, I am dealing with a fresh set of configurations to untangle. As if all of that were not enough, many of the shapes I see are so hazy, figuring out where each stops and another begins (how they blend) can often seem impossible. (My childhood coloring books seemed so much easier.)
It isn't impossible though. The way in which shapes join together to form a realistic image is a fascinating subject, and it can be mastered like anything else. It is called the study of EDGES, and I discuss them at considerable length in Chapter Six. Try the following if you want to see nature create and blend forms. Go out late on a hot summer afternoon to a meadow, or a park if you live in the city, with a blanket or reclining folding chair, and watch the clouds. Try to pick a day when billowy cumulonimbus (storm) clouds are forming and notice how shapes appear and then change and blend into one another to make larger sweeping forms. Such clouds are not only lessons in abstract shapes, they also demonstrate the full range and interaction of edges.


Very little in our early learning and development prepares us for the task of critical observation as we paint. Knowledge is wonderful, but the way in which we are taught can make the job of painting a bit more taxing because of what we must unlearn. Whether we are self-taught or receive formal instruction, the most common direction of teaching is from the parts to the whole, rather than a holistic way from the onset. We learn about basic forms such as cubes, cylinders, cones, spheres, human form, foregrounds, backgrounds, perspective, and so on. As useful as those things are, all such studies are simply ways to sort out the visual world into easily understood parts. It isn't until we get into serious painting that we are forced to finally deal with the more sophisticated challenge of depicting the fully intact whole of what we see before us.
I hasten to say, the blizzard of information we take in as children (the socialization process) is all very necessary if we are to survive and function in society. Perhaps the parts-to-the-whole teaching is a necessary step for a young mind. In infancy we rely heavily upon our sense of touch and sight to explain the world around us. At the same time we acquire language and are taught the names of the many thousands of things we must know about. Thus begins the process of categorizing our curious new world instead of understanding it as an all-embracing totality.
At a certain point in middle childhood, when we begin to draw recognizable things, we further separate them from "empty" space and delineate them as outlines. Later, in art school, this preoccupation with form expressed as an outline is further reinforced as we learn to model the outline drawing with shading-further isolating objects in space and disregarding any relationship to their surroundings.
It is analogous to taking apart my computer to understand how it works - a sensible idea for learning what is inside-but when the bits and pieces are spread about, they do not look like the computer because they have ceased to be a singular functioning device. It is only after I have examined the parts, then reassembled them and turned it on, that I can understand the wholeness of the machine.
Our task then when we paint is to restore the original complex web that was so carefully taken apart. To do that convincingly we must deal with the actual information reaching our retinas - and that is what drawing , as it applies to painting.
我们绘画时的任务是恢复那个被精心拆解的原始复杂网络。为了真实可信地做到这一点,我们必须处理抵达我们视网膜的实际信息 - 这就是绘画所涉及的绘图


What we are literally seeing when our eyes are open (and there is light), is a two-dimensional panorama of the world immediately before us, plus a bit of peripheral vision. Two slightly different inverted images spaced about two and one half inches apart (yes, I measured it) are received by our retinas. Those images zoom through our optic nerves to our brain and are processed there, giving us a three-dimensional-right-side-up version of the world-and we do it all at nearly the speed of light. What a trick! Learning to draw seems like child's play by comparison (but it isn't).
Normally, as we gaze out across a scene we automatically separate objects in our field of vision from the space around them; then we organize the whole scene in terms of what things are - their sizes, shapes, local colors, and distances. The sky is big and empty, the barn is nearer and red and not so big, the cows are tiny and far away and have black spots, and so on. This is how we are able to make sense of the blizzard of light fragments striking our eyes. We recognize and identify patterns we are familiar with, and we give them names and colors and shapes. Then we put all of them together and call it a farm under a summer sky. Seeing the world this way is a marvelous thing indeed, a triumph of evolution, vital to our survival, and great to have when driving on the Los Angeles freeways, but a bit of a hindrance in painting from life.
When we paint, we must transform our three-dimensional experience into two dimensions so we can put it on our twodimensional canvas. This means we must view what we are seeing as an arrangement of shapes on a vertical plane, not an assortment of items separated from one another in space. It is embarrassingly similar, at least in principle, to what we see in jigsaw puzzles, outdoor billboard painting, and paint-by-number kits. (There is indeed a tiny grain of truth in the weary old joke: The secret of a successful painting is covering up all the numbers).
To get serious again, let me show you an example on the opposite page. The sky in my landscape painting does not continue behind the trees as it does in real life. The "sky" in this case is simply a color shape which stops at the edges of other color shapes (the tree branches), then reappears as a similar color shape at the opposite edge of the paint shapes of the branches. The enlarged images, Detail B and Detail C, show this clearly.
严肃起来,让我在对面的页面上给你展示一个例子。我的风景画中的天空并不像现实生活中那样延续到树木的后面。在这种情况下,“天空”只是一个颜色形状,它在其他颜色形状的边缘(树枝)停止,然后重新出现在画枝条的相反边缘作为类似的颜色形状。放大的图像,细节 B 和细节 C,清楚地展示了这一点。
It may sound simplistic to mention something so obvious, but in practice it is not so easy to summon up enough cool objectivity to see something as evocative as the sweetly poignant look in a child's eyes as merely an assembly of flat patches of color. It goes contrary to the emotional logic of our experience. Moreover, it is not easy to identify shapes when they have indistinct edges and blend often imperceptibly into adjacent shapes. Nevertheless, this is what must be done, because painting the innocence in a child's expression is impossible, but painting the pattern of color shapes which constitute her expression is definitely possible.
BRATTLEBORO BARNYARD oil on canvas, , Detail A

Detail B 细节 B

Detail C 细节 C
I find men easier to paint compared to women and children, especially men who have beards, rugged features, and angularity of facial bone structure. Such things are not only easy to grasp (and therefore easy to get right), but they also lend themselves to bold brushstrokes, which are always nice.
The other thing about beards and hats is that they hide some of the hard parts. In painting a head, for example, I have always found the line of the jaw, the mouth, and the chin to be the most demanding anatomical features. Eyes, noses, and ears are no problem for me because they have so many easy-to-see shapes. Also, there is no movement in the nose or ears, and not much in the eyes themselves. Eyes merely open or close, or look left or right, up or down. It is the eyebrows that have greater mobility and signal expression.
Contrary to popular belief, it is the mouth, not the eyes, that conveys the majority of facial expression, which is why the slightest error in painting a mouth can cause my result to look ridiculous.
The jaw and chin are tricky because their forms are so subtle and smooth. Also the jaw can change dramatically with age or weight gain. A beard and mustache or both can neatly veil all of these sensitive areas.
Another great benefit of a bewhiskered face is that it provides tempting opportunities for interesting edges.
Note also in this head study that there are two distinct light sources - a warm one on the model's left, and a cool one on his right.
请注意这个头部研究中有两个明显的光源 - 一个温暖的在模特的左边,一个凉爽的在他的右边。
This picture remains in my personal collection because I have always regarded it as one of the most rewarding portraits I have ever done. It was a three hour study painted at the Palette & Chisel Academy in the 1980s.
这幅画一直留在我的个人收藏中,因为我一直把它视为我所做过的最有价值的肖像画之一。这是上世纪 80 年代在 Palette & Chisel Academy 进行的一个为期三小时的写生。
It is hard for me to imagine any other choice but to paint those color fragments and just let go of what I know about what they are. The only question I need to address as I paint is how to see the shapes before me as accurately as I can, and then fit them together properly. It took lots of practice under Bill Mosby's patient guidance, but now I see them. Most of the time I am able to paint the shapes correctly because I have disciplined myself to do them one at a time very carefully. Nearly seventy years of experience helps too.
很难想象我还有其他选择,只能绘制那些色彩碎片,然后放下我对它们的认识。在绘画时,我需要解决的唯一问题是如何尽可能准确地看到眼前的形状,然后将它们正确地拼合在一起。在比尔·莫斯比(Bill Mosby)耐心的指导下进行了大量练习,现在我看到了它们。大多数时候,我能够正确地绘制这些形状,因为我已经训练自己非常仔细地一次做好一件事。将近七十年的经验也有所帮助。


After my block-in is complete and I'm ready for the meticulous no-nonsense phase of my creation, I take a deep breath and look carefully at the place on my subject I have decided to deal with first. I make the determination by asking myself what I wish to capture above all else. In other words I ask what is it I want to see happen first on my canvas so I know I'm on the right track. Only then can I ease back a bit and start to enjoy the process. The answer of course is easy because I decided what it would be the first moment I decided to paint my subject.
Zeroing in then on my target, I carefully measure the first thing I put down on my canvas, and then measure it again to make sure it is precisely correct, because it is the building block of all else to come. Then I measure the next shape and compare it to the first one. Next comes the third shape and I check it against the first two. The fourth is then placed and measured against the first three. I keep doing that over and over and over until I have the cow under the summer sky or whatever. It's a bit like laying bricks, except each "brick" (brushstroke) is unique, and instead of just ending up with a wall, I could end up with a great world-shaking, fabulously valuable, masterpiece of art!
For me this way of working is very important, because as the brushwork progresses, so does a reassuring and very necessary momentum of confidence. I know it may seem rather tedious, and it certainly doesn't have the flair of the usual swashbuckling sketching associated with starting a painting, but what it lacks in swagger it makes up for in superb control. It does away with most of the usual laborious correcting and repainting, and that appeals to me. I think it is a waste of valuable painting time to spend rectifying what could have been done right in the first place.

Q. How do I get my first shape right?
A. I choose one that is easy to identify so I can't miss. Q. Which shapes are easy to see? Q. Which ones are obvious?
A. The obvious ones.
A. Shapes having a clear geometry.

By clear geometry I mean squares, circles, ovals, rectangles, triangles, anything with straight lines and clean edges, etc. I try to use shapes which also have strong values and/or colors. (It's the reason why they are obvious.) Usually I go first for a shape that is well defined, something pure white or black, or a highly saturated primary or secondary color. Those qualities are easy to see, which means my chances for getting them right are pretty good.
通过清晰的几何形状,我指的是正方形、圆形、椭圆形、矩形、三角形,任何有直线和清晰边缘的形状等。我尝试使用具有强烈价值和/或颜色的形状。 (这就是它们显而易见的原因。)通常我首先选择一个定义明确的形状,纯白色或黑色,或者高饱和度的主色或辅助色。这些特质很容易看到,这意味着我正确把握它们的机会相当不错。
In the past I have tried many things to get my judgments right. In my student days I would sometimes go up to the model with a ruler (if there is no other way) and physically measure the shape I needed. Of course it only worked when I was painting lifesize, and even then was not very reliable. Why? Because very few things in a subject can be measured and still correspond to what I see from where I stand when I'm painting. The models did not like it either, especially the figure models. Today, several more or less geometrical methods of drawing resurrected from the Italian Renaissance and other periods are being taught. Some are quite interesting, but none meet the full requirements of painting from life in one session (Alla Prima). In the end nothing beats having a well trained eye and mind.
过去,我尝试过许多方法来正确判断。在我还是学生的时候,有时我会拿着尺子走到模特身边(如果没有其他办法),亲自测量我需要的形状。当然,这只有在我绘制真人大小的作品时才有效,即便如此,也并不十分可靠。为什么呢?因为在一个主题中很少有东西可以被测量,而且仍然与我站在绘画时所看到的东西相对应。模特们也不喜欢这样,尤其是人体模特。如今,一些更或多或少从意大利文艺复兴和其他时期复苏的几何绘画方法正在被教授。有些方法相当有趣,但没有一种能完全满足在一个会话中(Alla Prima)从真实生活中绘画的全部要求。最终,没有什么比拥有一双训练有素的眼睛和头脑更重要。


The "trick" in measuring shapes and intervals is to select a typical shape, feature, or object in or on a subject as a unit of measure rather than relying entirely on memorized average proportions (although such things should be learned as well, as they can be very useful), or using inches or metrics. I find it much easier to select a single feature in my subject and paint it the size I want it to be (let's call it my reference point), and then measure everything else according to it.
In doing a head, for example, I use the width of an eye, or the distance between corners of the mouth, or the width of the nose, as units of measure - in a full face pose, a sitter's proportions might be five eyes wide at the cheekbones, and seven eyes high from chin to hairline, and so on. In figure painting it is universal to describe a model as so many heads high, rather than sixty-six inches high. Horses are commonly described as so many hands high (human hands, that is, horses have no hands). My driver's license says I'm six foot one inch tall, but in a painting I would be about eight heads high. Although Nancy is much shorter than I, she is almost seven and a half heads high because her head is smaller than mine. Everything follows proportionally from the item I choose as my unit of measurement for the particular painting I am working on. In painting people, life size is the easiest because it is the size of the face you are most familiar with, the one you see in your mirror each day.
在绘制头部时,例如,我使用眼睛的宽度,或者嘴角之间的距离,或者鼻子的宽度作为测量单位 - 在正面姿势中,坐姿者的比例可能在颧骨处宽五只眼睛,在下巴到发际线处高七只眼睛,依此类推。在人物绘画中,通常会将模特描述为多少个头高,而不是六十六英寸高。马通常被描述为多少个手高(人的手,因为马没有手)。我的驾驶执照上写着我身高六英尺一英寸,但在一幅画中,我大约会高八个头。尽管南希比我矮得多,但她几乎有七个半头高,因为她的头比我的小。一切都按比例从我选择的特定绘画单位的项目中进行测量。在绘画人物时,真人大小是最容易的,因为它是你最熟悉的脸的大小,是你每天在镜子中看到的那个。
Smaller features, whether it's trees or structures in a landscape or bellybuttons on tummies, all have clear points of beginning and end, which make them easy to estimate and use for measuring. Because they are also short increments, you are more likely to get them correct than if you use a longer unit of measurement. It is always easier to judge the distance between someone's eyes than between their ears. Try it in a mirror and you'll see what I mean.


The outlines of contours present problems for many artists, particularly in figure or portrait painting. Here are some things to think about: Most curves are rarely as "curvy" as they first appear. Inexperienced artists usually exaggerate them. For example, an overly rounded cheekbone is one of the most common drawing mistakes in painting a head or indicating anatomy on a figure. Another frequent error is drawing the skull or outline of the head as a single unbroken curve (it isn't). The way to get around curves (pardon the pun) is to think of every curve as a series of straight lines which simply change direction. If you paint them with that in mind, they will be stronger, more interesting, and far more accurate than a single nondescript curve.
Finding the key drawing points in a subject and then fitting the pieces together is not particularly difficult, but it does call for patience and discipline. It's like laying bricks plumb and level-very repetitious, but very demanding of concentration. Using the front view of a head again as an example: An imaginary line drawn straight down from the inside corner of the eye will usually just touch the wing of the nostril. A similar line dropped down from the center of the eye could locate the corner of the mouth. Using my measuring units then (the width of an eye, shall we say), I only have to judge the distance down those lines to place the nose and mouth in correct relationship to the eyes. Likewise, imaginary horizontal lines drawn from the nose and eye corners will tell me exactly where the ears are.
Unfortunately, problems do arise when a model moves. Live human beings enjoy breathing; they also like to blink, yawn, talk, stretch, shift position, and everything else when they pose. I can't sit still for more than a few minutes, so I'm amazed and grateful when others are willing to endure modeling. Most people are able to hold a pose well enough for my style of working because I always expect them to move somewhat. Even professional models are subject to the natural involuntary muscle adjustments a human body makes after long periods of holding one position. I am also very nice to my subjects. I like them bright, alert, comfortable, relaxed, and interested in what is happening. I think it is unnatural to stay in a fixed position, so I encourage my models to take breaks or move whenever they wish. I pose them so they will feel natural-my only requirement is they be able to return to their position if they drift off or take a break.
oil on panel,
To accommodate their inevitable movement, I rely upon very thinly drawn contour and center lines placed during my block-in to guide me (like the latitude and longitude lines on a globe). You are probably familiar with drawing books with pictures of the head as an egg with a line down the front and back (dividing an imagined face in two lengthwise). Another line is drawn down and around the sides for the ears, and then several horizontal lines circumscribing the egg at the level of eyebrows, eyes, bottom of the nose, and center of the lips. I find contour lines such as those useful, and once I place them I do not change them until I complete the head, and the lines are covered with finished painting. However, before I reach that point, they remain as a constant guide and as a reference when I bring a subject back into correct position. You can see how important it is then to have the first thing right, and how it, in turn, generates other correct elements.


I realize what I have just described sounds more like high school geometry than the sensitive act of creation, but I don't see any way around it. I must measure things because drawing has always been very hard for me. I do not have a special gift that allows me to do it naturally. Of course, measuring for competent drawing in itself isn't Art any more than scales and chords alone are Music. However, like those things, sound drawing for me is a technical requisite which must be present before my kind of Art can happen. Besides, there is no reason why a brushstroke can't be done with giddy passion and still be the right length and color! I love throwing paint around as much as anyone, and the last thing I want to do is take the fun out of painting.
The good news is, measuring by itself, even measuring the vague fuzzy shapes, gets easier with practice. The hard part is getting into the habit of doing it for every shape you paint. That takes real effort, but once you acquire it, you will experience a remarkable release, a sense of both freedom and control, the stuff of real power. Nothing will seem impossible when you realize you can draw well-all you have to do is get into the swing of measuring very carefully all the time. It is a state of high awareness, and it will let your brush dance in the same way virtuoso bowing technique makes a violin sing.
You can make it easier if you keep doing the simple, obvious things first. In this way you are likely to get them right, and they will help you to make the proper judgments about the more elusive shapes and colors. Resist the urge to do the hard parts first. (Those blurry grays and ambiguous shapes with lost edges.) For a while there back in my intense youth, I had it all backwards! I thought exactly the opposite-that I should get the hard stuff out of the way so I could relax and enjoy the easy things. Sounds familiar doesn't it? (Rather like dessert after the main course-a little reward after the serious nourishing part.)
It took a few years of experience away from school, on my own out in the real world, before it dawned on me to use the easy things to get the hard things - to use what is easily known to find what is unknown - the same beautiful idea that works so well in logic and mathematics. This idea should work for you too. Select something easy to see in your subject - a straight line, a bright color, any large value mass, something you can't miss-and paint it first! You are bound to get those things right, and you will be on track immediately. Painting from one correct thing to another gives you a powerful control over the process.
在离开学校几年,独自在现实世界中经历之后,我才意识到利用简单的事物来解决困难的事情 - 利用已知的事物来发现未知的事物 - 这个美妙的想法在逻辑和数学中运作得如此出色。这个想法对你也适用。在你的主题中选择一些容易看到的东西 - 一条直线,一个鲜艳的颜色,任何大量值,一些你不会错过的东西 - 并首先将其绘制出来!你肯定会做对这些事情,你会立即上轨道。从一个正确的事物绘制到另一个正确的事物,让你对整个过程有强大的控制。
With correct things on your canvas, mistakes show up clearly because they stick out conspicuously amid the accurate work. You can easily see then where to make corrections, and the "right" stuff already in your picture will tell you how to fix them. Without correct work on your canvas, you can never determine if what you are putting down is right or wrong because there is nothing accurately painted to compare it to. The momentum of this kind of painting is a remarkable experience, and it is within the reach of anyone with the patience to always be very, very careful, and measure everything twice.

ZORRO oil on canvas,
ZORRO 油彩画,

Zorro began as a series of idle pencil sketches from life. He is an old cat now, set in his ways and pretty much focused on his meals and general comfort. He has no religion, politics, hobbies, money, opinions, or philosophy of life. He used to like the usual cat stuff such as stalking birds and squirrels, but aside from an occasional elderly or lame mouse, his lack of successes has drained his interest.
Ninety percent of this painting was done as a transparent rendering as described on page 88 of the painting MAVOURNEEN. Zorro himself and the cushions behind him are almost the only completely opaque parts of the work. The transparent areas owe much of their authentic fabric look to the fact that I was able to bring out the linen texture of my canvas by applying my colors darkly, and then rubbing away the excess paint.
这幅画的 90%是按照《MAVOURNEEN》画册第 88 页描述的透明渲染完成的。左罗本人和他身后的垫子几乎是作品中唯一完全不透明的部分。透明区域之所以看起来像真实的织物,很大程度上归功于我能够通过深色涂抹颜料,然后擦掉多余的油漆来展现画布的亚麻质地。
GREENWICH VILLAGE oil on canvas, th Ave. and 8th St., Manhattan, 2010
格林尼治村 布面油画, 大道和第 8 街,曼哈顿,2010 年
For this painting I was obviously not standing in the middle of the right-hand lane of 6th Avenue in Manhattan's Greenwich Village with taxi cabs and huge trucks missing me by inches as I calmly focused on the problems of perspective. In fact, I dashed gingerly and very quickly in between platoons of racing vehicles to snap a digital shot or two. Fortunately, I have set up many times to paint various locations in Greenwich Village from life so I was more than familiar with the characteristics of my favorite part of the city.
Here the main concern in drawing is the perspective aspect of the scene. As Nancy invariably points out to me, perspective may be pure geometry, but it can also be Art. She is right of course, especially in an area of the city as old as Manhattan. There are the usual perspective requisites here-the horizon line (at a level just above the roofs of the cars), and the main vanishing point for 6th Avenue (located in the most distant traffic lights, to the left of the black car). Along with these necessities, I made slight but deliberate deviations from the horizontal and vertical lines to give this sketch the authentic look of seasoned maturity I was aiming at.
If I had created and followed geometrically perfect perspective lines, the painting would have looked like any other boring architectural rendering. Smooth streets and straight sidewalks make for easy driving and walking, but it is the street bumps and patches, and cracks in sidewalks that make them interesting, and speak of the life of the city. I always like my painting to extend the viewer's gaze beyond what is on my canvas to that which is not, but which nevertheless is the overwhelming fact about any city-its people.


So far, most of what I have been describing in this chapter has been about developing an ability to see the visible world in a certain way so it may be understood and painted convincingly. There are several other standard components of drawing I need to briefly mention here.
Usually referred to as The Elements of Drawing (including Human Anatomy and figure drawing), they are ordinarily taught as fundamental subjects in traditional (serious) art school and in an increasing number of private classes. I can't explore the various elements in detail here because they are fairly deep studies in themselves, requiring more attention and space than I can provide in this volume. There are, however, some excellent books available which explore the subjects far better than I can here. I do make mention of some of my favorites in the paragraphs below. All of the books related to my comments in the following paragraphs are listed in the Recommend Reading section at the end of this book, and all are well-worn references in my personal library. I hope they will be part of yours too.


