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LarrySeiler
07-05-2003, 02:48 PM
A member from Wetcanvas (hopefully she'll pop in, but I didn't feel free to name her without prior awareness and approval on her part), was kind enough to share a link to an interview online by the Fine Arts magazine of the Sierra Arts Production. Here is that link...

http://www.sierra-arts.net/InterviewSUSANSARBACKJuly03.html

Susan's experiences are unquestionably authoritative in regard to knowledge about the Cape Cod approach to painting, having learned directly from Henry Hensche...and many other enviable opportunities that graced her life.

Perhaps we might have an interesting discussion should others be interested in reading this article. Sarback has a number of books and articles out on painting, and her own school of light in California.

What I liked about the Cape Cod thinking became clearer to me reading thru the article, and I could see where my own methods were similar; what I did not personally find agreeable also made itself more clearer. I see more now where my methods touch upon that thinking....but where they are yet quite apart. A separation I guess I'll find myself comfortable with.

I could easily see from this article where my approach and thinking and palette is similar to hers, and where my seeing and responding to what is in front of me differs from hers.

The results of a painter's craft will of course have their appeal to various audiences and for various reasons, and for me personally there were perhaps one or two pieces exampled of her work in that article that I really liked. Let me state that by "liked"...I mean I look at and have some inner sense that I connect with it, and almost wished I had painted it or might paint something similar to.

It like that with great guitar soloists....as I've played guitar for many years performing live. I will once in awhile here a guitar piece...here a bit of myself in it and can picture myself playing on stage perhaps even alongside the individual. However, I will probably expound and take it a slightly other direction because I sense enough intrigue and challenge to see if it will work. The mystery of wondering if it will work is the string many times that gets me going....

I just didn't connect for the most part in a way that said, "yeah...I'd like to paint like that!"...but, my saying so in no way diminishes her success or abilities for what she is doing.

I can see how her color understanding is a help to the field of animation, working with Spielberg's company and such, most definitely. I'm just not there mentally or spiritually yet myself where expressing and putting more of myself into the work offers the possibility of greater interest than creation or nature itself offers. I find nature as it is at this point far more interesting than discovering anything about myself. Something I recognize very transcendent in nature, aware at the same time only too poignantly of the finite in me.

So while some of our thinking is similar, I see myself leaning more to representing how I see it...than how I feel or sense it. Her paintings are a delight to the senses, but not how I perceive nature.

It makes me wonder why though, and my conclusion at this point might be of interest to those that would wonder as well. Though I had an art education and teach art as well...Susan's life has been spent in much of the environment and atmosphere of the classroom or workshop. Her experiments with the abstract and minimalism demonstrates an openness to exploration and deeper understanding in that regard.

Myself...I grew up with a father that was a sportsfishing guide, licensed by the state. A police officer by trade, but every waking moment on the water where possible. My folks couldn't afford to help me go to a fine arts schooling...(I went to a state university instead, and during the anti-art era) but my dad did bring me weekly throughout my youth to the fine outdoors school of learning and experiencing.

So..while perhaps Susan developed an aesthetic for art processes and how things work (remember, I'm not judging but trying to understand "ME"....) I developed an aesthetic and appreciation with intervening the wilds of the outdoors to what I feel is going to look right and represent the beauty of nature to me.

I grew up camping in addition, then waterfowl and upland bird hunting...sitting in a skiff at 4am on a chilly late November morning of perhaps 10 below zero to experience the waking up of the marshes and bay. I trout fish streams, and today live in a national forest with 1200 lakes, streams and rivers.

When I say...I don't connect with Susan's work, the "look" of her work does not connect with the observation and aesthetic experience of my accumulated intervening years with nature. I'm not sure personally that I'd be interested in a unique way of seeing which would lead to paint in a unique way of representation if it doesn't connect me to how I've learned to see nature in my near 33 years of playing in the Creator's toybox. Make sense?

Seeing how different people work though makes and continues to make art fascinating. "Viva la differance!"

I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts and comments. Its a good link and well worth the time to read.

btw...Susan has a website of her work, which you can view for yourself-
http://www.lightandcolor.com/index_gallery.htm


Larry

Keenataz
07-05-2003, 08:20 PM
Larry,

I am of the same aesthetic sensibilities as you, no doubt due to a similar background of camping, living in or near remote wilderness areas and wildlife art. So, I write the following, not with judgement, but an appreciation of what makes her work different than mine, and a greater appreciation of what makes me tick as an artist.

I was interested in Susan Sarback's article and website because, although I have no problem seeing the reflected colours in light objects - clouds, snow, water reflections etc, I am a brand-spanking-new plein airist and having trouble seeing the colours in darks. Susan's paintings are high key and high colour, and she seems to avoid a full range of values (that are inherent in colour, as you pointed out previously), especially darks. What I find interesting about her comments, relative to what I see in her paintings is this:
"[Susan Sarback] Most of the colors found in nature are not bright. They are mixtures of the spectral colors. These are the more difficult and subtle colors to see and paint. The beginner works only with the bright colors. As an artist refines their perception and their ability, they see and paint the refined subtle colors that some may call dull." (from her website). Yet, when you look at her paintings, some colourations are subtle - but the colours look anything but dull! Or natural, given that she paints en plein aire.

She creates beautiful, atmospheric paintings - but it's not what I see, or want to see, in nature. But, I don't have her background in art either - I am a zoologist by education. I find a lot of value in what she has to say, but will no doubt modify it to suit my own purposes.

In addition to an eastern philosophy in terms of her art design, I find she also has an eastern view of nature. Wild nature does not resonate well with eastern philosophy - it's too chaotic and not beautiful unless tamed, modified and ordered by human hands. Her art may be of nature, but it, too, has been tamed, modified, even civilized. Perhaps it is this quality of her art that doesn't resonate with me? I look to wilderness for creativity, solace and strength. It's the wildness that I love - I avoid urban scenes and I regularly delete signs of human intervention in my landscapes (including boats, buildings and evidence of logging). Well, I guess her art is not my cup of tea, but I am certainly open to her methods. I can learn a lot from what she has to say.

So, what do you think - not of her colour - but her use of colour in place of a broad range of values, as well her avoidance of darks?

She mentions in her sierra arts article how much she is selling . I wonder who is buying her art? I'll bet my new backpacking tent it's not those who actually get out of their RV's in national parks! ;) :evil:

Cheers,
Keena

JamieWG
07-05-2003, 08:51 PM
Hi Keena and Larry! What a fabulous article. Many thanks, Larry, for the link.

