Tutorial by Rachel Parker Varner

Mix Colors Accurately and Balance Values Perfectly with this FREE, Easy App

Mix Colors Accurately and Balance Values Perfectly with this FREE, Easy App

Painting just got a lot easier! Have you ever put off an idea for a painting for a long time? Did you want to draw something, but the reference scared you? From today you will be able to paint from a reference of any complexity with the help of ArtistAssistApp.

In this video tutorial, a wonderful artist and art teacher Rachel Parker Varner introduces ArtistAssistApp, a web app helping artists with accurate color mixing, determining watercolor dilution ratios, perfectly balancing tonal values, simplifying complex reference photos, creating grids for accurate drawing proportions, and more.

ArtistAssistApp is useful for both beginners and experienced artists in various mediums like watercolor, oil color, acrylic, colored pencils, and watercolor pencils.

In the video, ArtistAssistApp is demonstrated on an iPhone and Android device. ArtistAssistApp acts like an app but it's more like a website because you don't have to download it. With ArtistAssistApp you don't have to download another app to clog up your phone. You can use it like a website on your phone, tablet, or laptop.

In the video, Rachel demonstrates the process of creating a beautiful painting of a girl swimming underwater from a reference photo with the help of ArtistAssistApp. The light coming through the water and reflecting off is making parts of her face glow blue and green. The color of the shadow on the skin underwater is also not that simple. How to mix these colors? ArtistAssistApp gives you different options for mixing these green shadows in the side of her face that are so odd-looking. And even better it tells you what ratio to mix these colors in, so you don't waste paint when you're mixing. Four parts of Permanent Green Light, three parts French Ultramarine, and two parts Burnt Sienna. Four parts Permanent Green Light, three parts French Ultramarine, and two parts Winsor Red. Four parts Permanent Green Light, four parts French Ultramarine, and one part Transparent Pyrrol Orange. The second and the third mixes are great because the Burnt Sienna is too granulating to paint shadow on the face. But ArtistAssistApp gives even more mixing options. You can try all these mixes in real life and see which one looks the best to you. ArtistAssistApp even tells you what water concentration you need to mix with your watercolors. Do you need one part water to one part paint? Do you need three parts water to one part paint? The app will help you see how light the color is and how much water you need to add to your paint. It's a game-changer!

How to paint all that water if you do not do photo realism? If you like to paint more impressionistically you've to simplify the reference photo. For example, in this photo, all the ripples in the water are very complicated. It's hard for an artist to simplify this water but still have the water recognizable. Once again ArtistAssistApp solves this problem with the capability of doing the squinting for you. Some artists to figure out how to simplify their paintings, squint at their pictures and it helps blur similarly colored or similar valued areas together to make simpler larger shapes which is key to painting loose and impressionistic. This app does a reference photo simplification for you. No more squinting. The app supports different blur strength settings.

Balancing tonal values is as important as accurate color mixing. ArtistAssistApp helps you see the tonal values in your reference photo, so you can paint them more accurately. If you get your values right in your painting you can use a lot of different colors and it will still look realistic. ArtistAssistApp breaks down the values in your reference photo and shows you light values, medium values, and dark values. Painting light tones and preserving white areas is the foundation of the underpainting process. The regions left untouched or lightly washed represent the 'white of the paper' and it's very important to carefully paint around them. Using the app as a guide helps in identifying and delineating these crucial areas, facilitating a clearer understanding of where to focus attention. Then sequentially painting medium tones and finally darkest shadows. This systematic method is similar to a roadmap, streamlining the painting process, and enabling artists to navigate through layers with precision. By leveraging the app's functionality to do a tonal study value, the artist ultimately enhances the overall painting experience.

With ArtistAssistApp you can explore the concept of utilizing a limited palette in painting to enhance color cohesion and prevent overwhelming complexity. You can choose from one to five colors and visualize how your reference will look like painted with just these colors. The app offers insights into simplifying complex color schemes and experimenting with different combinations.

ArtistAssistApp offers grid functionality, which can be a game-changer for artists aiming for precision in their paintings. You can adjust the size of the grid squares according to your needs; for detailed paintings, opt for smaller squares, while larger squares work well for simpler compositions. If you've struggled with line drawing without software like Photoshop, this app has a solution. By overlaying a grid on your reference photo, you can accurately replicate proportions by drawing corresponding squares on your canvas. Starting with a grid on a separate sheet helps preserve your painting surface, allowing for adjustments without damage. While some may prefer freehand drawing, utilizing the grid system ensures better proportions and serves as a valuable tool, especially for those new to painting or seeking precision in their work. Integrating the grid system into your process can significantly enhance your painting experience and results.