As I pointed out in Chapter Two, experienced artists who paint the human figure know how valuable it is to understand what the curves and bumps on a model are, and how much such information helps in their work. From a practical standpoint, reliance on a good "eye" alone is clearly not enough when painting people, especially if they have trouble staying in position, or for some reason you have to make changes. A basic understanding of human anatomy and typical proportions is therefore crucial to both nude figure painting and when the subject is fully clothed.
In the latter case it is essential to know basic human form and proportions if your rendering of clothing is to be convincing. Along those same lines, it is also a very good idea to have an understanding of the Laws of Folds to make sure you are doing madam's expensive designer dress correctly. My constant companion in life class back in the late 1950s was my copy of the Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist by Stephen Rogers Peck. I mention it here because Peck's book, with his many superb interpretive drawings, plus the figure drawing sections in the Famous Artists Course, which I studied zealously as a teenager, formed the foundation of my understanding when I worked from a live model at the Academy.
在后一种情况下,如果您希望您绘制的服装看起来令人信服,那么了解基本的人体形态和比例是至关重要的。沿着同样的思路,了解褶皱的规律也是一个非常好的主意,以确保您正确地绘制女士昂贵的设计师服装。在 20 世纪 50 年代末的生活课堂中,我的不断伴侣是史蒂芬·罗杰斯·佩克(Stephen Rogers Peck)的《艺术家人体解剖图谱》。我在这里提到它,因为佩克的书,以及他众多出色的解释性绘画,再加上我作为青少年刻苦学习的《著名艺术家课程》中的人物素描部分,构成了我在学院从真人模特身上工作时的理解基础。


I'll say it again: there is no good substitute for sound drawing when working from life. There are, however, items of knowledge which will complement your efforts the same way a basic knowledge of anatomy works with figure painting. For the artist who does landscapes, interiors, or still life with geometrically shaped objects, basic perspective is a must. There are two kinds of perspective: Linear perspective and Aerial perspective. Both deal with how things change appearance with distance and point of view. Linear perspective is about how they change shape. Aerial perspective explains the color and value changes caused by atmospheric conditions in a landscape as distance from a viewer increases (I deal with this in Chapter Seven on Color).


There are other components in drawing which are just good common sense requisites: Basic Forms (natural and man made), Balance, Unity, Clarity, Simplification, Managing detail, Emphasis, the Design of empty space (often called negative space), and Anomalies and Oddities. This last item will help you spot weird clouds shaped like Donald Duck, or posing a model so it looks like a tree branch is going into one of her ears and out the other. All of the items above are explored and explained in the chapters ahead. They are also covered in many of the books listed in the Recommended Reading section in this book.


Knowing proportions is of course indispensable when painting or drawing anything other than life size. However, it is just as important when working at exactly life size. For example:
Do you know how big your hand is compared to your foot, or your face?
Do you know the midpoint on your body?
Did you know your elbows are on a line with your bellybutton?
How tall are you compared to your front door?
How high is your car compared to you?
How long is your little finger compared to your thumb?
I'm sure you get the point-it is knowing basic proportions and training yourself to see them in whatever you look at, is a great shortcut, not just in painting people, but with all else too. It means you don't have to figure everything out from scratch each time you set out to do a picture.


This is the other big item to add to your skills. It is not a lot of do's and don'ts to memorize. Rather it is simply a discipline or habit which helps you to make very sure everything that needs to be lined up properly is indeed lined up. For example, let's say you're doing a portrait. The sitter is a pretty lady clutching a yappy Chihuahua. Both are facing you straight on. It just won't do to have her nose (the lady's) lined up one way, and her mouth and eyes in two other different ways. You must have, as they say, all your ducks in a row (or milady's nose). Fortunately, I can blame my age and poor eyesight when I mess up.
They say point of view is everything. Well, almost everything, and that includes the following nifty items: Two other requisites for me in checking for drawing accuracy are stepping back constantly to see my entire canvas and my subject together, and using a mirror to see everything in reverse. See page 144 for much more on the importance of these habits.
他们说观点至关重要。嗯,几乎是一切,这包括以下巧妙的项目:在检查绘画准确性时,对我来说另外两个必备条件是不断后退,看整个画布和主题一起,以及使用镜子看到所有事物的反面。更多关于这些习惯的重要性,请参阅第 144 页。
There is one ever true gem of advice regarding drawing I wish to close this chapter with. It is best expressed in the story of a young man of twenty-two years from Kansas who aspired to be a musician. One day he made a very big decision, and so with violin case in hand, traveled to New York to seek out the great teachers. Arriving in the Big Apple, however, he found himself hopelessly lost in midtown Manhattan. Fearless lad that he was, he approached an elderly man he reckoned was a real New Yorker and politely asked, "Sir, can you please tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?"
有一条关于绘画的至理名言,我希望用它来结束这一章节。最好通过堪萨斯州一个 22 岁年轻人的故事来表达。他渴望成为一名音乐家。有一天,他做出了一个非常重要的决定,于是带着小提琴盒前往纽约寻找伟大的老师。然而,当他抵达大苹果时,发现自己在曼哈顿中城迷失了方向。他是一个无畏的年轻人,他走向一个他认为是地道纽约人的老人,礼貌地问道:“先生,请问怎样才能到卡内基音乐厅?”
_Without batting an eye, the old guy said, "Practice son, practice!"


  1. Drawing well has always been essential to humanity. Every material thing mankind makes, from underwear and socks, and cell phones, to the great Pyramids, and space stations, require pictures of those things before they can become real. Drawing is a lot like speaking or writing. Unless we are impaired, most of us can acquire language, but nothing we say will matter if we do not speak or write so others can understand.
  2. Though the impulse to draw is natural and universal, the skill of drawing expertly is not a divine endowment or inherited. It must be learned, even if it means self-teaching. It helps a great deal if you love to draw.
  3. When I use the word "drawing" in the context of painting, I mean the size, shape, and arrangement of all the patches of color which collectively make things look the way they do (and which also constitute a painting). When I render those patches the right size, the right shape, and fit them together with their distinctive edges and colors, my painting will look like my subject. If I fail to do that, it will look different.
  4. Drawing is a mental discipline - a state of mind requiring heightened visual perception, observational skill, and analytic ability. (I know you have those for the things you enjoy.) You might say drawing is perpetual learning, because it deals with continual variables rather than a body of memorized data like law or medicine or chemistry.
    绘画是一种精神修养 - 一种需要提高视觉感知、观察技巧和分析能力的心境。(我知道你对喜欢的事物具备这些能力。)你可以说绘画是永恒的学习,因为它处理的是持续变量,而不是像法律、医学或化学那样的记忆数据体。
  5. No matter how good or experienced you get, you must practice drawing regularly to sustain and perfect it, the same way serious musicians must do.
  6. When it comes to working from life, there is nothing theoretical about drawing. It really comes down to little more than figuring out the width and height of color shapes, and then fitting them together one at a time, but it's never quite the same from one time to the next.
  7. How do I get my shapes right? I choose one which is easy to identify, one I can use as a yardstick, so to speak, to compare others to so I can't miss.
  8. Which shapes are easy to identify? The obvious ones. Which ones are obvious? Shapes that have a clear geometry. By clear geometry I mean squares, rectangles, triangles, anything with straight lines or clean edges such as circles or ovals.
  9. A "trick" in measuring shapes and intervals is to select a typical shape, feature, or object in or on a subject as a unit of measure. In doing a head, for example, I use the width of an eye, or the distance between corners of the mouth, or the width of the nose, as my units. A common unit is the head, for example, the average person is between and heads high.
    在测量形状和间距时的“技巧”是选择主体内或上的典型形状、特征或物体作为测量单位。例如,在画头部时,我会以眼睛的宽度、嘴角之间的距离或鼻子的宽度作为单位。一个常见的单位是头部,例如,普通人的身高约为 个头高。
  10. Try not to exaggerate curves. Show them as a series of straight lines which change direction at points along the curve. It looks stronger that way.
  11. Pick up some of the books on drawing listed in the Recommend Reading section. Learn basic anatomy and figure drawing. Get into a life class if you can. Study the simple principles of perspective; available in many books and on the Internet.
  12. Study drawings and paintings of the Masters you really like, and figure out why you like them. Don't "like" a work just because some art expert with a degree says you should.
  13. Step back as much as possible as you work so you can see your picture and subject together. You will then be able to make judgments about accuracy which can (and usually do) go unnoticed when working close to your painting.
  14. Practice-Practice-Practice!



The term Values refers to the range of lightness and darkness within a subject. It also refers to the light and dark tones from white to black in a painting. Titanium White pigment is as light as we can attain in a picture; Ivory Black or its equivalent mixture is the darkest.
I work with a traditional Flemish value scale for my paintings. It is a grouping of nine tones from pure white to black. The first four values are considered the light values. The last four are the dark values. The one in the middle is the middle-tone. (What else?) This division of the scale into nine increments is practical because more than that seems cumbersome, and less is not quite enough. Value scales for printers, decorators, and industrial use (such as the Munsell color system), use a much greater number of values, but the progressive value differences within them are so slight it usually requires technical aids to detect them. In any case, no matter how many slices are created, the range is still from white to black.
Please note: I use the words tone or tones, or sometimes halftones interchangeably with the word values throughout this text as in: the values in the sky are lighter tones than the trees, but the leaves are halftones. Also, I often refer to very light and very dark values as the light and dark accents (of any color) in a painting.
Below is my version of the traditional value scale in nine segments. I also include a scale with eighteen values because it is probably closer to the actual number of tones in an average full-value painting when blending of color shapes is taken into account.


Compared to the many values in nature our nine aren't much, but they are all we have to work with, so we must use them thoughtfully. (I discuss the Conservation of Values in detail a little further along in this chapter.) Because we have only a few values to work with compared to the vast range of possible color mixtures, we must often settle for capturing the effect of light rather than drive ourselves bonkers trying to capture mother nature's actual blinding sunlight or stygian blackness.
My teacher straightened me out early on about values with jokes about how one day while Van Gogh was out landscape painting he got angry because he couldn't paint the sun as bright as it was. So he cut off his ear (yuck!) and then shot himself in the head out of sheer frustration. The tale wasn't exactly true, but it certainly got my attention. I like having both of my ears.


Contrast is the difference in lightness and darkness among things. Without it we might as well be blind. Contrast is the main light condition which permits us to see. If there were no such thing as contrast, the world would be as invisible to us as a white rabbit in fresh snow. Whether it's writing your name or painting a picture, it is the only way I know of to depict anything on a two dimensional surface. The degree of contrast within a painting determines how intense or faint the portrayal of light will be. Other influences of light on visibility involve (to a lesser degree) color family and light temperature. See Chapter Seven on Color and Light.)


Prior to the 19th century we rarely see paintings even come close to depicting sunlight successfully. All of that ended in the early 1800s when painters left the subdued light of their studios in droves to work out of doors and seriously explore sunlight. Before the century ended, outdoor painting was firmly established not only with the Impressionists, but also among painters not usually identified with them. Joaquín Sorolla, for example, and a few others like him probably captured its effects better than anyone because they understood a key fact-that despite its often blinding brightness, and the usual light reflecting into them, bright clear sunlight always produces shadows and warm dark accents of strong contrast.
19 世纪之前,我们很少看到绘画成功地描绘出阳光。一切在 19 世纪初结束了,当时画家们纷纷离开他们工作室中柔和的光线,到户外工作,认真探索阳光。在世纪结束之前,户外绘画不仅在印象派画家中得到了牢固确立,也在通常不被他们所认可的画家中得到了确认。例如,像华金·索罗拉(Joaquín Sorolla)这样的画家,以及其他一些像他一样的画家,可能比任何人都更好地捕捉到了它的效果,因为他们理解了一个关键事实——尽管阳光常常刺眼耀眼,而且通常的光线会反射到他们身上,但明亮清晰的阳光总是会产生阴影和温暖的深色强烈对比的点缀。
Not everyone appreciated this very important bit of information. For example, one of the main problems the French Impressionists faced in getting more vibrant colors was that pigments are simply less colorful as they get darker. One of their favorite solutions was to lighten the values of the dark areas in their paintings, particularly the shadows, to get better color. However, that was not always successful, because while it did enhance the colors, it reduced the natural contrast provided by the shadows, which is the opposite of what normally happens in strong sunlight. Nevertheless, many high-key Impressionistic paintings lacking strong shadows still look bright and sunny when seen in galleries or museums. This is due perhaps to their contrast with the dark paintings in the rest of the museum galleries. In fairness it must be remembered that the Impressionists were creating impressions, not literal renderings. What they achieved was to the world of art what going to the moon was for science and technology.
One more reason why the sun produces strong shadows is that its brightness causes the pupils of our eyes to contract, which reduces the amount of light reaching our retinas. That in turn causes us to see fewer values and colors in the mid-tones and the darker range in the shadows. This is why colors are most colorful and values more subtle in high quality light, the kind you see on a day of moderate overcast. Tempered light such as overcast allows our pupils to widen and let in more information. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, we see fewer colors in bright sunlight, and much more in softer cooler light.
In gradually dimming light, such as when light is slowly fading in the evening or on a late winter afternoon, our ability to see the differences between dark values and colors diminishes as the light gets weaker. This can be a fooler, because as the dark areas in our subject and on our painting slowly get harder to discern, we can still see the lighter colors and values fairly well, and so may not be aware that all of the darks are starting to look the same.
CAPTAIN JOHN'S HOUSE oil on canvas, 11 x 10, Putney, Vermont, 2007
约翰船长的房子 油画 布面 11 x 10 英寸 佛蒙特州普特尼 2007 年


The Chiaroscuro painters of the late Italian Renaissance went the other way-increasing the contrast in their works. Many of the Dutch painters went even further in their portraits, often painting backgrounds and everything else but the sitter completely black. In much of their art, black constitutes the majority area. To be fair, black backgrounds were probably just fashionable in their time, and still today when a background actually is very dark it's not a bad way to represent empty space. However, when they are rendered as an unrelieved colorless black, I find them boring, and in my opinion a bit of a cop out, particularly when used habitually. There is also a problem with glare in viewing and lighting such canvases, plus a loss of the "emptiness" effect when dust and grime gets on the canvas surface. Some black pigments tend to crack a lot too. So dear friend, I'm not a big fan of vacant blackness. It reminds me too much of death. Besides, I can achieve blackness anytime just by closing my eyes.
The use of vacant darkness can also be a tempting way to obscure things which may be difficult to paint. Even Rembrandt was said to have remarked that his biggest challenge was painting emptiness. Indeed it was and still is, especially if the emptiness we are dealing with happens to be a shadow. We know today to achieve authentic color it is vital to understand the principles of light temperature and color temperature. Alas, a look at the paintings done in the 16 th and 17 th centuries shows the concept of light and color temperature was not yet very clear. I suspect more than a few great Masters had some awkward moments with the subtle colors within shadows, which may be why so many resorted to the device of blackness, perhaps as a way out.
利用空无的黑暗也可以是一种诱人的方式,用来掩盖那些可能难以绘制的事物。甚至据说伦勃朗曾经说过,他最大的挑战是绘制空无。确实是这样,尤其是当我们所面对的空无恰好是阴影时。我们今天知道,要实现真实的色彩,理解光温度和色温的原则至关重要。然而,观察 16 和 17 世纪的绘画作品,可以看出光和色温的概念还不是很清晰。我怀疑许多伟大的大师在处理阴影中微妙的颜色时可能会遇到一些尴尬的时刻,这也许是为什么那么多人求助于黑暗这种手法的原因。
Well, we undoubtedly have a lot to learn too. I think of us, of you and I, living in a time when many (not you and I) think of the Art world as a sort of free-for-all, where anyone of any level of mental stability, at the slightest whim and for any reason, can jump in and call himself an artist. We sometimes fail to remember how extremely important high skill, craftsmanship, and passionate dedication were to painters of earlier times. Those attributes were far more than just admirable qualities. Art was a noble vocation and a way of life. Their skills were assumed to be divinely infused. Being an artist was their very identity, their reason for existing.
To say the least, they were doing their best. And because they painted with such amazing beauty and skill, who could dare to criticize them about things we are fortunate to know in our time, but were not known to them in their day. At any rate, blackness still remains a fashionable and popular haven today, even though the blackness we normally encounter in everyday life really isn't black anyway; it is just a lot of dark colors-but colors nonetheless-and quite beautiful. Therefore, when you see what looks like black in your subject, give it a little jolt. Paint it with mixtures of Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, and Transparent Oxide Red (or other similar pigments). If you are too attached to your black, at least mix a dark red, or blue, or brown, or green, or purple, into it so it has a family identity. We all need a family.


Even though we cannot paint with light the way nature does, nor the way television, computer monitors, and other electronic toys such as cell phones do, we can still achieve astonishing simulations of light and emotional atmosphere mood by the resourceful choice and formation of values. Nature's complex of lights and darks await us like instruments in a great orchestra. We are free to use them in any fashion we choose. The way to use them most effectively is to have a clear vision of what we seek in a painting.
Values can be manipulated in several interesting ways. One familiar example concerns the value key of a picture: by working within only a limited portion of the value scale in the overall majority area of a painting, various subtleties of atmosphere or emotion can be created. This is known as working in a value key. To illustrate: A picture which uses mostly the four lighter values of the value scale, is considered a high-key painting. One which uses mostly the four darker tones of the scale, is described as low-keyed.
Often the key can be delightfully interrupted somewhere in the painting with a value above or below a key as an attention getting device. A pure white or sudden bright color injected into a low-key painting is a familiar example, as is a dark accent in one or more places in a high-key work. One caution however-when you are creating a painting in a value key, have fun, but try not to go overboard with these little "eye-catchers." There is a very thin line between a perfect note of emphasis and vulgarity.
TANGERINES oil on canvas,
橘子 油彩 画布
Some paintings are just plain fun to do. I began this one as an experiment in colored light by suspending a large sheet of purple cellophane above my set up. The illumination source was my big north window, so I had a well-balanced light coming though the cellophane. The result was this strong harmony, a bit theatrical I admit, but why not? My block-in began with a wash of Cobalt Violet to set the harmonic tone. The rest was like creating a shower of colors using the violet saturated tones of the Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Red, Terra Rosa, and Yellow Ochre color charts.


Contrast, as we know, is what makes things visible. We also know we can't reproduce light itself with our limited reflective pigments. But we can separate light and dark values into nine neat little jumps, and that very dark areas can still be colorful.


  1. How do I make sense of the jumble of lights and shadows and other tones in my subject?
  2. How can I see values in a simplified way in my subject?
  3. How do I identify values and pick out the "right" ones to use?
  4. How can I paint pictures strong and simple in value?
Questions one and two are really the same; the second more or less answers the first-I sort out the jumble of values in a subject by seeing them in less detail and in only a few essential values. Questions three and four bring into play two other essential concepts as well-Comparison, and Conservation of Values. I have a great deal to say about both of these items in this chapter, especially the purpose and use of COMPARISON because it is critical to every judgment and decision you will make as you work. CONSERVATION OF VALUES is an idea basic to achieving a strong look in your painting, especially its design.


THE RIGHT WAY TO SQUINT (I know this sounds funny.)

Learn this and you're home free! And, it costs nothing, because not only do you already have the instinct, you have also been using it your entire life. You do it every time the light is too bright, or when you're out zooming around the Riviera in your yellow Ferrari 458 convertible. Developing your squint reflex into a skill is probably the most valuable tool you can have in making sense of what often seems to be a bewildering jumble of details and values in a subject. Why? Because your most fundamental technical problem with painting in "getting it right" is to simplify and thus understand the relationships of values to one another in your subject. The most direct way to do it is to partly close your eyes when you look at your subject.
学会这个技巧,你就事半功倍了!而且,这不花一分钱,因为你不仅已经拥有这种本能,而且你一生都在使用它。每当光线太亮时,或者当你驾驶你的黄色法拉利 458 敞篷车在里维埃拉大道上飞驰时,你都在使用它。将你的眯眼反射发展成一种技能可能是你在理解主题中那些看似令人困惑的细节和价值的最有价值的工具。为什么?因为你在绘画中最基本的技术问题是“做对”,就是简化并理解主题中各个价值之间的关系。最直接的方法是在观察主题时部分闭上眼睛。
Try it now. Wherever you are, stop reading for a moment and glance around at your surroundings. Then start squinting down very gradually until superficial details disappear and only a few coherent shapes remain. That's all there is to it! Well, not quite all, there is lots more ahead, so please read on. What I have just described is the very easy physical part of it. I realize, of course, things just seem to get dark the first few times you try it, but with practice, you will glean valuable information. Color will tend to diminish as you close your eyes slightly, allowing you to sort out values easier. Best of all, you will be on your way to seeing in a more organized way.


To illustrate: hold this book at arm's length and look at this page. Then slowly close your eyes until the paragraphs form gray rectangles on the white paper-bravo! you have just simplified, and you can now paint a picture of this page without doing all the individual words and letters. When I first look at my subject, I squint down to determine: 1 . Which values are the lightest lights (pure white). 2. Which are the darkest darks (black). 3. Which values make up the three average light values (numbers two, three, and four on the value scale). 4. And finally, which values make up the three average dark values (numbers six, seven, and eight on the value scale). The images on the opposite page and following pages show what I see and learn as I gradually squint down.
为了说明:将这本书举在手臂的长度处,看着这一页。然后慢慢闭上眼睛,直到段落在白纸上形成灰色的矩形-太棒了!你刚刚简化了,现在你可以画出这一页的图片,而不必一个个单词和字母地做。当我第一次看我的主题时,我眯起眼睛来确定:1. 哪些值是最轻的光(纯白)。2. 哪些是最暗的暗(黑色)。3. 哪些值组成了三个平均光值(价值尺度上的第二、第三和第四个数字)。4. 最后,哪些值组成了三个平均暗值(价值尺度上的第六、第七和第八个数字)。对面页和接下来的页面上的图像展示了我逐渐眯起眼睛时看到和学到的内容。
Figure 1. Normal view of page.
图 1. 页面的正常视图。
Figure 2. Squinted view of the same page.
图 2. 同一页的斜视图。

Here are two views of a printed page (opposite). The top one, Figure 1, is a page from an early printing of Alla Prima seen normally with eyes wide open. Figure 2 below, shows the same page with eyes partly closed.
这里是一张印刷页面的两个视图(对比)。顶部的视图,图 1,是从早期印刷的《Alla Prima》中的一页,通常用睁大的眼睛看。下面的图 2 显示了同一页面,眼睛半闭。
Ignore the fact that the overall view is darker. The color is mostly lost as well-but notice instead how simplified the image has become! The details of the text have merged to form more or less solid rectangles of medium gray. If that page was in one of your still life paintings or a picture of someone reading, you could show it very easily with just three values and a small number of brushstrokes.

