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canvasishome
06-11-2003, 03:06 PM
Hi Floks,

Does anyone know of a chart, book, online reference that maps colors to the value scale?

For example, I'm looking for something that would show or say that Lemon Yellow is a value 1, Cad. Red is a value 5, Purple is a value 8, etc.

I have trouble with seeing mid-values in the 4-5-6 range. I get confused at what colors lay in that range of value with subtle changes.

If you know of anything like this, please help!

Thanks.

-dk-

Patrick1
06-11-2003, 09:05 PM
Here's one (but this is for watercolours; I don't know if it applies dirctly to oils and acrylics):

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color10.html#vwheel

bruin70
06-18-2003, 04:18 AM
i could never understand anyone's need to see a color chart that is associated with a value scale, and yet, i realize there are instructors out there who push this.

can i ask,,,,why do you need this? specifically, as you go about a painting, at what point do you feel the need to use a gray scale reference to match your color? honestly, the only thing i can think of is if you were doing a B/W painting, and you see an orange and you don't know what grey to use.

canvasishome
06-18-2003, 09:21 AM
Hi Milt,

Thanks for your comment. Perhaps I just suffer some convoluted thinking here, so bear with me.

I find it easier (or more normal?) to model forms in value changes, rather than color changes. Does this make me a tonalist-style painter?

Lately, I've wanted to experiment by trying using color changes as value changes (is this a colorist-style painter?). So, my thinking is that if I set up a palette using color as value, I can use those colors (or slight variations of them) to model a form instead of value.

BTW, the site 'handprint' did have a chart similar to what I was asking. It has a modified color wheel with white at the top, black at the bottom, and maybe 50 colors arranged according to their place on the value scale.

Am I way off base here? I'm all ears and open to ideas.

Thanks.

-dk-

bruin70
06-18-2003, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by canvasishome
Hi Milt,

I find it easier (or more normal?) to model forms in value changes, rather than color changes. Does this make me a tonalist-style painter?

Lately, I've wanted to experiment by trying using color changes as value changes (is this a colorist-style painter?). So, my thinking is that if I set up a palette using color as value, I can use those colors (or slight variations of them) to model a form instead of value.


-dk-

yes,,,that is a good broad definition of tonal painter. modeling is not a PRIORITY for colorists..... color is their priority.

here's where i don't get what you all are doing. i can look at a row of paints and see what's dark and what's light. i don't need a value chart to tell me this. and if i want to paint an lemon, or a green cup, i'll paint what i see. no need to pull out a value chart.

it almost sounds like some art teachers have gotten you to overthink about things that have no significant outcome for the better.

ask several people what they see when they look at a green cup, and they will come up with colors that make me think they're on drugs. so,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you see what you see.

WFMartin
06-22-2003, 01:11 AM
Originally posted by bruin70


yes,,,that is a good broad definition of tonal painter. modeling is not a PRIORITY for colorists..... color is their priority.

here's where i don't get what you all are doing. i can look at a row of paints and see what's dark and what's light. i don't need a value chart to tell me this. and if i want to paint an lemon, or a green cup, i'll paint what i see. no need to pull out a value chart.

it almost sounds like some art teachers have gotten you to overthink about things that have no significant outcome for the better.

ask several people what they see when they look at a green cup, and they will come up with colors that make me think they're on drugs. so,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you see what you see.

Milt,

You are SO correct. Well said. Amen

Bill

JamieWG
06-22-2003, 09:11 AM
I find a value scale helpful to learn about shadows. In the past two years, I've tried not to paint from photos except where necessary. Up until that time, drawing and painting mostly from photos ruined my eye for value in shadows. Photos send shadows way to the darkest darks in a hurry. In real life, they are not like that at all. I look at shadows and try to guess their value, then compare them to the value scale. Initially I was way off, guessing everything way too dark as if life were a photo, but through doing this, it's gotten ever so much better. The value finder has really not helped me with value in color so much; however, the hole in the center of the grey is a good way to isolate a color to see without the influence of what is next to that color.

Jamie

bruin70
06-23-2003, 12:15 AM
Originally posted by JamieWG
I find a value scale helpful to learn about shadows. In the past two years, I've tried not to paint from photos except where necessary. Up until that time, drawing and painting mostly from photos ruined my eye for value in shadows. Photos send shadows way to the darkest darks in a hurry. In real life, they are not like that at all. I look at shadows and try to guess their value, then compare them to the value scale. Initially I was way off, guessing everything way too dark as if life were a photo, but through doing this, it's gotten ever so much better. The value finder has really not helped me with value in color so much; however, the hole in the center of the grey is a good way to isolate a color to see without the influence of what is next to that color.

Jamie

thanks jamie...i understand how you might want to identify the value of a particular area. i will show you a better way. but first,,,how do you translate the value you decided on to what color you want to choose? and is it necessary? if you are using a blue for a blue cup, and you use your value scale to see that you need to get the blue darker by a factor of x, do you use the chart to find a darker color to mix with the blue? is that really necessary? just get a darker color.

see what i mean? the process befuddles me.

anyway, here's a better way to pinpoint your value............everything in a painting is relative. what is dark in one circumstance is lighter in another. what is green in one circumstance is blueish green in another. so, in a sense there are no absolutes(of value and color) in a painting. it is a matter of perception.

people missinterpret value for a few reasons. the main one is that they don't look at a value in relation to other values,,,,they isolate the value. and here's where they get into trouble. the more you search or stare into a dark area to seek its proper value, the lighter it will appear. this is because when you stare into that dark area(you don't have to stare long:)), your eye adjusts, the pupil opens, and the dark becomes lighter. much the way your eye adjusts in a dark room. staring at something very light will cause it to darken,,,just the opposite.

therefore when you determine a value, dark or light, look quickly and in relation to it's surrounding values.

using the value scale has weaknesses. the first must now be obvious....you are looking too closely at your dark when you match the value, so yes, it will start to lighten. the other weakness has to do with balancing your painting. you should not give equal attention to light areas and dark areas. the eye focuses on the light and details in the dark areas fade. this is best in almost all situations because the darks of a form are its support(structure),,,,the details are in the light.

having said all this, and reiterating that everything is relative, here is the best way to pinpoint your values. use your brush handle as a measuring tool and align it across the object you are painting. the value of the brush handle becomes the CONSTANT by which you measure all the values of the objects you are painting. thus, your measure of those values are truer because you are measuring it against A CONSTANT value.

here's a sample. on the left is the model and you want to determine the proper value for the "whites" of her eye. the more you stare at the small area, the lighter it will appear. if you place a constant value(your brush handle or whatever) against her face, you can now see its relative value to all other values on her face,,,,your brush handle being the measuring standard. notice how dark, in fact, the "whites of the eyes" really are. they are closer in value to the nose and much darker than her cheek. were you to stare at the left image, it appears much lighter than her nose......{M}

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jun-2003/205-values.jpg

canvasishome
06-23-2003, 08:56 AM
Milt,

Thanks for your illustration. That is very helpful and I'll incorporate the brush handle method.

Thanks for your input, everybody!

-dk-

Wayne Gaudon
06-23-2003, 10:17 AM
Like it .. great expo(s) Milt .. very useful information .. thank you.

JamieWG
06-23-2003, 10:39 AM
Milt, thank you. I have used the brush handle in the field and it does serve a purpose without having to pull out the value finder.

You asked how I translate value to color from the grey scale. I don't. I just use the grey scale as a means of observation, and the holes in the greys to isolate color and examine hue against neutral grey. It helps me to understand things about shadows and value relationships and being able to identify them, which in turn helps me to see with greater understanding. It doesn't pick the colors for me!

Jamie

Cloud Drifter
06-28-2003, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by canvasishome
Hi Folks,
I have trouble with seeing mid-values in the 4-5-6 range. I get confused at what colors lay in that range of value with subtle changes.
-dk-

I see no answers to this so must ask whether you mean that you have an actual visual problem within that value range of colors or do you mean just in mixing them with their complements, etc?

I personally find the value scale very important in color theory and pigment mixing. Some do not. Each of us are individual artists and what works for one does not always work for all as we do perceive colors differently.

An artist should be like a chef in the kitchen...he knows each and every subtle flavor of every seasoning in his or her cupboard and what magnificent results will occur when intermixed. The same thing with paint...the more we know about each color including where it lies on the value scale the more sumptuous meal we will eventually be able to prepare on our canvas. In lectures and classes I have used this method of comparison to help beginning and experienced students understand that when we work with color, we are mixing "Visual Flavors"! By relating to seasonings, they understand once one has really tasted the flavor and in paint seen and understand the marriage of colors that you really begin to know the importance of knowing your ingredients whether they are paint or seasonings.

I like to suggest that one makes small swatches of each color and simply arrange them in categories of which color appears to be lighter, cooler, warmer, darker, brighter, duller, etc. At least this is a beginning of where each one visually appears to you.

The Munsell Color System (Artist's and Painter's Color System) has values assigned to each color and if you go to the Golden Paint web site, you should find a chart of all of their colors listed with a value rating assigned to each.

Yes...spend time just mixing and experimenting with each color and how each one interacts with all of the others you have in your palette. Make notes of each color mixture you make and be sure to record the color steps along the way to each final mixture.

When subtractive mixing of color, (opaque) try to remember that each color that is mixed with another takes away some of the white light that is projected to the eye. This can make the colors seem darker and also somewhat more dull.

On the other hand, layers of various transparent colors allow light-rays to pass through, strike the base white or under-color and then reflect back to the eye. This is a visual mixing of color and often creates much more depth within the mixture.

For a fun exercise, I have had students take burnt umber (which is actually in the orange family) and paint a dark, opaque square to represent a shadow. Then, take the same burnt umber and thin it with medium and make layers of glazes with it until they reach the same value as the opaque square. This takes time in oil as each layer must be dry before the next glaze is applied. It is faster in acrylic but the transparent glaze is not as deep) It is amazing how much more depth the glazed color has than the opaque one even though they are both the same value of light or dark.

As far as using one object as a constant, I also like to select one spot within scene or portrait and use that as a measuring guide against all other colors and values in the composition. This way you have a constant that is more relative to the scene than an outside element or tool.

To study an area of values within the subject, cut a hole in a middle value ( 5 on the scale) grey scale and view your colors through that. This helps eliminate confusion from all other surrounding colors.

I hope this is helpful.

banachek
06-30-2003, 12:50 AM
I was excited to see this question posted because I really wanted to see a color chart with values ascribed. The only medium I've used in art is pencil. If I wanted a darker value I pressed harder, if I wanted a lighter value I pressed lighter (basically).

Last week I decided to try doing my work in acryllic paint and moving from a world of black and white and grays to a world of color is a lot trickier than one would think. And I was expecting it to be pretty tricky.

I can't look at a deep blue and a deep brown and see which one is darker. I can't look at a yellow and another yellow and say "Oh that one has a higher or deeper value than that one." I just see a bunch of different colours. So I end up with colorful or subdued work that don't vary in value much...and they look pretty lame.

I liked the analogy of painting with cooking. You get your first spice and seasoning rack with 30 little bottles of different tasting herbs and you can spend a lot of time cooking up some awful dishes before you find the taste you're looking for. Some people are probably born with an inherent sense of smelling a spice and knowing what dish to use it in and how much to use. I don't. I have a chart to use as a guideline and then I stray from there with abandon.

It's the same with colors for me. Putting colours where I used to put darker or lighter grays is tricky. To learn a basic value system
for colors would sure cut out a lot of trial and error....

Because I've also got to figure out this whole warm and cool colors thing.

