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Regular Column

About Understanding Relationships
by Red Ochre


Any painting is defined by internal and structured logical relationships. The first and foremost of these is light. It is in knowing what these are and the rules that govern their interaction that enables us to render the object or scene beliveable. All this we begin to learn from childhood, from the moment we tilt up our baby's bottle.
In this demonstration I will attempt to identify the nature of some of these relationships.

I will try to construct a pearl, or even a string of pearls, from memory. To do this I will apply certain principles of observation and understanding.
I could do this very easily with paint but the processes would not be as clearly defined as if I use the computer.

So to begin. Let us imagine the largest pearl in the world sits on a red table in a room with a blue ceiling. I am the viewer and I view the pearl from the front while behind me is a window. Outside it is a fine bright sunny day.

the window
me and the window
Now if the pearl was someone elses 'eye' this is what it would see.
Me, basic and a little crude?
The window in the same condition. Together

Add a blue ceiling, some walls and a red table (this is roughly what the pearl would see if it could see). Next we squeeze it into a round shape (with a computer this is easy, in a painting you would work backward.) I am a little disappointed at this stage as it looks rather raw and nothing like a pearl. But, staring failure in the eye, we must proceed (forever faithful to our logic).

blue ceiling, walls and
red table
make it round
So lets us rid ourselves of the black edges. Then, since a pearl is not a perfect mirror, I will blur everything ..
Now we can and add a little milky screen (I remember pearls are a little milky, aren't they?)

no edges and
milky screen
Still too much saturated color and dark values - maybe another yellowish screen ... OK let's cut it out and give it a hard edge ... as it is not made of fur ...

yellow screen
a harder edge
That's looks better ... now for the suggested table and ceiling

Can't I have a string, seeing I made it myself?

Why, I'm virtually rich! So why can't a pauper have a millionaire's imagination? I expect any artist can always be rich beyond the dreams of mere mortals, the difficulty becomes one of keeping reality in plain view.

PS. I am concerned, you may think I am confusing computer graphics with oil painting. In either case we must learn the essence or nature of things before we can make them with paint - or computers. With the 'pearls,' as with the world, that is the starting point, and remember everything exists in relationship to light and all other things. The rest is simple applied logic - either with a brush or computer.

Red Ochre  turned his talents to painting after being expelled from the magicians guild for selling certain trade secrets to medical practicioners and faith healers.