'Shroomfest (Round 5) - WARM COLORS vs COOL COLORS

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Raiko Horikawa

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Let me just point out a few more examples of the power of warm colors in designs!

Red, white, memorable. Sure, there's a spot of blue to offset the rest, but it's the red and white that cause a distinct, obvious portrait and design. They grab you by the shoulders, going "I'm the main character!" They make sure you remember this character - who's going to remember the blue version?

Or maybe you want a more subdued, less in your face design? Something like this! Everyone talks about the forcefulness of warm colors, but when used properly they can be just as muted and gentle as the cool colors. The cool colors can't very well turn back and become super in your face and obvious when that IS needed, though!

There might be some green here, but it's in its proper role - serving as a backdrop. The main design part is a powerful dark red, and the pink hair and eyes really stand out and become the iconic, defining parts of the design. It wouldn't work nearly as well in reverse, now would it?

And of course, reusing the same warm colors doesn't mean a rehash. Red and white all over again, but presented entirely differently and uniquely to the previous red and white. All you need is some warm colors and good aesthetic sense, and bam!


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Did you really think I was only going to draw a Waluigi Time Comic for art week? I hear our friend Shmaluigi is a fan of the color purple. Good man, I knew I liked him. But what if he had a purple outfit too?

Well my friends, it would appear our time together has come to a close for now. I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in this event. Perhaps I will see you all around sometime in the future. Until then, remember to buy Waluigi Time Cereal.

I wish all my 'Shroomfest friends a very pleasant evening.


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Oh good, you guys finished up arguing! And just in time, too - we need to get that painting put together, pronto!

With the final week of the 'Shroomfest at its end, it's time to look over this last week's posts, the arguments that were made, and where the points should be designated to. Let's get it started!

Colors enhancing and enriching our visuals, hm? That is a simple task. Take an image of this overcast day, for example. The sky is almost completely obscured here, and everything looks quite dull and dreary. Cool colors and warm colors alike lose much of their appeal.

Now let's take those clouds away. Much better, isn't it? A beautiful blue sky and a vibrant landscape filled with pleasant cool colors.
While the example photo for afterwards does have warm colors within it, the argument towards the blue sky and vibrant landscape is a good one. Really, would we enjoy looking to the sky every day if it weren't blue, or really, any cool colors? Waking up every morning to a world of yellow, for instance, might be too bright to thoroughly enjoy.

Great question, and one that I will attempt to answer using Mario levels. Let's look at an example:

This is Painted Swampland from New Super Mario Bros. U, perhaps one of the most distinct levels in the series in terms of visuals. The level focuses heavily on the color purple, with it being used for the poison and to tint the background. Another color of focus is green, which is used for the pipes, and also for the background. The combination of green and purple creates an exotic feeling (in general I find that green and purple is a good combo to create an alien-like atmosphere), one that is fitting for this unique level, and by extension, the world of Soda Jungle as a whole. After all, Soda Jungle is the world with giant enemies, poison-infested areas, and deep dark woods.

Not convinced by this example? Very well, here's another.

Also from New Super Mario Bros. U, this is Cooligan Fields. Although this is a snow level as opposed to a painting-esque one, unlike other snow levels in the series, this one takes place at night. This is illustrated by a dark blue background, contrasted against the cyan-blue ice platform. The usage of the various shades of blue creates a relaxing effect, as if Mario is on a midnight stroll rather than chasing after Bowser, and the bright color of the ice attracts attention to it, bringing the platform to the foreground.
Demonstrating how cool colors pull our eyes in and how they reflect on the player's experience on the game? Perfect. What a wonderful demonstration of how cool colors can develop the atmosphere of a location.

Hello! Mario greets and compliments. Looking good today! These are all splendid examples of cool colors in action but again, allow me to blur the images to show you that warm colors tend to stand out,even if you're using just a palette of one color.

As I said, color temperature is on a spectrum. This being said, cyan is a warmer color than blue. This means that cyan, by being warmer, pops out. And look what you see, the yellow coins and such popping out. They even compete with cyan, though since their chroma is not as intense they don't completely overtake cyan, but it's impressive that warm colors still manage to be something you're drawn to, even if surrounding by their opposing cool colors.
This is a good counterargument, though! Using the warm colors with the coins and blocks draws the attention to them primarily, and that's significant when they need to know what's important to grab.