Keena, as for her 3-10 sales a month...well that's quite a bit less than one of the painters in our plein air group, but heck, I'd take it!

I need to read this article a bunch of times and think and try...and then I'm sure I'll have a lot to say. But I can say a few things! I love her paintings. They sure have the Wow factor. She says this can be done with a brush too...but it seems she uses only knives. I like her high key approach. I've been trying to get my paintings to a higher key and you can see right from her underpainting where she's going key-wise. I see this in Larry's approach too.

I love the way her colors sing. I will certainly get the book, having read the article. I need to think more about her process and do some small 5X7s to experiment. (My 5X7s are all sold....need to do more in any case!) Maybe next weekend. In the meantime, I think this article and Larry's last WIP have made me realize that I need to boost the high-key chroma parts of my painting much earlier in the game....like in those first lay-ins. It's something I started working on a couple of weeks ago and it has helped a lot. I think I can take it up one more notch in key and chroma in the underpainting.

So, that is what I have personally gotten out of this so far. I like her colorist expression. I wonder if she does all those big paintings plein air. Anybody know?

Jamie

Keenataz
07-05-2003, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by JamieWG
Hi Keena and Larry! What a fabulous article. Many thanks, Larry, for the link.

Keena, as for her 3-10 sales a month...well that's quite a bit less than one of the painters in our plein air group, but heck, I'd take it!

Me, too!



I need to read this article a bunch of times and think and try...and then I'm sure I'll have a lot to say. But I can say a few things! I love her paintings. They sure have the Wow factor. She says this can be done with a brush too...but it seems she uses only knives. I like her high key approach. I've been trying to get my paintings to a higher key and you can see right from her underpainting where she's going key-wise. I see this in Larry's approach too.

I love the way her colors sing. I will certainly get the book, having read the article. I need to think more about her process and do some small 5X7s to experiment. (My 5X7s are all sold....need to do more in any case!) Maybe next weekend. In the meantime, I think this article and Larry's last WIP have made me realize that I need to boost the high-key chroma parts of my painting much earlier in the game....like in those first lay-ins. It's something I started working on a couple of weeks ago and it has helped a lot. I think I can take it up one more notch in key and chroma in the underpainting.

So, that is what I have personally gotten out of this so far. I like her colorist expression. I wonder if she does all those big paintings plein air. Anybody know?

Jamie

Jamie,

I agree about the higher key. I definitely need to do that with my paintings as well. They end up darker than I envisioned when I started. So much learning to do!!! I'm thinking of getting her book, too. I'm keen to attempt to see colour the way she does - I think it could help me a lot with my darks (light absorbing surfaces, rather than reflective ones).

Cheers,
Keena

JamieWG
07-05-2003, 09:19 PM
Keena, perhaps you and I and others who are interested can get her book over the next couple of weeks and have a more in-depth discussion of her methods, complete with our own experimental pics, here in the color theory forum. Heck, we could even make a project out of it to follow her approach for one painting (or more) and post results. What fun!

Jamie

Einion
07-06-2003, 12:24 AM
Originally posted by LarrySeiler
When I say...I don't connect with Susan's work, the "look" of her work does not connect with the observation and aesthetic experience of my accumulated intervening years with nature.
Larry FWIW I much prefer your technique to hers and you know I have some issues with your use of colour! I find her work that I've seen extremely over-coloured, to the point of being fanciful*, and doesn't strike any chord of realistic portrayal for me. This didn't engender any desire to read through it, not least because I skimmed the article on her in American Artist earlier this year, but in the spirit of giving her ideas a fair shake I ploughed through it.

Colour issues aside, I find her dabbling application of paint looks tentative and even nervous, on the small paintings especially. I quite like knife painting but when I compare her work to someone like Earl Daniels it pales. Even though he might have been a bit formulaic, Daniels's style had a deftness that I love and the paintings a strength and emotion that I find absent from most of hers. And when you consider he worked in pretty much the same part of the country the contrast in the apparent quality of the light and its effect on colour is very telling.

Some specific observations:
Notice she was either learning for 14 or 17 years before studying with Hensche!

"The challenge of accurate visual perception was far more intriguing to me. Not that I'm a realistic painter..."
Funny, I thought accurate perception and realism went together but maybe that's just me :D

"She [uses] pure colors mixed only with white."
What utter nonsense! What's a 'pure colour' anyway? You could use Rembrandt's palette and you'd still be using pure colour. Grrrrrrr, I hate wishy-washy, vague, romantic terminology. This might mean she uses single-pigment colours of high chroma, although it's far from certain, but that doesn't make them 'pure'.

"An example of how you create a yellow that is very dark yet still bright would be great."
A question asked by someone who should go and learn the appropriate vocabulary. Dark yet bright? I think he meant dark yet saturated which isn't too bad, but this is actually impossible in yellows, which all artists should know (now a dark-valued yellow might look saturated in context but it can't actually be saturated). Apologies to Mr. Kock if he isn't an artist but then why is he working for an artists' magazine?

This critique of the journalistic credibility of the writing isn't related to Sarback's approach, but she then goes on to answer the question without using better terminology (she does say there is no such thing as a bright dark yellow to her credit). Brilliance is just acceptable in a description of colour in place of chroma or saturation but the word bright has connotations of value so it should be used with care - a 'brilliant blue' and a 'bright blue' are not equivalent to many people.

"...you use no blacks or browns."
This and its answer are troubling. I can accept not using pigment blacks or browns with this approach to colour but consider this in the context of the preceding quote. Dark yellows are what? Part of her answer, "I can create very dark and dull colors using the spectral colors as well as colors that appear to be brown," hmmm, a very dark yellow or orange IS brown, that's why it 'appears' to be brown. Duh. More on the so-called spectral colours in a second.

"Most of the colors found in nature are not bright. They are mixtures of the spectral colors. These are the more difficult and subtle colors to see and paint. "
This is an excellent point and one which any student should keep in mind (but only if spectral colours are considered as light, NOT as paint).

"The beginner works only with the bright colors. As an artist refines their perception and their ability, they see and paint the refined subtle colors that some may call dull."
Yes, study and honing of perception is arguably the single most important task facing the developing artist. To be able to see subtle hue differences and colour in near-neutrals and darks is the first step in reproducing them in painting. I'd argue that the use of 'bright' colours actually makes the student's job harder if they want to mix accurate colour, but if they want to produce 'luminous' work emulating hers, fair enough.