So thank you for the replies to this post, I know I've benefited from them. And thanks for the pointer on the Golden Paint site. Definitely be checking it out.

Thanks, Debora (novice)

Johnnie
06-30-2003, 02:49 AM
Originally posted by canvasishome
Hi Floks,

Does anyone know of a chart, book, online reference that maps colors to the value scale?

Thanks.

-dk-


I have what you looking for but too big to post 11x8.5 page.
Doesnt look right reduced down to be able to post here.

If someone can tell me how to put an 11x8.5 pic on here I will do it BUT its from a book. Dont know what copy wright stuf on here is allowed or not.

I sent you email about it.

Johnnie

Einion
06-30-2003, 01:17 PM
DK, seeing value accurately is one of those things that comes easily to some but with most of the rest of us it requires study and practice, like so many aspects of painting. To give a musical analogy if you were still learning scales in piano you'd hardly expect to be able to play a concerto from the score would you? Remember that most good painters studied and worked long and hard to get to the stage where value and colour judgement is second nature, not to mention draughtsmanship and painting style. Generally we have to expect to put in the same amount of effort to get to an equivalent level.

I think learning the masstone values of each one of your colours is a good first step in getting a handle on the issue, but it only helps to match a given area where you know its value, you still have to figure out what that value is in the first place! Although human vision is far more sensitive than this, I think getting within a half value step is more than adequate for most painting styles so you don't have an insurmountable obstacle ahead of you, persevere and you'll get it. Having a ten-step value scale on hand while you paint to compare with will help; if you don't have one I would recommend painting one for yourself as a good first exercise, matching the values from a book or from your monitor (as long as it's reasonably well-calibrated it should be accurate enough). Use whichever white you use in painting and black, mixed with a small proportion of one of the umbers, this should give you an near-perfect neutral scale. If you don't use black mix the darkest dark possible, as with the white these are the darkest and lightest values you will actually have available to work with.

I agree completely with what Cloud Drifter says above about artists being very individual, how one thinks about painting can be as individual as the work itself. Even two artists who have similar styles can have surprising differences in how they think about things and in the how they actually produce the work. I think part of Milt's problem with your desired method is, like a great many artists, a systematic approach to a visual problem runs counter to his whole approach to painting. This is something I've run across many times in discussions on colour mixing and matching - most people prefer to use their own individualistic, even idiosyncratic, ways to match colours, regardless of whether it works as well as an intellectual approach, which, for beginners especially, would yield much better results but requires a different kind of effort. This is another of the points where I think Cloud Drifter is dead-on, an intimate knowledge of the character of your materials is a vital part of achieving desired, repeatable, results -knowing the values and mixing behaviour of your palette is fundamental.

However Milt also raised an interesting point that is worth reiterating. The idea of having different yellows on hand to be able to lay down dabs of at value 8 and 7 and 5, add a white highlight et voila! you have a lemon, isn't desirable or practical in reality. Basically for a given hue you would need a complete value range if possible, which it's actually not - even with a limited number of slices of the colour 'pie' this would result in an large, unwieldy, palette. This is even if you could locate, for example, a violet-blue at value 8, an orange-red at value 3, a blue-green at value 7, which aren't available. These colour positions painters have to mix as needed, a basic element of all painting - even people with ridiculous palettes of 50 colours or more won't have a wide range of values for any hue represented because yellows are generally light in value, reds middle to dark in value and so on. Plus this is ignoring differences in chroma for a given hue/value position (two colours could have the same hue and value but be 'brighter' or 'duller') opacity, which is an important consideration for most painters, etc...

In case you're not aware most experienced artists have smaller palettes than many amateurs - Richard Schmid's is basically 12 for example, Chuck Close at one time used only four - an intimate familiarity with their materials means they can do more with less. Although most could easily handle additional colours because they could quickly determine what they're like and how they work, they just don't find it necessary and anyway, paint mixing is one of the satisfying tasks of the act of painting for many, I certainly love it :)

If you want to go the whole hog with a systematic approach you can do as Cloud Drifter suggested and paint value scales for as many hue positions as you deem necessary, making notes along the way on what you used. Then if you determine that you need a yellow-orange at value 5 you'll know exactly how you mixed it using your palette.

Einion

Einion
06-30-2003, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
For a fun exercise, I have had students take burnt umber (which is actually in the orange family) and paint a dark, opaque square to represent a shadow. Then, take the same burnt umber and thin it with medium and make layers of glazes with it until they reach the same value as the opaque square. This takes time in oil as each layer must be dry before the next glaze is applied. It is faster in acrylic but the transparent glaze is not as deep) It is amazing how much more depth the glazed color has than the opaque one even though they are both the same value of light or dark.
I was with you until this part. Whether you paint with one layer thickly or ten layers thinly once you get a solid opaque layer there is no visual difference except in texture - which can have a slight effect, most notably on value - the colour is the same.

Your preceding point about light transmission and reflected light from beneath is correct, but once you get to complete coverage the only really significant difference is determined by surface finish. The glazed layers and the opaque block of Burnt Umber in your example I suspect don't have equal gloss but would look identical or nearly so if varnished to the same finish. For a matt or satin finish I have confirmed this endlessly while painting in acrylics as I use them in a very thin manner for almost all my painting and there is no difference in masstone between ten light coats and one heavy coat except that I get much fewer brushmarks :D

I've tried glazing experiments too, using many light layers to match a heavy single glaze (not opaque) of the same colour and once they were equalised in gloss, if necessary, they looked the same. I'm pleased to now know the same principle is true for watercolours also after reading Bruce McEvoy's layering tests a few months ago, "paint glazed in several thin layers is not darker, richer or more saturated than a single layer of the same paint applied at the optimal consistency."

Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
When subtractive mixing of color, (opaque) try to remember that each color that is mixed with another takes away some of the white light that is projected to the eye. This can make the colors seem darker and also somewhat more dull.
One last point, although this is basically true the loss of chroma in subtractive mixing shouldn't be over-emphasised. For example a mix of Phthalo Blue GS and a good green-yellow yields greens that are brighter than we can generally use, especially at the lighter end, and usually require dulling down to actually be useful. Another is the oranges that Cadmium Yellow and Cadmium Red Light can give, virtually identical to pigment Cadmium Orange, they are as bright an orange as we can get in opaque, lightfast paint and with the exception of florals and possibly sunsets I can't think of another subject where it wouldn't require a little knocking back.

Einion

Cloud Drifter
07-01-2003, 04:55 PM
DK
Forgive my delay in sending the following but I had to find the proper information. There is, or was a book that contains exactly what you are looking for. It is titled “COLOR” Universal Language and Dictionary of Names”. It was published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards. NBS Special Publication 440. It is authored by Kenneth L. Kelly and Deane B. Judd. It supersedes and combines the ISCC-NBS Method of Designating Colors and a Dictionary of Color Names. Contains “A Universal Color Language”. The Library of Congress Catalog Card Number is: 76-600071. It discusses the Munsell Color System with charts showing chroma and value levels of colors. There are “Color Name Charts” and diagrams of the dimensional color system created by Albert Munsell with numbers assigned to value and chroma ranges.

Another section included “Synonymous and Near-Synonymous Color Names With Their Sample Identifications”. You can use this to cross-reference a color name and find the position of its chroma and value spot on the Munsell range. Sounds like a lot of work but it is really easy. It’s a good reference to the internationally accepted value and chroma range of all listed colors.

You might have to search for this book as I can’t seem to find any copies available on today’s market. However, it may be available at libraries, GPO Book Stores or used on the internet. If you find it, please let me know. Thanks.

Originally posted by Einion

I was with you until this part.

Einion

Enion
Right on...thanks for mentioning this. I should have been much more specific in my description of the glazing exercise using burnt umber. As you know, the opacity of burnt umber varies from maker to maker. For instance, Rembrandt lists it as “halftransparent”, Winsor & Newton lists it as “Transparent/Semi-Transparent” while Grumbacher lists it as “Opaque”. This is why I chose burnt umber as it is not totally transparent. Non-the-less, the differences in “visual depth” of the two different swatches is quite evident. Once finished, since burnt umber often dries with a dull surface, the opaque swatch of color is varnished with a thin layer of damar final gloss varnish. This aids in the visual comparison of the two. Even with the varnish coating, the light rays are still reflected from the surface of the opaque umber swatch and we perceive only the color from that surface.

On the other hand, the layers of burnt umber glaze (in oils) are very thin and numerous. The umber is thinned with a glazing medium until it is only a deep stain of color. Then, each layer is applied over a previously dried glaze onto a titanium white ground. This application of glaze layers involves many layers. These layers never become opaque but remain transparent with depth, only building to a darker value. We keep layering the glazes until a “visual” value that appears close to the opaque swatch is reached. True...the layers become physically deep enough that light rays only penetrate into a depth within the layers. We then perceive the color of umber from within the glazes. It’s like being on a boat and looking straight down into the water at a shallow depth and then moving out to a depth where we can no longer see the bottom...only the light from the beautiful color of deep water.

Once this exercise is finished, we glaze half of the opaque umber with a thin glaze of ultramarine blue and the other half with alizarin crimson. This shows the opaque mix altered in two different ways.

Also, hope this is not too far afield but it is akin to giving a ‘32 B Model Ford show car a “Candy Apple Red” paint job. Some show cars have over seventy layers of pinkish lacquer glazes applied until the desired value of red is reached. The light penetrates the depth of the glazes and we perceive, “Candy Apple Red”.

Enion your above reference to “Bruce McEvoy's layering tests” is very helpful. It shows the method of layering glazes in watercolors differs greatly from those in oils and the end results cannot really be compared for visual depth of glaze.

Enion...yes, the loss of chroma in subtractive mixing should not be over-emphasized but the possibility must be kept in mind. Your example of mixing the two cool colors for greens and the two warms for orange is perfect. However, if one moved within the yellow range and selected a warmer yellow to blend with the cool blue, the result would still be chromatic but not as brilliant in hue.



DK
I would like to generally add that many of the “rules” in charts and books actually should be used as only a guide, tool and reference...not as an absolute method of performing our art. As I mentioned above, “what works for one does not always work for all as we do perceive colors differently”. We can have all the charts and books in the world at our fingertips, but if we interpret them too literally we have limited our creativity and cannot put our emotional response to the subject and colors we see into our work.

However, I can’t resist passing on a couple of examples of value mixing that are “rules” (using white and black) that should only be kept in mind and use when appropriate. I use these when using white of black. There will of course be many times when you do not want to use either white or black to change the values but simply keep the colors chromatic and move to the next lighter or darker analogous color.

Two old rules of thumb that work extremely well for lighting or darkening the value of a color are:

To lighten: When adding white to a color, we get a tint of that color. To keep the color lively, along with the white, add a speck of a color above it on the color wheel and the mixture will take on new life. For instance: When adding white to cadmium red light, the result is a value of pink. If we want the pink (lightened red) to have more life, we add a bit of cadmium orange to the mix. This works wonders in keeping colors alive.

To darken: If we add black to cadmium red light, we get a brownish-red that has less life than the cadmium red light. This time we wanted to shade the color so as we used black. Here, we do just the reverse of above and add a touch of an analogous color below the cadmium red light. Cadmium red medium or even alizarin crimson really brings life back to the deepened red mix.

As to which black to use, there are a number available and some are warm and others cool. I quite often mix and use my own blacks in order to control the depth of warm or cool. However, Lamp black is cool and very strong while ivory black is considered warm and quite a bit weaker than lamp. Each of these can also be adjusted by the addition of a touch of burnt umber, raw umber, or any of the deeper blues.

