Real colors

(Response to color values)

You can make believable bamboo many different colors
depending on the light and the scene ... really
... even blue. It's amazing sometimes. There was
a painting I was working on where I could not get
some of the grasses and sticks to look natural. I
"knew" what color they were, but it always looked
artificial on the canvas. Finally, I used an old
trick ... I took a gray card, cut a hole in it
and looked at some of the stuff through that.

It was purple. It was actually purple. And not
only that, some of it was blue. So I painted it
that way and it finally looked real. Of course,
the Impressionists had figured that out a hundred
years before, but they tended to exaggerate it,
so I hadn't believed it up until then.

[Clever response from Stephen Hart: The Impressionists had gray cards?]

Oh, yes. You didn't know? That's where Kodak got the idea.