"Actually, these colors can be quite luminous. When browns and blacks are not used and spectral colors create all other colors, the result is a luminous range of color."
This is complete bunk. She seems to be saying that fundamentally there's no such thing as a dull colour - there certainly doesn't appear to be any in her work! In the context of her stated aim of accurate perception this is laughable. She's also implying that you can't mix dull colours with her palette which is nonsense of course, depending on how she means luminous (another vague term). We're all only too aware of how easy it is to have a mix get out of hand, producing mud, and it doesn't matter how chromatic the starting colours were.

I've been experimenting with painting using various CMYKW palettes for a year or so and the three primaries are, in a practical sense, far better spectral colours than the typical palette someone like Sarback uses. Yet you mix these colours in certain proportions and you can get just as dull and uninteresting a colour as if you started with earths and whatnot, it just takes a lot less effort! Achieving high-key, chromatic painting like hers is about choice, not an inherent quality in either the subject or the paints.

"The "light key" is a difficult subject to learn. When students begin, they start with the easiest light bright sunlight. Clear bright colors are the easiest to see and paint. As you move into cloudy and hazy days, the colors become more subtle. "
Yes indeed they're more subtle. I've commented before, most lovers of colour in the painting field who follow a semblance of the Impressionist ideal show a distinct lack of desire or ability to tackle them! What would really impress me is if I saw work that had closely-observed hints of hue across the neutrals in a landscape painted under a dark overcast, instead of a fantasy world of candyfloss colour purporting to be well-observed and accurate that is clearly not.

So, 20 years of art education... wasn't it Sam Clemens who said something about education getting in the way of learning? Ramon Piaguaje, an entirely self-taught artist from the Amazon rainforest, had been painting for five years before he did 'Eternal Amazon'. Only five years of using colour, with no filtering from any silly western art theories - his translation from reality to canvas looks pretty accurate to me.

It's clear Sarback's work is about her experience of colour, not the accurate portrayal of colour as it appears in the world, which she accepts. What painters who use colour this way are actually doing is painting their impression of what they see and how it affects them, which seems to go hand-in-hand with an editing of truly dull colour from the work (i.e an over-emphasis on chroma). If that's what you like more power to you, I just wish they wouldn't cloak it in a veneer of accuracy.

Einion

*I grew up in the tropics so I want to make clear that it's not my current exposure to the much lower light levels in Ireland and Britain that dull my perception of colour. To take one example "Around the Bend", I'm sick to death of seeing strongly violet touches in yellow neutrals but the intensely blue shadows are the most jarring to me, especially in relation to the portrayal of the grass on the right, the colours just don't jibe. Ugh. Okay, I'm definitely not a fan of post-Impressionism, sue me :D

gnu
07-06-2003, 03:31 AM
Originally posted by Einion

Larry FWIW I much prefer your technique to hers and you know I have some issues with your use of colour! I find her work that I've seen extremely over-coloured, to the point of being fanciful*, and doesn't strike any chord of realistic portrayal for me. This didn't engender any desire to read through it, not least because I skimmed the article on her in American Artist earlier this year, but in the spirit of giving her ideas a fair shake I ploughed through it.


with the exception of the bit about issues with Larry's colour(I have none)..I was about to say this too..
I don't go into as much depth (too imaptient??) as you guys, but I was NOT expecting the unrealistic colours...I did not want it to be like that. I thought she was going to produce impressionistic, expressionistic works with realistic colours...does that make sense??
I definitely lean towards more realistic painting..I can't help it...but I love boosted colour...and I love expressionistic strokes/applications of colour..(i.e. I'm a BIG Van Gogh fan...his painting would be on my mind everyday..but I'm not pretending to paint like him!!:D:D:D)
I love the intensity of contrast that your painting acheives Larry, and I'm always striving to acheive a little of it..so when I paint I'm always aware of your paintings too..
I am not jealous or envious , but I enjoy learning and 'realising' stuff...for the first time..
Do we ever get there?? I seriously hope not..it's such an incredibly stimulating journey that for me is just now the most exciting beginning of my whole creative side...(I've explored a few!!)..
I'd rather have a Seiler on MY wall, any day!!!:)

blondheim12
07-06-2003, 07:39 AM
I don't care for her work at all but I'm happy for her that she is so successful.
Love,
Linda

Wayne Gaudon
07-06-2003, 09:16 AM
... me thinks artist should paint and let their paintings talk.

Keenataz
07-06-2003, 10:01 AM
Well, it seems that many of us have a similar negative opinion of Sarback's "post-Impressionism", particulary her over use of unrealistic colour! That aside, can we LEARN anything from her methods? And I don't mean how to abuse colour ;).

Einion, thank you for dissecting her article. I appreciate that. Not being totally familiar with the terminology, I would have not been able to critique it well. I looked up Ramón Piaguaje on the internet. He is amazing. Thank you for sending his name my way. To memorize each tree before he paints it - now that's a good exercise!

Jamie, I think your idea is a good one. I have Lois Griffel's (Cape Cod School) book on order already though. She is similar, but not quite as "chromatic"(?!) as Sarback. I'd like to check out this book before I plunge in and buy another one that is similar. I find, from looking at both of their works, that they use pink and light-valued violets far more than I would. I just don't see much of those colours where I live.... I will undoubtedly experiment with her theories when I get the book and would still love to compare notes.

Although we might respect another artist's skill and their interpretation of where they live, I believe that we still love most what we are familiar with - what WE know. Then we can discern what looks right or wrong with the picture, as well as it evoking more of an emotional response. The atmosphere is different wherever you go. I painted in the Caribbean many years ago, and was so surprised at the different colours I used - ones I never would have even considered using in Northern Ontario. So, maybe the colours that Sarback and Griffel use are really there (maybe not in the quantities they use!). I won't know until I see it for myself. Until then, I am sure there is something to be gleaned from them.

Cheers,
Keena

PS I'd like Larry's work on my wall, too! :D

Patrick1
07-06-2003, 10:31 AM
I'm digressing here, but...

Einion, you said "hmmm, a very dark yellow or orange IS brown, that's why it 'appears' to be brown."

Hmmm...every time I add black (mars black) to any yellow (including yellow ochre), I get a dull green. Even each of the 3 oranges I have + mars black gives a green-brown colour. It seems like the orange needs to be very reddish (even redder than perinone orange) to get what I'd call 'brown'; a brown that doesn't look greenish or maroon.

Or do you mean that if you simply darkened the reflectance or luminance of yellow or orange (like by turning down a dimmer switch) you'd get brown? Don Jusko's Real Color Wheel has burnt umber at the same hue as yellow...so maybe there's some truth to it. Maybe a different black wouldn't pull the mixture toward green.

LarrySeiler
07-06-2003, 11:13 AM
There is nothing ever I can think of that is negative to look at and dicipher or distill what will be useful to your own visual language from other's work.