The above methods are used by watercolorists also. Instead of white, they add water and use the white of the paper instead.

Also, while I am at it, think it might be helpful to clarify my reference to using “one spot within the scene of composition” as a value reference point. I neglected to say that after picking the spot, use a value scale to generally locate the depth you see in the color. Then, select colors that appear close to the color and value of that spot...then, trust in what you see and mix several swatches of color to match as closely as you can the reference “spot”. Don’t worry about pleasing anyone but yourself with your mixes. After all, another artist would mix a value of color for the same spot a bit differently.

WFMartin
07-03-2003, 11:09 AM
Cloud Drifter,

You have raised some very valid points, here, regarding the mixing of light tints and dark shades of a given color. When I did a densitometric color analysis of Cad. Orange mixed with Flake White, I discovered that it actually moved toward red with the addition of increased amounts of white paint. Why? Who knows, but it did happen. No wonder Cad Orange (mixed with white) creates a good color tint for Cad. Red Light! It BECOMES red with the addition of white! I find that to be extremely interesting, don't you?

I think more colors should be tested with this in mind. Now we're talkin' REAL, applicable, color "theory"! This is neither opinions nor guesswork, but scientific fact. You have made an excellent point, here.

Bill:)

JamieWG
07-04-2003, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by WFMartin
When I did a densitometric color analysis of Cad. Orange mixed with Flake White, I discovered that it actually moved toward red with the addition of increased amounts of white paint.

Bill, this *is* interesting! And although I initially though it surprising, when I thought about how white cools a color, it makes perfect sense that it would move the orange away from the yellow side of the spectrum.

Jamie

LarrySeiler
07-05-2003, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by bruin70


yes,,,that is a good broad definition of tonal painter. modeling is not a PRIORITY for colorists..... color is their priority.

here's where i don't get what you all are doing. i can look at a row of paints and see what's dark and what's light. i don't need a value chart to tell me this. and if i want to paint an lemon, or a green cup, i'll paint what i see. no need to pull out a value chart.

it almost sounds like some art teachers have gotten you to overthink about things that have no significant outcome for the better.

ask several people what they see when they look at a green cup, and they will come up with colors that make me think they're on drugs. so,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you see what you see.

I agree with Milt here....I see it, I paint it.

I'm going to sound contentious a bit with Milt...but not because I do not respect or admire Milt and his work. Milt is indesputably a great painter! My aim is only to bring balance and a counter perspective...and some clarification because I am often confused as a colorist because I prioritize color as an outdoor painter.

To begin...by default of painting indoors I was more a tonalist. Painting outdoor scenes using photo references. Thru the lens metering creating photographs lose a lot of color and reduce areas such as shadows to lifeless darks. Observing from life on location however reveals anything but....!

Perhaps the photos and my indoor practices laid important groundwork for what was to come, but now painting plein air scenes standing before nature...I do believe I am yet painting values. Values, meaning "lights and darks" ...only...I'm seeing one area of color darker than another area of color and logically have to mix my paint darker to match.

I don't think in terms of a grayscale...but yes, match colors which would make me more a colorist. Yet...I can't escape that every color mix inherently by nature has a value to it. Where I disagree with Milt a bit...(and think some distinction is necessary and that "colorists" is too broad a generalization) is that not all people that are color motivated abandon values, plus eliminating black from your palette does not mean you have abandoned values.

The distinction is...are we painting what we see, or interpreting what we wish it to be instead in an idealized colorful emotive expressionist sorta way?

The person Milt is thinking of, I think...is one that abandons what one sees for what one feels. I paint more what I see, but will enhance an effect to pull a painting together....like the harmonies of a musical score.

I still ascribe to basically, "see it....paint it"....and as past painting from photographs more or less led me to be more tonal, seeing color in its natural state live under the umbrella of a lit up sky caused me to see more color. It caused me to see color in shadows that I never knew were there.

If I'm guilty of anything, its possessing a conscience that sees something, and then is compelled to try and match that. Thus far, using only color plus white (I have no black on my plein air palette), I've been able to do that. I see an area darker, I paint it darker. I use color to mix that dark and judge what hint of color I see in that area as my guide. The end result is I believe my work is modelled, rendered, realistic though painterly so....and without concern for grayscale or values per se.

Here's an important distinction I think to note- I believe you can have value....without color, such as black and white and all inbetween. I do not think you can have color without value.

You can have improper color leading to improper values....yes, and some do that to emote an expression pertaining more to feeling. I think those people led more by emotive/feeling experiences for the viewer are often thought of as the "colorists"....but some confuse such folks that prioritize color while eliminating black on their palette (people such as myself) that yet see value inherent in color and the need to paint it as you see it with the "color for interpretive feeling" crowd.

(*note...I'm not putting the interpretive crowd down btw, but noting distinction because once again....I'm simply arguing you can render and model with color priority alone. It is not tonalists only that have the corner on modeling).

That being said...while you can have dark darks with color, you cannot have tone. This little tonewheel I borrowed from some old old study of master's works....demonstrates that-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jul-2003/532-tonewheel_examples.jpg

Here you see that white, black, and color make a tone. White tints, black shades....but a mixture of all three is a tone. I have a couple examples of painters showing where about their work would or could be analyzed. My own....not using black therefore does not incorporate modeling potential thru the use of "tone" and therefore I have removed myself from any longer being a tonalist. I think it is a misconception though to assume that tone is necessary to create convincing values and modeling.

I've yet to have anyone demonstrate or explain by my own work how I could have greater contrast, greater modeling, more sense of three dimensionalism than I have now were I to add black to my palette.

What I know would happen...is that the intensity of light that represents real life out of doors is killed by any black I add to any color. A tonalist is satisfied with their results, and I am not.

That is not to say I do not admire the painters that utilized black well. John Singer Sargent had wonderful wonderful works even out of doors, even friends with the Impressionists that abandoned old palettes, and he used black often. Still, I see his works as an idealized form when compared to "real" life...because I don't see pure black in nature that escapes the influence of light and the color it thereafter possesses. However, that Sargent's work works....goes to show that art principles will work as a cohesive means to make a painting, and that we have aesthetics that appreciate such.

My darks are very dark, often very deep and rich...and warm or cool depending upon atmospheric light as it exists.

That being said, and to add my answer...I use a split primary palette. That is...the three color primary system, but a warm and cool temperature variation of each. Thus six basic colors on my palette. To that...I add Naples Yellow (not hue, which lacks lead... and I like the lead for its opacity and covering strength) and use my Naples Yellow like a warm variation of white. In my thinking as concerns color temperature and what the sun does, white is a cool color. While white lightens, it does not brighten, and often artists are responding to the intensity of a color because of sunlight and think it must be lighter and that somehow that translates to brighter. It does not.

Yes...you can use white to lighten, but you need to recover the warmth lost from the coolness of white by adding warmth. I find Naples Yellow adds this without grossly altering the color of warm light. I also will use Naples Yellow as a white substitute to mix my pastels or tints..which lightens but does not cool as it lightens.

Besides my white....I have one other color which I added a couple years ago....veridian, which is similar to a phtalo green. I discovered that while a warm and cool blue can mix about any green you wish with a warm and cool yellow...there are some greens in nature that are just about near impossible to duplicate. I saw a green in the waters of Lake Superior a couple years ago that was driving me nuts....and at such moments you have little recourse but to search. Viridian is what I came up with.

With the warm and cool variation of each primary...the Viridian, Naples Yellow and white...I can mix up any pigment to match what I am seeing, including if that color is dark or light. The proof is in the pudding, so check my instudio landscapes and plein airs out on my website. My instudios today are augmented from my plein air experiences....I paint those as though imagining standing afield, borrowing from what I know I would more than likely see.

peace,

Larry

blondheim12
07-06-2003, 07:46 AM
Originally posted by banachek
I was excited to see this question posted because I really wanted to see a color chart with values ascribed. The only medium I've used in art is pencil. If I wanted a darker value I pressed harder, if I wanted a lighter value I pressed lighter (basically).


Thanks, Debora (novice)

Debora,
There is a full value range in drawing with graphite. I use about 12 pencils to do a drawing. If you go to the art supply store you will see B pencil from 1-9 value ranges and also hard pencils for the lightest values.

Love,
Linda

WFMartin
07-08-2003, 09:48 AM
With all due respect for those artists who advocate eliminating black from their palette, I'd like to pose this question: What color do you get when you mix all those colorful tube paints together to produce a dark? Looks rather like "black" to me.

I see very little difference whether you mix black on your palette from other paint colors, or squeeze it out of a tube labeled "black". For what it's worth, I, too, am one of those who don't use black paint out of a tube. If I did, I'd probably doctor it up with other colors, and I simply realize that if I'd inevitably be doing that, I may as well mix it from scratch, the same way I mix greens. I don't use tube "green" very often on my palette, either, but I don't believe you'd ever guess it by viewing one of my landscapes.

Talk about a "limited" palette--no black, no green! I don't feel handicapped a bit. Do my paintings have "black" and "green" in them. Certainly. I just don't squeeze them out of tubes.

Just a couple of my ideas.

Bill :)

Cloud Drifter
07-08-2003, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by WFMartin
Cloud Drifter,

You have raised some very valid points, here, regarding the mixing of light tints and dark shades of a given color. When I did a densitometric color analysis of Cad. Orange mixed with Flake White, I discovered that it actually moved toward red with the addition of increased amounts of white paint. Why? Who knows, but it did happen. No wonder Cad Orange (mixed with white) creates a good color tint for Cad. Red Light! It BECOMES red with the addition of white! I find that to be extremely interesting, don't you?

I think more colors should be tested with this in mind. Now we're talkin' REAL, applicable, color "theory"! This is neither opinions nor guesswork, but scientific fact. You have made an excellent point, here.

Bill:)

Bill,

That is a wonderful color transition you describe. Since flake white is a much warmer white than some others the warmth of the lead carbonates within flake white visually warmed the red tones in orange. I often use flake white for mixing flesh colors. However, sometimes the brilliance of titanium is good for flesh also. As for the orange, I find that it also depends upon which maker’s orange you use. As you know, they vary greatly in chroma and red tone. Some are very much on the yellowish side while some are on the reddish side. In years past, I used to perform numerous tests for some of the makers of artist’s paints. In those, I found just what you said...flake white did move colors more towards their warmer range...even ultramarine blue. Titanium white is also warm but not as warm as flake white. Consequently, the same movement will not be seen as much. Zinc white is cooler than either of the above and does not have the hiding power that titanium does. It does not warm the colors as much as the two above. Flake white is warmer than titanium white but does have less hiding power than titanium. It also depends upon the vehicle the maker used...linseed oil casts a much warmer appearance to the white than say, poppyseed oil or safflower oil. One maker uses a combination of both in titanium white.

Originally posted by WFMartin

With all due respect for those artists who advocate eliminating black from their palette, I'd like to pose this question: What color do you get when you mix all those colorful tube paints together to produce a dark? Looks rather like "black" to me.

I see very little difference whether you mix black on your palette from other paint colors, or squeeze it out of a tube labeled "black".

Bill:)

I agree with you Bill. My personal use of black varies. Whether I use black or not, and which black depends upon the subject and lighting I am painting. Sometimes the need for one of the blacks (lamp, cool, ivory & mars warm, etc.) arises and other times I mix an illusion of black to the warm or cool degree I need.

I like to think of blacks in two ways...

1. As the absence of light...therefore, the absence of color and even form. Consequently, the rule I submitted above regarding tinting, toning and shading the colors. Also the rule (above) regarding keeping colors alive when using black or white. Even if you do not use black in your painting, when color separations are made for printing in the four-color process, the camera or scanner will see black and create a separation for it.

