I invite you to click onto any of these images to make them bigger.
I was thinking a lot about chromatic greys while I was working on this drawing. What are chromatic greys? They are grey-like tones but they are not really grey. They have perceptible colour in them. For instance, a good example of a chromatic grey is the wall directly behind Satohana. You may think it is just grey but it is actually made up of greens, reds, blues and purples. Layers of colour make this area much richer than if I had just used grey pencil per se.
Much of the drawing contains muted colours. What are muted colours? They fall between chromatic greys and prismatic colours. (Prismatic colours represent hues at the highest level of saturation – what you would think of as bright yellows, blues, reds etc. ie the colours seen in a prism.) Muted colours are softer than prismatic colours but they still are definite colours…more ‘colourful’ than chromatic greys. ie Satohana’s kimono is muted blue.
So then, what is the meaning of achromatic? This word means “without colour”. Black, white and all shades of grey without colour come into the achromatic category. In this drawing, Satohana’s hair, the black on her obi and some of her canvas bag are clearly achromatic.
Recently when I was overseas I found a terrific book on colour. It is called “Colour: A workshop for artists and designers’ by David Hornung. Second edition. Copyright 2005, 2012. Laurence King Publishing Ltd. ISBN: 978-1-85669-877-1. One of my favourite things about it is its illustrated glossary at the back. It so clearly explains and shows these colour terms and encourages one, when working with colour, to really think about what one is doing. I recommend this book to everybody who works with colour.
When I am working with pencils, because I am building up layers of colour, I am constantly analysing what I am seeing in the photo source material. I’m trying to figure out how to make each colour. Since I bought this book a couple of months ago, I have found that it has helped my analysis and has, I think, made me better at seeing, even with my long years of experience behind me.
Who was Satohana waiting for? The answer is in “Rare View” below.
Related Page: Subject 2: Geisha