COLOUR .AND FORM BY t0 realise the immense importance of accents of
A G DRAPER ' colour as influencing the key of an entire painting.
In many cases a painter, dissatisfied with the
There is no such thing in art as general tone or colour of his picture, will ruthlessly
absolute colour, absolute form. repaint the whole canvas; whereas he should know
Colour is a matter of comparison, it is an idea, how that one or two touches, obliterating others
and all ideas are notions formed from a compari- which are wrong, will alter the entire appearance,
son of particulars. The idea of colour is produced and that a harmonious result is gained by the
by an emotion, the sensation of which is registered knowledge of the contrast of colours and the
by the optic nerve, and there is an evident relation management of tone. •
between the object looked at
and the particular mind of the .j- - ^
individual who regards it, this
relation being affected by modi- _ >>'-"* -'•■ ■• ^'.UP' ^ ><
fications in the sensations of - ••-'^^^PS^'^^^i^^'Wv?:^-' ,.•
the observer, owing to such 'rx^-^^^^fff^P^^S-'^y^ '
causes as temperament or psy- '''?^S^S^*S5^i r
chological interruptions. For ''' ^
perception is not an accurate ,•- " .>}*■£.■ V ,• '•. /.'.•';_i^>,' ' .<>-
report of what things are per '•^p x'^$&^'^^* f/S
se, but only of what they are ~y" A ■JM
in relation to us ; perception . *Ajy '' ('t^^:?/$w
is not a mirror in which things ^ '$al!. ■■ ■ ■
are reflected, it is a modifica- , 7"'- • "jjj . ~'JS~ -Jif<
tion of the sentient being in 'Jy, fiF- ~rM^^ra^i"'
the same way as sound, frag- -.„/''^Ip'''" 't^"' ''■'^"Wb^^""
ranee, and taste. j j| i . >'. jjf' ■ '"'1 U
That the existence of colour ■""■'^J'^^^r 0'f> /.' /•'.»
is a matter of comparison, may Sm^J; '•■•^^^4s-i: f '
be better realised by a practical '-^^ p.,•_• \ '
test. If we look at a piece of - V • .'' ]'-; 'jj
blue cloth apart from other • *v '_;'4 f ■^'^jml^(^'^J^^,^h''\ ■■
colours, we may be quite posi- ^-~r"p^ufp 7: : .^^^ I th'S || 1 ^ *
tive in calling it blue, but as .': ' : jp< ■ ,| '■ilii
soon as another shade of a V>-^g^- J * :l!,iflP j"1.!..IL^w
greener hue be placed by its ' ^':JP^4&*-/*ttW: . -
side, we at once have a dif- '. ' • '•'::^"^>.^.;_ ' - ^ ■■■h^'i
ferent sensation relatively to .v—. . ■-/• ■ '
the first colour, and are aware *:,.-^-
of a purple quality unobserved . .
before. For the same reasons •
a street scene may be painted
in a harmony of blue, and on
observing it we see the chim-
neys are yellow, the houses from a pencil sketch by michael dignam
red, and different objects re-
taining their local colour; and yet if we look at As regards form, the difficulties are subtle,
the artist's palette and see the colour he has When a person or an object in a painting is
mixed with which to paint those chimneys, say, spoken of as being life-size, what is meant ? That
it appears to us more blue than yellow, and it it measures the actual size of the person or thing
is only by contrast on the canvas with the sur- represented. And yet how seldom do we see any-
rounding colours and tones that it takes its place thing in nature life-size—never, unless we come
and asserts itself. quite close to it. We are prejudiced by our know-
This knowledge of contrast would help a student ledge and seldom realise the size we see things