Creative Woodworks & crafts 2000-11, страница 38

Creative Woodworks & crafts 2000-11, страница 38

by George Ahlers

continued from page 36


W&atL&t Station

Color associations

When adding color to our plaque, even more pertinent than all of this artistic stuff about figure/ground relationships or mixing colors is our everyday observation of the world around us. On top of everything else, we tend to associate certain colors with certain things: blue for a sky, green for the earth, and so on. All we really need to do is keep a few basic color associations in mind, and selecting the paints for a background will come naturally. Of course there are no hard and fast rules about color associations, and in many cases the use of unusual colors will add a great deal of interest to a background. In the case of the Plowman Weather Station, the yellow and red in the sky was chosen to give the impression of someone out working in the field at sunset.

Airbrushing a colorful background adds greatly to this project! You can use this technique on lots of other designs too.

Adding a touch of color

A good way to add color to a scroll saw project such as the Plowman Weather Station is with an airbrush. The airbrush is a versatile tool which is surprisingly easy to use. Even if you've had no previous painting experience, you can greatly expand your horizons right from the moment you start spraying paint.

The easiest and most obvious airbrush application for scrollers is creating vibrant backgrounds like the one shown here. Breathtaking backgrounds can be painted quickly and effortlessly. Simply by keeping a few basic rules in mind, anyone can produce outstanding backings or add color to all kinds of scroll saw projects. As with any endeavor, the key to success is to have a plan before you start.

Perceiving color

Before we get to actually spraying the paint, let's look at some of the things which can influence our color choices. Naturally, when planning a background, it's important to consider what will be in the foreground. The natural wood grain of the cherry plaque will contrast nicely with the vibrant colors of the background. Conversely, if we were to paint details onto the silhouette, a more sedate, monochromatic backer would be preferable. You want the foreground (or figure) and the background (or simply ground) to work in concert and not have one overpowering the other, which would be visually confusing. To artists, this is known as a figure/ground relationship.

A fundamental understanding of how different colors mix is essential when creating the backing for a silhouette. In painting, there are basically three primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. When you mix red with yellow you get orange, red with blue makes purple, and blue with yellow makes green.

We should also recognize that each hue is perceived differently. For instance, colors are commonly defined by our subconscious as being either warm or cool; blue is a cool color, while red and yellow are considered warm. Graphically, cooler colors appear to recede, while warmer colors are more assertive. Similarly, darker tones tend to be recessive and lighter tones give the impression of coming forward.

Painting the backer

Now for the fun part—actually painting a background. If 38

produce orange in the middle of the board.

you've been paying attention so far, you'll recall that these are two of the three primary colors. By spraying the red and yellow in graduated tones, you will produce a orange hue where the yellow and red overlap.

It's usually best to work from light to dark.

The first color to apply is yellow. Spray the yellow onto the lower half of the backer board (see Fig. 1). The next color is red. Spray a light mist of red over the yellow. The paint application should become gradually heavier toward the middle of the board (see Fig. 2). Graduated tones are a hallmark of airbrush work. The effect should be that the middle portion of the background is a light orange, which then deepens to red at the top of the spring board.

That's all there is to painting the Plowman Weather Station background. It's just that easy! With a little imagination and your trusty airbrush, a whole new world of color is waiting for you to explore.

Fig, 1. Apply yellow to the lower portion of the backer.

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