I am somewhat a fanatic at looking at other's work. Having just visited an official John Singer Sargent site...I was particularly interested to see how many painters influenced Sargent, how he had accumulated prints and works of others...and so forth. They have many links one can look at so you see what was part of his growth. http://www.jssgallery.org

I hardly visit the bathroom, my inlaws, restaurants down the road without taking a copy of American Art Review with me, or something.

Call that the art educator in me...or the painter, but the logic of it speaks to my sense of reason perfectly. By painting, thru art education and teaching art...I have developed an understanding of art principles, the art language, the art of "seeing"...and an artist's best audience really (should s/he hope anyone can appreciate best what was attained) is other artists whom in understanding the visual language as well stand a better chance to see your efforts, a moment of genius...and so on.

So...as I flip thru these magazines again and again looking at images next to me...while conversing with others and what not, I see work I like...work I don't like. More important to me than the work I like (which some might find odd), are the works that I don't like. I want to understand why. I figure, if I can see what I don't like in a work then there is no reason for me to repeat what I consider to be the same error. I've spared myself to a degree.

Seeing what works in another's effort, and liking it...expands your language. Like discovering a text, or an idea which you quickly tuck away mentally to be used in your next syllogism for future dialetic exchange. (if anyone has to look those terms up, that will metaphorically compare to seeing something in someone else's painting).

Put to use what works in another's work that speaks to your aesthetic visual language. A baby learns quickly that certain odd sounds and babbles put together brings laughter, attention, and reward from adults, and bit by bit they stumble upon language. I see breakthru's looking at others work as a sorta similar process.

I'm also not in the least offended or put off if someone doesn't much care for my processes or use of color. That would be like regretting I speak English because someone with another language doesn't like the sounds and accents uttered from my lips.

I first and foremost have to satisfy my own self-demands, which has certainly been much more difficult to do than find acceptance around any of these boards. My work is the accumulation of much toil, wrestlings, ideas, viewing of works, ongoing interaction with my subject...and so forth. I don't think hardly anyone wakes up one day and decides to dramatically try something different.

I paint painterly now...because I have come to value the deeper dialogue the painting has with the viewer than the labored more photo realistic work I used to do. That reading between the lines whereupon the viewer imagines seeing more detail than is really there. That...stirs up a sense of experiencing something very much what I consider "life" in the viewer so they participate with the work, making it theirs.

That "viewer" the work would have dialog with is of course with myself viewing as well.

The colors I use mimic best what I see and experience outdoors.

AS many here in the choir know well, pigment alone does not compare well to the intensity of real light, so particular devices are necessary (principles of complementaries, various color theories...etc) to fool the eye to see beyond pigment limitations. So, we entertain how other artists might accomplish this. If we see what we are looking for, we are at once interested to pay more attention to what the individual has to say.

Obviously, Susan's success underscores that many looking at her work see a thing as a visual language spoken that they wish could be spoken in their own work as well. If her work helps those people work out their visual language and they are satisfied with their efforts...then I am happy for them. Chances are...the more their work looks like Susan's...I will not find them all that moving for me as well; however...I am not the definitive last word on acceptable paintings. Such is only important to know really for me, to keep my eyes on the straight and narrow path for what continues to work for me.

Sometimes I think when an artist gets so vehement about voicing distaste for other's work (making no hint of taking issue with anyone here....speaking in general terms) the anger is a means they hold to which in effect acts like those eye blinders they put on horses to keep their gaze undistracted and straight ahead. They feed off their anger to keep themselves on track. That's unfortunate such is needed, but it no doubt serves to work for many.

The fear is, the minute you open your heart to consider something postive is possible in a work so far different and removed from your own...your own inner man (so to speak) might begin to entertain options and changes. Anger, rejection...these might be ways for the artist to keep a short leash on themselves.

So...thanks first of all for the link to Susan's article in the Fine Art magazine. It was informative...and like looking at images in magazines where I see what I like and don't like...and take something from that for my own motivation and growth...I saw things in her conversations to take something away from.

Larry

Helen Zapata
07-06-2003, 12:33 PM
I'm a huge fan of Susan Sarback. I've had her book for years, and often go back to it simply to enjoy her paintings and get myself revved up again. I don't try to paint like her, but I do enjoy her work.

The thing that I took away most from the book, is the concept of learning to SEE what you are looking at. Seeing the colors in those shadows, in the light, in the distance, etc. So often we restrict ourselves mentally to what we "expect" to see, rather than actually being open to what is there.

I once did a pastel painting of a bowl I had given to my (ex) husband. It was a handmade bowl. At first glance, it seemed to be only a soft taupe with navy blue flowers around the rim. But as I painted, I saw more and more colors coming out. A friend saw the painting, and the bowl together. In surprise she asked me, "Do you really see all those colors in there?" I laughed and quite honestly said, "Yes!" I'll attach that painting (just because I CAN, lol)

No matter whether we work realistically, impressionistically, expressionistically, or whatever... I think there is great value in learning to SEE what we are looking at.

Just my two cents. :)

Helen

Keenataz
07-06-2003, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by zapata
I don't try to paint like her, but I do enjoy her work.

The thing that I took away most from the book, is the concept of learning to SEE what you are looking at. Seeing the colors in those shadows, in the light, in the distance, etc. So often we restrict ourselves mentally to what we "expect" to see, rather than actually being open to what is there.


Helen,

This is exactly what I am trying to get out of her work - seeing more of those colours. It's not that I am expecting to see just local colour, but just wanted help in seeing the shadow colours.

I got a great technique to try from Larry in the Landscape channel - the adirondack one.

In the mean time, I've got Lois Griffel's book on order. I'm going to try and get Susan Sarback's book through my library first to compare to Lois' book.

Nice bowl painting!:)

Cheers,
Keena

henry
07-06-2003, 07:35 PM
I have been following your thread about susan. and find it quite interesting.
I read her interview and noticed that she stated that her major influence was
Henry Hensche with whom she studied for 17 years? then I read on and
find that she thinks Hensches greatest was in his work and not his teaching
it is obvious to me and others that her work is a reflection that she wasted her time studying with Henry, because it contains nothing of what he taught.
Her four step technique is the most watered down interpetation of the
Hensche study method that I have ever seen. In her still lifes and landscapes, she uses the most atrocious forms of scumbling and blending to acheive something similar to
colored marshmellows. or as monet said of his imitatiors "confectonary shops."
Those of you who have observed that her colors are unnatural, I credit you
with having eyes. pretty colors does not describe sunlight. it is refined color relationships that will do the trick..
It is obvious to the few who know Henrys life work that she has *******ized his teaching and defames his name.
Out of respect for Henry, I take my time to come here and let this be known.
As larry states something about looking for the positive. let me say this
there is nothing positive about deception. You are deceived if you think
that She is an authority on anything but her own inventions.