Open your eyes normally to see your subject's

true values and colors when you actually get down to painting them, but do so with the understanding of their relationships, and the simplicity you saw when you squinted.
There is a definite limit to how far down you can usefully squint before your image becomes something like what you might see if you were legally blind. It doesn't take a whole lot of trying to find that point. Physically, when you squint, your eyelashes come together to form a tiny diffusion screen. That is what does the trick. Any further closing down does not help. My experience has been that only a little closing of the eyes is necessary, perhaps as little as ten to thirty percent.
Onlookers watching you squint might think you are angry, or in pain, or have serious eye trouble, but pay no attention to them. Squinting works, and that is all that counts! Besides, it's better than having them watch you do a bad painting. Your dignity will also be restored as they watch a masterpiece happen before their very eyes!
Admittedly, trying to see through half-closed eyes might seem confusing at first, but please be patient, this is very important to you. Useful squinting is something that comes with practice, and useful practice means doing it properly. Properly means closing your eyes down far enough to reduce the subject to a few basic shapes-yet not so far that all form is lost. The idea is merely to make things simple, not make them disappear in a blur of fuzzy darks-so don't shut your eyes down too far. Please, please, practice until you really get it.


I have been describing squinting as a way of simplifying my subject, but how do I pick out the "right" values once I have squinted at things? Let me first give you my definition of "right values" in a painting - they are any set of darks and lights having the same relationship to one another as the values in my subject. If the values in my painting are the same as in the subject, then I'm on the money. I select the "right" values for a block-in by squinting down until details fade away and I can see not more than about five major values in my subject. Then I use only those five or so values for my block-in. In the subsequent stages of my painting I try not to subdivide those five values too much. If I can, I use appropriate color changes instead of more values as I add detail, refine, and complete my work.
我一直把眯眼看作是简化我的主题的一种方式,但是一旦我眯眼看东西,我如何挑选出“正确”的色调呢?让我先给你我的绘画中“正确色调”的定义 - 它们是任何一组暗部和亮部,彼此之间与我的主题中的色调关系相同。如果我的绘画中的色调与主题中的相同,那么我就做对了。我通过眯眼直至细节消失,只能看到主题中大约五个主要色调,来为画块选择“正确”的色调。然后我只使用这五个左右的色调来画画块。在绘画的后续阶段,我尽量不要过多细分这五个色调。如果可以的话,我会在添加细节、完善和完成作品时使用适当的颜色变化,而不是更多的色调。
Comparison allows me to do this, and I continue to constantly compare things throughout the entire process. Comparison is a vital tool for determining all elements in a painting-edges, values, color, and drawing. Accurate drawing is, after all, simply comparing the dimensions of a given shape to others in a subject, then asking myself if they are the same or different, and if so, what the difference is. You can see from this how very important comparison is when you are working larger or smaller than life size. When comparison is used along with squinting, it tells you when something doesn't belong, and when it does. While comparing is clearly important, it isn't particularly difficult. All of us use it in our daily routines to make judgments about everything from whether our socks are the same color, to which tomatoes we will buy. Naturally, a standard of some kind is always involved. I choose an obvious easy-to-see value in the subject as my standard of comparison. Often it will be a model's white collar or black hair or clothing. It is then relatively easy for me to judge the subtle skin tones (middle values) by comparing the degree of difference to the pure white or black. Extremely light or dark values or pure bright colors are always better to use for making comparisons than grayed values. One reason I love snowy landscapes, and why they are a snap to paint, is I have lots of lovely white stuff as a known standard for comparison.
比较让我能够做到这一点,我在整个过程中继续不断地比较事物。比较是确定绘画中所有元素——边缘、价值、颜色和线条的重要工具。准确的线条绘制实际上就是简单地将给定形状的尺寸与主体中的其他形状进行比较,然后问自己它们是否相同或不同,如果不同,差异在哪里。从中可以看出,在绘制比实际大小大或小的作品时,比较是多么重要。当比较与眯眼结合使用时,它告诉你什么不属于这里,什么属于这里。虽然比较显然很重要,但并不特别困难。我们每个人在日常生活中都会使用它来对一切事物做出判断,从我们的袜子是否颜色相同,到我们将购买哪种番茄。当然,总是涉及某种标准。我选择主体中一个明显易见的价值作为我的比较标准。通常会是模特的白色衣领、黑发或服装。然后,相对容易地通过将微妙的肤色(中间价值)与纯白或黑色的差异程度进行比较来判断。 极轻或极暗的价值或纯净明亮的颜色总是比灰色价值更适合用于进行比较。我喜欢雪景的一个原因,也是它们易于绘画的原因,是因为我有很多可爱的白色物品作为已知的比较标准。


Comparing is most effective when you STEP BACK, SQUINT DOWN, and JUDGE (compare) your entire painting
against the entire subject. Sargent (among many others) reportedly placed his canvas very close to his subject, making all of his decisions from a stepped-back position (about eight feet). He then returned to his canvas, applied his brushstrokes (without looking at the model), and stepped back again to check and see if they looked "right," which meant whether or not they matched what he saw in his subject. He is said to have stepped back relentlessly for virtually every group of brushstrokes in his paintings. It took exceptional discipline, but judging from his work, it was certainly worth it. When I had the rare privilege of visiting Sargent's London studio I looked at the carpet to see if it was worn from all his stepping back, but alas, the carpet had been replaced.
I highly recommend standing rather than sitting when painting from life or otherwise. That way the habit of stepping back every two or three minutes comes more easily. To this day I still remember my mentor, Bill Mosby, at the Academy, putting his hands on my shoulders to pull me backwards several feet to see mistakes in my painting which were not apparent up close. I stood to paint, and stepped back habitually from the time I was in art school until my middle age years, when a spine injury forced me to sit. Today I get up and walk back to view my canvas every ten minutes, but it's not quite the same. Seeing from a distance is good for many things in life besides painting, just make sure of what is behind you.
Another big help, whether I stand or sit, is the use of a mirror so I can see my work in reverse. I have a large plate glass mirror, about twenty inches square for studio use. (Avoid cheap mirrors from drugstores or discount outlets. They are usually distorted.) Mine is mounted on a tripod so I can place it a short distance behind me according to the size of my painting. Outside the studio I use a high quality hand held cosmetic mirror. Seeing a painting in reverse is amazing. I always spot one or more mistakes, invariably with proportions or alignment, often embarrassingly obvious errors I was quite blind to before I saw them in my mirror. Mirrors are also nice for checking to see if I have paint on my face.
另一个很大的帮助,无论我站着还是坐着,都是使用镜子,这样我可以看到我的作品的反面。我有一个大的平板玻璃镜子,大约二十英寸见方,用于工作室。 (避免从药店或折扣店购买廉价镜子。它们通常会扭曲。)我的镜子安装在三脚架上,这样我就可以根据绘画的大小将其放在我身后的短距离处。在工作室外,我使用高质量的手持化妆镜。看到一幅画的反面是令人惊讶的。我总是会发现一个或多个错误,通常是比例或对齐方面的错误,这些错误在我看到镜子中的画面之前我完全看不到,这些错误通常是非常明显的。镜子还可以用来检查我脸上是否沾有油漆。
SERENADE oil on panel,
Few paintings I have ever done were as simple in values as this. Earlier in the day he had posed for a portrait. Afterward as he was relaxing with his guitar, I asked him not to move for about twenty minutes. The result is the spontaneous quick sketch above.


Imagine the countless details in a field of tall grass, a head of hair, falling snow, a lace dress, or the branches on a line of trees against the sky, and so on. My experience has taught me there are just too many color changes, value transitions, complex edges, and odd shapes in such things to attempt to render them literally. Before Direct Painting was widely practiced, many painters simply replicated intricate details. It was tedious work and in my view unnecessary. I prefer the more interesting solutions which capture the visual effect of detail rather than a literal rendering. Ingenious examples of superb painting of minutiae can be seen in Antonio Mancini's Il Saltimbanco (1879), and William Merritt Chase's painting, A Friendly Call (1895).
想象一片高草地、一头头发、落雪、一条蕾丝裙、或是天空中一排树枝等等中无数细节。我的经验告诉我,这些事物中有太多的色彩变化、价值过渡、复杂的边缘和奇怪的形状,试图以文字形式呈现它们是不现实的。在直接绘画被广泛采用之前,许多画家简单地复制复杂的细节。这是繁琐的工作,在我看来是不必要的。我更喜欢捕捉细节的视觉效果而不是文字形式的更有趣的解决方案。在安东尼奥·曼奇尼的《杂耍演员》(1879 年)和威廉·梅里特·蔡斯的绘画《友好的拜访》(1895 年)中,可以看到精湛细微细节绘画的巧妙例子。
Occasionally a subject will be strong and uncomplicated, as it was when I did the sketch from life of We Three seen on the page opposite. It is exceptional when a subject does not require some reduction of its visual essentials, at least to the extent they can be depicted with a practical number of brushstrokes. Smart squinting at the subject allows me to do that, because it distills small details as well as color shapes close in value down to patterns I can more easily manage.


Besides the seeming infinity of detail nature presents to us, complication in a subject also requires the edges of color shapes be sorted out according to their relative hardness or softness. (See Edges, Chapter Six.) When one shape blends gradually into another it can be hard to pinpoint where one ends and the other begins. When transitions are that indefinite, they must be painted the way they appear. It is as simple as that. If you paint a fuzzy shape clearly and distinctly, it won't look like the shape on your subject. Resist the impulse to open your eyes to see more clearly when dealing with indistinct areas, because doing that defeats the purpose of squinting. You must rely on the simplified version of what you see when you squint down. If edges do remain strong when you squint, paint them the way you see them. If they are not, don't make them clear unless there is a good reason to clarify them, and the change doesn't significantly alter the way a subject as a whole looks.



It is important to be aware of what not to look for when squinting. Here are some things to keep in mind:
  1. DO NOT SQUINT FOR COLOR! Colors darken when you do it, and you can't identify them properly. Open your eyes for color. (See Color, Chapter Seven.)
  2. It is also not meant to be a way of seeing the true values in a subject. Obviously, the actual values will be lighter when you view your subject normally with open eyes (the darkest darks, however, will remain as they appear when you squint). Keep in mind the purpose of squinting is to make judgments about the relationships among and between values, not to paint the shades you see during squinting. In other words you squint down not to see how light or dark things really are, but rather which values are lightest, which are darkest, and which fall into the middle tones-compared to one another. Those are the important relationships.
  3. Some common sense is needed. Many of the things we paint consist of complicated tangles of small irregular contrasting values which should not be interpreted as a single shape with only one predominant value. You cannot, after all, average out the black and white stripes on a zebra and paint him flat gray. It won't look like a zebra! In such cases, try to divide your subject into as major value shapes as possible. And do so without ignoring those which are clearly important to describe your subject, even if they are small shapes. If the shapes are very tiny and numerous, view them from the greatest distance practicable, and use your experience and the good old common sense I mentioned above.
WE THREE oil on panel,
我们三个 油画 画板上
This small painting illustrates every point I made in the first paragraph on the page opposite, about simplifying complicated elements into plain value areas. The doll in the center had actual human hair, and I could see each one distinctly if I looked with my eyes wide open. With a bit of squinting her entire hairdo resolved into one value with one interesting shape and a variety of edges, and guess what, it looks exactly like hair! In the context of this painting I gave the same treatment to the way I rendered the doll's dresses and the blue-purple bow on the red headed doll.
What I enjoyed most of all in doing this painting was giving imaginative personalities to the trio above. Having raised three girls myself, I have abundant experience in dealing with multiple unique mentalities.
  1. I sometimes have a tendency to simply forget to squint, and instead open my eyes wide to see a vague area in my subject more clearly. We all do it, but it is not a good idea. Why? Because looking wide-eyed at my subject, I will always see more values than I want or need. Also, the longer I stare at a single spot, such as a cloud in a landscape for example, the more values will appear. This happens because the pupils of my eyes contract to accommodate the brightness, consequently I see additional value changes in that one particular spot (as you might see in an underexposed photo). Likewise and inversely, when looking into a dark area with wide open eyes, my pupils enlarge, and I see many more value changes (like an overexposed photo). It is always a matter of judgment about whether or not to include those values. I always make a decision by shifting my gaze away from the light or dark areas, and instead squint at my subject as a whole. If the values in question are still visible, I paint them.
  2. In my art school days, some of my fellow students tried various ways to get around the darkening problem associated with squinting. Incredibly, they first tried simply throwing their eyes out of focus. When they failed, they went to a drugstore and bought strong eyeglasses meant for the nearsighted, which they then wore to make things look fuzzy. They all got headaches from eyestrain and never did succeed in sorting out values. (I tried their gimmicks once too, so I know.) The reason such tricks can't work has something to do with the eye's automatic focusing response and the disorientation which follows when it is frustrated. Working from poorly focused photos has the same unsettling effect. Avoid them. Just squint and use your intelligence to sort things out.
    在我上艺术学校的日子里,一些同学尝试了各种方法来解决因眯眼而导致的变暗问题。令人难以置信的是,他们首先尝试简单地让眼睛失焦。当他们失败时,他们去了药店买了专门给近视者用的强度眼镜,然后戴上让事物看起来模糊。他们都因眼部疲劳而头痛,从未成功地搞清楚价值观。 (我也曾尝试过他们的把戏,所以我知道。)这样的把戏不能奏效的原因与眼睛的自动聚焦反应以及受挫时随之而来的迷失有关。从聚焦不好的照片工作也会产生同样令人不安的效果。要避免这种情况。只需眯着眼睛,利用智慧来搞清楚事情。
  3. Be careful of reflected lights within shadows. They are rarely as light or as colorful as they seem at a casual glance. Squint down at them, and you will see they are almost always only slightly lighter in value as the overall shadow area.
  4. To underscore what I said at the beginning of this section: please do not squint at the image on your canvas. Artists do this all the time because it seems to eliminate mistakes by making everything in their picture look soft and "arty." It is the same device Hollywood uses to film aging movie stars when cameramen use a soft focus lens to obscure wrinkles and freckles. They only kid themselves and so will you. So to repeat again-squint at your subject, but open your eyes to look at your painting! Don't get this backwards! And don't squint at yourself in the mirror. Accept your wrinkles proudly.
    强调我在本节开头所说的:请不要在画布上的图像上眯起眼睛。艺术家经常这样做,因为这似乎可以通过使画面中的一切看起来柔和和“艺术化”来消除错误。这与好莱坞用来拍摄老化电影明星的方法相同,摄影师使用柔焦镜头来遮盖皱纹和雀斑。他们只是自欺欺人,你也会如此。所以再重复一遍 - 眯起眼睛看你的主题,但睁开眼睛看你的画作!不要搞反了!不要在镜子里眯起眼睛看自己。自豪地接受你的皱纹。


The Masters who maintained simple value patterns in their paintings seldom used more than five values (except in the transition zones and soft edges between shapes). You can see this dramatically in black and white reproductions of works by Howard Pyle, Serov, Vandyke, Rembrandt, and others, including the best of the great American illustrators. They were stingy with the number of tones they used and never employed more than were necessary. In many of his portraits, Sargent usually employed only three values in the light, two in the darks, and then added only some of the more necessary highlights and dark accents.
This economy or conservation of values is based on two ideas. The first is about design-a few clear-cut values in a painting will yield a more powerful visual effect than a profusion of small values (overmodeling). This is why Impressionistic painting, which as a rule pays little attention to strong value patterns, is not as effective in monochrome reproduction as it is in full color. (Impressionism by its nature is concerned with other effects.)
The second idea is that more often than not it is simply unnecessary to use all values in a subject. Color temperature changes can frequently be used instead. This substitution of color for value is usually not only more pleasing, but also makes better sense. Why? Because we have many more colors (many thousands) than values (nine) at our disposal, so using a color instead saves a value. Superb examples of this use of color are found in the paintings of Mary Cassatt. She had the uncanny ability to portray form with a bare minimum of darkening-a feat impossible without color.
第二个想法是,通常情况下,在主题中使用所有值是完全不必要的。颜色温度变化经常可以代替。用颜色代替价值的这种替换通常不仅更令人愉悦,而且更有意义。为什么?因为我们有更多的颜色(成千上万种)可供选择,而不是值(九种),所以使用颜色而不是值可以节省价值。玛丽·卡萨特(Mary Cassatt)的绘画中发现了这种对颜色的运用的绝佳例子。她有一种神奇的能力,可以用最少的加深来描绘形式-这是不可能没有颜色的。
PORTRAIT SKETCH (Detail), oil on canvas,
The painting above of a beautiful young lady who posed for our painting group in Chicago, was one of the most difficult portraits I have ever dealt with. Not only did she have a dark complexion, but there was strong cold light on her right side, and a warmer light on her left side. So her facial features were defined as much by the shapes created by the lighting, as by the natural anatomical structure of her face.
Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, Degas and others were also good at managing values. They understood the weakness in overmodeling - the use of too many values to indicate form. All were careful to keep their designs strong by maintaining only a few simple values, clearly establishing their major areas as belonging in either the light or dark patterns, and not invading those areas with needless or inappropriate values. They almost always used a color change instead. (Much more on this is ahead in the chapter on Color.)
埃杜瓦·马奈、贝尔特·莫里索、德加等人也擅长处理价值观。他们了解过度建模的弱点 - 使用过多的价值来指示形式。所有人都小心保持他们的设计强大,只保留几个简单的价值观,清楚地将主要区域确定为属于光明或黑暗模式,并不用不必要或不合适的价值触及这些区域。他们几乎总是使用颜色变化代替。(关于这一点,在颜色章节中会更详细介绍。)
Fortunately, we have an unlimited supply of colors and ways to use them. For example, in certain light situations a turn in the form on a subject of as much as 40 degrees can be shown with color temperature changes alone before a change in value becomes necessary. This treatment is mostly an option where the ambient light is very soft, such as north daylight. My personal guideline is to always check if changing the color temperatures of my mixtures will do the job before I change the value.
幸运的是,我们有无限的颜色供应和使用方式。例如,在某些光线情况下,主体形式的转向可以通过仅仅改变色温来展示高达 40 度,而无需改变价值。这种处理大多是在环境光线非常柔和的情况下才会考虑,比如北向日光。我的个人指导原则是在改变价值之前,始终检查改变混合物的色温是否能达到效果。
Value relationships are certainly not all this cut and dried, and there is clearly room to make choices about emphasizing or restraining them to meet your artistic intentions, but keeping your values uncomplicated and few in number is a sound idea no matter what creative changes you do or do not make. It allows you to simplify the way you look at a subject and render it. I also believe from my own experience and seeing the Master's works that it is the primary basis of strong color and design.


Watch out for highlights! They are rarely as bright as you think they are. Choose not to paint them at all unless you think they are necessary. (This is especially true in portraits.) If you must paint them, find out what color they are, don't just use white alone. Also, look for one highlight to dominate all others in a painting. This is especially true in painting eyes. The highlight in one eye (usually the nearest to you) always predominates over the other, and neither are as bright as they first appear. Don't just make them white, make them a color (usually it is cool). Squint at them and see!
The same is true for the whites of eyes. They are never white! Usually they are similar in color to surrounding flesh tones, but slightly lighter and less warm (and quite cooler in children's eyes). Also the whites of both eyes in a subject, or the whites on either side of a pupil, are rarely equal in value, and their edges, as all edges in eyes, are always soft. Painting things too light or too dark always happens when you fail to accept what you see when you squint, or when you open your eyes to see more clearly. Isn't all of this great to know?
Dark accents, where they are appropriate, are always more effective than highlights. Look for them! Almost always they will be relatively warm in temperature-warmer than any nearby color regardless of the temperature of the light source on the subject. I don't know why this is so, they just are. Usually they will be mixtures of Transparent Oxide Red plus Alizarin Crimson and a mere touch of Ultramarine Blue Deep. Cool colors as dark accents usually produce a "dirty" look. Exceptions where the dark accents actually are cool (relative to surrounding colors) usually involve local color changes at the point of the accent, such as an abrupt pattern change in the folds of fabrics, or more frequently, in landscape painting when many different substances are intermingled (soil, grass, rocks, water, snow, branches, etc.). Transparent substances such as water, ice, snow, clouds, etc., also can have cool dark accents along with warm ones.
Choose to be bold rather than timid with values. Don't hold back when you clearly see strong lights and darks. For example, the most common error I see when students do portraits or figures, is a reluctance to paint dark enough in shadow areas. The main reason this happens is they are afraid the color will not look like "flesh," or it will look "muddy." Neither of these things will happen if the appropriate color temperature is maintained. Flesh tones, after all, can be any color-even pitch black when the lights go out!
The other more common reason for painting darks too light is that painters tend to open their eyes to see into the shadows (that natural reflex again). Wide open eyes are great for seeing color, but don't do it for values-squint and compare the shadow to other correctly painted darks.
绘画中将暗部画得太亮的另一个更常见的原因是画家倾向于睁大眼睛看进阴影中(这又是一种自然的反射)。睁大眼睛对于看到颜色很有帮助,但对于价值观来说不够准确 - 眯起眼睛,将阴影与其他正确绘制的暗部进行比较。
KILCHURN CASTLE oil on canvas, 8 x 16, Loch Awe, Scotland, 1997
基尔克恩城堡 油画,8 x 16,奥湖,苏格兰,1997
Kilchurn Castle was the very first castle I ever painted. For many years this magnificent 13 th century structure stood shrouded behind a dense growth of trees on a small rise on a rocky island on Loch Awe in south central Scotland. In recent years many of the trees had been cleared away and restoration made to the castle. Of course it was a dream come true for me. I was so nervous I was surprised I did as well as I did.
基尔霍恩城堡是我第一次绘制的城堡。多年来,这座宏伟的 13 世纪建筑物一直被茂密的树木掩映,矗立在苏格兰中南部洛赫奥湖的一座岩石小岛上。近年来,许多树木已被清理,城堡得以修复。当然,这对我来说是梦想成真。我当时非常紧张,惊讶自己的表现如此出色。
I set up my easel and paints at the edge of the Loch (lake) where I had an unobstructed view of Kilchurn barely fifty yards away. My canvas was quite small, only inches, and the pattern of lights and darks in the scene was amazingly simple as you can see above. With a minimum of detail to contend with, I was able to concentrate on the six or so major value areas, each with its own fascinating and defining edges.
我在洛赫(湖)边设置了画架和颜料,从那里我可以清晰地看到凯尔楚恩堡只有五十码远。我的画布相当小,只有 英寸,场景中的明暗色彩模式惊人地简单,就像你上面所看到的那样。由于细节很少,我能够专注于六个左右的主要价值区域,每个区域都有其迷人和定义性的边缘。
Later, while showing the picture to some local Scots, they told me about an old lady who lived alone in the castle's Keep (the large open central court within the walls of the castle). She lived there not very long ago when it was still a deserted ruin. The lady raised herbs which she sold in the village. As time went by it was noticed she was not appearing at market with her herbs. An extensive search for her revealed not a trace of her whereabouts, or even if she had ever lived in the castle. Today, however, her ghost is regularly seen at the window of the main tower. Now I do not believe any of that for a minute. I never once saw her during several hours of looking at the castle intensely while I was painting, but it doesn't mean she wasn't there-watching me . .
  1. We only have nine values to work with from white to black. Even if we divided the value scale into a hundred values, the range would still only be from Titanium White to Ivory Black or Lamp Black.
  2. It is impossible to duplicate the full range of nature's lights and darks because nature creates colors (and consequently values) with light itself, while our palette pigments create color only by reflection.
  3. We can, however, create the effect of light by seeking out and using the relationships among values and colors in our pictures.
  4. You can easily see those relationships by squinting down at a subject to simplify it until you can see which areas and shapes are lightest, darkest, and which fall into a limited range of middle tones.
  5. Constantly compare values in a subject to one another to make judgments (while squinting) about which values in a subject are lightest, darkest, etc. To make things easier, use a standard of comparison such as a pure white or black in the subject to make those calls. I'm told Sorolla kept a clean white handkerchief with him when he painted, which he would toss into or onto his subject to remind himself of what white really looks like.
  6. Overmodeling and running out of values can be avoided by substituting color changes for value changes whenever possible.
  7. If you wish, you can create a stronger design structure in a painting by restricting the number of values in the major areas.
  8. Paint standing up if you can and step back frequently to view your entire painting and compare it to the entire subject. Sitting for too long and too close to a painting almost guarantees mistakes.