2. As a pigment color...black should also be thought of as a pigment or color within the blue family. If you mix yellow with any black, the result is a green. True it is not chromatic but none-the-less, it still is green. If you mix black with a cool red such as alizarin crimson you get a purple color. Again, not chromatic but still within the purple family. Therefore, any color that makes green when added to yellow and purple when added to a red has to be thought of as a pigment in the blue family.

Like many others, my general palette is made up of a warm and cool from the three primary color families plus a white that fits the purpose for each with a couple of earth tones thrown in for muting and color manipulation. Sometimes there will be either a warm or cool black and titanium or flake white. Again...depends upon the subject.

When painting from nature in the great outdoors, I usually do not carry black with me but do keep burnt umber and burnt sienna to mix with blues for a visual black that is still chromatic. It's just great fun no matter which way one goes!

WFMartin
07-09-2003, 09:16 AM
Cloud Drifter,

You have made a lot of interesting comments there, and you are quite correct in your assessment of how colors behave.

Interesting that you mentioned scanners. I've worked on scanners for nearly 30 years. Scanners do produce a black printer (plate), and they do that by mathematically analyzing the gray component of individual colors, and calculating the amount of black required in that color area. This amount, of course, can be modified by the operator by using color controls on the scanner.

For example, the color, "brown" is interpreted by the scanner as being the color, "red", with a quantity of cyan (red's complement) to gray it down. The black printer gets calculated from the amount of cyan in the "mix", and gets added, as well. On scanners, we actually have the means to eliminate the graying component completely (in this case, cyan), and to almost totally replace it with black.

Adding black to yellow to produce green and black to Alizarin Crimson to produce violet (or purple) is based upon an interesting phenomenon. As you may already know, the color, yellow, actually represents the subtraction of the blue third of the spectrum of white light, allowing the red and green thirds to be reflected equally. Any time we reduce the "brightness level" of a primary, we begin to detect the "other" color third of which it is composed. Since yellow is composed of both red and green light reflectance, we begin to see the "greenness" of the color yellow by mixing black into it.

I found it interesting that you mentioned that you experienced the same phenomenon with Alizarin Crimson, because that is usually my next example of this effect. Alizarin Crimson is quite close to being "magenta", and magenta represents the subtraction (or absorption) of the green third of the white light spectrum, allowing the other two thirds of red and blue to be reflected. When we reduce the brightness level of magenta with black, we can than detect the "other" third of which magenta is composed--blue.

Yes, adding black to yellow does produce green, and adding black to magenta does produce violet/purple/blue, but not always for the reasons we are led to believe. The color cast or bias of the black paint selected has less to do with the phenomenon of producing green and violet than does the fact that we are reducing the brightness of those primaries. Sometime, try mixing black with a pigment closer to magenta than Alizarin. Something like W/N Permanent Rose should give you a vivid violet.

Secondaries such as red, green, and blue won't change their apparent color when black is added to them. Why? Because red, green, and blue are only each reflecting their own one-third of the white light spectrum. In these cases there is no "other" third to contribute its cast or bias to the apparent color when the brightness level gets reduced.

Color is a fascinating topic, isn't it? It will never let you down, once you understand the physics involved in it. I've been a lithographer all my adult life as a cameraman and scanner operator, but only took up painting 15 or so years ago. Imagine my joy when I slowly began to discover that all the "rules" involving printing inks on paper also applied to mixing oil and watercolor paints. I've never been disappointed. Color really does only behave by a given set of rules, and once understood, can be applied to whatever medium is interesting to you.

You made some really good points, and I thank you for the comments.

Bill:)

Cloud Drifter
07-09-2003, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by WFMartin

Color is a fascinating topic, isn't it? It will never let you down, once you understand the physics involved in it. I've been a lithographer all my adult life as a cameraman and scanner operator, but only took up painting 15 or so years ago. Imagine my joy when I slowly began to discover that all the "rules" involving printing inks on paper also applied to mixing oil and watercolor paints. I've never been disappointed. Color really does only behave by a given set of rules, and once understood, can be applied to whatever medium is interesting to you.


Bill,
Your comments are so right on. Your last paragraph is especially one that should be read again and again. You are absolutely right..."color will never let you down once you understand the physics involved in it". I have heard so many students say that one does not have to learn all that stuff...just paint and it will happen. I tell them, they will be painting hoping it will happen but haven't a clue as to how to make it happen. They may have some luck guessing along the way once in a while. However, with a little nudging they begin to study and they begin to see how it all falls together. Then the excitement grows as they see that this knowledge can be used with any medium they wish.

Einion
07-09-2003, 08:14 PM
Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
When adding white to a color, we get a tint of that color. To keep the color lively, along with the white, add a speck of a color above it on the color wheel and the mixture will take on new life. For instance: When adding white to cadmium red light, the result is a value of pink. If we want the pink (lightened red) to have more life, we add a bit of cadmium orange to the mix. This works wonders in keeping colors alive.
Now for a start I'd argue that tints not being lively and "keeping colours alive" are so completely subjective as to be almost useless in this sort of discussion. The basic principle you've outlined here is fine, all realists have to do something like this when painting the highlights on reds, but there's a major flaw in your explanation. The colour wheel, being a circle, has no down or up. The Munsell colour-space has up and down but you're not using that. So what's 'up' from green? What about yellow? A wheel has clockwise and counterclockwise, which direction do we go in these cases? In fact do we need to: tints of blues or yellows often, usually, work fine without any additional colours so how does this fit in with what you've said here?

Taking yellow, if orange is up from red then yellow is up from orange, which means green is up from yellow. Oops, problem... this is a circle, see what I mean?

Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
If we add black to cadmium red light, we get a brownish-red that has less life than the cadmium red light... Here, we do just the reverse of above and add a touch of an analogous color below the cadmium red light. Cadmium red medium or even alizarin crimson really brings life back to the deepened red mix
Again I'd debate that a shade of cad red has less 'life' than the red itself, it's simply a different colour, but you're once again not using objective colour terminology. Did you write this way professionally? So, what's 'down' from blue? By your reckoning wouldn't it be green? Adding green to shades of blue? Certainly does not give the results I would generally need. I also have to also ask, what about the role of complementary colours?

Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
Even if you do not use black in your painting, when color separations are made for printing in the four-color process, the camera or scanner will see black and create a separation for it.
Yes that's true, but it's for technical reasons mostly linked to the flaws in the cyan, magenta and yellow inks we use so it's not really relevant.

Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
black should also be thought of as a pigment or color within the blue family. If you mix yellow with any black, the result is a green. True it is not chromatic but none-the-less, it still is green. If you mix black with a cool red such as alizarin crimson you get a purple color.
Okay, what about with a warm red? Why doesn't it work there? There is of course merit to the idea in that we know it appears to work like a blue for some colours but since it doesn't work that way with all colours why don't we instead learn the specifics instead of labouring under a misleading generalisation? There are plenty of those already in 'colour theory'! Colour interactions are a little more complex than this - two colours of similar appearance might mix very differently with the same black, just as they can with white.

In actual fact when black is added to most dark-valued colours they move in a straight line down the value scale with no change in hue. Try it for yourself people, see what you think. I don't have Ali Crimson but for PV19 gamma and PR122 the colour doesn't move to violet that I can see. Hue can be very difficult to discern at low value, so you might like to try the same red with Phthalo Blue or Ultramarine, since you know these will mix towards violet it will give you a useful basis for comparison. I think you'll agree that using black the colours look maroon, not any more violet than the starting red(s) in most cases.

Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
Titanium white is also warm but not as warm as flake white.
Last point, since when? Anyone else see it as warm? It may be 'warmer' than Zinc White appears but that does not make it 'warm'. I think you'll find that it's neutral; in fact Titanium White's reflectance, being flat, means it is neutral, no argument.

Einion

Einion
07-09-2003, 08:19 PM
Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
That is a wonderful color transition you describe. Since flake white is a much warmer white than some others the warmth of the lead carbonates within flake white visually warmed the red tones in orange.
"...the warmth of the lead carbonates within flake white visually warmed the red tones in orange"... Hmmmm, do you really think this terminology is adequate? What about the chroma, how would you explain that within this framework?

I didn't comment on Bill's preceding post on the hue shift of tints of Cadmium Orange before for a couple of reasons. When he mentioned this in passing in the oil thread a while ago I thought nothing of it really since it's well understood that mixes can veer from the expected straight-line path between the two colours. Liquitex's little booklet on colour shows this quite well. When he asked above why this happened I started thinking about it since I was curious as to how significant different factors might be and whether there were any general points we could get from it which might help in practical applications.

W&N's Cadmium Red Hue in the Galeria range, a naphthol red (PR112), is a pretty good match for the masstone of some Cadmium Red Mediums, a mid-red of fairly high chroma. But when you handle it the apparent similarity ends as I've mentioned briefly before; the colour has quite a pronounced violet-biased undercolour that is surprising compared to its masstone hue. My point being that if you had a real cad red that matched, the tints of each would look very different, which would all be down to the different character of the reds which is by far the dominant force in the mix.

I'm lucky to have Cadmium Orange to have a look at, unfortunately not in oils, and I have to say that in stepped tints with Titanium White it doesn't appear to shift in hue towards red that I can see under various lighting conditions - to put it simply it just looks like it becomes whiter (being a cadmium colour its tints are relatively dull, low in chroma, so a number of the stages look like acceptable varieties of 'naples yellow'). This is not to say the hue is constant, but tiny drifts are hard to see and I don't see one. This prompts my first question which is how much of a deviation towards red there was in the tests Bill? Essentially, did you need the spectrophotometer to notice any change or did you measure because you noticed the effect? Also, I presume the colour in question was PO20?

Now Flake White's different tints compared to Titanium White's are well know to anyone who has used both and it would obviously have some effect, especially where it dominates in the mix for obvious reasons, but I can't see it being significant in terms of hue (in this specific case). Chroma certainly, Flake's tints are noticeably less clean that Titanium White's. So if the hue-shift Bill measured is easily apparent, I'd wager it is because of the undercolour of the orange, which is what I'd first thought on hearing of it. Which of course leads to the question of how tints of it with Titanium White compare, if Bill is willing and has some TW in oils.

Originally posted by JamieWG
...although I initially though it surprising, when I thought about how white cools a color, it makes perfect sense that it would move the orange away from the yellow side of the spectrum.
We should be very careful about this sort of thing. Warm/cool is very subjective and of course relative, and remember for some people (myself included) orange-red is the warmest colour so for them technically the colour is being made warmer! As I've also mentioned previously in discussions with Larry, when we add white to blue for example, the resultant colours are not cooler in any true sense, since the white adds reflectance of the 'warmer' colours. Now of course they don't all look it, which highlights the subjective nature of the warm/cool determination, well worth thinking about don't you think?

This is getting very off-topic but it seems as good a time as any to raise the issue again. I realise that warm and cool can be useful general descriptors for colour but, as I've argued before, being more specific as a rule would be of great benefit when talking about colour, not to mention thinking about it. In the case of Flake White, by merely thinking of it as warm we're either admitting we lack the perception to say which hue it leans towards - it could be any of the 'warm' colours technically - or simply copping out and saying it's not important. I think it's worth looking more closely at this sort of thing as a step in developing a keen eye for colour.