--------------------
some think that white is symbolic of good
and black is symbolic of evil
but evil masquerades as a shade off white to deceive.
hensche

Helen Zapata
07-06-2003, 08:39 PM
Those of you who have observed that her colors are unnatural, I credit you

Grinning atcha.. gosh, I sure HOPE they aren't natural! Otherwise I would have to start worrying that maybe my parents were right about LSD flashbacks coming back to haunt you decades later. :D :p

There are all kinds of painters and paintings (thank God!) and I see nothing wrong with expressionism. I see a lot of Susan's abstract background influencing her work also.

It's all good.

Helen

henry
07-07-2003, 08:34 AM
I would never suggest what anyone else should think of her work.. but
I would suggest that it shouldn't be credited to anything that Henry Hensche
had to teach. His teaching led one to learn how to sustain a work in order
to arrive at a high degree of qualily in the refinement of color transitions.
Her 4 step teaching method is nothing more that a method to satisfy amateur
painters desire "make a pretty picture quickly" with very little effort.
hnry

henry
07-07-2003, 08:40 AM
LSD flashbacks coming back to haunt you decades later.
It would be an improvement if she were painting
flashbacks, or the real experience for that matter. I have no problem
with expressionism either. what I have a problem with is when one
claims to be painting from nature, but are really painting from concept and other false claims.
ps Maybe it is her eckankar flashbacks that she is painting.
hnry

henry
07-07-2003, 08:56 AM
" The more we know (the more we can see) the longer we can sustain a painting not the quicker we
can finish it. his goal for us was "the study taken to a higher level of refinement" , whether as
a beginner or a master. And I would say that it is the ability to sustain a painting through
progressive perceptual improvements that shows mastery in painting not how well one can abbreviate the
process through technique or personal pictorial formula." T.Thurmond[/QUOTE]
a relevant quote from another who understands the "Hensche Study method"
hnry

LarrySeiler
07-07-2003, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by henry

It would be an improvement if she were painting
flashbacks, or the real experience for that matter. I have no problem
with expressionism either. what I have a problem with is when one
claims to be painting from nature, but are really painting from concept and other false claims.
ps Maybe it is her eckankar flashbacks that she is painting.
hnry

Yes yes yes.....agree. IF someone wishes to paint expressionistically, abstractly...that is a creative choice and direction. There is plenty of support here at WC, with much advice and help as well for such directions.

But...you are right Henri! What disappointed me was seeing what I felt was a formulaic substitute for really really learning to see. ONe doesn't see such colors in nature if one is really seeing. That is why I felt no connection to my years of engaging nature looking at her works.

How could one...spending countless time observing and then painting colored blocks and white blocks outdoors to see the effects of natural light upon them (Hensche/Hawthorne) create and then credit a "perception/feeling" formulaic system that would thereafter substitute the need to really see and yet refer back to that Hensche learning to see methods?

I'm sure it is impressive on one's resume/bio to cite having attended workshops or schooling at such a renowned place as Cape Cod...but it is misleading if one is no longer ascribing to its methodology.

I went to college during the anti-art era following Dadaism where if you wanted an automatic "A" from the professor you did stuff like squirt paint in cow manure and whip it at the canvas! I cringe when people look at my skills and the first thing they ask is where I went to school? They are looking for a source to credit, but credit goes only to my own hard independent stubborn efforts which amounted to being self-taught.

While I have and might put down the two majors in art and a BA degree in education on my resume, I'm not going to list that alleged influence of artistic development as a credit to my directions...that's for sure. That should also work in reverse- if a person is no longer following the tenets of a former instruction from a schooling, any mention of that former experience should be expounded upon as to why they are opposed to it, or no longer ascribe to it.

It seems to me that abstract expressionism has played the fundamental role in her directions. Again...that's fine, but I think its misleading to attempt to drum up respect by pointing attention to Cape Cod. That is simply a marketing decision IMHO.

If her aesthetic and work speaks to you...and you wish you had painted the works she has painted, then that's a good sign of the directions you need to explore. Its not Hensche, not Hawthorne, nor the influence of the Cape Cod school way of seeing and painting however.

I'm glad you helped clarify this even further Henri...which regains respect and confidence in Hensche once more for me. I was getting confused by Sarback's claims myself.

peace,

Larry

JamieWG
07-07-2003, 09:25 AM
Originally posted by LarrySeiler
If her aesthetic and work speaks to you...and you wish you had painted the works she has painted, then that's a good sign of the directions you need to explore.
Larry

Well, I can't say I'm interested in painting those particular colors, but she does seem to have a knack for getting high-key paintings...something I could use more of in my work, and she has an approach to keep her colors clean.

Henry, you mentioned something about never blending, but then you also spoke about mixing colors directly on the canvas. Is that not blending? Not trying to be difficult here...'just want to understand exactly what you're getting at. Do you mean not to blend between light and shadow, and not to blend the top strokes above the underpainting?

Jamie

Helen Zapata
07-07-2003, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by henry

Her 4 step teaching method is nothing more that a method to satisfy amateur
painters desire "make a pretty picture quickly" with very little effort.
hnry

I'd have to agree with you here. Although I see nothing wrong with being able to help amateur painters do something that will make them happy, it's not the same as teaching them how to PAINT. Kind of like Bob Ross. I considered him a very sweet man who made a lot of people happy. People like my grandma, who just wants to dabble with her paints and have a little fun. She's not looking to become an Artist. She just wants to make a pretty little picture.

Larry, I must have been going to college and art school right around the same time you were. Although I never bothered to get a degree (I just wanted to paint, not take the other classes required), and moved a lot (so I went to a LOT of different colleges)... despite years and years of art classes, I consider myself "Self Taught". The teachers back then were worthless (IMHO). They'd tell us what to paint, and then leave the room till the end of the class, when they'd tell us to stop. I quickly understood I would get NOTHING from them in the form of training, and simply enjoyed having a few hours of uninterrupted time to paint.

Anyhoo.. back to Sarback and Hensche. When I checked out Hensche, I really didn't see a lot of connection between what he was doing and what Sarback is doing. Therefore I didn't dwell on it. She uses his "name" just as when I mention attending the Laguna Beach School of Art, people assume that actually MEANS something.