Abstract 摘要



Abstract 摘要


These photos are one example of what to look for when you squint at a subject. Image one shows what the subject normally looks like. Notice how much detail there is throughout the photo and the number of value changes everywhere except the sky, which is very simple in value.
Image two is what you would probably see squinting down halfway. What you should look for here is the way some values have merged and become simplified. Notice how the church, the foreground and some of the background trees have joined to form a single value shape. Notice as well all superfluous detail is simply no longer there.
Image three is what you will see when you squint down a lot more. Notice how the scene as a whole has been reduced to three major values. The sky, two headstones and the little dots for flowers are now easily seen as the lightest lights in the whole scene. The roof of the church and the slash of sunlight on the grass are the middle tone. And the trees and foreground and shadow side of the church are the darkest dark. Knowing the lightest lights, the middle tones, the darkest darks, and which values are equal-all of this is invaluable information.
Here are more examples of what to discover about your subject (SHANNON ONE, above) when you squint down at it gradually. Remember, squinting is not meant to be a way of seeing the true values in a subject. The true values are the ones you see when you view your subject without squinting. The purpose of squinting is to make judgments about the relationships among and between values. In other words you squint down not to see how light or dark things really are, but rather which values are lightest compared to all the others, which are darkest, and which fall into the middle tones.
以下是更多关于您主题(上面的 SHANNON ONE)的发现的示例。请记住,眯眼并不意味着要看清主题的真实价值。真实价值是您在不眯眼时看到的价值。眯眼的目的是对价值之间的关系做出判断。换句话说,您眯眼并不是为了看清事物的明暗程度,而是为了看出哪些价值相对于其他所有价值最轻,哪些最暗,哪些属于中间色调。
The lightest lights, darkest darks, and clear middle tones are the important relationships to recognize in any subject, because they help make judgments about the lightness or darkness of the other more subtle values, and they help in creating a more powerful design.
SHANNON TWO shows how squinting down, even just a little, eliminates smaller details so the values in the couch, the darks in Shannon's hair and blouse, her robe, and the dark values in Nancy's painting behind the model, are all coming together to form a single value shape-imagine how just this small amount of squinting makes a block-in so much easier!
SHANNON TWO 展示了如何微微闭眼,甚至只是一点点,就会消除较小的细节,使沙发上的价值,Shannon 头发和衬衫上的黑色,她的长袍,以及模特身后南希画作中的暗色值,都汇聚在一起形成一个单一的价值形状-想象一下,仅仅这么小的闭眼动作会让一个大块的描绘变得如此容易!
At this degree of squinting, you will also begin to notice how almost every other area of the subject has become simplified. The pattern in the robe is still apparent, but the pattern and the shadows together have been slightly joined and reduced to two values rather than the original five or six values (yet another help in blocking-in).
Always remember: open your eyes to see the true colors, and squint down to see the relationships between values and edges.
SHANNON THREE demonstrates clearly the value of how skillful squinting makes almost every subject instantly understandable! How clear it is now! If you observe carefully there are only two values in the light parts and pretty much only one value in all of the dark areas.
SHANNON THREE 清晰地展示了瞬间让几乎每个主题变得易于理解的技巧性眯眼的价值!现在它是多么清晰!如果你仔细观察,光部分只有两个值,而所有暗区几乎只有一个值。
Now the painting becomes pure enjoyment to finish, because reducing the subject to its essentials has gotten all the hard stuff out of the way. You can see now that squinting down to see the larger value relationships is basically a process of elimination - as you squint down bit by bit, more and more of the nonessentials vanish into larger, more understandable and masterful value shapes, and are thus greatly helpful in doing a well drawn block-in, and a well drawn block-in is almost a finished painting!
现在,绘画变成了纯粹的享受,因为将主题简化到其基本要素已经解决了所有困难。现在你可以看到,眯起眼睛看更大价值关系基本上是一个排除的过程 - 当你逐渐眯起眼睛时,越来越多的非必要元素消失在更大、更易理解和娴熟的价值形状中,因此在进行良好的画块描绘时非常有帮助,而良好的画块描绘几乎就是一幅完成的画!
SHANNON FOUR—If there is the slightest doubt about which values are the lightest lights in any subject, squint down until you have reduced your subject to two values as shown above. This is about as simple as things can get while squinting. If you should squint any further until all you see is black, it could mean you have fallen asleep.
Quite seriously now, I must tell you this section was not easy to write. This is mainly because the intent is to see relationships rather than true values. But then, when it comes to doing the painting you must switch your thinking back to what the actual values are. It takes practice but once you learn to use this simple technique with your eyes it will be a part of every solution you employ in creating a painting. In many ways, these two pages are the most important in this book.
PARKBENCH oil on panel, , Madrid, Spain, 1994
PARKBENCH 油画, ,西班牙马德里,1994
This small sketch of a couple in a park in Madrid was painted on a fairly rough textured, white lead Masonite panel. I mention the texture because it was the key to achieving many of the loose edges you see above. I doubt a more refined and detailed rendering on a smooth ground could equal the painterly strength of this work.
Speculation has it this is actually a painting of Nancy and myself. By chance we did happen to be in Retiro Park in Madrid on that very day, and so it is altogether possible I painted us with my right hand, which you will note—is not visible.


Think about edges the way you would think about kissing someone. How many are the ways-and what can you impart in the process? Think of edges as the most exquisite of subtleties, as the means to open the secret recesses of the heart. Edges are ways to make your dabs of paint whisper, or shout, and reach nuances which can amplify your palette of colors. Think of them as visual poetry oozing from your brush—but especially think of edges as you would the agents of expression in music.
It is surprising how many parallels there are between music and painting. We artists speak of harmony, tones, rhythm, notes, form, composition, and so on-words which are also common musical terms. I think of edges as pianissimo (very soft), andante (flowing), allegro vivace (fast and lively), maestoso (majestic), fortissimo con sforzando (whamo!). These beautiful adjectives are used in musical phrasing to designate the physical manner in which keys, valves, strings, or drums, are touched (legato, staccato, etc.), as well as the way they are strung together (phrasing). While there is certainly no exact correlation between music and painting, certain comparisons are valid about the various ways we "touch" a painting with our "notes" of color. A wide variation of touch and speed gives music its richness of expression, and a lavish variety of edges does the same thing in painting.
令人惊讶的是音乐和绘画之间存在着许多相似之处。我们艺术家谈论和谐、音调、节奏、音符、形式、构图等等词汇,这些词汇也是常见的音乐术语。我把边缘想象为 pianissimo(非常柔和)、andante(流畅)、 allegro vivace(快速活泼)、maestoso(庄严)、fortissimo con sforzando(强烈突然)。这些美丽的形容词用于音乐乐句中,用以指定按键、阀门、琴弦或鼓面的物理接触方式(连贯、断奏等),以及它们如何串联在一起(乐句)。虽然音乐和绘画之间肯定没有确切的对应关系,但关于我们如何用色彩的“音符”“触摸”绘画的各种方式,某些比较是有效的。广泛的触感和速度变化赋予音乐丰富的表现力,而丰富多样的边缘在绘画中也起到同样的作用。

Each time we touch a brush to canvas we create edges. It is the character of those edges--the gradual or abrupt way with which they merge with other strokes-that makes all the difference.

This difference is not only about the lyrical quality of our painting, it is also crucial to whether or not our work appears convincing. Why? Because you and I focus our eyes in a uniquely selective way when we look at things in the course of our daily routines. Only a small area at the center of our gaze is in perfect focus; all the rest is relatively indistinct. Because of our binocular vision we also see slightly around the edges of objects (an effect which diminishes with the square of its distance from us). Edges are the only visual tools I am aware of which can replicate that special way of focusing. We see in ways no cameras or recording devices can quite duplicate (not yet anyway). So far, only a certain type of highly skilled painting can come close to the way we humans actually see things (because the seeing painter is the recording device). If we are sensitive to the wide variety of edges in our subject, and we can translate them into appropriately hard or soft transitions between color shapes, there will be magic in our painting. If we ignore edges, our work will be flat and unconvincing, rather like computer generated voices. Remember, I am referring here only to painting which attempts to create an illusion of a person's ordinary visual reality. All other ways of realistic painting, while unquestionably valid in terms of artistic license, are deviations from, or changed versions, of nature. Obviously non-representational art is playing an entirely different game, and is not relevant here.
这种差异不仅仅体现在我们绘画的抒情质量上,它对于我们的作品是否令人信服也至关重要。为什么呢?因为在日常生活中,你和我在观察事物时会以独特的选择性方式聚焦眼光。只有视线中心的一个小区域处于完美聚焦状态;其他所有部分相对模糊。由于我们的双眼视觉,我们也会稍微看到物体边缘的周围(这种效果随着距离的平方而减弱)。边缘是我所知道的唯一可以复制那种特殊聚焦方式的视觉工具。我们以一种相机或录像设备无法完全复制的方式观察事物(至少目前还无法)。到目前为止,只有某种类型的高技能绘画可以接近我们人类实际看到事物的方式(因为观察的画家就是记录设备)。如果我们对主题中各种边缘敏感,并且能够将它们转化为颜色形状之间适当的硬或软过渡,我们的绘画将会有魔力。如果我们忽视边缘,我们的作品将会平淡无力,有点像计算机生成的声音。 请记住,我在这里只是指试图创造一个人普通视觉现实的绘画。所有其他形式的写实绘画,虽然在艺术许可的范围内无疑是有效的,但都是对自然的偏离或改变版本。显然,非表现性艺术正在玩一个完全不同的游戏,与此无关。
Superb displays of edges are present in most of the masterpieces of representational painting beginning about the time of Velasquez and Hals and continuing through the beginning of the 20th century. Virtuosos of edges were keenly aware of them and made full use of their potential. Today, however, edges are probably the least understood of our tools. Since the 1930s, except for the teachings of people like Bill Mosby, and the work of some distinguished illustrators, the skills attending edges appear to have gradually declined in painting. To my knowledge, not much has been written at length about them in the past. However, I have noticed an increase of interest in the subject since Alla Prima was published in 1998. My hope is that instruction on the use of edges will soon be presented on an equal basis with drawing, values, and color in realistic painting classes. It won't be easy or happen overnight because there is something uncomfortably elusive about them. Their very nature makes them difficult to measure or define, and much in our perception of edges, as well as our judgment in rendering them, is purely subjective. The good news is there are things about edges which are not arbitrary. Nevertheless, if violin or piano, or vocal technique can be taught, so can expressive edges. Let us explore them together here.
绝妙的边缘展示出现在大部分代表性绘画杰作中,始于韦拉斯奎兹和哈尔斯的时代,并延续至 20 世纪初。边缘的大师们对其敏锐地意识到,并充分利用了它们的潜力。然而,如今,边缘可能是我们最不理解的工具之一。自 20 世纪 30 年代以来,除了像比尔·莫斯比这样的人的教导以及一些杰出插画家的作品外,绘画中与边缘相关的技能似乎逐渐减弱。据我所知,过去对此并没有太多长篇大论。然而,自 1998 年《Alla Prima》出版以来,我注意到人们对这一主题的兴趣增加了。我希望边缘的使用指导很快能够与绘画课程中的素描、价值和色彩平起平坐。这并不容易,也不会一蹴而就,因为边缘有一种令人难以捉摸的特性。它们的本质使其难以衡量或定义,我们对边缘的感知以及在呈现它们时的判断很大程度上是主观的。 好消息是边缘的一些特性并非随意的。然而,如果小提琴、钢琴或声乐技巧可以被教授,那么表现性的边缘也是可以的。让我们在这里一起探索它们。
LILIES oil on canvas,
百合 布面油画
DAFFODIL AND ROSES (Detail), oil on panel,


Edges are the borderlines between the shapes of color we see on our subjects, and the corresponding color shapes we create on our paintings. Each color shape has at least three sides, and they fit together like nations on a map, or pieces in a puzzle. Those boundaries (edges) are designated as either relatively "hard" or "soft" in varying degrees. The hardness or softness of the edges describes the transitions between those shapes - the degree to which they are blended, or not blended at all. They can be extremely abrupt (hard or sharp edge), or very gradual (soft edge), or somewhere in-between. For those "in-between" edges, let's call them "moderate" or "intermediate." When a shape of color blends into another so gradually it is impossible to tell where one begins and the other ends, it is called a lost edge.
边缘是我们在主体上看到的颜色形状与我们在绘画上创造的相应颜色形状之间的边界线。每个颜色形状至少有三条边,它们像地图上的国家或拼图中的拼块一样拼合在一起。这些边界(边缘)被指定为在不同程度上相对“硬”或“软”。边缘的硬度或柔软度描述了这些形状之间的过渡程度 - 它们混合的程度,或者根本不混合。它们可以是极端突然的(硬或锐利的边缘),也可以是非常渐进的(软边缘),或者介于两者之间。对于那些“介于两者之间”的边缘,让我们称之为“中等”或“中间”。当一种颜色形状逐渐融入另一种颜色形状,以至于不可能分辨哪里开始哪里结束时,这被称为失去的边缘。
Unfortunately, we lack the rich vocabulary to describe edges any better. Unlike our musician friends, we labor without the technical expressions which could specify exactly how soft or hard an edge might be. All we have are a few adjectives: soft, moderate, hard (or sharp), and lost. That's about it except for words like fuzzy, hazy, blurred, firm, razor sharp, or modifiers such as very, medium, extremely, and so on - not much to choose from. Nevertheless, we shall carry on and examine three important aspects of edges:

1. 主题中它们是如何以及为什么发生的。

2. 如何识别它们的可见特征。

3. 如何将它们翻译成笔触。


If you are new to the use of edges, or have trouble seeing them, it may help to begin by understanding how they occur. Start by looking carefully at something-anything. Look around the room where you sit reading this, look out the window, or just glance at yourself in a mirror, and you will see edges wherever any two or more visible shapes meet. Here are the main reasons they appear the way they do:
A. The inherent shape of things. Often you can expect to see soft edges on rounded objects such as anatomical features, the folds in fabrics, or a field of grass curving slowly away. Anything angular or sheared, like a sheet of paper or a stiff collar, or architectural forms, may seem sharply edged.
A. 事物固有的形状。通常你会看到圆润物体上的柔和边缘,比如解剖特征、织物的褶皱,或者一片缓缓弯曲的草地。任何有角度或削平的东西,比如一张纸、一顶硬领子,或者建筑形式,可能看起来边缘分明。
B. The intrinsic ("local") value and color of things (like a yellow dress or black hat). Elements or shapes which are similar in value or color will appear to have a softer transition between them than elements which contrast, even though the real (physical) edge is hard. For example: If you place a dark blue against a dark green, their boundary will look softer than if the colors are dark blue against bright orange.
B. 事物的内在(“本地”)价值和颜色(如黄色连衣裙或黑色帽子)。在价值或颜色相似的元素或形状之间,它们之间的过渡会显得比对比明显的元素更柔和,即使实际(物理)边缘是硬的。例如:如果你将深蓝色放在深绿色旁边,它们的边界看起来会比深蓝色放在明亮橙色旁边时更柔和。
C. The nature of things - what they are made of - clouds, curly blond hair, and the rear ends of ducks are likely to have softer edges than bricks or door frames. The substances of things, however, are not always a reliable guide in determining an edge.
C. 事物的本质 - 它们由什么构成 - 云朵、卷曲的金发和鸭子的尾部可能比砖块或门框具有更柔和的边缘。然而,事物的物质并不总是确定边缘的可靠指南。
D. The light-how strong, or weak, or diffused it is, and the angle it is striking the subject. A single powerful light source such as the sun or a spotlight striking a subject at right angles to you will likely produce sharp edges, usually as cast shadows. On the other hand, north daylight or overcast light will yield softly diffused edges. Hard edges in diffuse light are mainly the result of something other than the light, such as the edge of a white collar against a dark suit.
D. 光线的强度,弱度或扩散程度,以及照射主体的角度。像太阳或聚光灯这样的单一强光源以与您垂直的角度照射主体,通常会产生锐利的边缘,通常是作为投射的阴影。另一方面,北方的白天光线或阴天光线会产生柔和扩散的边缘。在扩散光中的硬边缘主要是光线以外的其他因素造成的,比如白色衣领与深色西装的边缘。
MOUNT MORAN (Detail), oil on canvas, 24 x 36, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 1968
莫兰山(细节),布面油画,24 x 36,怀俄明州杰克逊霍尔,1968 年
ATLANTIC SEAS (Detail), oil on canvas, 24 x 36, Monhegan Island, Maine, 1976
大西洋海域(细节),帆布油画,24 x 36,缅因州蒙黑根岛,1976
The importance of appropriate edges in painting is clearly demonstrated in the two works above. In MOUNT MORAN (top) the bright sunlight, crisp shadows and rock formations call for an entirely different and harder set of edges than in the painting of ATLANTIC SEAS (bottom). In this the atmosphere and character of the breaking waves demands an abundant variety of soft and almost completely lost edges. One could almost imagine the artistic disaster if I had gotten the two works mixed up regarding edges.
E. The atmosphere-how clear or murky it is. This is a familiar concern in landscape and marine painting, though it occasionally happens indoors as well. The clarity of the air, a clear day for example, or the lack of it, as on a foggy morning, is a strong influence on the quality of the light, and that, in turn, affects edges. Most edges in a landscape tend to soften with distance. Fog and haze, for example, dramatically subdue edges with distance, while clear air can often maintain somewhat sharper edges at long distances. This is a problem I am familiar with having lived at a high altitude in the unusually clear air in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Very often distant mountains and other landscape features appeared almost as close as nearby ranges. The clear thin air at the high altitude prevailed over the familiar effect of aerial perspective by greatly subduing the value changes which normally occur with distance-very annoying. John Singer Sargent complained about it too when he painted in the Canadian Rocky Mountains because he was more accustomed to the atmospheric effects of the European Alps, which receive vast amounts of humid air from the Mediterranean. I noted the same increase in values and color when I did Alpine studies in the Südtirol of Northern Italy.
E. 大气氛-清晰或浑浊。这是风景和海洋绘画中常见的关注点,尽管偶尔也会发生在室内。空气的清晰度,例如晴朗的一天,或者缺乏它,如在雾蒙蒙的早晨,对光线的质量有很大影响,进而影响边缘。风景中的大多数边缘在远处往往会变得柔和。例如,雾和烟雾会大大减弱远处的边缘,而清澈的空气通常可以在远处保持较为清晰的边缘。这是我熟悉的问题,因为我生活在科罗拉多州落基山脉清澈的高海拔地区。经常看到远处的山脉和其他景观特征几乎和附近的山脉一样近。高海拔处清澈的稀薄空气大大压倒了通常随着距离发生的价值变化,这非常令人恼火。约翰·辛格·萨金特在加拿大落基山绘画时也抱怨过这一点,因为他更习惯于欧洲阿尔卑斯山的大气效应,那里接收来自地中海的大量湿润空气。 我在意大利北部的南蒂罗尔进行阿尔卑斯山研究时,也注意到数值和颜色的增加。
F. Motion. To our eyes, things blur when they move. If you paint moving things with hard edges it will look as if you copied a high-speed photograph. Ocean waves, flying birds, waterfalls, trees in the wind, and everything else that moves must be carefully studied as edge problems. I believe the subject ought to be movement itself, rather than the thing in motion - the flight of a flying bird, for example, not how pretty or authentically rendered its feathers are. Nearly all movement in nature occurs as repetitive flow. Even when things appear to change randomly and unpredictably (like cloud shapes), their movements have a pattern which can be understood. Take the time necessary to see such patterns-notice shapes which happen with predictable frequency, as in waves breaking on a shore, or streaming into rocks in a brook. Then paint them with a variety of appropriately soft and hard edges (a certain amount of experimenting is usually necessary). The result will be surprisingly convincing.
F. 运动。在我们的眼中,物体在移动时会变得模糊。如果你用硬边来描绘移动的事物,它看起来就像是你复制了一张高速照片。海浪、飞鸟、瀑布、风中的树木,以及其他一切移动的事物都必须仔细研究其边缘问题。我认为主题应该是运动本身,而不是运动中的事物 - 例如飞鸟的飞行,而不是其羽毛有多漂亮或逼真。自然界几乎所有的运动都是重复的流动。即使事物看起来变化随机和不可预测(比如云朵的形状),它们的运动也有一种可以理解的模式。花时间去看这些模式-注意那些以可预测频率发生的形状,比如海浪拍打在海岸上,或是流入小溪中的岩石。然后用各种适当的软硬边来描绘它们(通常需要一定程度的尝试)。结果将会令人惊讶地令人信服。
A note of caution - there is rarely a single cause for the appearance of an edge. The way it looks in a subject is usually a combination of some factors described above. Atmosphere, light, values, colors, motion, textures and form, can intermingle in bewildering ways. It is interesting to figure out what you are looking at, but don't worry if you can't explain it. It is more important to simply recognize edges. I recognize countless everyday things and deal with them successfully without understanding them in the slightest-for example, my tax returns and the computer on which I am typing this. Seriously, as a general policy, it is a good idea to try and place the very sharpest edges in your painting within or near the focal point of a painting, because we see that way naturally. Glance around and you will see that it is impossible to focus on any one thing and still have sharp edges in your peripheral vision.