As you can see, Noki Bay is a landscape dominated by cool colors, with greens and blues in various shades, and even purple making up the bulk of these towering cliffs and calm seas. And what does it all come together to make? One very peaceful, serene bay tucked away among the cliffs. The use of cool colors helps make the level more relaxing and idyllic.

But that's not all cool colors can do!

Here we see the iconic Luigi's Mansion, absolutely dominated by and completely framed by cool colors. Look at what is done with the mansion, the hill, the sky, and even the torches and path with just shades of green and blue. Cool colors are not one-trick ponies when it comes to enhancing what we see. They can also be used for atmospheric effect, as they are here to give the location a very creep vibe.
More very compelling arguments for how cool colors are used to develop tone and atmosphere in a location. It's much rarer to see warm colors used to communicate areas of dread and unease, so good on you for demonstrating the typical use of cool colors in them.

Here is a red-hot screenshot!

I remember there's really fantastic fanart on dA years ago that was based off a shot from this. It's really too bad I don't remember, but this is a very memorable moment from Super Mario Galaxy. Explosions are always fantastic, even a famous movie director is known for them. And explosions are always going to be associated with warm colors!
While this entire post has good points about the utilization of warm colors, I'm choosing to highlight this portion, due to how striking the imagery is. The vibrant explosion of oranges and reds behind Mario really sells the mightiness of the volcano, enriching the tension of the photo.

Hot locations are not the only ones enhanced by their colors. How about this image? The cool blues and greens create quite a nice underwater landscape. Even the fish are enjoying it.

Multiple colors are not even needed here to create a very pleasant visual, all we have are varying shades of blue and some white. It would almost make me want to jump right in if it wasn't for the fact that I am nothing but extensive lines of code and therefore cannot.
I'm glad somebody chose to highlight the underwater sights! It's true, we regard the ocean as some of the most beautiful locations on Earth, and most of its allure is comprised of cool blues and greens.

Or maybe you want a more subdued, less in your face design? Something like this! Everyone talks about the forcefulness of warm colors, but when used properly they can be just as muted and gentle as the cool colors. The cool colors can't very well turn back and become super in your face and obvious when that IS needed, though!
I'd like to specifically highlight this argument. While it is true that warm colors are known for their fierceness in most situations, it's also entirely true that warm colors can be more subdued, and utilizing their full potential is important to color in character design.

And finally, it's that portion everybody knows and loves! With a challenge to create art this week, it's especially important to take a look at how the community flexed their artistic abilities!

not a drawing but i decided to make something in spore using only cool colors where possible
I also hear we are creating works of art. Mr. Waluigi Time is still hard at work on the final installment of the Cool Colors trilogy of Waluigi Time Comics, but in the meantime, I have created a self-portrait using only cool colors to help the cause.

Recognize the location? Well, you might better know it as Noki Bay!
I think it's about time we had another Waluigi Time Comic, don't you? I hope you enjoy the thrilling conclusion of the Cool Colors Trilogy.
As promised art

Notice Marshal Dan Troop and Deputy Johnny McKay are in warm colors to represent their commitment to truth and justice.
While evil murder Sanders is in cool colors to represent his wickedness

Did you really think I was only going to draw a Waluigi Time Comic for art week? I hear our friend Shmaluigi is a fan of the color purple. Good man, I knew I liked him. But what if he had a purple outfit too?

Wew! That's a lot to get through! But finally, with the arguments and art aside, we can focus on who's won this week's points! Without further ado...


Winner of Week 1
Congratulations, you earned +3 extra points in the EFFORT category!

With an overwhelming amount of support on both fronts of the challenge, you've successfully secured the final week for yourself. Fantastic work, team!

This post formally concludes 'Shroomfest Round 5. I seriously can't believe we've already had five of these things; it feels like just yesterday we were planning the very first one. Thank you all so much for making this round, and every round before it, a joy to engage with. It's really been a blast.

For learning who won the 'Shroomfest, make sure to check out "'Shroomfest Highlights" in Issue 172 of The 'Shroom, releasing next week! You'll see some of our favorite arguments, learn how the story ends, and get a final sendoff from the winning team leader!

Now in the meantime, I've still got to figure out what to do with that painting. I can only hope whoever's responsible for the crime of stealing the entire HQ will come forward if we paint it well enough. We kind of, er, need that...

See you next time!

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