So you guys are right. I totally agree. She does lean heavily on the Hensche connection, yet it really isn't there. Name dropping. It's too bad she doesn't simply stand up for what she IS doing, and leave it at that. She does paint "pretty little pictures" and I enjoy looking at them.

I guess it basically boils down to a formulaic approach to impressionistic/expressionistic painting.

Helen

LarrySeiler
07-07-2003, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by JamieWG

Henry, you mentioned something about never blending, but then you also spoke about mixing colors directly on the canvas. Is that not blending? Not trying to be difficult here...'just want to understand exactly what you're getting at. Do you mean not to blend between light and shadow, and not to blend the top strokes above the underpainting?

Jamie

Jamie...I've done this method and taught it quite a bit myself.

My reasons may differ from Henri's I'm sure...but let me explain my application of this.

Blending..is more or less pushing the paint around and using the tips of a brush to smear or push color into a neighboring area till it reaches a smooth appearance. Some use a fan brush to do this. Others use a technique called "scumbling" with a stiff bristle, making minute gyrations of the hand and wrist to make the end of the brush work back and forth rigorously. Taking color off the palette and not premixing it on the palette but instead using the canvas as the area to mix it...is the idea of mixing color directly on the canvas. However...if you are going to "blend" by scumbling, fanning after applying the colr...and so forth, IMHO...you might as well have just mixed your colors on the palette and not on the canvas for the good that is going to do you.

For my position...I have been pushing myself to learn how the viewer takes in an image, perceives a thing. They certainly are impressed with a many hour labored painting where every detail is applied and rendered. They see that as great "skill"....but, I after having done that myself (averaging 200-300 hours into a single painting) for near 20 years instudio...I have come to believe something different.

It is hard to ignore the "oooh's and the aaah's!" of the public that stoops forward to take in and admire the painter's skill of photo realism, and I thrived on those "oooohs!" for two decades. I depended upon making such an impression for sales. Sales that were slow in coming.

I'm about to make a case here...like a public defender, and am asking folks to think.

What affects people on a surface to the point level of their spirit, their psyche....whatever, does not go deep enough into their heart and soul to engage with the work. They stop short of participating with the work, which makes it partly theirs...and so when it is time to walk away from it, they do so with a smile and hardly a second thought. The ones that have trouble walking away are other artists wanting to paint just as skillfully, so they'll linger to take much in.

I have shared a communication device of Christ, how the creative construct of parables works with the hearer. One of my majors in art, was "Communications and the Arts"...which is an area that studies how art affects and communicates to the viewer. What strategies enter in to make art more effective, and so on.

Many folks are the Joe Friday- "Just the facts, maam....just the facts!" type of individual. On a mission themselves, busy with just little time and patience, they want it all up front. Give 'em the facts, and don't bother to dress it up with frivolity.

I'm like that with reading. I have thousands of books on my shelves...of which perhaps 1% is fiction. As creative as I am, I have my other druthers of how to spend my creative moments. I am totally interested in my world, in history, social issues, worldview thinking, theology and philosophy...and read to better understand and organize my thoughts. I am too impatient to read a book just to go along for the ride. For entertainment value. I recognize that is to my own impoverishment....for there are fine writers of literature, but that is my personality.

I want to get at the crux of a matter quickly, to sort out things and come to terms with issues and ideas.

The problem with just putting the truth out there point blank is that it is so easy to quickly dismiss if you don't like something you are hearing. Impatience and especially cynicism works as a filter which hears key words and reacts with a sense of privilege to tune out.

Yet...if truth is THEE truth, it might yet get a hearing or a consideration at a deeper level. It was thru story telling that the master communicator did this.

Christ also knew his audience, and where their interests rested. To the Jews...he spoke scriptures and the Law, because that was their interest. To the Greeks of His day, he told stories because he was aware of their fondness for such. Sorta like fishing, you bait what you are going after.

So....by drawing people into a story...you slip past the impatience of the left brain, (which controls the right brain)....to help the hearers begin to imagine and picture the details the story teller is sharing. Ten minutes or however later...the story is finished. The left brained "give me the facts maam, just the facts" hearer has resisted, and stubbornly so. Will walk off thinking the story teller in a bad light, mumbling and angry.

However...for those that went along for the journey and listened, the truths hidden in the story penetrate and go much deeper.

The hearer walks away thinking, "hhhmmm...there must be something to this story for that guy to have spent all that time telling it. Now what might it be?" and goes over the story in his mind, again and again. Suddenly, he experiences an "ah-HAH!" moment..."I get it!"....which is a revelation of sorts. That "I get it!" experience happens at a level of greater receptivity which can actually then effect change if the truth is so well exposed and understood.

What I personally have come to believe, (which now is becoming my prejudice admittedly toward heavily labored photo realistic work) is that such work suits the "just the facts, maam" personally just right. They don't want to have to work thru a painting to get it. They want it all up front. Too busy. Too impatient.

However...as pretty and impressive as that painting might be, it doesn't go deep enough into that person's soul to have any lasting effect. They can just as quickly dismiss it and walk away from it. They put nothing into it, thus they lose nothing walking away from it. They are being asked to invest nothing.

Now...having had seven years to paint more painterly yet in a realistic manner...I have had opportunity to observe this communication methodolgy work. Painterly works that are yet realistic is more like asking something of the viewer. IT is like requiring them to hear a parable.

They walk up close...they see what appears a mess. They back up a step or two....and it amazingly begins to come to life. Back up one more step and it is unbelievably realistic. Then they move forward again...and it is a mess. That is like a mystery to them. It is intriguing.

At a particular point from the work...the artist having not rendered every unnecessary detail but in painting more painterly has given the viewer a script to enter into and participate. They can take some of their own memory from past experience, and in their imagination sense more detail in your work than you actually painted. A reading between the lines, so-to-speak.

IN that interaction, they find a bit of themselves in there. They rediscover feelings of awe they had when encountering nature themselves. That sense of smallness against the glories of nature. That quieting of the soul which comes in places like water rapids and falls....and so forth. Their memory and imagination is putting into your painting what is not there...but just enough IS THERE to cause that interaction to happen.

Thus...it is not for me the endless flawless blending of perfection I am interested in. I want not only a sense of realism in my paintings....but I want the viewer to participate with me in awakening that aesthetic memory.

One way artists experiment and make use of mixing color on the canvas is to apply one color onto another...say a touch of phtalo onto a layer of wet yellow...and will incompletely mix it in. In that way...you get varied intense hues of green, bits of yellow coming thru, and a smidge of even the pure phtalo blue yet to be seen.