Using the information from the five points I have just described, look again at something near and familiar. The kitchen with its pots and pans is a good place (vegetables and fruits always have great edges too). The bedroom is ideal too-you can take your clothes off and check out your own edges in the mirror-or go out where you can see land and trees and a sky full of clouds (but put your clothes back on first).
Select some individual things, then ask yourself these questions to help you understand what you are seeing:
Is the edge of the shape you are looking at curving away from you or toward you?
Is the curve, if there is one, smooth and gradual or abrupt? Is the color shape you are looking at the same color or value as adjacent shapes, or is it a different color and value?
Are you looking at something hard to simplify, things unclear or complex, like clouds, hair, or myriad tree branches and tall grass in the wind - or is it something geometric with sharp angles such as buildings or rock formations?
Are your shapes in snappy bright sunlight, or are they back in the dim shadows?
Are you in subdued north daylight or overcast with no cast shadows?
In the landscape, is it foggy out or clear? Does the clarity of the air decrease or increase with distance?
Answering questions like these will go a long way toward identifying the edges on the things you wish to paint, but don't go overboard with analysis. All you really need is the ability to spot edges as hard or soft or something in between. Figuring out the cause of an edge does come in handy when you find yourself in the occasional predicament of not being able to make up your mind about an edge. However, it is not essential to have a rational explanation to paint it convincingly. For example, if you recognize a soft edge, that's really all the information you need! It isn't necessary to know why it is soft. Just paint it the way it looks! Besides (and this is important), understanding the causes of edges is not enough. You must also be able to determine their relationships - how hard or soft they are compared to one another.
回答这类问题将有助于识别您希望绘制的物体边缘,但不要过度分析。您真正需要的是能够发现边缘是硬的、软的还是介于两者之间的能力。当您发现自己偶尔无法确定边缘时,弄清楚边缘的原因确实会派上用场。然而,为了能够有说服力地绘制,并不一定需要有一个理性的解释。例如,如果您认识到一个软边缘,那么这已经是您所需要的所有信息了!并不需要知道为什么它是软的。只需按照它的样子绘制!此外(这一点很重要),了解边缘的原因还不够。您还必须能够确定它们之间的关系 - 它们相互之间的硬度或软度如何。


Seeing edges requires the same two important aids-squinting and comparison-which I described in the previous chapter on Values. They are essential in working with edges, and I find it is best to do them together. Let me dwell on squinting first. Read what follows next very carefully. This is hard stuff to write about.
Squinting applies to seeing both edges and values in a remarkably similar way, though it does tend to work a little better with values. Closing your eyes slightly when looking at your subject to simplify will give you equivalent information about both. Just as you half-closed your eyes to determine the lightest light, the darkest darks, and the ranking of middle values, so too will squinting help you to see which edges are sharpest, which are softest, and which fall into a middle range. It allows you to see where things blend the most, where they stand out distinctly, and the pecking order of all the remaining edges. It is an amazingly simple and effective technique. The aim is to obtain an orderly grasp of the edges in your subject. That means you will get practical information - the evaluations you need to paint your picture-rather than just seeing a dark fuzzy image of your subject.
眯眼的方法适用于以非常相似的方式看到边缘和价值,尽管它在价值方面的效果稍微更好。在看待主题时稍微闭上眼睛以简化,将为您提供有关两者的等效信息。就像您半闭眼睛来确定最轻的光,最暗的暗色和中间值的排名一样,眯眼也将帮助您看到哪些边缘最锐利,哪些最柔和,哪些属于中间范围。它让您看到事物混合最多的地方,哪些地方显著突出,以及所有其他边缘的排序。这是一种非常简单而有效的技术。目标是有序地掌握主题的边缘。这意味着您将获得实用信息 - 您绘制图片所需的评估,而不仅仅是看到主题的模糊暗影像。
Doing it proficiently takes concentration, but it's worth any effort to get good at it. Try practicing it at first with a typical subject, something with lots of high contrast elements. It's easier too when you're just starting out with this to get the hang of it with a well-lit subject instead of practicing on something low-keyed and subtle. Outdoors on a sunny day in your backyard or looking down your street is a good place for starters. It isn't necessary to paint. Just pour yourself a glass of iced tea (nothing stronger, if you please), sit down, and notice some specific things.
Begin with your eyes wide open. See how sharply focused everything is, and how much detail there is. Notice how the longer you look at one particular spot, more and more details emerge. Notice too how you see many color and value changes, and how all edges appear clear and crisp the more you look directly at them. If your eyesight is good, you probably can now see more sharp edges and itsy-bitsy detail than you would ever want to paint.
Now close your eyes just a tiny fraction. Note that some detail diminishes, some values and colors merge, and some edges begin to lose a bit of clarity. (The first edges to disappear completely will be the soft transitions in the subject.) You are now beginning to simplify your subject.
At this point you need to be particularly alert. Notice exactly which details diminish and which values and colors blend into larger shapes. See how many of the tiny clear edges you could see with your eyes wide open now begin to join to form larger softer edges. Make note too of the things which do NOT change very much as you squint. See which shapes and edges retain their integrity. Those will be your stronger sharper-edged elements.


oil on panel,  油彩画板,
This is the only painting of mine I have ever copied. It was promised for a one-man show, but I was so fond of it, I did a larger version for the exhibition-slightly cooler and minus the iron gate. I felt the differences would avoid any future confusion.
I kept this original version because it touched me in a way few other of my paintings ever do, primarily because Nancy is the main subject, and secondly, I caught the hushed English light, which I also love.
I also managed to capture, after many tries, the elusive green color of the grass peculiar to the British Isles and other places, such as our Pacific Northwest and Alaska. In this case, the mixture turned out to be mainly Viridian, Yellow Ochre light, and White, with a bit of Cadmium Yellow in places.
This little sketch may bring to mind some of the works of the 19th Century Naturalist painters, such as Bastien-Lepage, Jean Dagnan-Bouveret and others. I'm not a fan of the storytelling so characteristic of their output, but I felt I had matched something of their technical effects, and perhaps taken them a step further regarding edges.
这幅小速写可能让人联想到 19 世纪自然主义画家的一些作品,比如巴斯蒂安-勒帕日(Bastien-Lepage)、让·达尼昂-布韦雷(Jean Dagnan-Bouveret)等人。我并不喜欢他们作品中那种充满特色的叙事,但我觉得我已经达到了他们的一些技术效果,并且也许在边缘方面更进了一步。
It is possible the Naturalists' often heavy reliance on photographs accounts for their more conservative renderings when it came down to ways of putting paint on canvas. I have long felt the beauty of paint itself should be an important part of a work, which is why I was pleased to capture what I feel is a more painterly effect, especially in the trees and sky.
The interplay of hard and soft transitions, along with the rich (middle-toned) color harmony, also added a mood so dreamlike I almost thought Nancy might slowly vanish before my eyes.
Good! Close your eyes a bit more and see how things simplify even more. (Sounds like the last chapter, doesn't it?) Note how the strong shapes now tend to dominate and absorb smaller shapes. See how edges within dark value areas tend to be much softer than edges in the higher contrast light areas, and how detail tends to disappear altogether in the darkest darks. The very last discernible edge you see before your eyes shut will probably be the sharpest edge of all. It will also be the lightest light. (See where I'm going here?)
What I have described is an orderly and effective way of simplifying. It is orderly because you can close your eyes down just a bit at a time, noting how edges appear at each stage. It is effective because you learn something you can express as brushstrokes, and that is precisely what you are after. So, here is a little myth you can shatter at cocktail parties-when we painters look at things, we do not see more than other people, we see less. We do not see beauty where others cannot, but we do have the ability to stop the stream of time, to eliminate trivia, and thus understand why things look the way they do. In doing so we can concentrate a viewer's attention on the fascination of the purely visual. We can simplify things and arrest them at any moment of their happening.
Let me repeat-squinting is not helpful in determining color, but it works like magic in seeing edges. Once you get the hang of it, you will use it to see edges and values simultaneously. Just don't squint down to the point where your image is so dark and blurred it is useless.
Lastly, it only works marginally when working with photographs. Squinting at a photo is about the same as squinting at a painting. Everything gets fuzzy. Squinting for values in a photo is sometimes useful, but because of the limited data caught by the camera, the information you can obtain is inadequate compared to the real thing.


Some edges in every subject will stand out conspicuously as either extremely sharp or completely lost even with your eyes wide open. You can't miss them (clouds, for example). Use those edges as your standards of comparison. Let us say you are looking at what you think is a hard edge, but you don't know how hard. Well, if you have already selected a razor-sharp edge in the subject as your hardest, you only need to compare the edge in question to that edge to see the difference. The same holds true, of course, for soft edges. Pick one you are sure of to be your standard of comparison, and use it to judge the relative softness of others.
As you become aware of edges, you will discover their close tie to values. Their interrelationship stems from the fact that they arise mutually. They often happen together from the same circumstances and operate as a sort of feedback system. Values and edges reciprocate in the ways they influence each other, just as values and colors do.
It is amazing and beautiful how this works-how all elements in the visual field are unavoidably interconnected like the Net of Indra so well described by Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth (Doubleday 1988). The Net is an infinite mythical web with precious stones at every intersection of its threads so each gem reflects all the others, symbolizing the universal connection of everything. In the same way, everything visible looks the way it does because of everything else visible acting upon it.
这是令人惊叹和美丽的,这是如何运作的-视觉领域中的所有元素不可避免地相互联系,就像约瑟夫·坎贝尔在《神话的力量》(Doubleday 1988)中所描述的因陀罗网一样。这个网是一个无限的神话般的网络,在其线索的每个交汇点都有珍贵的宝石,因此每颗宝石都反映出其他所有宝石,象征着一切事物的普遍联系。同样,所有可见的事物之所以呈现出其样貌,是因为其他所有可见的事物对其产生影响。
Shapes with similarities in color or value will appear to have soft edges connecting them, and shapes with dissimilar properties will seem to have harder edges-even when the actual (physical) edge is the same. For example, two adjacent shapes (or brushstrokes) of similar value will appear to have a soft edge between them because the value difference is small. Conversely, the illusion of a hard edge is likely when you bring together shapes which contrast sharply in value or color-as when you join a deep blue-purple shape with a very light yellow-orange shape. Intrinsically soft things like clouds at sunset can often appear to have less than soft edges because of the bright sky behind them. So we now see that a very soft or lost edge between contrasting values and colors can tend to diminish the value difference between them, while a hard edge between similar values and colors can exaggerate their difference. Thus, edges can make values look the way they do-and values can make edges look the way they do. I like that.
The size of a shape in itself can determine how light or dark things will look even if they are the same intrinsic value-a large black mass of trees is blacker than a little black bush, and so on. The same is true of color. A whole wall painted red is "redder" than a small drop of the same paint. In my painting Study in Red (opposite), the red on the model's lower lip is identical to the red on her blouse, yet the blouse seems far more red. This saturation effect of large value or color areas is partly a psychological anomaly. I would add the smaller shape will also have softer edges, and the smaller things get, the more their edges soften.
While these observations are obviously valid and good to know, in practice other factors can often intervene. Things like the angle of the light, reflected light, the material composition of the subject and its three-dimensional configuration, to name just a few. (There are many others.) Nature is so full of tricks, there is no reliable way to contrive a formula which applies in all circumstances. In the end, only your own well-trained eye is reliable.
Natural phenomena will also affect both values and edges (and color as well). Fog or mist or light intensity will influence values, edges, and color simultaneously, or even a single change in one will change the others. For example, a change in value will always mean a consequent change in color (because you must use another color to lighten or darken something), and that will create a change in the edge. You have to be ready for anything!
自然现象也会影响价值和边缘(以及颜色)。 雾气、薄雾或光强度会同时影响价值、边缘和颜色,甚至一个方面的变化都会改变其他方面。 例如,价值的变化总是意味着颜色的相应变化(因为您必须使用另一种颜色来使某物变亮或变暗),这将导致边缘的变化。 你必须随时做好准备!
Unfortunately, there are no set rules about edges. Like naughty little boys, they behave as they wish and enjoy teasing. What appears in one situation may not occur in another. There are too many variables (including your own eyesight) to allow for solid predictability. However, it is extremely helpful to know how these natural illusions (that's what they are) do happen. So be on the lookout and just accept them. After all, your job is to create a picture of the way things look to you. If you try to clarify things for your viewer based solely upon what the rules say ought to be there, your painting will not look like your subject does. I strongly recommend painting an edge as it APPEARS, regardless of anything else you know about it.
One school of thought in the early part of the 20th century was definitely not in favor of softening edges. One well-known spokesmen warned against softening anything-edges in particular. I'm not sure why such an idea happened. It certainly wasn't ignorance, or lack of experience in painting from life. Most likely the practice of painting clear-cut edges no-matter-what arose because of the perceived importance in those days (as it is often today) of being recognized for having a strong style. Consequently, natural effects were often altered to fit an artist's misplaced need for stylistic technique.
20 世纪早期的一派思潮绝对不赞成软化边缘。一位著名的代言人警告说不要软化任何东西,尤其是边缘。我不确定为什么会有这样的想法。这肯定不是因为无知,或者缺乏从生活中绘画的经验。很可能,无论如何都要绘制清晰边缘的做法是因为在那个时代(就像今天一样)被认为具有强烈风格的重要性。因此,自然效果经常被改变以适应艺术家对风格技巧的错误需求。
The rejection of obviously varied edges could also have arisen from the brief popularity of palette knife painting at the time-a technique which almost naturally produced hard edges. Knife painting in general was rather heavy-handed and usually applied thickly, like stucco, unlike the more sophisticated and subtle technique of the contemporaneous Russian school. The Russians viewed the knife as a tool of great expressive potential, instead of a kind of small trowel to plaster pigments on canvas. Nicolai Fechin's early work contains many examples of virtuoso knife painting.
A more widespread reason for not blending was probably the trend to use incremental color transitions at edges-several small color changes applied side by side to show a change of form. No doubt that was the influence of Impressionism, because it was the practice then to favor small, distinct, color graduations over blending. The influence of the Impressionists continued full-tilt long after the charter group disappeared. (The original French movement lasted a mere 20 years or so.)
不混合的一个更普遍的原因可能是倾向于在边缘使用渐变颜色过渡的趋势 - 将几种小颜色变化并排应用以显示形式的变化。毫无疑问,这受到印象派的影响,因为当时的惯例是偏爱小而明显的颜色渐变而非混合。印象派的影响在创始团体消失后仍然持续不减。 (原始的法国运动仅持续了短短 20 年左右。)
Others might have been reacting to what they considered to be the misuse of blending-the feathering or fusing of colors to achieve more softly graduated edges. Some regarded blending as leading to superficial overblending. (The word feathering, or to feather, presumably originated from the old practice of using the large wing feathers of geese as blending tools.) At any rate, and for whatever reason, there arose simultaneously one school, the "brush men," such as Boldini, Zorn, and Sargent, with their very long, fluidly sexy brushing techniques, and a separate group, the "colorists," who would not dream of applying more than a half-inch of paint without changing the color-your basic broken color enthusiasts. The most uptight of them was Georges Seurat.
其他人可能对他们认为的混合使用不当做出了反应 - 羽化或融合颜色以实现更柔和的渐变边缘。一些人认为混合会导致表面过度混合。 (“羽化”一词,或者说“羽化”,据推测源自使用大雁的大翅膀羽毛作为混合工具的古老做法。)无论出于何种原因,同时出现了一派“画笔大师”,如博尔迪尼、佐恩和萨金特,他们采用非常长、流畅而性感的刷涂技术;以及一个独立的群体,“色彩派”,他们梦想着在不改变颜色的情况下涂抹超过半英寸的油漆 - 你基本的破碎色彩爱好者。其中最拘谨的是乔治·修拉。
So we now see once again how a very soft or lost edge between contrasting values and colors can tend to diminish the value difference between them, while a hard edge between similar values and colors can exaggerate their difference. Thus, edges can make values look the way they do - and values can make edges look the way they do. I like that, but it's not always easy to see.
因此,我们现在再次看到,对比值和颜色之间非常柔和或模糊的边缘可能会减弱它们之间的价值差异,而相似值和颜色之间的硬边缘可能会夸大它们之间的差异。因此,边缘可以使值看起来如其所为 - 值也可以使边缘看起来如其所为。我喜欢这一点,但并不总是容易看到。
No doubt it is good to intellectually analyze and understand what we see, but I have found that squinting down and using comparison is still the easiest and best way to make decisions about edges both in my subjects and my paintings. I realize I must seem to go on endlessly about stepping back, squinting, and comparing, but those three little practices are essential to seeing, and they always lead to simple, elegant results.
It is not difficult to develop an awareness of the light conditions around you. For me, mornings have a completely different mood than evenings. They even smell different. Dark rainy days are dramatically different than bright sunny days. Those are obvious examples of extremes. As painters we must cultivate a sensitivity to those days, as well as the less extreme conditions we will find ourselves working under.

I recommend painting an edge as it looks on a subject, regardless of anything else you know about it, unless of course you have a good reason to do things differently. To me, a very good reason for any change in a painting is that I just like it better that way.


As landscape painting developed, many painters became aware of the effect of light diffraction on edges and values. What is diffraction? It is the fact that light can bend slightly at an object's edge. If you take two objects of the same value (let's say black), one rounded, like a vase, and the other angular, like a piece of cardboard, and look at them against a light source (such as the sky or a window), the rounded one will have softer edges, and the angular one will be hard edged.
Likewise, if you do the same test with two more shapes, but of the same value, and one very much larger than the other, the smaller one will look lighter. In both instances this happens because of diffraction - light bending and spilling around the edges of shapes - in this case much more light spilling around in ratio to an object's size and curvature in the smaller one than in the larger one. For example, a pointed church steeple will appear progressively lighter as you gaze from its wide base to its narrowing peak.
同样,如果您用两种价值相同但大小差异很大的形状进行相同的测试,较小的形状看起来会更轻。在这两种情况下都是因为衍射现象发生 - 光线弯曲并在形状的边缘周围溢出 - 在这种情况下,相比较较大的形状,较小的形状周围会有更多的光线溢出。例如,一个尖顶的教堂尖塔会在您从宽阔的基座向狭窄的顶峰凝视时逐渐显得更轻。
This phenomenon is perfectly shown on the page opposite-notice how light is spilling around the vase from the window behind it. It also strikes the model's left shoulder and neck, highlighting the anatomy.
这种现象在对面的页面上表现得淋漓尽致 - 注意窗后的光线如何洒落在花瓶周围。它还照射到模特的左肩和颈部,突出了解剖结构。
STANDING FIGURE oil on panel,
This painting shows a variety of light effects. My model is standing close to the corner of a room in which there are two windows providing natural daylight (cool light-warm shadows). The window behind her has caused the model's upper torso to appear almost in silhouette, while the area of her hips is mostly illuminated by the side window. The bottom half of the painting is softly shaded. With such a setup, diffraction of light and diffusion of light throughout the painting are mixing, resulting in a fascinating play of soft color, light, and edges. Trying to figure out, much less analyze, the situation is quite hopeless for me. Instead, I rely solely upon painting what I see, whether or not I understand it intellectually.
To smoosh the paint around or not to smoosh-that is the question! (Forgive me, Dear Bard.) Whether 'tis nobler in the mind or better in a painting to blend edges, ah! To soften them as a sparrow's touchdown, or to paint small increments of color changes? It comes down to a matter of personal taste. Monet lived and breathed color changes; Zorn preferred the broad brush style with voluptuous edges on equally voluptuous ladies. Both created marvelous paintings. We all have our ways, thank God. In the end, what really matters is achieving our intended effects. How we get there is of no importance. Only the result counts. Personally I like to have as many options as possible, and I would not rule out anything if it works. What follows here is some of what works.


How can paint be manipulated so it duplicates the look of the edges you see in your subject? Physically, there are really only three ways I know of.
  1. By degrees of blending (soft edges), or refraining from blending (hard).
  2. By mixing and applying intermediate colors instead of blending.
  3. Applying intermediate colors and blending them (carefully).


This is familiar to everyone who works with oil paint. (Watercolorists blend too, of course, but in entirely different ways.) You find out how easy it is to do right away. It is one of the most appealing characteristics of the medium. Usually it is done by mixing edges together with a clean dry brush while the paint is still wet. These wet-into-wet edges can be produced with your brush, your fingers, a rag, a palette knife, or anything else that does the job. The best way to learn is to experiment until you get a "feel" for how paint behaves and what your tools can do. There is no right way or wrong way to do it; there is only the method that works the way you want it to. Just avoid overly thick paint until you get the hang of it.


The few strict colorists among the Impressionists, such as Mary Cassatt and Renoir, were not the first to recognize that boundaries (edges) between shapes of color also had color changes within those edges, but they certainly latched on to it. In particular they showed us how much color there really is in reality to take advantage of. They used distinct graduations of color to soften edges, rather than merging shapes with the swipe of a brush as brushmen like Sargent and Zorn did. This is certainly no criticism here of their blending technique.
Blending after all involves changes of color as well. They are much smaller and more gradual changes. (Besides, the brush enthusiasts were pursuing something else). The Impressionists realized that by adding the element of color changes to the qualities of hardness and softness in edges, it enhanced the overall brilliance of their paintings. Edges can be rich in color changes, no doubt about it. If you want a dramatic demonstration, stand outside during a sunset and witness the color changes occurring as the sun goes over the horizon and the edge of the earth's shadow overtakes you. In twenty minutes or so colors in the landscape around you can change from bright yellow orange, to red, to deep blue and violet. This same transition of colors can happen on a smaller scale as light moves into shadow on the edges of your subjects.


oil on canvas,  帆布油画,
Palette & Chisel, Chicago, 1989
I remember every moment of painting Sue Lyon. At the time we were all much younger and Sue had not yet developed into the fine painter she is today. Painting this along with Nancy, Rose Frantzen, and Scott Burdick (later Susan's husband), was an extraordinary experience. I was in my third term as President of The Palette and Chisel.
Nancy, Rose, and Scott were becoming very accomplished, not to mention impassioned in their work. They were all so very determined and dedicated, and I loved working with them.
When Sue posed for us with her flowing blonde hair and soft features, she was a perfect study in edges, which the group was most interested in at the time (except perhaps for Scotty, who had a slightly different interest in her edges than the rest of us).
I realized I had to capture the quality of her hair as simply and directly as possible in my block-in. If you could see the original (which is in my collection), you would notice her hair is entirely rendered in the transparent paint of my block-in. The rest of the painting is almost a library of possible edges executed in both opaque and transparent paint. In those days each study I did with my friends Nancy, Rose, and Scott were experiments. This work of Sue has always been my favorite.
Please bear in mind the amount of color in edges does depend on the values and the character of the things you are painting. For example, two brightly colored shapes meeting to form an edge will probably have a more colorful edge than two dull colored shapes. Only paint the color changes you actually see for yourself, and even then try not to overdo it. I know these ideas and observations can seem complicated, but we are talking about painting the real world.
I like color changes in edges, but I don't restrict myself to any one method to make edges. It doesn't make sense to avoid using other means that might suit my purpose better. Just remaining within a consistent technique is not enough reason. Instead, I look to my subject and how I wish to render it for clues about how to deal with an edge. I find it expedient to choose either gradations of color or blending, according to the effect I'm after. Often I'm able to combine both methods (as Sorolla did so well) by doing an edge first as tiny color changes, then merging them delicately with a single slow careful stroke with a clean brush. (Soft as a whisper, if you please), and I use a pliable sable or badger brush. The trick is to lay in the color changes with a minimum of paint (but never thinned) and resist the temptation to over-blend-one slow careful sleek brushstroke can do the job nicely.
我喜欢边缘的色彩变化,但我不局限于任何一种方法来处理边缘。避免使用其他更适合我的目的的手段是没有意义的。仅仅坚持一种一贯的技术并不足够。相反,我会根据主题以及我希望如何呈现它来处理边缘。根据我想要的效果,我发现选择颜色渐变或混合是方便的。通常我能够结合这两种方法(就像 Sorolla 做得那么好),先将边缘处理为微小的色彩变化,然后用干净的刷子轻柔地将它们融合在一起,以一种缓慢而细致的笔触(如同轻声细语一般),我使用柔软的貂毛或獾毛刷。诀窍在于用尽量少的颜料涂抹颜色变化(但不要稀释),抵制过度混合的诱惑——一次缓慢而细致的笔触可以很好地完成工作。
Portraits and figure studies are especially rich in color changes on edges. They present splendid opportunities for combining broken color with blending. The pigmentation and semitransparent nature of human skin combine with light to create delicate (and surprising) tonalities when local colors change at the same point where anatomical forms turn. For example, there is often a sudden warming of color on the bridge of a nose as the form plunges into shadow. Often, a modest change in form alone will produce a color change. In north daylight, an edge can abruptly take on a blue tinge as it turns into the direction of the light. Such pearls are not to be wasted by ignoring them. I look for those opportunities and use them whenever I feel they are important to my painting. Unfortunately, the time restrictions inherent in Direct Painting seldom allow me to develop all the colors I see. However, the other effects that arise are well worth it.