Einion

WFMartin
07-09-2003, 10:51 PM
Einion,

You make a lot of good points here, not the least of which is that when cad orange veers toward red with the addition of flake white, that it's movement is AROUND the color wheel, and not toward the center, which is neutral. BTW, toward gray is the direction I fully EXPECTED it to move. It did not; it became redder. And, yes, I think it is quite visually apparent in the daily use of this color. (Grumbacher Pretested Oil Cadmium Orange)

The idea that the Flake White has any contributing "color" effect in this densitometer test is cancelled by the fact that I zeroed the measuring instrument on the patch of Flake white, itself, thereby nulling out its color contribution to the mix.

The green which occurs when mixing black with yellow is a real effect, and it has little to do with the color bias of the black being used. Please re-read my answer as to why this happens to the primary colors of yellow and magenta, and, for that matter to a lesser extent, cyan, as well, which I didn't even mention. Also note in my comments why it does not happen with red, blue, or green secondaries. They are not primaries, and as such only reflect their own third of the white light spectrum.

You made some other important points which I'm not commenting on, but you have my full attention.

Thanks for the discussion.

Bill

:)

Patrick1
07-10-2003, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by Einion

The colour wheel, being a circle, has no down or up...So what's 'up' from green? What about yellow? A wheel has clockwise and counterclockwise, which direction do we go in these cases?

Einion...Mr. Powell means a conventional colour wheel with yellow at the top and violet or blue-violet at the bottom, red on the left, green on the right. So yellow is up from green. Yellow is the most 'up' you can go.

This seems to be the most common orientation for a 2-dimensional colour wheel. I like it because it has the lightest-valued colour at the top and darkest at the bottom. It's what I use, and it's my roadmap for how I think about colour mixing.

What I like about Mr. Powell's idea is that since you lighten a colour to make a highlight, and darken to make a shadow, you're also changing hue to help with the effect; on an orange, the highlights shift a bit towards yellow, the shadows shift a bit toward red (also being darker, less chroma).

Cloud Drifter
07-10-2003, 06:39 PM
Einion, Einion, Einion....
I must say that I find your challenges to each of my entries in this discussion very curious indeed.

Originally posted by Einion

Did you write this way professionally?
Einion

I also find this comment to be not only arrogant but bordering on a personal insult to me and my work! I am greatly surprised to find such a comment here as it is totally out of place in an intellectual and helpful forum such as this. I was under the impression that these discussions are designed to be of help to one another.

I was also under the impression that Wet Canvas discussions were just that...discussions where each artist draws his or her conclusions from input as a help...not a place of debate or challenge to prove one is right or wrong!

I respectfully do not intend or have the time to fully dissect your many challenges and enter into prolonged debate but will clarify only a few points. That might prove entertaining but is not conducive to the purpose of this forum.

It is obvious that there are numerous and different color wheels, charts and theories, and one could challenge until doom’s day, but this is simply a waste of positive time. A study and understanding of each system or theory is a far better solution. All color wheels are not just a circle to travel around but to use as a guide in hue, value and chroma.


Originally posted by Einion

The Munsell colour-space has up and down but you're not using that.
Einion


As to this, I am very careful about everything I post and all information is from proven personal tests using the Munsell Painter’s Color System and Wheel. The Munsell wheel does have an up and down and I AM USING THAT...not RGB, CYM, CYMK, etc!

You are wandering all around. Using the Munsell wheel for complements is a completely different portion of study than values, tinting, toning and shading.

Domer is absolutely correct... Yes, yellow is the lightest color and purple is the darkest on this wheel.

Originally posted by Einion

Taking yellow, if orange is up from red then yellow is up from orange, which means green is up from yellow. Oops, problem... this is a circle, see what I mean?
Einion

Yellow is the highest you can go in light and dark chroma; however, all colors, even yellow, can be lightened in VALUE by tinting with white, and you CAN freshen a tinted yellow with a spec of another yellow in the yellow family that is cooler or warmer than the tint.

Originally posted by Einion

So what's 'up' from green? What about yellow? A wheel has clockwise and counterclockwise, which direction do we go in these cases?
Einion

Yes, one moves clockwise or counterclockwise to a warm or cool yellow staying within the yellow family. To move to a green as you suggest (which is a secondary color on this wheel), is moving too far down the wheel and you are mixing a tertiary color, not freshening the tint at all but creating a new color. Try it!

No one has to, and I don't expect everyone to accept the way I use color or black and white. If you read my entries regarding them carefully, you will notice that I think of black in two ways: the absence of light and also as a tube of pigmented color. Also, a tube of white can be thought of as a tube of light therefore weakening the chroma of a color when added. When tinting a color with white, you refreshen the color by adding a touch of the color above it on the wheel. In the case of yellow, one uses a warmer or cooler yellow within the family. This is a true visual effect that, as I said, you do not have to agree with me, but please refrain from being insulting! Everything I have written here is TRUE, PROVEN, and RESEARCHABLE if one cares to take the time to do so. And yes! To answer your question, I do think my terminology is adequate to anyone who realizes that we are working in a VISUAL art form.

Over more years than I care to tell you, I have studied and worked with numerous theories, charts and wheel systems. I still find the Munsell Artist’s Color Wheel the one I use most when mixing pigments. When discussing the mixing of pigmented colors, an artist must also think in VISUAL BLENDS of colors since that is the stuff of which a painting is made.

In another area, I said that no one knows it all--including me--and one must learn as much as one can, then take what is learned and apply only what works for that person. Also, to use the theories, charts and wheels only as guides and not let anything crimp one’s creativity. What works for one artist might not work for another. However, that doesn’t make either artist wrong.

‘nuff said!

DK
It seems your sincere query searching for a little basic help in colors and values has certainly changed direction in tone and input. I hope my input has been helpful to you. If I can be of further help, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Einion
07-10-2003, 06:41 PM
Hiya Bill, thanks for the feedback. I remembered you had zeroed the device on the Flake White but I think it is still worth considering that the colour interaction might not work in such a deterministic way, if that's the right word; in subtractive mixing some unusual effects occur at varied concentrations of one colour or another. I'll try and post an example of this in the next day or so, it can be quite marked, I just can't bring one to mind at the moment.

Anyway, the 'why' aside, it is interesting the differences between these two examples of the same pigment isn't it? Especially if the effect is more apparent with higher proportion of white as you say. What's the glazed undercolour of the orange like? Noticeably more red than the masstone hue? Doh! Can't believe I forgot to ask before, is yours a mid-orange or a red-orange in masstone? I don't think it came up in your explanations to Noble of the procedure if I recall but if it did I'll pull it up and read over it again.

Originally posted by WFMartin
The green which occurs when mixing black with yellow is a real effect, and it has little to do with the color bias of the black being used.
Yes of course, didn't mean to imply that it wasn't and your post showing why wasn't there when I wrote my two :) All blacks work this way I'm sure; even Spinel Black, which is reportedly a perfect neutral, I'm sure does almost the same to yellows. The question was posed in light of the supposed 'rule' presented by CD, which doesn't hold up - considering black as a blue isn't a good general idea if it doesn't act like it half the time!

I have now read your last post and you know I buy into the whole underlying theory of the true primaries (impossible not to!) Handling CMYKW palettes in paint, you see exactly how the theory and practice tie in, within the limits of the match of the pigments to their ideals, since so many colours include all three of the primaries. Like you I'm lucky to have prior knowledge from the industry and all the ink formulas I've spec'ed in various programs have started to filter into my 'painting' mind but I still have great difficulty in integrating that thinking to other colours because of their great difference, as we've discussed before. I'll see if I can formulate a meaningful question about the issue of different reds and their interaction with black and come back to you. Again I know the theory must apply to some extent, but as with thin glazes and masstone mixes of C, M and Y not working quite the same I have concerns about the applicability of the theory to thinking about other colours, especially in interaction. I suspect it's mostly an issue of how expedient it is mentally but I'm not certain.

Einion

WFMartin
07-10-2003, 07:23 PM
Einion,

You and I seem to be on the same "page", buddy!

This discussion is all quite interesting. It's difficult to explain to someone how a color can be "affected" by the addition of white, without the "white" contributing to the color of the mix. You seem to have gotten the idea, though. As you more or less said, it has to do with the way the color gets "thinned". One way of "thinning" a color would be to print it on a press with a very thin ink film, upon white paper stock. Another way would be to simply "dilute" it with white, as I have, here. Another interesting way would be to thin it with some clear medium, although I have not tried that in terms of doing a color analysis.

Color often behaves differently when in a "thinned out" form, as compared to a "masstone", as you say. the discrepancy in its behavior often is because of a phenomenon called "proportionality failure". This effect manifests itself in the fact that the very light tints of a color tend to plot at a grayer chroma than do the intense, solid, pure version of that color. It is a real effect, and can easily be calculated, using densitometer measurements.

The question often arises regarding just how one is to deal with an intense, transparent color, such as Alizarin Crimson or Thalo Blue to escape the mass tone effect, but still maintain a clean (high chroma) color. The answer is to mix just enough white into it to achieve the purest (no graying effect) color, and to quit adding white in the mix just shy of having the succesive color plots begin heading in toward the gray center of
the color wheel.

This is where the "science" of color is really fun and interesting, because you get a chance to visually compare the results, right along with seeing the scientific plots alongside your sample.

For example, I was really surprised when the Cad Orange did not swing toward gray, as I expected, but instead stayed rather pure in chroma, and circled around the wheel toward red. This sort of stifles the idea that the addition of white unequivocally "grays" a color. But, let's face the fact: Add ENOUGH white, and any color is BOUND to become neutral. After all, white IS neutral, isn't it?

Interesting topic, even though we've sort of strayed away from the initial question.

Bill :D

Einion
07-10-2003, 07:39 PM
Hi Patrick, oh that way 'up', thanks for clearing that up. This idea is fine up to a point, most people aiming for accurate colour use yellow when lightening reds and greens, in some way, because that's how their highlights do generally appear.

Originally posted by Domer
What I like about Mr. Powell's idea is that since you lighten a colour to make a highlight, and darken to make a shadow, you're also changing hue to help
But this presupposes the shadows of reds and blues are more violet, which they are not in general; as you say in another thread trust your eyes :) One is free to paint them that way if you like of course, but that's not the way they are usually. It also doesn't address the issue of lower chroma in any way; shadows, as you know, are darker and lower in chroma but they do not typically shift hue as above (not markedly at least) any more than green's shifts to blue.

Take the shadows on a yellow t-shirt (this was where I first noticed, when I really 'got' the idea myself) are they actually orange? Depends on the yellow of course, but they generally are dull, lower-chroma colours that are really hard to pin down visually for most artists until they have the experience in dealing with handling them in paint terms. To think of them as orange is a poor visualisation for, as Bruce has referred to more than once, incorrect expectations of colour are an almost insurmountable obstacle to recreating it correctly - just as expectations of form need to be overcome to draw from life accurately. Make sense?

Einion

Patrick1
07-11-2003, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by Einion

But this presupposes the shadows of reds and blues are more violet, which they are not in general

When an object is outside under a blue sky, I believe the shadows of most colours (except perhaps orange?) do shift in hue towards blue or violet-ish blue. So I think Mr. Powell's 'rule' is to get the effect of illumination under blue skies.


...shadows, as you know, are darker and lower in chroma...

I have observed one instance in which a colour in shadow looks to my eyes to be higher in chroma than the highlighted portion of the same colour:

Last year I grew a large patch of a blue garden flower called Ageratum (a.k.a. Floss Flower). It's blooms are violet-ish blue. I rememer that part of the blooms were in shadow, the others under sunlight. The sky was blue, the sunlight looked a bit yellowish (it was afternoon). I was surprised that the shadowed part did indeed look to be a higher chroma blue than the highlighted part.