All those little marks left on the canvas unblended and done so masterfully (and masterfully is the key) translates to suggestions of details. Marks that could look like various and multiple leaves of foliage flickering with a slight breeze and in the sunlight.

Other techniques include taking one part of a brush and dipping it in one color....say a flat bristle and cadmium yellow on one corner, and dipping the other corner's edge to a bit of alizarin crimson and then making a mark on the canvas. That allows a bit of the yellow to remain pure, some to blend into the crimson, and some of the crimson to remain pure. From a few paces back, the color flickers and takes on a life.

A painting knife putting on a bit of color flat and smoothly will cause the color to appear very bright, and for a physical reason.

The stiff hairs of a brush will rout out small minute grooves into the paint as it pulls thru and attempts to lay down color. These grooves are three dimensional, and in light will cast shadows in the small ruts the bristles have left behind.

Those shadows work to darken and even remove a bit of the chroma intensity of the color.

Knowing this...I will use the knife to apply color specifically where I want more saturation intensity to work for me. I often use it when painting my water...as water can have a unique jewely like revealing of color.

The marks left are not intended to impress the viewer with any particular painting skill when looked up close. They are a telltale signature of how the artist works...but the "ooohhing and aahhhing" is meant to be experienced from a few paces back. Still, viewers enjoy often coming close with some disbelief and sense of mystery as to how an apparent mess can be so compelling from a few paces back.

All that interaction by the viewer adds up to an experience with the work. I have found personally that such works have had more power in needing to be needed. Sales not so much an indication of cheap ploys of marketing on my part....but evidence of having touched something deep and essential in the heart of the buyer. I intend my work to touch others more deeply.

Hope that winded explanation was of interest, and cause for reflection.

peace,

Larry

Lorijo
07-07-2003, 10:39 AM
Excellent Larry, its what I have felt, but have been unable to express. I have to argue so many times with the family and friends why I don't paint like a camera sees.

About Susan's work, I like some of it but in most of it the colors are very unatural to me. I would rather have one of Larry's paintings on my wall too. Could she possibly be colorblind? :D I get some of those colors she uses when I have had one of those glaucoma eye tests where they put some of the weird eye drops in your eyes.

I like the real colors in nature, sometimes they are very bright, especially here in Florida, huge red flowers, bright aqua waters and a lot of plants that are purple even. In her paintings, there are all the colors of the rainbow in one painting and that I don't care for. Lorijo

LarrySeiler
07-07-2003, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by Lorijo
In her paintings, there are all the colors of the rainbow in one painting and that I don't care for. Lorijo

well...that goes in line with the routine caution I critique members quite often about. Wanting to put too much in their work, perhaps as a way to prove themselves capable and skilled.

When painting plein air...and especially doing so by taking random drives down old country roads, backwoods, or the mountains...you look to be compelled to pull over and set up. You just know there is a painting to be made, and your entire spirit is supercharged.

Amateurs or novices set up...and are so quickly overwhelmed with the wealth of visual information that suddenly hits them that they immediately forget what it was that compelled and demanded them to paint.

Trusting that there is that painting to be done...they proceed. They see a huge rock they didn't at first notice...and of course, being they want to prove themselves skilled they paint that in. Over there is a strange tree with bent limb, so stick that in there.

Then, yes...all that lucious color. Must put it in there. All of it. Treating each area as though it were most important in and of itself.

Follow me long enough in any of the forums, and you read me comparing that to walking into a music director's choir room and hearing 60 voices all singing at the top of their lungs. Singing as though they were all the soloists, and singing not even necessarily the same song...but one meaningful to them!

Utter noise....and chaos!

When everyone is shouting nobody gets heard. Again, when everyTHING is shouting noTHING gets heard, and when everyTHING is given visual emphasis, noTHING gets seen!

The cleverness and genius is not painting everything you see to prove your skill, but knowing full well what NOT to paint!

The novice paints everything....the master discriminates.

Playing color down in subordinate areas...allows for color to sing elsewhere. Look at how Thomas Moran's landscape color sings, but it sings where he wants it to. As a result, he gives that area more voice...more attention, more life...and we understand and appreciate the source of his compulsion-

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jul-2003/532-moran_landscape.jpg

closeup, (compare what is played down...held back to what is given voice to sing)-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Jul-2003/532-moran_closeup1.jpg

Larry

Lorijo
07-07-2003, 12:36 PM
Thomas Moran's paintings are beautiful, there is a lot of detail in them, but it is organized and balanced. I think you can put a lot of things in a painting and still have it look good but they have to be carefully arranged and they have to be subordinate to the main focus. They cannot all shout. It is easier to balance less objects. Once all those people are trained in the music director's choir room, some made to sing softly and others loudly at the right times, they can make a beautiful sound all together. Lorijo

henry
07-07-2003, 12:41 PM
Henry, you mentioned something about never blending, but then you also spoke about mixing colors directly on the canvas. Is that not blending? Not trying to be difficult here...'just want to understand exactly what you're getting at. Do you mean not to blend between light and shadow, and not to blend the top strokes above the underpainting?

Jamie


I avoid blending because it creats a false transition. what i mean by mixing into
a color on the canvas is to make adjustments to it, mixing it all the way into the particular color note ,making it flat not blended .. you see, the purpose of painting for me is not
to acheive an effect , but it is a tool of understanding the dynamics of
observed color, whether it be a landscape or still life. it is not about portraying a landscape, but understanding the colors that a landscape presents. it is about the beauty of the color transitions, how edges come
together, how the bright sky affects the edge of a tree.
the mysterious color of a shadow note on a taple top... the transition
of the edges of dappled sunlight on a taple top.
The more we study in a true way the more nature reveals to us.

Thanks Larry for backing me up about the sawbuck.
While Henry introduced us all to a way to humble ourselves before nature,
the work of studying requires a rigorous discipline. and more respect for
the sustained study and less for the finished produc. Many fall by the wayside. I have strayed myself before, but i have a conscience .
hnry.

Deborah Secor
07-07-2003, 01:36 PM
Maybe there was some discussion of this already that I missed (haven't had time to read the whole thread) but I found her contrast of eastern and western approaches to color and design to be favorably balanced to make eastern design look far more appealing and important. Did anyone else have any issues with this?

Just #1 is a teensy bit suspect:
1. Simplicity of design with depth of character
-- often asymmetrical (eastern)
1. Design is often complex and balanced
often symmetrical (western)

Do you think simplicity of what she describes as eastern design produces 'depth of character' versus the complex, balanced design that apparently she thinks is all there is to western design (in this point)? Seems to me that complexity results in depth of character in a painting just as a lifetime of experience (complexity) results in deeper character in a person...