Regardless of your medium or technique, don't get carried away with blended edges. Few things weaken a work more than indiscriminate blending. I am sure you have seen those dainty fan-shaped brushes called "blenders," usually made from sable, badger, or squirrel hair. They were used widely in the 19th century when blending was carried to absurd extremes in the fashionable Salon paintings. Blender brushes are not intended to be used as other brushes - to apply paint in a normal brushing motion. Rather, a blender is meant to be held perpendicular over adjacent areas of wet paint, and then lightly tapped up and down with a slight side to side motion. In this way tiny bits of paint are picked up on the delicate ends of the hairs and redeposited, creating a feathery soft edge as smooth as glass.
无论您使用的媒介或技术如何,都不要过分迷恋混合边缘。很少有什么东西比不加选择地混合更能削弱作品。我相信您一定见过那些被称为“搅拌器”的精致扇形刷子,通常由貂、獾或松鼠毛制成。它们在 19 世纪被广泛使用,当时在时尚的沙龙绘画中,混合被推向荒谬的极端。搅拌器刷子并不打算像其他刷子一样使用 - 以正常的刷涂动作涂抹颜料。相反,搅拌器应该垂直地放在湿漆相邻区域上,然后轻轻地上下轻拍,并带有轻微的左右移动。通过这种方式,颜料的微小颗粒会被吸附在毛发的细端上,然后重新沉积,形成一种如玻璃般柔软的羽毛状边缘。
The use of a blender brush is handy to know, but I don't recommend it as a regular practice. My personal preference is to deliberately brandish the richness of paint by maintaining the bold freshness of my brushstrokes rather than peck at them with the blender. I like to do a "painterly" painting instead of something resembling a big glossy photograph.
oil on canvas,  帆布油画,
Alaska, 1992 阿拉斯加,1992 年
It is difficult, if not impossible, to paint a waterfall successfully without an understanding of edges. A waterfall is movement, and movement means change, which, in turn, means an interplay of a range of hard and soft edges.
The way a high-speed camera freezes action might be nice for catching the agony in a football halfback's face on impact, or a bullet shattering a melon, but it isn't the way we see things and it is definitely not a good way to follow if you wish to paint moving water convincingly.
We humans cannot stop things that are flying in mid-air, and see them in perfect detail. Nor will it do to simply paint moving things as just a lot of fuzziness. If I had done that here, the waterfall would look like fog or cotton fluff or downy feathers going over a cliff.
It is none of those things; it is falling water, bouncing off rocks, and strewing into a variety of recurring patterns as it descends. It was up to me to study those various shapes and patterns with their characteristic edges, and then replicate them with paint.
In striking contrast to the movement of the water, is the powerful non-movement of the massive rock formations. These called for a variety of harder edges and a sort of medley of edges where the rocks and water met. The trunks of the trees above called for harder edges as well, but not all of them. Trees disappearing into the forest required softer and darker edges as they joined together into the background.


A well-executed watercolor is a genuine tour de force. I have nothing but humble admiration for anyone who can do it consistently and without compromising the subject to accommodate the demands of the medium. Controlling edges in watercolor can be tricky, even maddening (for me). Oil paint is duck soup by comparison. My nerves will stand up to doing only a few watercolors each year. (And they invariably end up looking like my oil paintings!)
一幅精湛的水彩画是一种真正的技艺展示。我对那些能够始终如一地做到这一点,而不为了迎合媒介的要求而牺牲主题的人,只能怀着谦卑的敬意。在水彩画中控制边缘可能会很棘手,甚至令人发狂(对我来说)。相比之下,油画简直易如反掌。我的神经只能承受每年做几幅水彩画。 (而它们最终总是看起来像我的油画!)
In watercolor, the physical working surface of the paper is constantly fluctuating due to water absorption and evaporation. Consequently, the probability of accident is very high. A skillful watercolorist is one who knows how wet the paper is, which way the color is running, and how fast it will dry so it will stop in just the right spot. Nerves of steel and some luck are helpful.
在水彩画中,纸张的物理工作表面由于吸水和蒸发而不断波动。因此,意外发生的可能性非常高。 一个熟练的水彩画家是那种知道纸张有多湿,颜色流动的方向以及它会多快干燥,以便在恰到好处的位置停下来的人。 钢铁般的神经和一些运气是有帮助的。
I believe the real skill involved in watercolor painting lies in deliberately producing authentic edges while retaining the delicate transparent character of the medium. My experience with watercolor has taught me the right paper is one of the essential factors, because everything depends upon keeping the paint in a manipulative state for as long as possible. I recommend working with a paper that retains moisture and resists staining-one which allows for removal of colors without damaging its surface. "Hot or Hard Pressed" papers are best if you make many corrections.
Pastel offers no real impediments to creating edges. If anything, soft edges can happen too easily. Try to resist the impulse to habitually blend with your fingers. It can quickly lead to muddy color and a loss of the pastel "look." Once you have lost it, the only course is to start over with a fresh sheet of paper. The very nature of pastel allows for only a very limited amount of application before your paper loses its "tooth," and the crispness of the medium is lost. When it happens, the usual result is a downhill slide into a tediously overworked appearance. Like watercolor, the quality of the working surface is critical. If any one medium cries for the broken color approach, this is it. Get it right on the first try and leave it alone.


If it is necessary to work with edges (or anything else) on a painting already dry, and only minor touch-up work is needed, the easiest options to try first are dry brush or scumbling applications. Dry brush is very lightly dragging a loaded brush held at a low angle across your canvas. The idea is to deposit paint on the painting's textured surface creating a ragged effect, without covering it entirely. Scumbling is using a lightly loaded brush to gently scrub paint thinly across a surface, also without covering it entirely. If you are matching the color of any existing dried paint, remember, pigments darken slightly as they dry. This is most noticeable in lighter values where white is used, so mix your new paint slightly lighter.


When doing work that needs a lot more than just touch-up, creating edges with the appearance of wet-in-wet on a dried or partially dried painting calls for special, but not particularly unusual, measures. Not all works can be completed in one unbroken session. Large works can take weeks or months, and most paintings (alla prima or not) can usually do with a bit of correction or fine tuning anyway, especially after you have shown your portrait of Aunt Tilly to the relatives and they pointed out that Tilly was never quite that cross-eyed.
在进行需要远不止简单修饰的工作时,在干燥或部分干燥的画作上创造出湿中湿的外观边缘需要特殊的,但并不是特别不寻常的措施。并非所有作品都能在一个不间断的会话中完成。大型作品可能需要数周甚至数月的时间,而大多数绘画(无论是一次成形还是不是)通常都需要一些修正或微调,尤其是在您向亲戚展示了您对 Tilly 阿姨的肖像后,他们指出 Tilly 从未那么斜视。
When it is necessary to work into a dry picture and the target area is small, I like the shortcut of a light spray of retouch varnish, and then painting into the sprayed area while the varnish is still wet. If I am working on something larger that might take several days of working with the probability of drying in between, I do my finishing work as I go along and then use a palette knife to carefully and slowly scrape the edges of areas I wish to continue later (wiping my knife clean with each short stroke of the knife), leaving only a very thin paint layer where I leave off. Then I apply fresh paint to those scraped areas at the beginning of the next working session. That way I am always working into wet paint. Scraping also lets me avoid a troublesome buildup of paint.
I'm convinced this was how Sorolla, Zorn, and others were able to do their large works while still having them look as if they were done wet-into-wet. Many unfinished works (such as those I examined in Sorolla's Madrid studio) show this clearly. However, they all had occasion to repaint areas in pictures that had been finished for some time and thoroughly dried. For example, in Sargent's Madame X, Sorolla's La Siesta, and many landscapes by Monet, whole areas of their initially dried brushwork are still quite evident (revealing what they were trying to conceal), even where they have used thick overpainting. If you ever have a problem with dried, thickly textured brushstrokes you wish to overpaint, try scraping them flat with a canvas scraper (also called a doctor blade), or just use sandpaper (carefully). Learn from the Masters' mistakes! Get it right the first time!
我相信这就是 Sorolla、Zorn 和其他画家能够完成他们的大作品,同时看起来像是湿湿地完成的方式。许多未完成的作品(比如我在 Sorolla 的马德里工作室里看到的那些)清楚地展示了这一点。然而,他们都有机会重新涂抹一些已经完成并彻底干燥了一段时间的画作中的区域。例如,在 Sargent 的《Madame X》、Sorolla 的《午睡》以及 Monet 的许多风景画中,他们最初干燥的画笔作品的整个区域仍然非常明显(揭示了他们试图掩盖的东西),即使他们使用了厚重的上色。如果你遇到想要重新涂抹的干燥、厚重质感的画笔笔触问题,可以尝试用画布刮刀(也称为医生刀)将其刮平,或者小心使用砂纸。向大师们的错误学习!第一次就做对!


The vast majority of edges in any subject will fall into an intermediate range between razor hard and blurry softness. Keep this in mind as you work. In our ordinary everyday seeing we are not usually conscious of super-hard edges in our peripheral vision, which is why they seem unreal when simply scattered throughout a painting. We are aware of hard edges at or near the point we focus on. Paint the hard edges located at the borders of your subject less conspicuously. One safe way is to hold your strongest edge in reserve until you are dead sure you know where you want it. It's always comforting to have one final emergency shot for just the right moment.
However, if you do see the hard edge you want, and you need it in the early stages of a work, go for it and get it over with. When you do paint it, don't be shy. I like to lay it on with a palette knife or "loaded" brush (plenty of paint), and I do it with a very slow deliberate no-nonsense stroke. If it looks right, I don't go back and fool with it. If I fail to apply it the way I intended, I scrape it off and do it again. In any case, I do it in one stroke-but I do it very carefully. If I mess with it using additional strokes, I will weaken it.
Another safe tip-avoid painting thickly while you are manipulating edges. Paint is much easier to control in moderate to thin (but not thinned with medium) layers. Save the heavy stuff for later stages-after you have finished correcting and dealt with your difficult problems.
The optical and psychological effects of edges are fascinating. As your skill with them increases, your grasp of their elegance will become more sophisticated and demanding (in a good way because you will be seeing more possibilities). One of my more intriguing pursuits is to achieve an integration of edges throughout an entire painting-composing them in such a way they cooperate not only with the color harmony and value system, but also with my compositional motif to form an overall symmetry. It certainly can be done, and it occurs in painting more often than you might think. (Certain 19th- and 20th-century American painters such as Frank Duveneck, Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones, Thomas Dewing, Howard Pyle, Bernard Fuchs, and Sherrie McGraw among others, all elevated it to a high art in the maturity of their careers. About the same time in Europe, superb edge techniques were also developed by Mancini in Italy, Degas in France, and Serov in Russia.)
边缘的光学和心理效应令人着迷。随着你对它们的技巧增长,你对它们的优雅理解将变得更加复杂和苛刻(这是一种好的方式,因为你会看到更多可能性)。我更加有趣的追求之一是在整幅画中实现边缘的整合 - 将它们组合在一起,不仅与色彩和价值体系协调,还与我的构图主题合作,形成整体对称。这当然是可以做到的,而且在绘画中发生的频率比你想象的要高。(19 世纪和 20 世纪的美国画家,如弗兰克·杜文内克、伊丽莎白·斯帕霍克-琼斯、托马斯·杜因、霍华德·派尔、伯纳德·富克斯和雪莉·麦格劳等人,在他们职业生涯的成熟阶段将其提升为一种高尚的艺术。在同一时期的欧洲,意大利的曼奇尼、法国的德加和俄罗斯的谢罗夫也发展出了出色的边缘技术。)
This symmetry I seek is a hierarchy of edges working with the design elements within a painting. The aim is to generate dominant and subordinate edges that act to reinforce my compositional intent-forcing a viewer's concentration on a single focal point (without being vulgar of course). Mozart would certainly have tried for this if he had been a painter. Such an integration is the way we naturally see things anyway, yet it is anything but easy in painting. I have reached this goal in a few of my recent paintings, and come close in others. I mention this merely to whet your appetite should you become as captivated as I am by edges as expressive devices. However, I cannot expand on the idea here beyond simply mentioning it as something to be pursued, because I am still exploring the feasibility of it myself. Writing more will have to wait for a future book. Besides, what we have examined together here should keep you in good cheer.
我追求的对称性是边缘的等级体系,与绘画中的设计元素相互配合。目的是产生主导和次要的边缘,以加强我的构图意图 - 强迫观众集中注意力在一个单一的焦点上(当然不能粗俗)。莫扎特肯定会尝试这样做,如果他是一位画家的话。这样的整合是我们自然看待事物的方式,但在绘画中却一点也不容易。我在最近的一些作品中达到了这个目标,并在其他作品中也接近了。我提到这一点只是为了激起你的兴趣,如果你像我一样被边缘作为表现手段所吸引。然而,我无法在这里进一步展开这个想法,只能简单提及它作为一个值得追求的东西,因为我仍在探索它的可行性。更多的文字将等待未来的一本书。此外,我们在这里一起探讨的内容应该让你感到愉快。
THE ALTAR watercolor on paper, 18 x 25, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, 1967
祭坛 水彩纸上,18 x 25,罗马圣彼得大教堂,1967
Achieving edges in watercolor, or more specifically, controlling edges, is quite different in watercolor than it is in oil painting. There are two factors: the paper surface, and the degree of moisture in it. When I do a watercolor I use a very fine atomizer, similar to those used for perfume, to keep the areas on the paper I am working on fairly damp so the colors I apply will spread slightly to give the soft effects you see in the picture above. The caution here was not to overdo the soft edges too much and retain a nice balance between hard and soft edges.
"I am black but comely...Behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves eyes...let me see thy countenance... Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet...
我虽黑,却俊美…看哪,你美丽;你有鸽子的眼睛…让我看看你的容颜… 你的嘴唇好像红线…
Thou art beautiful O my love...Thine head upon thee is Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple...Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee."
-from The Song of Solomon
Apart from their metaphorical intent, these few excerpted words (forgive me) from the Bible demonstrate the remarkable power of color even used only as words. What images in our minds they create! Imagine the eloquent voice you have with a full, rich, palette, and your ability to use actual color!
Nature is the supreme colorist. She loves to play with it in every possible way, which is a good thing for us. Just imagine what it would be like if we were all the same color. What a dreary bore! (And what would all the bigots and racists do for their warped fun?) How splendid that Mother Nature has given us, her creatures, such extraordinary and diverse pigmentation. We should rejoice that we are each different. Each of us is one of her little color masterpieces.
How lucky we are as painters to have the tools to portray another soul... "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and (beautiful) as an army with banners."
NANETTE oil on canvas,


Color is to seeing what flavor is to eating. It is by far the most sensuous element of the visual field, and for many artists, its allure is the sole reason to paint. Yet as remarkable as color is, many art students and accomplished painters alike claim it as their number one problem in working from life. (In my years of teaching and working with painters at all skill levels, however, I found drawing to be the greatest problem.) Whatever the case, "Getting the color right" is probably the source of more concern to artists than anything else in painting. Color, moreover, is more difficult to teach than all other technical aspects of painting. Why should this be so? What is it that makes working with color sometimes seem to be such an effort? (It needn't be, but let's assume for the moment that it is.) One answer is its behavior is not well enough understood even by experts to resolve it into a coherent and predictable system with a lot of rules and recipes for success. Some of the confusion stems from its very nature, especially its vast complexity, and the way we experience it. Other problems we may have with color are more or less self-inflicted, or to put it more accurately, were inflicted upon us as the result of various simplistic ideas about it we received as we were growing up (the socialization process).
颜色对于视觉的意义,就如同风味对于进食的意义一样。它是视觉领域中最具感官魅力的元素,对许多艺术家来说,它的吸引力是绘画的唯一原因。然而,尽管颜色如此引人注目,许多艺术学生和成就卓著的画家都声称在现实生活中工作时,颜色是他们的头号难题。(然而,在我多年的教学和与各种技能水平的画家合作中,我发现绘画中最大的问题是绘画。)无论如何,“把颜色搞对”可能是艺术家们比绘画中的任何其他事情更关心的问题。此外,颜色比绘画的所有其他技术方面更难教授。为什么会这样呢?是什么让与颜色一起工作有时看起来如此费力呢?(虽然不必如此,但让我们暂时假设是这样。)一个答案是,即使是专家也没有足够了解其行为,无法将其解决为一个连贯且可预测的系统,其中包含许多成功的规则和配方。一些混乱源于其本质,尤其是其巨大的复杂性以及我们体验它的方式。 我们可能在颜色方面遇到的其他问题多少是自找的,或者更准确地说,是由于我们在成长过程中接受到的关于颜色的各种简单化观念而强加给我们的(社会化过程的结果)。


Smile now! The actuality of color is not about theoretical optics. It is an everyday real human experience! It is present in our dreams and waking hours. We are immersed in it the moment our eyes pop open each morning. Short of death, we cannot escape it, but even then no one knows for sure. Color is omnipresent, so much so most people probably take it for granted most of the time and fail to feel gratitude. Perhaps only those who have known color and suffered blindness understand what a loss a world devoid of color is. So, as you are squeezing out paint on your palette, pause for a moment and give thanks. Remember, even though it may sometimes be puzzling, more than enough is known about color to grasp it in a lucid way and use it to make beautiful paintings.
In this discussion, I outline what I know about the general characteristics of color, some underlying challenges, and then ways to enjoy it and make it sparkle in your paintings. Please read what I have to say in this first section carefully because it is extremely important to know, but don't be intimidated. What comes after is fascinating information along with some useful instruction.


Consider the awesome number of colors and color combinations around us. Researchers claim the human eye can detect at least ten million hues. (I wonder who counted them.) And that is only a fraction of the spectrum! Who knows, if we humans continue to evolve, our human eyes may someday see in the infrared and ultraviolet ranges. God was indeed lavish when She created light and color. Fortunately, most of our paintings involve surprisingly few of those millions of colors, perhaps a few hundred at most, but that is still a lot-more than enough to contend with when the goal is to get each one "right."


Local color is the term for the color references used in ordinary conversation. We speak of the red of red roses, the greens in green grass, blue eyes, yellow wheat, purple dress, black hat, orange pumpkin, and so on. These are the colors of things caused by their Pigmentation. Pigment particles are microscopic size substances that absorb certain wavelengths of light and reflect others. Also, there is a certain lack of pigmentation to contend with in various transparent substances such as glass, water, clouds, and the earth's atmosphere, causing them to take on the colors of other sources. Transparent matter acts optically, often behaving as a prism, a lens, a mirror, a filter, or a combination of those things, in producing color effects.

The six squares of color combinations above demonstrate clearly the influence of surrounding colors on any given color. The given color in the small squares is a mixture of Cadmium Orange and Cadmium Yellow Deep. That color is exactly the same for all the center patches in the squares. Not only do the small orange squares appear different in value from one image to the next, but some also seem to be different hues of orange, particularly in the bottom row. Note that the stronger the surrounding color, the more it influences the center orange color. If these six examples were to be seen under a significantly warmer or cooler light, all the colors would look different than they do now.


A more enchanting and most profound property of color is its RELATIVITY, the fact that a color can appear different under different circumstances. The color of something looks the way it does because of variables, each influencing the other like a very complex but interesting ménage à trois. They are:
颜色更迷人和更深刻的特性是它的相对性,即颜色在不同情况下可能呈现不同的外观。某物的颜色之所以呈现特定的样子,是因为 个变量的影响,彼此相互影响,就像一个非常复杂但有趣的三人关系。它们包括:
(1) THE INFLUENCE OF SURROUNDING COLORS: For example, the color of your face appears different when you wear a green shirt than when you wear a red one. White surrounded by black looks brighter than white surrounded by light gray. Gray looks cooler against a red background than against a dark blue one, and so on. No color can exist alone. It is always seen on a surrounding background of one or more colors, and those colors make the color in question look the way it does.
(1) 周围颜色的影响:例如,当您穿绿色衬衫时,您的脸部颜色看起来与穿红色衬衫时不同。白色被黑色包围时比被浅灰色包围时看起来更亮。灰色在红色背景下看起来比在深蓝色背景下更凉爽,依此类推。没有颜色可以独立存在。它总是出现在一个或多个颜色的周围背景上,而这些颜色使所讨论的颜色看起来如此。
(2) THE AMBIENT LIGHT ILLUMINATING A SUBJECT: You look different in sunlight than in artificial light, or overcast light, or firelight. (Under Mercury or Sodium Vapor street lighting you'll look like you're dead.)
(2) 照亮主体的环境光:在阳光下,你看起来与在人工光、阴天光或火光下看起来不同。(在汞灯或钠蒸汽街灯下,你看起来就像死了一样。)

请记住这一点 - 任何东西的颜色在光线改变或周围颜色改变时都会改变外观(看起来是什么样)。 (见对面页。)

In this way, colors seem to behave as mischievously as those impish particles in Quantum Physics - even the way you look at them seems to make them change. Colors are slippery devils indeed, with a logic all their own and a definite reluctance to be pinned down or precisely systematized. (Ah yes, but they're not smarter than we are!)
以这种方式,颜色似乎像量子物理学中的顽皮粒子一样调皮 - 甚至你看待它们的方式似乎会让它们改变。颜色确实是难以捉摸的恶魔,有着自己的逻辑,明显不愿被固定或精确系统化。(啊是的,但它们并不比我们聪明!)