I should've taken a picture; I didn't grow them this year. But maybe I can just paint a piece of cardboard a similar colour to see if I can get the effect, take a picture, and then compare actual chroma using my Fractal Design Painter program or something similar using the eye dropper tool.


Take the shadows on a yellow t-shirt (this was where I first noticed, when I really 'got' the idea myself) are they actually orange?

I guess the shadow colour will depend on the ambient light. Yellow is tough; I'd guess under blue skies, you'd get a slight green shift. Yes, darker and lower chroma. But I don't know if oranges will have a shift towards red; I'd think oranges won't change hue much, just go towards brown. I'll try to observe this later on.

Einion
07-11-2003, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
I also find this comment to be not only arrogant but bordering on a personal insult to me and my work!
William, I'm sorry if you took it that way, if I had intended to be sarcastic it would have been evident. I don't by any means expect everyone to talk with the same technical lingo but since you set out your bona fides as a teacher and professional, especially one for whom the Munsell colourspace is a stated paragon, I found it hard to reconcile without the use of the correct terminology; this has to be used when one's meaning needs to be clear. I was being facetious but I am genuinely interesting if wording such as you use above was acceptable. Subjective terms like 'life' and 'fresher' are too vague and subjective when used to describe colour, not the kind of comment I would expect professionally, at least not without elucidation. Bill and I have debated things at length and even though we haven't seen eye-to-eye on all points of practical application or even on how best to think about colour, because we use consistent terminology we at least understand what the other is saying (most of the time at least ;)). And I have to add we don't take offense when the other disagrees.

Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
I was under the impression that these discussions are designed to be of help to one another.
Yes of course they are, that's why I'm trying to get to something useful in practice and why I feel it necessary to challenge fuzzy thinking (or what I see as this) and incorrect factual statements that will be problems for others who don't know more. Your statement that black + red has less 'life' than the original red for example is too subjective - the two colours are merely different, neither is better nor worse than the other. You have to be only too aware of the number of misleading generalisations in published colour mixing guides and theories. In many cases this is due to the simple fact that practical colour mixing is not as deterministic as we would like it to be but all too often vague thinking is at the heart of it - the classic example is the continued insistence that red, blue and yellow are the primaries.

Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
I was also under the impression that Wet Canvas discussions were just that...discussions where each artist draws his or her conclusions from input as a help...not a place of debate or challenge to prove one is right or wrong!
Not a place for debate?? Oh come on, not to be pedantic but: debate v. discuss (question); hold formal argument.
Sheesh! Have you been following the <A HREF=http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=1355332>Color via Susan Sarback's approach and understanding</A> thread? Plenty more robust commentary there. It should be understood than in a forum such as this we are all liable to explain and if necessary defend statements we make; you've been a member long enough to know this surely. If you don't wish to do so that's your privilege but we cannot expect others to blindly accept things any of us say, especially when presented as fact rather than "I think..." I'm sorry if you don't like your views to be challenged but when presented in a public platform this is inevitable. The undertone of your post above, despite the magnanimous end, seems to be that your positions on the points I challenged, as irrefutable facts, are not open to disagreement (this in not intended to be combative, you say as much yourself). I've asked specific questions and it was my aim to clarify things you've said, for my own benefit if nobody else's, or highlight logical flaws.

Let's take the issue of black being considered a blue as a sole example. You say it should be treated as such and give the examples where it appears to behave like one but when I pose an example where it clearly does not you shy away from comment. Bill's cogent explanation is separate, I'm asking you in light of this supposed rule you presented. So why doesn't black work as a blue for orange-biased reds? What about black taking most darker colours down in value without any shift in hue (towards blue or any other colour)? Where does that leave us? Neither of these points is consistent with your position. Are you saying these are not the case when anyone can verify it for themselves with a few moments at the palette?

Again I'm trying to clarify what happens 'in the paint' when we mix colours; this is independent of how each of us wishes to think about or use colour. Many points we touch on, in this forum in particular, are one of interpretation and personal choice as colour use is so personal to each of us and I want to reiterate that I'm not saying anything about how one should use colour. But when we speak of what actually happens when colours mix, if these facts don't bear out under experiment then we should know. I'm going to go into some detail on this issue below for anyone who cares to read it.

Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
You are wandering all around.
Hmph, I was following the points of the discussion, that's hardly wandering all around. If you look back over the entire thread you'll notice it has taken many tangents from the original enquiry.

Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
Using the Munsell wheel for complements is a completely different portion of study than values, tinting, toning and shading.
Well since the discussion raised points about modifying value (not at my direction) some mention of complements should really be made since lower chroma usually goes hand in hand with a drop in value.

Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
The Munsell wheel does have an up and down and I AM USING THAT
Orange is not above red in the Munsell colourspace. It is higher than red yes, but that is not the same as above. Any colour of lighter value, regardless of hue, is higher up.


And if anyone is still interested some points for consideration. Let's look at the notion of 'freshening' the tint of a yellow with another yellow, a "true, proven, and researchable" fact apparently. Firstly, given that the point of adding the white is to increase value, adding any other yellow will then take it back down again! Ignoring the tiny loss in chroma there is an attendant shift in hue and there is no point in doing this unless you want that shift, you don't do this automatically - it is optional, not necessary.

To look at this in practical painting terms, you're painting a yellow sphere for example and the middle value is close to a typical Cadmium Yellow Deep in hue. If we imagine the lighting is from a skylight and it is an overcast day, the highlights and shadows look a certain way because of the level and colour of the lighting (low and white in this case, providing a low CRI - colour-rendering index) so on this yellow object in that setup simply adding white to the middle value colour might give you the colour you see, especially for diffuse highlights. The shadows are likely similar (with reflected light being slight because of the low intensity of the lighting, the shadows typically remain dull) so the halftones and shadows need to be mixed so as to drop chroma and value but not shift hue, you specifically don't want to alter hue here. Now imagine the same setup in bright daylight, the highlights will be more pronounced and generally will be closer to middle-yellow (not, I hasten to add, because the light is more yellow, it is because the lighting is now of higher intensity which provides a higher CRI) so here you would want to use both white and a mid-yellow to highlight because that's what you see. For the shadows this lighting could easily give 'warmer' shadows - this could be simply more chromatic (higher chroma at the same value will be perceived as warmer) but they could actually be more towards orange so you mix your colours accordingly - reflected light will likely provide a much more pronounced colour in a zone of the shadow areas under this lighting. So here we have the same object under two different lighting conditions where obviously one simplistic approach to lightening or darkening simply won't work.

Now back to the issue of black being thought of as a blue. Take greens, a much better example since there won't be the complementary colour contamination within the paint film as with an orange-red. Chromium Oxide Green when toned with black doesn't become more bluish, try it and see. Now mix a higher-chroma green about one value lighter than the Chromium Oxide Green and yellower in hue (hue 6 YG, value 3, chroma 6 for the sake of argument) let's use Cadmium Lemon with Ultramarine for example. Now mix in black until its value matches that of the Chromium Oxide Green and compare them. If the black acted like a blue it would push the hue towards that of the Chromium Oxide Green, which you will see it does not. Do the assessments in diffuse daylight for best result and what you should see is that the colour falls in value and chroma linearly - at the same hue. Now darker value is often perceived as being 'cooler' but having a colour that you know to be bluer than this mixed green to compare with should allow you to easily determine the difference. As if this was not sufficient evidence, take Chromium Oxide Green again and add in a little of the Cadmium Lemon, moving its hue more towards yellow and away from mid-green. Now mix black into this and you should, if black acted as a blue, be able to return to the same hue (obviously at a lower chroma) or at least close to it. You don't and as anyone familiar with practical mixing will expect, you just get darker greens at the same hue.

Einion

Einion
07-11-2003, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by Domer
When an object is outside under a blue sky, I believe the shadows of most colours (except perhaps orange?) do shift in hue towards blue or violet-ish blue. So I think Mr. Powell's 'rule' is to get the effect of illumination under blue skies.
Whether this was the intent is moot since no mention was made of the lighting conditions, it was presented as a general rule to follow. If we accept that shadows in this situation are more blue because of illumination from the sky (which I contend is the reason as you know) they must move in hue towards that colour yes? So a blue object won't become more violet than the colour of the sky in the shadows. A red object conceivably might, but don't you find it interesting that yellow almost never exhibits green shadows?

Originally posted by Domer
I have observed one instance in which a colour in shadow looks to my eyes to be higher in chroma than the highlighted portion of the same colour:
Ah yes, basic rule of floral painting - transmitted light. Not applicable to other subjects in the main. Good observation though, I've often noted how incredibly saturated the lower-value areas on flowers look because they are almost being lit from within.

Einion

Patrick1
07-11-2003, 10:44 PM
Originally posted by Einion

So a blue object won't become more violet than the colour of the sky in the shadows.

True.


A red object conceivably might, but don't you find it interesting that yellow almost never exhibits green shadows?

I haven't looked at shadows of yellow objects under blue skies, but I'm still guessing they'll be a tiny bit more greenish than the lit parts. Right now I'm looking at a yellow object under incandescent lighting, and to my eyes, the shadows look a tiny bit greener than the fully lit part. I don't know if simply darkening the illumination of a yellow object gives the hue shift towards green that you get when neutral grey or black is added to yellow paint.


Ah yes, basic rule of floral painting - transmitted light. Not applicable to other
subjects in the main. Good observation though, I've often noted how incredibly saturated the lower-value areas on flowers look because they are almost being lit from within.

I don't know what you mean by transmitted light; the sun was behind me. There's one kind of flower, scarlet Tithonia, which when newly emerged, they're the most brilliant, 'pure' scarlet you can imagine. And on the petals, where they turn away from the viewer, they become distinctly magenta-ish. But I don't think it's from sky light. It's one of the most beautiful effects I've ever seen. I'll see if I can take a picture, but I don't think my camera can focus that close. I think it might be iridescence. Is this what you mean by 'transmitted light'?

Patrick1
07-12-2003, 01:45 PM
Regarding whether black behaves like blue in colour mixes:

Originally posted by Einion

Okay, what about with a warm red? Why doesn't it work there?...In actual fact when black is added to most dark-valued colours they move in a straight line down the value scale with no change in hue. Try it for yourself people, see what you think...for PV19 gamma and PR122 the colour doesn't move to violet that I can see...I think you'll agree that using black the colours look maroon, not any more violet than the starting red(s) in most cases.

Okay, I'll take you up on your offer. Here it is:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jul-2003/2769-plusblack3.jpg

I mixed my own scarlet. Adding black made it browner (no surprise) but surprisingly, it also pulled it toward yellow (using the eyedropper tool in Fractal Design Painter). When I added Ultramarine Blue instead of black, it did the exact same thing; it even looks almost identical. I was expecting the black and the blue would both pull the hue a bit towards purple, not towards yellow.

When I added black to Quinacridone Magenta, it unquestionably looks more purplish...Einion, you have to agree. In fact, it looks surprisingly close a mixture of Quin. Magenta + Phthalo Blue GS (I compared side-by-side). Using the eye dropper tool, I confirmed that there is indeed a signifigant hue shift towards violet.

When I added black to Quin. Rose, it looks a bit more violet to my eyes, but when I check it using the eye dropper tool, its hue changes signifigantly towards orange in some places, and a tiny bit towards purple in other places.


So the Mars Black is clearly acting like blue when added to the magenta, but not with the rose. Black is acting the same as ultra. blue when added to scarlet, but both pull the mix towards yellow. So from what I've seen, black does seem to act similar to blue in many cases.

WFMartin
07-12-2003, 04:39 PM
Domer, and Einion,


Boy, you guys are really into it! But, it's making for a great, informative discussion I think!

