Anyway, let's talk a bit more about color.
We can try to think of color in these 3 ways to help us understand how to bring a believable sense of realism in our paintings.
Firstly, as artists, we have to become aware that our eyes play tricks on us, or our minds play tricks on our eyes, or something....Anyway, it's quite difficult. Sometimes we see green, we swear it's green, but it's actually dark yellow. How can we know for sure? The only way is to develop an intuition, through study, trying and testing. There are methods we can use for painting from life. Matching our color mixes to our subject is not so difficult, but tedious, perhaps.
What about when we're adding color to our images that have no reference? Then we can only use our acquired knowledge, which is why studying from life is so important.
Relative Color -
If we paint in this way, we're painting a color as we perceive it relative to the colors nearby. When different colors are presented together they affect our perception of each particular color. Dark red looks brown when placed on a light green background, for example. Therefore, when mixing our colors based on these interpretations, our palette will be incorrect. As a result, our painting won't look quite right.
Absolute Color -
The absolute color is the true color of the object when isolated from nearby color influence. This is the color we should try to mix in order to represent the object correctly.
Local Color -
This is label we can use to describe the color of an object in the absence of any light at all. We can never perceive the local color of an object but it will help us when making our palette. We might ask, how is the local color of the apple affected by the warm sunlight. If we estimate correctly then we will be applying the absolute color.