Color Theory Painting

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This is ac­tu­al­ly a re­al­ly old as­sig­n­ment, but I just haven’t got­ten around to pos­ting it till now.

While it seems odd to do so­mething as phy­si­cal as pain­ting for a class de­di­ca­ted to wor­king with Adobe InDesign, it was ac­tu­al­ly a qui­te edu­ca­ti­o­nal. The point of the as­sig­n­ment was to te­ach ba­sic co­lor the­o­ry, and our te­a­cher re­al­ly li­kes pain­ting, so the two we­re an ob­vi­ous ma­tch. She de­ci­ded to work with a pro­ject that the pain­ting class was doing at the sa­me ti­me, which was to cre­a­te a pain­ting of a bi­bli­cal sce­ne in the stai­ned glass sty­le.

I star­ted by brain­stor­ming so­me ide­as of so­me epic sce­nes, dis­re­gar­ding fe­a­si­bi­li­ty at this point. I had a few in mind, but ul­ti­ma­te­ly sett­led on this one for it’s sim­pli­ci­ty. This sce­ne is from Exodus 17:8–17, when the Israelites  de­fe­at the Amalekite ar­my:

The Amalekites ca­me and at­tac­ked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose so­me of our men and go out to fig­ht the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

So Joshua foug­ht the Amalekites as Moses had or­de­red, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites we­re win­ning, but whe­ne­ver he lo­we­red his hands, the Amalekites we­re win­ning. When Moses’ hands grew ti­red, they took a sto­ne and put it un­der him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one si­de, one on the other—so that his hands re­mai­ned ste­a­dy till sunset. So Joshua over­ca­me the Amalekite ar­my with the sword.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as so­mething to be re­mem­be­red and ma­ke su­re that Joshua he­ars it, be­cau­se I will com­ple­te­ly blot out the me­mo­ry of Amalek from un­der he­a­ven.”

Moses built an al­tar and cal­led it The LORD is my Banner. He said, “For hands we­re lif­ted up to the thro­ne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from ge­ne­ra­ti­on to ge­ne­ra­ti­on.”

Once I had de­ci­ded on a sce­ne, I star­ted ske­t­ching small si­ze con­cepts, trying to get the pro­por­ti­ons of the pe­op­le rig­ht. Humans are hard to get rig­ht! Once I was sa­tis­fied, I did my fi­nal full si­ze ske­tch on an A4 pa­ge and trans­fer­red it on­to lar­ger thick stock for pain­ting hen­ce the lack of any re­al boun­da­ries. Then, I went over the li­nes I had to de­fi­ne whe­re the paint was going to go. The next step was to choo­se the co­lor pa­let­te for it. I sett­led on a col­der, blue-​purple for the cliff fa­ce to con­trast the warm glow abo­ve. The most an­noying thing about this pro­ject was the mix­ing of the paints. I haven’t ever mixed paints with a go­al in mind be­fo­re, and get­ting enough of every litt­le dis­tinct shade that I nee­ded for each cell was an exe­r­ci­se in pa­tien­ce.

At the end of the pro­ject, the pain­ting stu­dents pou­red a black ink all over their pain­tings, then was­hed off the co­lo­red parts, le­a­ving the whi­te. Unfortunately, this pro­cess tur­ned their beau­ti­ful­ly co­lo­red, brig­ht pain­tings dark and dirty-​looking. When I saw that, I re­que­sted to not ha­ve this pro­cess do­ne to my pie­ce, sin­ce I li­ked how it was al­re­a­dy much bet­ter. I re­a­li­ze that Moses doesn’t ha­ve his staff in my pain­ting, but I didn’t look up the re­fe­ren­ce whi­le I was doing it, and I pre­fer the emp­ty spa­ce abo­ve his he­ad bet­ter then ha­ving a stick the­re.

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4 Responses to “Color Theory Painting”


  • Fabulous!!!
    So ha­ve you scan­ned it to cre­a­te a di­gi­tal ver­si­on as well?

  • Thanks for all the de­tails! I re­mem­ber how cra­zy it was mix­ing paints was in Color Theory too. [We] di­gi­tal ar­tis­ts are so spoi­led! I re­al­ly en­joy your pro­por­ti­o­na­te hu­mans. That in­king pro­cess sounds so wei­rd! I would li­ke to see how they turn out, though. A techni­que for ap­prox­i­ma­ting dir­ty OLD stai­ned glass, may­be?

  • I see the staff on the cliff fa­ce!  This is tru­ly mag­ni­fi­cent, as it is one of my fa­vo­ri­te sto­ries! Planning to fra­me it and the blue should look gre­at in your room!
    Love, mom

  • Thanks for all the de­tails! I re­mem­ber how cra­zy it was mix­ing paints was in Color Theory too. [We] di­gi­tal ar­tis­ts are so spoi­led! I re­al­ly en­joy your pro­por­ti­o­na­te hu­mans. That in­king pro­cess sounds so wei­rd! I would li­ke to see how they turn out, though. A techni­que for ap­prox­i­ma­ting dir­ty OLD stai­ned glass, may­be?

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