One thing I believe you need to keep quite clear to each other (and the rest of us) in discussing "shadows" of these various colored subjects, is whether you are discussing cast shadows or the shadow side of the subject, itself. I get the impression you're basing your disussion on the shadow side of the object, itself, and not its cast shadow, right?

Just to sort of change the subject a bit, and to also offer something of a more speculative nature, I'd like to say something regarding Einion's reason for the higher chroma of flowers in shadows being a transmitted light factor: Wasn't it Monet who firmly believed that the flowers in his garden seemed to be brighter on an overcast day than they appeared to be on a sunny day? On an overcast day, they would, out of neccessity be "in shadow", and might have some relevance to what Einion is saying.

Just a speculation. And, good discussion, guys.

Bill:D

Cloud Drifter
07-17-2003, 07:06 PM
Patrick,
Bill is right...there are some fine discussions taking place here and you have very nicely contributed examples that will help everyone.

I, and I am certain others, have gained from your input here. Thank you for taking the time to make those posts and tests. Your examples are very clear indeed.

Cloud Drifter
07-17-2003, 07:44 PM
Wow! A lot has taken place since I was last able to visit this discussion. Though this discussion has wandered quite away from the original question, there are some fine points being made by all and I do read with enthusiasm each and every one. Thanks to all.

Originally posted by Einion
William, I'm sorry if you took it that way, if I had intended to be sarcastic it would have been evident.


Einion
I appreciate the apology and explanation. One thing I do try to keep in mind when writing is that the printed word does not have the luxury of tonal inflections or facial expression to help the reader understand any intended subtle humor...we only have “happy faces” of which there was none posted.

Originally posted by Einion
...but since you set out your bona fides as a teacher and professional...


In none of my replies to this forum have I mentioned my background other than to refer to suggestions I have made to students. I have never felt the need to justify or prove myself or experience to anyone. However, due to your above statement in this public forum, I feel I must at least submit that I too have spent a great deal of time in the color trenches. Here are but a few examples:

In my work as a professional artist for more than forty-five years, one of the most interesting, informative and compelling periods was as a graphic artist for 9-1/2 years with engineers and scientists in the national space programs. Projects included such studies as analyzing colors perceived from universal space...temperature and spectrum properties as received under various conditions from numerous observation points both on earth and satellite.

Another facet has been movie backgrounds with color research and set design by analyzing how to use color schemes/plans to create realistic atmospheric perspective that is consistent to geometric perspective and will fool the eye of the camera. Also, analyzing how colors are recorded under a tremendous variety of lighting conditions, temperatures and various film emulsions.

I very much enjoyed and related to your and Bill’s experiences with the scanners as I too have had personal experience operating four-color presses and analyzing and correcting dyes and printing inks on final output. Creating color separations both from scanners and plate film. As a matter of fact...in the past, some by hand drawing each master plate.

Authored a number of art instruction books and by invitation, performed “ghost art” in numerous other publications where accurate color matches from existing art were a must for both separations and publication; color consultant performing color and pigment tests for several artist’s paint manufacturers; consultant/author for color introduction in computer paint program manufacture’rs tutorial document; creation of 2-D hand drawn cartoon animation and 3-D computer animated graphics for video.

However, despite the above experience, I try to keep my submissions simple, accurate, positive, concise and to the point and not overwhelm anyone who cares to read them with “technical talk”

Originally posted by Einion
I am genuinely interesting if wording such as you use above was acceptable. Subjective terms like 'life' and 'fresher' are too vague and subjective when used to describe colour, not the kind of comment I would expect professionally, at least not without elucidation.


Yes, this wording is perfectly acceptable. They are commonly used terms in many schools and avenues of color study and perception. Terms such as ‘life’, and ‘fresher’ are also accompanied with other non-technical descriptive words such as “rich”, “dead”, “drab”, “enlivened”, etc. and are not considered “subjective” in any one of the many definitions of that word.


Originally posted by Einion
...that's why I'm trying to get to something useful in practice and why I feel it necessary to challenge fuzzy thinking (or what I see as this) and incorrect factual statements that will be problems for others who don't know more.


I applaud your sincere efforts as a Wet Canvas Guide to assist those artists with less knowledge than you in understanding the discussions. However, keep in mind that many of these artists also do not speak in technical lingo and the terms I used to describe color actions are not “fuzzy thinking” or “incorrect factual statements” at all. You may perceive them as such but many do not.

Originally posted by Einion
You have to be only too aware of the number of misleading generalisations in published colour mixing guides and theories. In many cases this is due to the simple fact that practical colour mixing is not as deterministic as we would like it to be but all too often vague thinking is at the heart of it - the classic example is the continued insistence that red, blue and yellow are the primaries.


Having served as consultant for several publishers of art materials and guides, I am very aware that the beginning artist, and many others, do not wish to be overwhelmed with technical terms. They want to read information that speaks to them in language they relate to and can help get them on their way using paint and color. Once some simple beginning steps are understood, the thirst for more technical information begins.

Yes! Yellow, Red and Blue are the primary colors in the Albert H. Munsell System of Color Notation and Terminology. The Munsell system is basic and practical. Over a period of many years, The Inter-Society Color Council (ISCC) and the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) developed a Method of Designating Colors along with a Dictionary of Color Names. The dimensional color “sphere” created by the Munsell system is basic to the description of colors in, and I quote only a few, “saturation, lightness-light, dark, very dark”, and such. It is accepted and used as a world-wide standard and recommended by the Encyclopedia Britannica, Webster’s International Dictionary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, ISCC-NBS Method of Designating Colors, Walt Disney Productions, artists throughout the world, etc.

As you know, there are other color-order systems such as Maerz and Paul, Color Harmony Manual, Plochere, and Ridgway. Even in these, Munsell color samples and notations are used. The Munsell system with its primaries of yellow, red and blue is the most used reference for development of other charting systems such as, Rock-Color Chart by the U.S. Geologic Survey, the Geological Society of America, Postage-Stamp Color Names, USDA Soil Color Charts, Descriptive Color Names Dictionary, Textile Color Card Association of the United States, etc.

Originally posted by Einion
It should be understood than in a forum such as this we are all liable to explain and if necessary defend statements we make; you've been a member long enough to know this surely. If you don't wish to do so that's your privilege but we cannot expect others to blindly accept things any of us say, especially when presented as fact rather than "I think..." I'm sorry if you don't like your views to be challenged but when presented in a public platform this is inevitable.


No need to lecture here...you are unaware of the fact that over time I have had the privilege of participating in a good number of public forums and am very acquainted with rules of conduct and participation! Also, do not interpret my delays in responding as not wishing to discuss. You are making a wrong personal assumption and posting it as fact.

Of course! I expect my views to be challenged...there is no artist who possesses the entire answer to every aspect of color and I in no way pretend to present my methods as such. As I have previously stated in this forum...

Originally posted by Cloud Drifter

No one has to, and I don't expect everyone to accept the way I use color or black and white.


I would expect there are others who do not agree with my methods but the methods I presented have certainly worked for me and others I have shared these methods with in the past. My intent here is that they may be of assistance to others in Wet Canvas as well.

Originally posted by Einion
Let's take the issue of black being considered a blue as a sole example. You say it should be treated as such and give the examples where it appears to behave like one but when I pose an example where it clearly does not you shy away from comment. Bill's cogent explanation is separate, I'm asking you in light of this supposed rule you presented. So why doesn't black work as a blue for orange-biased reds? What about black taking most darker colours down in value without any shift in hue (towards blue or any other colour)? Where does that leave us? Neither of these points is consistent with your position. Are you saying these are not the case when anyone can verify it for themselves with a few moments at the palette?

“you shy away from comment” is presumptuous my friend. I shy away from nothing. You have no idea of schedules and times that allow others the luxury of enjoying the opportunity to sit at the computer and join in Wet Canvas discussions. Unfortunately, currently my scheduling does not allow me a great deal.

So...to address your question, my descriptions are from personal visual observations of color behavior. Notice, my statement said that for green, yellow was the example color...not an orange or reddish-orange, or red. It is obvious that by moving into a more reddish family you would be moving away from combinations that produce the illusion of bright greens. However, if one mixes a cool black such as lamp black with orange, there is enough yellow in the orange to produce a green that appears to be more bronze, ruddy...more dull visually than the one obtained with yellow. This is because selecting an orange is moving too far into the reddish families.

The same behavior can be noted with chromatic colors. If one mixes a chromatic yellow with a chromatic blue, the result is a chromatic green. However, if one mixes a chromatic orange with the same blue, the result is a more bronze, ruddy appearing color with less visual brilliance. Even though these two chromatic colors maintain their individual chroma, the inter-mixing of orange with blue is then moving into complements on this color wheel and thereby creating a natural graying of each color.

Originally posted by Einion

And if anyone is still interested some points for consideration. Let's look at the notion of 'freshening' the tint of a yellow with another yellow, a "true, proven, and researchable" fact apparently.


“a true, proven and researchable fact apparently”. Now here it is evident we do have sarcasm. Everything I have posted regarding the Munsell system IS researchable and can be proven for those accepting this method of color charting. On the other hand, I in no way am implying that MY methods are fact (other than to my own studies and observations) as my above quotes will attest. My practices with color certainly do work for me...if not for you or some others, so be it.

Finally, I might as well go all out and comment on the following types of remarks that I consider fustian:

Originally posted by Einion
Now for a start I'd argue that tints not being lively and "keeping colours alive" are so completely subjective as to be almost useless in this sort of discussion.


Originally posted by Einion
Hmmmm, do you really think this terminology is adequate?


Originally posted by Einion
The question was posed in light of the supposed 'rule' presented by CD, which doesn't hold up -


These outright dismissals come across as a professor grading papers. I personally do not care but have you noticed the drop in submissions to this discussion? There are to date 782 visits with only 39 submissions...mainly from the same people. Could it be that some, who might have good points we could all gain from, are not joining in because they feel there is a fence they must jump over to participate? Why not lighten up a bit?

And so......for what it's worth, that's the way I see all of this.

Patrick1
07-17-2003, 10:29 PM
When I have time, I'll experiment by adding black to various colours around the colour wheel, to see if it can be said that black behaves as a blue in all hues/pigments, or only some, and which ones.

WFMartin
07-19-2003, 01:24 AM
Einion, and Cloud Drifter,

Wow, what more can anyone add to this discussion?

I think I’ll take my “electric blue” car, with its “fire engine red” upholstery, drive across my “growing green” lawn, into the “lively” colored sunrise, drive to work where my scanner sits, hit the “fresher” switch to get color with more “pizzazz” and possibly more “guts” than normal from it, and see what comes out--colors "warmer" or "cooler. Yes, I'm being a bit sarcastic, I admit.

I’m ‘fraid that I can’t possibly add any more meaningful information to this discussion. Sorry.

Bill;)

John H
07-19-2003, 04:14 AM
I think the 2 'rules' of lightening/darkening with the next higher/lower and analogous color are logically the only ways to change the value while maintaining the highest possible intensity. They have nothing to do with the ambient lighting conditions of the picture. You don't mix blue into green because you want to depict the reflected light of the sky in the shadow; you do it to darken the green and maintain the highest possible intensity of color (the intended purpose of the rules). 'Shadow' and 'lower in value' are not the same thing.

The rules themselves are objective. Where in your picture to apply the rules is subjective.

Does anyone else see the clean and simple logic of this? :)

However, when you reach yellow in lightness or purple in darkness you've reached the limits of the 2 rules. You can no longer lighten or darken "chromatically".