Our color perception is a very intricate mix of pure sensation and emotional response, which is why trying to describe our individual (subjective) experience of it using only words is difficult (but not impossibly so). Color technicians don't even bother with words anymore. They use numbers instead. Nice for them I guess, but calling Cadmium Orange ED872d-R93-G53-B18 is more than I can deal with at my stage in life. Also I'm not about to tell my Nancy when I kiss her in the morning that her lips are very R100-G41-B71 today. So you see, talking or writing about color can sometimes be as risky as trying to pin down other sensations, such as flavors, smells, lyrical sounds, or being in love. Art can often be the only way to express such things, but learning it isn't always easy. The subtlety and range of our senses and feelings are so great that when we speak or write about them we soon run out of nouns and adjectives. Our visual experiences often far exceed the descriptive capacity of verbal language. Imagine trying to describe or differentiate those ten million hues I mentioned! So bear with me as I occasionally grope for words in this examination of color.
我们对颜色的感知是纯粹感觉和情感反应的复杂混合,这就是为什么仅用文字来描述我们个人(主观)的体验是困难的(但并非不可能)。颜色技术人员甚至不再费心用文字。他们改用数字。对他们来说很好,但对我来说,在我生命中的这个阶段,称氧化镉橙 ED872d-R93-G53-B18 远远超出了我的能力范围。而且我不打算在早晨亲吻南希时告诉她,她的嘴唇今天是 R100-G41-B71。因此,你看,谈论或写作关于颜色有时可能像试图确定其他感觉(如口味、气味、抒情声音或恋爱)一样危险。艺术往往是表达这些事物的唯一方式,但学习它并不总是容易的。我们的感官和情感的微妙性和范围是如此之大,以至于当我们谈论或写下它们时,我们很快就用尽了名词和形容词。我们的视觉体验往往远远超出了语言的描述能力。想象一下试图描述或区分我提到的那一千万种色调!所以请原谅我在这次对颜色的探讨中偶尔为措辞而苦苦摸索。


Because we experience colors as mental perceptions, they can often trigger elaborate memory associations, causing us to respond to them in curiously subjective ways. Some of our color affinities are so deeply internalized, they emerge as strong emotions. In this respect colors often resemble smells. The same color (or fragrance) can stimulate different things in different people. Blue might be scary to me but pleasantly exciting to you. White may mean purity and cleanliness to some, but it might evoke the desolation of winter in others. Colors do not in themselves cause specific psychological associations. We do. We create those feelings in our minds because we experience color through the filter of our individual life experiences. Perfect sanity does not exist, at least not in everyone else.
Cultural notions also influence our color preferences. Red, for example, is quite nice on a lady's lips but not on her nose (at least not in today's society). In Victorian times it was fashionable for ladies to put Rouge on their ears, not their cheeks, which is one reason why Madam Gautreau's ear looks so pink in Sargent's painting, Madame X. I can't imagine a woman like her actually blushing, but then who knows? She also powdered the rest of her skin a whitish color, which exaggerated the effect of her scarlet ears. We prefer our milk white, not black, and our blood red instead of green-unless of course you happen to be a Martian or a highly privileged person, which in the latter case having blue blood is OK. We like our majestic mountains to be purple, our waves of grain amber, and our cowards yellow. Many other twisted color notions, as we know, take on stupidly horrible dimensions in the form of racism and racial profiling.
文化观念也影响着我们对颜色的偏好。例如,红色在女士的嘴唇上看起来很好,但在她的鼻子上就不那么好(至少在当今社会不好)。在维多利亚时代,女士们流行在耳朵上擦胭脂,而不是在脸颊上,这也是为什么高特罗夫人在萨金特的画作《X 夫人》中的耳朵看起来那么粉红的原因之一。我无法想象像她这样的女人会真的脸红,但谁又知道呢?她还把皮肤的其他部分打成白色,这加重了她耳朵的绯红效果。我们喜欢我们的牛奶是白色的,而不是黑色的,我们喜欢我们的血是红色的,而不是绿色的——除非你碰巧是火星人或者是一个极其特权的人,在后一种情况下,有蓝色的血是可以接受的。我们喜欢我们威严的山峰是紫色的,我们的麦浪是琥珀色的,我们的懦夫是黄色的。正如我们所知,许多其他扭曲的颜色观念在种族主义和种族歧视的形式中呈现出愚蠢可怕的维度。
The colors of things and the biases we bring to those colors have much to do with even our artistic choices. Often I have heard painters say they saw the right color but didn't use it because they didn't like it. More commonly, painters have a favorite color on their palette that they use throughout a painting whether or not the color is present in the subject. Still others have preferred combinations of colors they repeatedly use simply because they "worked" well in past paintings.
There is also some evidence that perception of color among people with "normal" vision varies somewhat. (I do not mean actual color blindness.) Some individuals, for instance, seem to see their visual field as being overall greener or more blue than others. You can see this color shift clearly in the works of competent painters when they paint the same subject under the same light at the same time. Four well-known examples are identical subjects painted by Renoir and Monet: La Grenouillère (1869), and Sailboats at Argenteuil (1873). Monet's works were more blue-violet than Renoir's. Both, however, are "true" within their respective harmonies. Their paintings seem "correct" compared to one another because their color temperature relationships are identical, even though they are not precisely alike in actual color. Whether this is a physiological curiosity or a simple predilection for certain colors, I do not know, but it is certainly nothing to worry about. If you happen to be of the blue persuasion, just don't get into an argument with someone who sees everything greener. Monet and Renoir managed very well and remained friends.
有证据表明,即使是那些视力“正常”的人对颜色的感知也有所不同。(我并不是指实际的色盲。)例如,有些人似乎会认为他们的视野整体更绿或更蓝。当有能力的画家在同一时间、同一光线下绘制相同主题时,你可以清楚地看到这种颜色转变。著名的四个例子是雷诺阿和莫奈绘制的相同主题:《格勒努耶尔》(1869 年)和《阿让特伊的帆船》(1873 年)。莫奈的作品比雷诺阿的更蓝紫色。然而,两者在各自的和谐中都是“真实”的。他们的画作相互比较看起来“正确”,因为它们的色温关系是相同的,即使实际颜色并不完全相同。我不知道这是生理上的奇特现象还是对某些颜色的简单偏爱,但这绝对不值得担心。如果你偏爱蓝色,只需不要与那些看到一切更绿的人争论。莫奈和雷诺阿相处得非常好,一直是朋友。
It is clear how our personal attraction-aversion response to certain colors can sometimes frustrate accurate perception. Imagine trying to paint snow if white gives you the creeps, or if the subtle colors in snow are ignored because snow carries a white only label! More familiar is the complaint about painting summer landscapes that "everything is too green," or everything is the same green. This of course is not true. It's ridiculous. Summer landscapes, as all other landscapes, contain every color in the rainbow. Painters who make such an objection are either not noticing the wealth of colors, or simply revealing their aversion to green.
Much more untidy though is our acquired notion about hot and cold (or warm and cool) colors. These terms describe the technical temperature relationships between colors. It is a mistaken notion that a specific color has an intrinsic temperature-such as blue always being cold and orange always warm. Compared to one another they are, but not in themselves. It is not always easy to make such a distinction. Try comparing orange, red, and yellow to one another-which is warmer? Which is cooler? And by how much? See the problem? (As you read further, the subtleties of color temperature will be examined much more thoroughly.)
The point of all we have been discussing about perception is this: as painters we must get past our common preconceptions about color and realize when we paint we are working in an arena of relativity where the appearance of colors (their identity, and how they look), changes from one situation to the next. The change happens mainly when the light source changes from one situation to another, such as going from bright sunshine to a cloudy day (as an extreme example). The "look"of a color also changes when other colors in a subject change. For example, the ear on Sargent's Madame would look quite different if Madame Gautreau had worn a white dress with a hot pink background instead of the sexy black dress and the drab background.
RED AND WHITE AZALEAS oil on canvas,
This is what I think of as a yum-yum painting, meaning the bright colors look good enough to eat, like candies in a box. Look at all the colors in the greens too! The brilliant display of color above was produced by applying nearly every bright color with a single stroke of my palette knife, and then not going over the stroke a second time. The way paint is applied can be critical to color purity and strength. The palette knife is ideal when the brightest possible colors are needed. Proficiency with the knife takes practice, but when you get good at it, the knife can be one of the finest tools in your repertoire of techniques. Single palette knife strokes are rarely perfect on all sides of a stroke. I find I usually have to modify or correct the edge with an adjacent color to make it the right shape, but I never fool with the main body of the stroke itself.


If artists from any period in the past could rise from their graves and travel through time to a large art supply store in the United States today, they would probably think they had at last arrived in a painter's heaven. If I happened to be in the store at the time, I'm not quite sure what I would do, or say, or even understand, what with all those old guys excited out of their wits!
We are blessed today with a selection of high quality materials unmatched in history-paints and brushes which would have sent the old Masters into deliriums of joy. Modern paint chemistry has given us so very much to choose from, yet not quite all the colors we would like to have, at least not as absolutely permanent stable pigments. Except for one tiny exception, I'm pretty happy with the pigments I have to work with. This minor empty space on my palette is the lack of a pure transparent yellow. Some yellows are marketed as transparent by the manufacturers, but they are actually only translucent suspensions of opaque or semi-opaque pigments. None are truly transparent in the same way such things as amber, olive oil, or vintage Rhine wines are.
The issue of yellow aside, I welcome the new pigments. The only problem I have is the acute embarrassment I feel asking for them in art stores when I try pronouncing their names. Words like isoviollanthrone, thioindigold, indanthrene, quinacridone, benzimidazolone, dinitraniline, and isoindoline to name only a few, are far more than I can manage without the danger of my tongue falling off, or the salesgirl laughing herself silly.
To me the names for new artists' colors sound more like medicines for chronic skin diseases. Perhaps with age I'm just getting old fashioned, but the palette pigments I use (page 212) were perfected long before I was born. I know all about them. They have served me well since I was a young student, and most of the works I completed with them more than sixty years ago are still as fresh as the day they were painted. That said, I also enjoy trying out some of the new more saturated versions of the primary and secondary colors. Many of them are indeed quite brilliant and strong (a little can go a long way). For me, it's like tasting new candy, but in the end, it's all still just sugar. Some are rated more stable and permanent than others, so stick with the recommended ones, and bear in mind conservators measure permanence in centuries. They do not rely upon accelerated light tests to rate permanence, as manufacturers do for their marketing.
对我来说,新艺术家颜色的名称听起来更像是治疗慢性皮肤病的药物。也许随着年龄的增长,我变得越来越守旧,但我使用的调色板颜料(第 212 页)早在我出生之前就已经完善了。我对它们了如指掌。自从我还是个年轻学生以来,它们一直为我效力,我用它们完成的大部分作品已经超过六十年,但至今仍然新鲜如初。话虽如此,我也喜欢尝试一些新的更饱和的原色和辅助色。其中许多确实非常出色和强大(少量即可见效)。对我来说,这就像品尝新糖果,但最终,它们仍然只是糖。有些比其他颜色更稳定和持久,因此请坚持使用推荐的颜色,并记住,艺术保护者以世纪为单位来衡量持久性。他们不依赖于加速光测试来评估持久性,就像制造商为了市场营销而做的那样。
If you're anything like me and you want to know exactly what your paint is made of, how it is made, how to apply it properly for permanence, how to read the labels on paint tubes so you know what you're buying, what paints never to use, and what you can believe about what manufacturers say to sell their products, two books should be required reading for you: The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques by Ralph Mayer, and The Artist's Guide to Selecting Colors, by Michael Wilcox. For more details see the Recommended Reading section at the end of this book.
如果你和我一样,想要准确了解你的颜料是由什么制成的,它是如何制造的,如何正确地涂抹以保持持久性,如何阅读颜料管上的标签以了解你购买的是什么,哪些颜料永远不要使用,以及你可以相信制造商为推销他们的产品所说的话,那么两本书应该是你必读的:《艺术家材料和技术手册》(Ralph Mayer 著)和《艺术家选色指南》(Michael Wilcox 著)。更多细节请参阅本书末尾的推荐阅读部分。

Abstract 摘要

One final point: using the latest state-of-the-art red or blue or green or whatever pigments, is not going to make your pictures look any better if you do not also have a practical knowledge of the characteristics and use of color itself. It is how you understand color and how you use it that matters.


Although we have a rich selection of pigments to choose from, we cannot hope to match the full range of values and colors we normally see in various subjects. This is because Mother Nature creates colors in a variety of ways, mostly by using light itself as her palette, but paint can only produce color one way-by selectively reflecting light. Selective reflection means all pigments reflect certain wavelengths of light and absorb others. The two exceptions are white and black. Pure white pigment reflects all wavelengths of light, which is why it looks white. On the other hand, pure black pigments absorb all light and color, so we see nothing, and we call it blackness. The resulting contrast on this page is the reason why you can read my words-while the ink is busy absorbing light, this paper is reflecting light. If the situation were reversed, the paper would look black and the words would be white.
Interesting isn't it, when we speak of pigmentation we normally think of color as actually being something, like the red on an apple for example, when in fact red is simply the absence of blue and yellow! Likewise, yellow is the absence of blue and red; blue lacks red and yellow; orange is red and yellow but no blue; green is blue and yellow but no red, and so on. If you wanted to have fun with words, you could say then: all colors are what they are, but on the other hand they are also what they are not!
While the full extent of brightness and color hues in creation is beyond our palette pigments, we can nevertheless produce astonishing versions of what we see, because the kind of painting I am dealing with in this book is not about literally duplicating the real world. It is about painting our own personal visual experience of the world. To accomplish this we have many ways to express the effects of light and color even though we can only occasionally duplicate the actual intensity of light and saturation of colors. Some trompe l'oeil painters such as William Harnett (1848-1892) managed this amazingly.
尽管创作中的亮度和色调的全部范围超出了我们的调色板颜料,但我们仍然可以制作出令人惊叹的版本,因为我在本书中处理的绘画类型并非字面上复制现实世界。它是关于描绘我们自己对世界的个人视觉体验。为了实现这一点,我们有许多方法来表达光线和颜色的效果,尽管我们只能偶尔复制出实际光线强度和颜色饱和度。一些视错觉画家,如威廉·哈内特(1848-1892 年),惊人地做到了这一点。
And by the way, I am not referring here to interpretive art or stylization, where artists change what they literally see in order to have it conform to a certain personal manner of painting. That is another branch of art entirely.
Our materials have a few other characteristics we must accept. Oil paint is smelly to some (it's fragrant to me). It is also a naturally shiny substance, which is why it produces the richest colors and deep values. The same luster can often produce disconcerting glare in working or viewing. Acrylic is nice for those who don't like turpentine and other solvents, but it lacks the textural possibilities and classic look of oils. Watercolors dry with a matte surface and lose a certain richness in the dark colors. Also there is a general belief (bloody unfair too) that water media are not as serious or as valuable as oils. Pastel has the same problem; so does egg tempera, casein, gouache, and so on.
Every medium has drawbacks and hindrances, just as each has superb qualities and strengths. It is up to us to understand the materials and tools we use and know what we can and cannot do with them. For all practical purposes, however, the reliable colors we do have are quite enough for almost any artistic statement, because the success or failure of a work does not rely upon precisely duplicating nature, nor does it depend on the quality of our materials. Only our aesthetic vision and skills matter. Back in art school, we (students) liked to complain about our materials (convenient diversions from our struggles with learning). Bill Mosby would point out to us that if Michelangelo had possessed only a broom and a bucket of mud, he could still have painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and it would have been just as much of a masterpiece! The Pope might not have approved though.
HOBB GREEN BREAKFAST oil on canvas, , Yorkshire, England, 1994
HOBB GREEN BREAKFAST 油彩 画布, , 英格兰约克郡, 1994
Nancy is shown here in 1994 at the Hobb Green, a Manor house and estate located in Yorkshire, England (now a Bed and Breakfast). As gracious as our hosts were, I could not bring myself to ask permission to actually paint in their dining room, so this was done from a photograph. Fortunately, I had painted Nancy and others often from life in similar settings, which made it fairly easy to extrapolate colors missing in the photo. Most of those were in the extremely dark and light areas. The middle tones usually came through quite well when I was using color film.
南希在这里展示于 1994 年的霍布格林,这是一座位于英格兰约克郡的庄园和庄园(现在是一家民宿)。尽管我们的主人很亲切,但我无法让自己请求在他们的餐厅里真正绘画,所以这是根据一张照片完成的。幸运的是,我经常在类似的环境中从生活中绘制南希和其他人,这使得在照片中缺失的颜色相对容易推断出来。大多数缺失的颜色在极暗和极亮的区域。当我使用彩色胶片时,中间色调通常表现得相当不错。
It was helpful too, knowing that the light was cool (it was a bright overcast morning). Therefore, as long as I kept my darks progressively warmer than the light areas, I was safe regarding color temperature. Since the window was the only source of light, there was a single direction of light, which also made things easier.
I find paintings such as these studies from photos are, on average, best as small paintings rather than larger ones, because in enlarging an image, whether it is digital or from film, there is only enough useful color information up to a certain point. Beyond that point, my experience has been that there are not enough subtle color changes to do a canvas larger than inches satisfactorily.
我发现这样的绘画作品,例如从照片中研究而来的作品,平均来说,作为小画作要比大画作更好,因为在放大图像时,无论是数字图像还是胶片图像,只有在某个特定点之前有足够的有用颜色信息。在那一点之后,我的经验是,没有足够的微妙颜色变化可以满足大于 英寸的画布。
SALMON TRAWLERS oil on canvas, , Dingle Bay, Ireland, 1994
三文鱼拖网渔船 布面油画, , 爱尔兰丁格尔湾, 1994
I love to paint rainy, snowy, and foggy situations. Because of the pervasive moisture in the air, atmospheric effects such as these provide ready-made color harmonies. Tiny water droplets or flakes act as little prisms reflecting and repeating all of the light and color in a scene, supersaturating it with a single dominant note (Cobalt Blue in this case). The only problem was tactical: how to manage the weather. Painting in the rain isn't so bad if you are inside warm and dry - which I was here. This is one of several waterfront sketches I completed at Dingle Bay, Ireland, in 1994. Nancy and I have various strategies to deal with weather on our travels; all of them involve getting in or under something to keep the canvas and palette dry. (We wear rain gear too.) For this sketch, I drove to the wharf edge at the little port of Dingle, and painted in the front seat of our small car with my canvas propped up on the steering wheel quite a trick for someone my size.
我喜欢描绘雨天、雪天和雾天的情景。由于空气中普遍存在的湿气,这些大气效应提供了现成的色彩和谐。微小的水滴或雪花充当小棱镜,反射和重复场景中的所有光线和色彩,用单一的主色调(在这种情况下是钴蓝色)使其过度饱和。唯一的问题是战术性的:如何应对天气。如果你在温暖干燥的室内,下雨时画画并不那么糟糕——而我就是在这种情况下。这是我 1994 年在爱尔兰丁格尔湾完成的几幅海滨速写之一。南希和我有各种策略来应对旅行中的天气;所有这些策略都涉及找到遮蔽物,以保持画布和调色板干燥(我们也穿雨衣)。对于这幅速写,我开车到了丁格尔小港口的码头边,在我们的小车前座上画画,我的画布靠在方向盘上,对于我这样的人来说是一个相当巧妙的技巧。


