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I’ve always been aware of drawings done by the great masters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Antoine Watteau, that were done in three basic colors: red, black and white.

The drawing sample on the left is by Rubens and the one on the right is by Watteau.

Peter Paul Rubens sampleAntoine Wattea sample

I’ve never paid much attention to it. I might have tried it a few times but I’ve basically steered clear of drawing in this method.

Through the internet I’ve discovered a modern artist named Robert Liberace that has mastered it and is doing some really fantastic art using this style of drawing.

So I’ve decided that I must try this style and learn how to use it.

I was pretty ignorant about the concept behind this method but I’ve learned a few things since then. It’s about working with color temperature, the warm and the cool colors, and having them work together in harmony to give the illusion of a broad range of colors.

The red color obviously represents the warm colors. You use it where you see hints of the warm colors such as the reds, pinks, oranges, yellow-oranges, etc. The black represents the cool colors, which would be the blues, greens, cool violets, etc. You use it where you see hints of those colors on the subject.

It won’t be till the weekend, when we have the figure drawing workshop, where I might be able to apply what I’ve learned. I will have several long poses to work with so I’m looking forward to it.

But in the meantime, I’ve made a several test runs on my bus people drawings using the tri-color method. It was a pretty clumsy effort at first but it’s all part of the learning process.

I’m not sure if the bus drawings would count because I can’t really look hard at my subject to see the warm and cool colors. I’m just making them up with what I get from the quick looks that I take.

Below is the most recent one that I’ve done. It’s still a work in progress.

Sketchbook_tri-color 0003

I get it, sort of, but it’s going to take a lot of practice for me to really know how to use the three colors together. It will be interesting to see how this develops.