WFMartin
07-19-2003, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by John H


However, when you reach yellow in lightness or purple in darkness you've reached the limits of the 2 rules. You can no longer lighten or darken "chromatically".

Yep! Provided your only concern is "chromatically". (couldn't resist!) And, that alludes to the original question, as well.

Bill

Cloud Drifter
07-19-2003, 06:49 PM
Bill,
Thanks for the good laugh!:) I Love It! Your submissions are always informative and a pleasure to read. You have inspired me to go out back and pick some "medium dark blue" berries" to have with the "yucky brown" peanut butter sandwich I made on "off white" bread while humming "Deep Purple".:)

John H
Yes, I see the logic in it and feel you are correct by saying "when you reach the top yellow and the bottom purple, you can no longer lighten or darken "chromatically". I do feel that I can "brighten" the chorma of either if desired by either adding a warmer or cooler yellow or purple to the tint. For instance, if I have tinted cadmium yellow light with white, I can intensify the chroma a touch with either a cooler, more greenish yellow such as lemon yellow or warmer yellow say...cadmium yellow medium. True, the lightening of chroma will not change. And...if too much cadmium yellow medium is added, a slight darkening of chromatic value would occur.


Originally posted by WFMartin


Yep! Provided your only concern is "chromatically". (couldn't resist!) And, that alludes to the original question, as well.

Bill

Again, Bill...I agree!

JamieWG
07-19-2003, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by Cloud Drifter
I personally do not care but have you noticed the drop in submissions to this discussion? There are to date 782 visits with only 39 submissions...mainly from the same people. Could it be that some, who might have good points we could all gain from, are not joining in because they feel there is a fence they must jump over to participate?

Hi William. Thank you for noticing! Actually, I'm still here. Yeah, I know....shocks me too! LOL :D I wouldn't be at all surprised if others are also enjoying following this. You may hear from us yet!

Jamie

Einion
07-19-2003, 07:22 PM
Hiya Patrick, didn't mean to ignore you but I forgot to check back in. Flower petals first. Their shadows tend to look vibrant as we're all aware and if we examine carefully what we're seeing, generally speaking I think it could be summed up that the value and chroma of the halftone and shadow areas on flowers are higher than for the surrounding greenery.

What I believe is the cause is that petals, on a microscopic level, are composed of cells. These cells are not opaque, but translucent (almost like a coloured foam). Some of the light shining on the petal reflects back to the viewer from the surface but some penetrates and bounces around before returning to the viewer, just like with foam. This effectively means the upper layers are being lit partially by transmitted light from below. There is definitely some iridescence too you're right, in some cases at least. If we look at petals closely there is a 'sparkle' of sorts and with a turning plane iridescence could provide the bulk of the observed colour, akin to the turning colour on a mallard's wing for example. So as far as I'm aware flower petals are really complex examples of reflection/refraction interactions, which is what gives them such a unique appearance.

Back to yellows for a sec, under incandescent light if I open up my tub of Bismuth Vanadate (a dead-on mid yellow according to the Munsell rating) the shadows look simply greyer. There is a definite orange glow under the lip of the container from reflected light but no apparent green. In daylight the effect is pretty much the same. I like using the masstone colours of paint since we can be so sure of the hue (so we're not observing green shadows in a green-biased colour for example).

Okay on to your last post. First off I have to point out that I said black doesn't make reds more violet in most cases, I didn't say it never worked that way since colours are so individualistic. I also used Bone Black for my comparisons not Mars Black, as it is generally a better neutral. If your Mars Black is slightly blue-biased it will have some effect. I also didn't asses the undercolour of the mixes which could be quite different of course, especially if the red in question is more violet in undercolour to begin with. I was concerned more with the masstone appearance since that's what's used more, generally (hence why I suggested mixing with blue as well to have something to compare with since these mixes are necessarily quite dark). I checked two reds initially, Quinacridone Rose and Quinacridone Magenta, mixing three values steps between each colour - to give an idea of the shift in hue, if any, at different concentrations - and I couldn't distinguish any hue shift, in contrast to the mixes with Phthalo Blue GS. I've since done some quick mixes of all the other reds I have in acrylics using Mars Black and PR108 (light and medium), PR112 and PR170 and they all look to maintain the same hue to me (bearing in mind this is what I want to see!) The mixes with Ultramarine don't need to be described since of course they are clearly more violet.

I hate to say this but you can't use scans as a reliable guide to colour because without a calibrated top-end scanner you can't be sure the colour is at all accurate. Digital photos are similarly a problem. For example I had some low-key violet reflected lights in a painting that came out as blue in a recent photo of mine (and this was in daylight!) You have to use something like a spectrophotometer to test colour the way we'd like to be able to do, that's why they cost the big bucks. Another fundamental limitation is that the gamut of RGB is not nearly as wide as the human eye can see. But all this aside you can at least get a comparative idea as if you say the scan shows fairly well what you see in the flesh at least we're not totally out of the ballpark.

I don't think we can generalise that the hue of scarlet moves towards orange with the addition of black. Your mix most certainly appears to, if we can trust the scan there is a significant hue difference - 4 on the left, mid teens in the middle and even a touch higher on the right (corresponding to a move towards orange) - but I suspect this is because it is a mix, something happening between the individual pigments. Is it this apparent in the flesh? On to the Quinacridone Magenta mix, in your scan it does look slightly more violet. Having a look at the numbers, there is a fairly consistent -10° change in hue from the PR122 to the mix (this corresponds with a movement towards violet). If you look at the CMYK breakdowns there is an approximate 10% drop in the magenta component (?) but a large increase in the cyan. Now I'm really surprised you say this looks at all similar to the mix with Phthalo Blue GS. I presume you mixed the two to the same value and when I did this the PR122/PB15:3 mixes were completely different. Looking at the Quin Rose, it looks as mine did. Comparing the HSB readings on yours, hue is generally consistent and equal from one to the next, i.e. the black lowered saturation and brightness but didn't change the hue. This is interesting given what happened with the magenta and highlights the individual nature of mixes I guess.

It's difficult to know what to aim for when mixing using such different colours but equal value should be right, obviously we can't use amounts since the phthalo blue is so high in tinting strength. And one should ideally mix at least a couple of steps between the red and black or blue, see how the hue might alter at different concentrations. Doing quick comparisons on my palette (using Cadmium Red Light) mixed to about value four, Mars Black gave exactly what one would expect, a dark red-brown. Ultramarine's mixes were very different to yours, clearly more violet, especially noticeable in undercolour (looking like Golden's Violet Oxide at a slightly lower chroma which is what I expected). Phthalo Blue GS's mixes are distinctly greyer of course, with a clearly bluish undercolour. At a higher value the mixes are much closer in appearance obviously, the Ultramarine one looks marginally more violet in undercolour than the one using Mars Black but the masstone is practically identical. In fact when I equalised gloss with a wet finger I really could not tell them apart (the mix with Ultramarine is more matt as you'd expect which affected its apparent value). The Phthalo Blue GS mix is fairly similar but is noticeably lower in chroma when you look closely. This doesn't invalidate your results with the mixed scarlet of course, since many people might use a mix for this hue, but it shows how differently mixes can behave to a single-pigment colour, especially when also looking at undercolour.

As for the black acting like Ultramarine with your mixed scarlet, I think this is the blue acting like black, not the other way around :) This might sound like sophistry but comparing how another dark-valued blue interacts with the reds gives a truer picture, plus of course the Ultramarine gives very different mixes with reds that are more violet.


Bill, yes I'm always talking about the shadowed side of an object, not cast shadows unless I specifically mention it. Cast shadows are well known to be more influenced by reflected light(s) so they really have to be considered separately.

Originally posted by WFMartin
Wasn't it Monet who firmly believed that the flowers in his garden seemed to be brighter on an overcast day than they appeared to be on a sunny day?
Interesting observation. I've sort of seen this myself. I think this is probably brighter in comparison to the surroundings, not actually brighter in the true sense of higher in value and/or chroma. I know some flowers are mildly phosphorescent, although I don't know if this is in the visible spectrum. In direct sunlight the effect would be swamped by the greater amount of reflected light, like headlights appearing dim during the day, which could account for the difference.

Einion

Einion
07-19-2003, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by John H
I think the 2 'rules' of lightening/darkening with the next higher/lower and analogous color are logically the only ways to change the value while maintaining the highest possible intensity. They have nothing to do with the ambient lighting conditions of the picture.
Thanks for your input John but one doesn't always want maximum chroma in highlights or shadows. A simple highlight example, many painters (Larry included) use Naples Yellow and its hue for highlighting greens because they get the highlights that they want. As you might know Naples Yellow is both redder and duller than a simple tint of yellow (i.e. it is fairly low in chroma and more orange in hue) so in actual fact these highlights are less 'intense' than it is possible to achieve if one wished (using yellow plus white for example). If one did want to maximise chroma in highlights, in red or green, one would use only a yellow, since yellow has the highest saturation at light value. Few people paint this way primarily because this is not how highlights actually appear.

For shadows, if one wanted to maximise chroma fair enough, but this is again not how they generally appear and is antithetical to the use of complementary colours. The reason many (most?) realists use complementary colours is because they lower saturation.

Originally posted by John H
You don't mix blue into green because you want to depict the reflected light of the sky in the shadow; you do it to darken the green and maintain the highest possible intensity of color (the intended purpose of the rules).
This presupposes that blue-green has a higher 'intensity' than green or yellow-green at the same value. Apparent saturation is related to hue in most cases and there is a particular relationship within greens. Let me demonstrate:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2003/3842-Green_Grads.JPG

To save you having to check, all three have consistent hue across their width, and despite how they appear all are at 100% saturation at both sides, with 50% brightness at left, 20% at right. Which graduation do you see as most vibrant? Cover half of the image and look at the left and right in isolation, I'm sure you'll agree the bottom (mid-green) appears more saturated than the two bluer examples, regardless of the portion you view. To illustrate the point further:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jul-2003/3842-Greens_Hue_Diff.JPG

These all have the same starting colour (green at 50% brightness) yet I don't think there's much doubt that the top one appears most saturated. Yet in fact all again have the same saturation across their width, the only change is the middle and bottom are successively bluer in 20° increments.

Originally posted by John H
'Shadow' and 'lower in value' are not the same thing.
Er... how you mean this? Shadows are lower in value, in addition to being lower in chroma in most circumstances.

Einion

John H
07-20-2003, 11:16 AM
Einion,
I agree that most painters wouldn't want maximum chroma in highlights and shadows. But if you DO want maximum chroma - for whatever reason - then use the 2 rules.
A possible reason might be to entertain the viewer's eye in the shadow area with color-plays that are not necessarily "realistic" but none the less entertaining.
Yes, my example of mixing blue into green DOES presuppose that there's not a darker, high chroma green or yellow green on the palette. It also presupposes that the blue I'm using is darker than the green I'm mixing it into. This brings up a question in my mind: Would it be fair to call Sap Green, Thalo Green, and Chromium Oxide "analogous" since they're adjacent to each other in the color space? If that can be accepted then I think the following statement will stand: "to darken a color while maintaining the highest possible intensity/chroma use the next lower AND ANALOGOUS color (that's available on your palette)".
For shadows, if one wanted to maximise chroma fair enough, but this is again not how they generally appear and is antithetical to the use of complementary colours.
Bingo! :)

How do I mean that 'Shadow' and 'lower in value' are not the same thing? Well, in a literal sense - the terms are not identical.
Shadow is a picture that you render on the canvas.
Lower-in-value is not a picture; it's a pile of paint on your palette.