In spite of the plethora of color "systems" on hand, no one has yet been able to come up with a comprehensive color "law" that always meets the demands of working from life. Most of the lesser "rules" and many of the misguided notions that have come down to us do not stand up very well either. Here are a few examples of the more familiar fallacies and oddities.
  • You have all heard the saying about warm colors "advancing" and cool colors "receding" in landscape painting-that is simply false, so don't believe it. There are no such constants in nature. Sometimes colors appear cooler with distance, but not always.
    你们都听说过关于暖色“前进”和冷色“后退”在风景画中的说法 - 那纯粹是错误的,所以不要相信。在自然界中没有这样的恒定规律。有时颜色在远处看起来更冷,但并非总是这样。
  • Equally wrong is the idea of certain colors naturally "going together," or that others "clash." Such notions are simply personal opinions formed by fads or flawed theories of harmony. Color harmonies, pleasing to us or not, are created by ambient light, or a combination of lights from natural or man-made sources, acting alone or together, with local pigmentation in subjects or scenes before us-nothing more. I have much more to offer about color harmony ahead as you read on.
  • The idea that a color can be "neutralized" by mixing it with its complement is not true either, because there is no such thing as a neutral color. For example, mixing green into red, or adding purple to yellow does not neutralize the red or yellow, it just changes them into a different red or yellow.
  • Avoid schemes offering methods or systems or procedures for creating color harmonies or specific natural effects (like how to paint the color of water, or flowers, or rainy Paris street scenes). They might produce results under certain circumstances, but not in working from life. Nature has given us no such formulas, only a few principles. A good example is the proven observation about clear blue skies: what seems to be a blue sky at first glance is actually composed of all the colors of the rainbow, from a warm Ultramarine Blue at its zenith, down through cooler blues, blue-greens, yellow-greens, and finally dusky reds at the horizon. Be wary as well if anyone claims to have a simple cure for your color problems, or offers a theory which if followed will always produce "great" color no matter what.
  • Some day (perhaps after I have departed to the great studio in the sky), but alas, probably sooner than we expect or want, you will be able to point your mobile phone, or some other digital gadget, at your subject and it will tell you what colors to mix. (Similar analyzers have been in use for some time in hardware and paint stores.) Until such time arrives you can fool around with any of a number of color "aids" available from your favorite art store or on the Internet. These aids, some small enough to fit in your pocket, are usually circular plastic or cardboard displays printed with small rectangles of primary and secondary colors. They come with discs you can turn, and little window displays which show what happens when you mix one color with another. Other color wheels show you how to create various types of color harmonies or how to match colors. Still other gadgets are intended to be held up to a subject to supposedly show what its values are. I have not checked, but I'm sure these applications are also on your mobile device.
My suggestion is to ignore such things. Such things might possibly be useful for children in a classroom setting, but for serious use in helping anyone paint from life, they are completely without value. Why? Because as I pointed out earlier in this chapter, the very essence of color lies in its relativity. Colors are so completely dependent upon one another and the light upon them for their appearance (how they look to us), that they are beyond any conceivable systematizing or codification. Even the highly regarded Munsell Color System, so widely employed in industry and printing, is useless to an artist working from life. This is because that system cannot provide for the relativistic nature of color as a human experience. No chart, color wheel, mixing guide, harmony scheme, numerical color selector, or electronic color matching device can ever hope to match the sensitivity, range, and above all, the judgment, of the eye and mind capability of a painter who has mastered the skills of working from life.
  • There is also a popular idea that nature has to be "helped." Some believe her colors or formations and designs need to be altered to comply with an ideal of what is compositionally acceptable or aesthetically pleasing. That is absurd. Like it or not, Nature per se is perfect, but not all of us see or respond in the same way to the sumptuous banquet she offers. My personal approach is always to look within myself to find what drew me to my subject and why it did, rather then change what is before me to conform to what I am sure will be pleasing, or make my picture sell faster. In my view, capturing the look of authenticity, painting the way a subject really appears to me, is the way to go. This is the reason why, for example, in a still life of flowers, I give as much attention to dead leaves and blossoms as I do healthy ones. It is also the reason I prefer to do flowers in a garden or forest rather than indoors. Outside in a natural environment they are subject to the effects of nature, and thus take on a character entirely missing in florist-grown preened and pruned flowers.
  • There are no "beautiful" or "ugly" colors either. Colors are just colors. Beauty and ugliness are merely flawed concepts drilled into us as we grow up and experience the big complicated world. It is a major part of what is called the socialization process, the means by which we become slowly civilized as we grow up. The beautiful-or-ugly nonsense part goes like this: figuratively speaking, all things as we encounter them for the first time come with invisible little tags attached to them-flowers are pretty, leaves are ordinary, dead leaves are ugly, spiders are horrible, so are snakes, sunsets are gorgeous, cloudy days are ordinary, roast turkey is beautiful, a slaughtered hog is repulsive-you see where I'm going with this.
Society, through our culture, neatly classifies everything in the whole world for us into three broad categories: the beautiful (or good), the ordinary or common (not particularly interesting), and the ugly (or bad). When it comes down to colors, we will have come by a certain age to believe some to be beautiful, some to be boring, and the rest to be ugly or inconsequential. As artists we learn (I hope) such adjectives are nothing more than useless value judgments which merely describe our naïve feelings about colors, not their intrinsic properties. The words beauty and ugly have no meaning when we paint.
  • All the other common adjectives applied to specific colors, such as exciting, somber, mellow, sensuous, gay, deathly, bold, sexy, mellow, masculine, feminine, amusing, soothing, banal, and so on, have no valid meaning either. They too refer only to our feelings. The words chalky or muddy, however, are familiar terms artists use when they are unhappy with certain colors in their paintings. As it invariably turns out, they are in fact describing colors as simply mixtures which are the inappropriate relative temperature for the area in which they are placed.
  • The commercial cliché names given to many colors are worthless-Rose Red, Canary Yellow, Fuchsia, Mauve, Beige, Elephant Gray, Wild Cherry, Spanked Baby Pink, Olive Drab, Funereal Black - all are just silly. However, the familiar names for artists' pigments, such as Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Red, and Terra Rosa, for example, are functional since they are manufacturers' standards by which we identify specific pigments. (At least they are supposed to be-some pigments, such as Yellow Ochre, Viridian, and the Cadmiums vary widely in hue from one brand to another.)
    商业陈词滥调给许多颜色起的名字毫无价值 - 玫瑰红、金丝雀黄、紫红、淡紫、米色、象灰、野樱桃、粉红、橄榄褐、葬礼黑 - 都只是愚蠢的。然而,对于艺术家颜料的熟悉名称,比如钴蓝、镉红和泰拉玫瑰等,是功能性的,因为它们是制造商标准,我们通过这些标准来识别特定的颜料。(至少它们应该是 - 一些颜料,比如黄土、翠绿和镉色在不同品牌之间的色调差异很大。)
  • Lastly and obviously quite important: beware of the mystique of color! This is the insidious notion you either have a "color sense" or you do not. I'm not sure just what is meant by a color sense. Perhaps it is supposed to be something imparted by one's DNA, or it's like having the ability to levitate. Who knows? It doesn't really matter because such ideas are merely make-believe notions from our folklore. Watch out too for the foolish belief about color being too complex to ever master (like the average person's attitude toward rocket science). It isn't. Even worse is the often helpless feeling that color doesn't make any sense at all. Color is one of Creation's nicer ideas. It is there for us to savor, and explore, and share. It has a beautiful order which anyone willing to make the effort can master. Trust me on this.
    最后但显然相当重要的是:小心色彩的神秘感!这是一个潜在的观念,即你要么有“色彩感”,要么没有。我不确定“色彩感”究竟是什么意思。也许它被认为是由一个人的 DNA 传授的,或者就像拥有悬浮能力一样。谁知道呢?这并不重要,因为这些想法只是我们民间传说中的虚构概念。还要注意那种愚蠢的信念,即色彩太复杂,永远无法掌握(就像普通人对待火箭科学的态度)。事实并非如此。更糟糕的是,人们常常感到无助,觉得色彩根本毫无意义。色彩是创造的美好想法之一。它在那里等待我们品味、探索和分享。它有一种美丽的秩序,任何愿意付出努力的人都可以掌握。相信我。
TRALEE CHOCOLATE SHOP oil on panel, 8 x 12, Ireland, 1994
特雷利巧克力店 油画 面板 8 x 12 爱尔兰 1994
This is another example of how water can act to unify the color in a location - the wetness everywhere reflecting colors endlessly, creating a Cadmium Red harmony. Please note, the primary and secondary colors-red, yellow, blue, green, orange, and violet - are all present, but only red, yellow, and orange, appear in a pure state. Yellow and orange stand out because they represent light sources within the shop, and are independent of the otherwise cooler dominant outdoor natural light. My set-up was across the street under an awning, and Nancy obliged me by posing briefly and rather demurely with her umbrella as the lovely Rose of Tralee in the rain.
这是另一个展示水如何统一一个地点色彩的例子 - 到处湿漉漉的反射着无尽的颜色,营造出镉红色的和谐。请注意,红、黄、蓝、绿、橙和紫这些主要和次要颜色都存在,但只有红、黄和橙呈现出纯净状态。黄色和橙色突出是因为它们代表店内的光源,并且独立于其他较凉爽的室外自然光线。我的摄影设备设置在街对面的遮阳篷下,南希友好地配合我,短暂而端庄地撑着伞,仿佛是雨中可爱的特里利玫瑰。
There are many more delusions out there in the land of art, but I'm sure you see my point. We do not understand color beyond certain basic ideas and proven facts, so we must be wary of quaint beliefs, fears, and expedient little rules that may have arisen under particular circumstances, but cannot be applied generally. Given this enigma about color-its complex power and seeming elusiveness, then add to it the dubious theories, misinformation, cultural whims, and downright ignorance about it, and it is no wonder some find it hard to grasp. Thou shalt not despair though, you're in good hands here. Read on.


Take a deep breath now! The bad part is over! We have mucked around long enough in negatives. I give you now some very cheery things to think about. For starters, I believe color should be great fun! Remember that and never be afraid of color. To me it would be like being afraid of strawberries and whipped cream. There is no reason at all to think of color as intimidating. It has surrounded you all of your life, and you should embrace it joyfully. Color is part of who and what you are. The things I have described above are not worth getting nervous about. Just be aware of them.
You can acquire a sound and useful understanding of color. After all, quite a few artists have mastered its ways and their works are glorious lessons in seeing and painting it. As far as I know, there is no evidence they were especially singled out by the Creator, nor endowed with a unique color perception gene you do not also have (if there is one). You already understand many complex natural phenomena, at least to the extent you use them effectively in everyday life, things like gravity, electricity, love, intelligence, memory, to name only a few. Color is just another one, and it is there for you to explore and enjoy.
In addition to giving us their paintings, some of the Masters had the generosity of spirit to share their priceless knowledge by teaching. In the United States for example: Howard Pyle, Robert Henri, Cecilia Beaux, Thomas Eakins, William Merritt Chase, John Twachtman, Frank Vincent DuMond, George Bridgman, and Frank Duveneck, and so many others from a very long list.
Today we also have hundreds (perhaps more) of instructional books and videos on all aspects of art written by accomplished living artists, many quite young, who have embraced the same spirit of sharing as the painters I mentioned above. I am always moved when I realize what they are willing to do to share their knowledge and personal methods with others. I see this same sharing on the Internet, with thousands of artists from across the world enthusiastically exchanging news, ideas, and discoveries about art.
So, in spite of the modern movement of the 20th century, which unfortunately discouraged known skills and sophisticated technology, we still know many valuable things, and we have a body of very useful and savvy knowledge to guide us, though it is not gathered in one book or school. We also have a limited (but effective enough) technical language to describe the properties and qualities of color, as well as many of its behavioral quirks. Despite the subjective character of color and the problems of description, many things about it are not purely subjective, and they can be described and articulated rationally. There is far more common sense about color than mystery.
尽管 20 世纪的现代运动不幸地抑制了已知技能和精密技术,我们仍然知道许多有价值的事情,我们拥有一套非常有用和精明的知识来指导我们,尽管它并非集中在一本书或学校中。我们还有一种有限(但足够有效)的技术语言来描述颜色的特性和品质,以及许多颜色的行为怪癖。尽管颜色具有主观性质和描述问题,但关于颜色的许多事情并非纯粹主观,它们可以被理性地描述和表达。关于颜色的常识远远超过神秘。


I know this simple fact - when painting from life, all I have to do is correctly identify a color I see in my subject as a specific pigment or mixture of pigments, and then put it on my canvas in the right place. Nothing more. See it right, mix what I see right, and then stick it where it belongs. The rest of what I know is about how to do that, which is what the remainder of this chapter is about. I begin with some general remarks about color and light, and then explore the specifics of seeing color in a discerning way and matching what I see with appropriate pigment mixtures. "Sticking it in the right place" comes under the heading of Drawing From Life (Chapter Four). I go into various ways of applying paint to get the most out of color and overcome some of its limitations. I also describe how to explore and understand a palette of colors, and then use the knowledge to help see the patches of color on a subject as simple mixtures. I must also mention that I will be dealing with COLOR TEMPERATURE in all sections because it permeates every aspect of this subject.
我知道这个简单的事实 - 在写生时,我所要做的就是准确地将我在主题中看到的颜色识别为特定的颜料或颜料混合物,然后将其放在画布上的正确位置。没有别的。看准了,调配正确,然后把它放在正确的位置。我知道的其余部分是关于如何做到这一点的,这也是本章剩余部分的内容。我首先谈一些关于色彩和光线的一般性评论,然后探讨以敏锐的方式看待颜色并将所见之物与适当的颜料混合物相匹配的具体方法。"把它放在正确的位置"属于写生(第四章)的范畴。我探讨了各种涂抹油漆的方式,以充分利用颜色并克服一些其局限性。我还描述了如何探索和理解一套颜色调色板,然后利用这些知识帮助看到主题上的颜色块作为简单的混合物。我还必须提到,我将在所有部分讨论色温,因为它渗透到这一主题的每个方面。
DOLLS oil on canvas,
娃娃 油画 布面
The painting above is one of the first of several doll paintings I would do over years. I was fortunate here to have some very distinctive dolls and other objects to work with. I spent as much time seeking out and arranging the things in this picture as I did doing the actual painting. It was this picture, or rather in preparing the set-up for this picture, when I realized a very important principle in still life painting. It was simply this: in every respect, still life painting offers more freedom than any other area of painting, because the artist can select everything to be painted and arrange the things in any way she or he pleases. If something doesn't feel quite right, it can be rearranged, altered or eliminated. Everything about a still life can be precisely what an artist wishes. If at any point in the course of doing the painting there is a change of heart, the change can be made in the still life or in the painting, whichever works best.
NOTE: Before I get into the details about what to mix with what to get such and so, please give some attention to the remainder of this section so you will be familiar with the way light creates color, how colors influence other colors, and why it all behaves the way it does. Remember how earlier in this chapter I briefly outlined color as a consequence of either direct light or reflected light, and local pigmentation. In the coming pages you will find much more about the role of light in producing color. Understanding how that works will help you achieve some welcome color effects, and perhaps spare you from trying the impossible.


The first time I saw color television I could hardly believe my eyes. It was the 1950s, I was an art student, and color TV was just coming onto the American market. Our family couldn't afford one, so I had to go to the science museum in Chicago to see what one looked like. The images I saw on the small television screen then were crude up close, but fascinating - like small Pointillist paintings (in motion no less)-but far more brilliant. I was stunned how electronic technology could so easily create the intensity and purity of color I had been trying so unsuccessfully to obtain with my paints (remember I was just a student). And it was all done with the press of a button. It was humiliating (and scary) to see color skills wrenched from my sacred domain by a gang of what I considered to be nerdy technicians. I was jealous, but I was also learning something important. That day in the science museum when I witnessed light creating color, I was transported to my eventual understanding of the entire visual world.
第一次看到彩色电视时,我几乎不敢相信自己的眼睛。那是上世纪 50 年代,我是一名艺术学生,彩色电视刚刚进入美国市场。我们家买不起,所以我不得不去芝加哥的科学博物馆看看。我在小电视屏幕上看到的图像近看有些粗糙,但却很迷人 - 就像小点彩画(还在运动)- 但更加明亮。我惊讶于电子技术如何能够如此轻松地创造出我一直试图用颜料无法获得的颜色的强度和纯度(请记住我只是个学生)。而且只需按一下按钮就能完成。看着我认为是书呆子技术人员团伙夺走我神圣领域中的色彩技能,这让我感到羞辱(和恐惧)。我嫉妒,但我也学到了重要的东西。那天在科学博物馆,当我目睹光线创造颜色时,我被带到了对整个视觉世界的最终理解。
In time of course, I realized as amazing as it was, TV was just another artificial view of reality. It could not reproduce the way things really looked to my eyes, which was my aim as a painter. Electronics and photography could only provide images they were designed to record, and TV can't do anything at all when the plug is pulled. I wanted to replicate what see.
在当然的时间里,我意识到虽然电视很神奇,但它只是现实的另一种人为视角。它无法复制事物在我眼中真实的样子,而这正是我作为画家的目标。电子设备和摄影只能提供它们被设计记录的图像,当电视插头被拔掉时,它什么也做不了。我想要复制 看到的东西。
Remembering the words of Sun Tzu, "Know thine enemy," I looked into the matter and learned color television was created with light instead of pigments, and that I could never match electronic color with my paints no matter what I did. Why? Because what I was seeing on the screen was an illusion created with tiny bits of phosphorescence (light sources), which is not possible to achieve with paint. Electronic monitors, however, do it at a cost which comes in the form of a loss of authentic values and hues. Another discovery was about the limited range of colors and values inherent in electronic propagation. On the positive side I learned the use of colored light, instead of pigments, to produce images is called "additive color" because the hues are created by adding primary colors of light to one another. (Motion pictures and projected photography do essentially the same thing.)
We do something completely different in painting. We use pigments-which merely reflect light. The paints we use absorb (subtract) certain wavelengths of the light they receive, and reflect others. Pure red paint, for example, looks "red" because it absorbs all light rays except those in the red portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Green paint reflects blue and yellow light, and absorbs red light. Because of this, the colors we work with on our palettes are called subtractive colors.
And so the first lesson from my encounter with the wonders of television was about the big difference between creating images with light and painting pictures with pigments.
My second lesson was about what could and could not be done with my paints, which was definitely a reality trip. I learned that even though I could not duplicate light itself, I nevertheless had to deal with sources of light in my subjects, such as street lights in a city scene, or lamp lights in an interior. Many of the things I attempted to paint consisted of colors that were the result of both additive and subtractive effects. In other words, my subjects, whether they were city streets, landscapes, or illuminated figures in a room, often were combinations of both light sources and reflected light. In a typical landscape, the sky, glowing with diffracted sunlight, was a light source, and almost everything on the ground was reflected light. Naturally, I couldn't make my paint glow like a flashlight, so there had to be another way-and THERE WAS!


For clarity, here is a short list of color terms (in bold) I use in this discussion:
  • The Three Primary Colors of artists' pigments are Red, Yellow, and Blue. They are called primary because all other colors are created by some combination of them. It follows that no combination of colors can produce a primary color. They are as primal as the elements in chemistry or the four forces in physics.
  • The Secondary Colors are Green, Orange, and Violet. They are called secondary because each is a mixture of any two of the primary colors.
  • The Tertiary Colors are various combinations of all three primary colors-the Browns and Gray-Browns.
  • A Complementary Color is usually thought of as the color opposite another on the color wheel, which it indeed is (page opposite). Technically speaking, the complement of a color is the color that transforms it into a Tertiary Color. Confusing? Here it is in plain words using the primary color Red as an example:
  1. The complement of red is green. OK so far.
  2. Green is a mixture of yellow and blue.
  3. Therefore, when we add green to red, we get our old primary friends, red, yellow and blue again!
  4. We now have our three primaries mixed together. In other words we have a Tertiary color! What a trick!
By the way, this is the origin of a widely taught belief that a color can be "neutralized" by adding its complement. Perhaps I am just mincing words, but in my almost seventy years of painting, I have yet to see a "neutral" color. Adding a complement makes a new color, that's all. Incidentally, the word complement should not be confused with compliment, which is a word of praise. Complement means completion, as in a full complement of soldiers, or teeth. A Tertiary mixture is a full complement of all three primary colors.
顺便说一下,这是一个被广泛传授的信念的起源,即通过添加其补色可以使一种颜色“中和”。也许我只是在挑剔用词,但在我近七十年的绘画生涯中,我还没有见过“中性”颜色。添加一个补色只会产生一种新颜色,仅此而已。顺便提一下,补色这个词不应与赞美的“compliment”混淆。Complement 的意思是完整,比如一个完整的士兵队伍或牙齿。三次混合是所有三原色的完整组合。
  1. The words Saturation, Intensity, Pure or Purity, and Richness, have the same basic meaning. All refer to the degree of vividness of a color, such as how "red" a red is, or how "blue" a blue is. A totally saturated pure red, for example has no trace of any other pigment in its composition. Pure Yellow is only yellow, and so on. (Neither would pure colors contain any white or black.) I sometimes use the word Gray in this text. As a noun I use it as a convenient word for a color of lower saturation or purity, in a sentence such as this: "This is a gray red (or grayer) compared to the other reds." Using the word gray as a verb I might say, "If I gray this red it will be correct." All colors can be grayed (reduced in saturation by adding its complementary color).


The color wheel is simply the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum arranged in a circle. Colors immediately next to one another are what most people consider harmonious, such as green with blue-green, yellow-green and yellow. Colors opposite one another (directly across the circle) are described as complementary because when they exist as colored light and are then combined, they create white light. We painters are not so fortunate. When we mix complementary pigments together, we risk creating a brown mud.
The color wheel as such does not exist in nature. It is a simple diagram showing the component colors of white light, such as sunlight, when it is optically split by a prism or raindrops (giving us a rainbow). The only noteworthy thing to notice is when you mix colors exactly opposite one another on the wheel, you always end up with some combination of the three primary colors mixed together. The wheel might make an interesting design on a dinner plate though.
  1. The words Color or Colors, Hue, Tint, Tone, and Shade, all refer to a particular Family of color. The family of Reds, for example, are all the pigment mixtures, or colors in a subject, in which Red predominates, such as Red Orange, Scarlet, all Cadmium Reds, Terra Rosa, Venetian Red, Quinacridone Violet or Red, Vermillion, Madders, the Alizarins, Pink, Magenta, and all shades of Gray or Brown in which red predominates. Likewise, the Blue family of colors is comprised of all blue colors as they come from their tubes, all blue dominant mixtures, and all colors in a subject in which blue predominates, and so on through the entire palette.
  2. White and Black are discussed further along in this section. While neither is a color in the usual sense, adding them to colors to lighten or darken them creates new colors, not just lighter or darker ones. For example, adding white to red to lighten it does indeed create a lighter red, but that is not all it does, because adding the white also makes the red cooler, which is a new color.


The color temperature of light and the color temperatures of the paints we use are closely related, yet they are two quite different ways color comes to us. These differences are explained in detail in the following text.


Technically speaking, the color of a ray of LIGHT is due to very specific properties it possesses-its frequency and wavelength. Red light, for example, radiates only within the frequencies of 400 to , with wavelengths of 630 to . Consequently, red light always looks the same no matter what. It cannot change its properties. The same holds true for all colors of light. Each one comes to us in its own specific range of frequencies.
从技术上讲,一束光的颜色是由它具有的非常特定的属性决定的 - 它的频率和波长。例如,红光只在 400 到 的频率范围内辐射,波长为 630 到 。因此,红光无论如何看起来总是一样的。它无法改变其属性。对于所有颜色的光来说也是如此。每种颜色的光都以自己特定的频率范围传递给我们。
There is also a subjective side of light (our experience of it), and it goes like this: eons ago, we humans went about inventing and establishing certain cultural ideas about light, such as light being warm or cold, or divine, or scary, or good for curing warts, or whatever. My guess is our ancestors associated orange, yellow, and red with the warmth of sunlight and firelight. Blues and purples and grays may have been connected to things like coldness and death. Whatever the case, those notions and their variations have continued more or less unchanged through countless generations, and have come down to us today.
Any source of light then, whether it's the sun, your florescent bathroom fixture, or a lighted match, is still described as cold, cool, warm, or hot, or some variant of those. We take it for granted we are correct in saying a light having more red and yellow waves in it than blue waves, is a warm light. If it shines with more blue waves than red or yellow ones, we say it is a cooler light. This is the way I talk about color as well, and probably the way you do too. We all put temperature tags on colors. Simple!
Well, perhaps not exactly simple (and not that it really matters), but the familiar terminology we use to describe the temperature of light is exactly backwards. In the strict world of the Thermodynamic Laws in Physics, the hotter an energy source is, the bluer its light is. Conversely, as an energy source actually cools, it changes from yellow, through orange, and then to red (not the other way around as we are accustomed to thinking).
Despite this odd duality, there is presently little danger of anyone changing the ways we speak of color in the near future, however quaintly wrong it may be. (Not unless a great many physicists take up painting tomorrow.) We artists know perfectly well what we mean by warm and cold. Such attributions have been deeply ingrained into our thinking as well as our language for too long. It has been with us since childhood, so it seems perfectly natural for us-like the way we still say of a modern turbine-driven cargo ship that it is setting sail when it leaves port. What always matters in the end is not what or who is correct, but what works.
I painted this iconic street scene in Naples in the late afternoon with sunlight coming in from the right, dramatically striking the sides of stucco structures, and leaving the remainder of the scene in shadow.
I had already spent considerable time in Italy and painted several other streets like this, so I was prepared for the colors and values where one part of the canvas was in bright, hot sunlight, and the remainder in cool light from the sky above.
While you might think this was a complicated problem in light temperature, it was actually quite simple: all of the light values caused by the sun were very warm colors, where I used Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, and Cadmium Orange, all raised to a higher value with white. The shadow areas, however, were very cool, but the very darkest accents within those cool areas were warm mixtures of Alizarin Deep and Phthalo Green.
It was also nice to be able to paint this scene with my canvas and palette in the cool shadows of the street. Wherever and whenever it is possible, I always try to have my palette and canvas in the same moderate light. I can then make accurate judgements about my colors and values. If I cannot avoid painting out in full sunlight, I try to make sure both my palette and canvas are in full sunlight. I do this because although I must put up with the extreme brightness of sun on my canvas, I can at least have the same brightness on my palette, which means what I mix on my palette will look the same on my canvas.
However, there remains a serious element of uncertainty in working in sunlight because the brightness results in a tendency to mix colors slightly darker without realizing it. Also the pupils of my eyes contract to pinpoints, which interferes with seeing color.
STREET IN NAPLES oil on canvas, , Italy, 1967