Color has isn’t importance, but it’s not as important as you might think. If your color is close enough and everything else is done right, you’re painting is going to be just fine. However, if the contrast isn’t high enough, you’ll up with a flat painting. Contrast is also even more important in paintings that aren’t realistic since you’re not relying on details to tell you about your subject.
If you’re having trouble with contrast, do some black and white pieces in either pencil or charcoal. That will give a better understanding of light and dark. Drawling will be more important in realism than other styles, but if something’s drawn in first place, you’re painting will be off. So don’t be so quick to blame the poor color when it’s likely not it’s fault.
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