View Full Version : Color Theory: Saturation?

03 March 2010, 12:22 PM

I am trying to learn to paint in photoshop and while I was using a photo of an orange as ref I tried to describe this picture with words while painting.

For example when you are describing a sphere in black and white you know that there is an highlight and you go through core shadow to the cast shadow.
Every step you are decreasing value from the highlight to the cast shadow.

How can you describe this for the saturation?
Looking at the picture attached, how would you explain the transition from the highlight to the penumbra?
Is it as easily explainable as the decrease of value, or is it just arbitrary like the hue?

I know that the saturation is the purity of color, but I don't know if it is linked to the light coming to the object or the property of the object or both :)

I hope I was clear enough.

03 March 2010, 01:50 PM
Usually saturation is at its strongest at midvalues, decreasing towards highlights and shadows. You can see that also that band of high saturation in that orange.

This ( has something related to the subject when you readh from here and there.

Hope this helps.

03 March 2010, 10:24 AM
Thank you, I'll take a look at it.

04 April 2010, 02:45 PM
i think i have to disagree with halen here. i believe to have oticed (while painting) that teh saturation is actually strongest in the shadows, because there the color is not getting "blown out" by direct light. the thing is, everythign in painting is relative. relative to how the object is lit, what other things are around it (e.g. if you have a strong red cloth underneat your orange, the shadows will pick up the relfected light of this red cloth and become very saturated) but also how you personally percive colors (tahts the interesting aprt that sets artists apart from each other) and also finally, what colors you paint next to your orange. if oyu have a grey object it will lok drastically different depending on the color that it is surrounded by because your brain actually "invents" colors as you see others. (read up on simultaneous contrasts if you want more info on that)
here is my advice,
first of all, dont paint frmo fotos (theyre useful for inspiration or color schemes but for actually learnign hwo to paint its best to paint from real objects because you can observ emuch more things and youre not limited already by the cameras lense/whitebalance etc). so get an orange, put it on some cloth or so, take a strong light and light it so it looks itneresting, then practice to DRAW it, use a pencil and paper to get the shape, where the shadows go etc. and THEN take a small canvas/paper and start painting a sketch (no drawing underneath) oil works best for me but acrylics are also cool. after you done this small sketch, where you focus on shapes and colour, you do the same again ona bigger canvas (whatever size you desire) block in the basics. either with a skethc underneath or directly with the brush but then go into detail and be very specific about the colors you chose. i recommend traditional paint because it forces you to mae your own decisions, be precise and also to mix the colors yourself. photosho is great for doing things quickly and efficiently but for studies, real paint is the best. i hope this helps you to get started :) and dont realy on people telling you where saturation is and what things are supposed to look like. get out there and make your own observations :) and write everything down that you see so in a couple of years youll have your own artist's handbook!

CGTalk Moderation
04 April 2010, 02:45 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.