Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Red Girl

This picture wasn't a very serious art project but it resulted in a personal discovery in art theory. When painting this picture I had the painting "Glow" in the back of my mind. There was something in particular about "glow" that I liked, but I wasn't sure what. After finishing this picture I figured out what. It's something I call the Red Affect although it applies to all color.

The Red Affect:

 Red is the most intense color there is. More than any other color red is painful to look directly at. (Try changing you desktop wallpaper to a solid red and you will know what I mean) The problem is that when you want to add red to a picture you automatically make it painful to look at. To solve this problem I started with an white object (her face) and surrounded it with red. What happens is that even though your eye is looking at white it absorbs the red around it. In the picture "Glow" The girls face (which was almost white) was surrounded by tons of color so when you looked at her face you also absorb the color around it.

 While I was thinking about "The red affect" I saw a cardinal. It was then I realized the concept works backwards too.

 As a general rule you cannot have an intense color without a place for your eyes to rest.


  1. That's amazing! Makes perfect sense.
    Thanks for sharing all these cool things you discover! I never would have thought of this, I'm sure.

  2. Fantastic artwork! I love drawing...but have let art I want to get back into it;) I like the picture a lot...especially her eyes. For me noses are the hardest to draw...what's the hardest feature for you to draw?

    1. Thanks Julianne :)
      Noses might be the hardest for me too. I actually put together a book full of references for drawing things like noes, ears, hands and other difficult things. It might help you out. If you want you can post your email address in a comment or send it to me at and I'll see If I can Email you a few pages of it.