I could go on, but won't. Just wondered if it was only me...

JamieWG
07-07-2003, 03:04 PM
Dee, I have to say that when I read that, I said to myself, "Since when is Western design symmetrical?" I thought only western "classical composition" is symmetrical.

Jamie

LarrySeiler
07-07-2003, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by JamieWG
Dee, I have to say that when I read that, I said to myself, "Since when is Western design symmetrical?" I thought only western "classical composition" is symmetrical.

Jamie

exactly Jamie....I had issues with that as well.

Perhaps the early Byzantine/Medieval art...yes, but from there on master painters were learning to push the limit on arriving at complex assymetrical spacial balances in composition.

I certainly wouldn't credit my obsession with assymetrical balance to eastern ideas. Sarback's was the first I had heard it that way.

Larry

M.A.
07-07-2003, 08:13 PM
Another gem!

Einion
07-08-2003, 02:47 AM
Originally posted by Domer
I'm digressing here, but...
Hmmm...every time I add black (mars black) to any yellow... Or do you mean that if you simply darkened the reflectance or luminance of yellow or orange (like by turning down a dimmer switch) you'd get brown?
Digress away! Nothing wrong with getting something concrete out of the discussion. Yes I was referring to yellow or orange of low value generically, with no implication of how you might mix them. It is a definite shame that blacks don't lower value linearly for some colours, it would make life so much easier! As a confirmed realist I would tend not to do this any more, since colours darken and fall in chroma simultaneously - so I would be working with a lower-chroma mix before the addition of the black, which generally works fine to darken near-neutrals without a problematic colour-shift.

Yellows are obviously the really tough colour but in oranges it's not too difficult. My only pigment orange, Cadmium Orange from Liquitex, is a mid-orange. Adding Bone Black it darkens acceptably without too much shift, although as you'd expect the higher the proportion of black the more olive it becomes. This is a simple sort of colour-mixing issue to deal with, just modifying with a touch of Cadmium Red for example to pull the hue back if that's what is needed.

Originally posted by Domer
Don Jusko's Real Color Wheel has burnt umber at the same hue as yellow...so maybe there's some truth to it.
If Don has Burnt Umber as a yellow then he's wrong, unless his is far different from any example of this colour I've ever seen. It's easy to see that Raw Umber is far more likely to fall into this rough hue position than the redder Burnt Umber, which is clearly a dark-valued low-chroma orange. I think he makes his determinations about hue by eye, so as with Quiller his results would be subjective.

Originally posted by JamieWG
..but she does seem to have a knack for getting high-key paintings...something I could use more of in my work, and she has an approach to keep her colors clean.
No secret to high-key painting, just add white to just about everything! Think of the tonal range of a typical landscape, say 3-10, and just squish it until the darkest values are at 5 or so, hey presto, high key. Keeping colours clean is much less simple but still not too hard if you follow some basic rules and avoid complements.

Originally posted by dee_artist
...but I found her contrast of eastern and western approaches to color and design to be favorably balanced to make eastern design look far more appealing and important. Did anyone else have any issues with this.
Deborah, I was going to comment on aspects of the two lists but I didn't want to come across as being critical for the sake of it. To be fair though, I think any list of this kind is going to be superficial by its very nature, you can hardly be comprehensive in such a short space, so I don't think we should be too hard on it.

Einion

LarrySeiler
07-08-2003, 11:46 AM
My only pigment orange, Cadmium Orange from Liquitex, is a mid-orange. Adding Bone Black it darkens acceptably without too much shift,

a simple question for you Einion....and of course, we all know there are any number of ways to go about a thing and not necessarily one way is emphatically the best...but, I was wondering how you personally happened to come about this way of toning or darkening say your mid-orange here with this bone black?

In terms of color theory...using a complementary to the mid-orange would do roughly the same, plus an adjustment is easy enough with other colors to push that dark any direction one might like. One reason I stopped using black was that complementaries darken without killing the color...or as you say, "darkens acceptably"....

perhaps had I had the right black, that wouldn't have happened, but why prefer the "right" black to a simple working knowledge of warm and cool color as well as complementaries? Care to expound on that a bit, as I would think that interesting.
thanks....

Larry

Deborah Secor
07-08-2003, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by Einion

Deborah, I was going to comment on aspects of the two lists but I didn't want to come across as being critical for the sake of it. To be fair though, I think any list of this kind is going to be superficial by its very nature, you can hardly be comprehensive in such a short space, so I don't think we should be too hard on it.

Einion

No, Einion, I'm sure you're right. Perhaps we should avoid formulas and stick to trying to hash out our own problems. It's far too easy to criticize someone else--the speck in their eye, rather than the log in our own! Thanks for the reminder to err on the side of charity.

Einion
07-08-2003, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by LarrySeiler
I was wondering how you personally happened to come about this way of toning or darkening say your mid-orange here with this bone black?
Hi Larry, I thought you'd remember I'm a confirmed complementary user :) The end of the previous paragraph, "...so I would be working with a lower-chroma mix before the addition of the black, which generally works fine to darken near-neutrals without a problematic colour-shift." should have made it clear how I would generally work. I also said black darkens orange without too much shift, i.e. there is some, and went on to say that the mix becomes increasingly olive as the proportion of black increases and how you could adjust it.

Originally posted by LarrySeiler
In terms of color theory...using a complementary to the mid-orange would do roughly the same, plus an adjustment is easy enough with other colors to push that dark any direction one might like.
Yes indeed, if you have one. But if black actually does give the colour one sees (or close to it, adjustments with other colours still work of course, as with Cadmium Red in my example above) there's no reason not to use it in that case.

I think black is just like the earths, they're both simple conveniences for achieving certain colours with less effort. I certainly wouldn't want to paint completely without any earths because I now know just how much work it takes to simulate them with a CMYKW palette. In many respects your use of Naples Yellow and Naples Yellow Hue is similar, you use it where others use white and then adjust with yellow or orange.

I'm curious what colours you use for the halftone and shadow areas on orange? The reason I ask is that I know from mixing exercises how difficult it actually is to mix them from Cadmium Orange. I realise you probably mix 'on the fly' and might not have to think about what colours you use, but if you do know I'd be interested in how your method compares to mine. All the accepted complements don't work so you're forced to do some involved mixing to get a decent transition of colours from halftone to deep shadow. I'll post mine if you post yours :D

Originally posted by LarrySeiler
One reason I stopped using black was that complementaries darken without killing the color...or as you say, "darkens acceptably"....
Well I'd argue about complements not 'killing colour' since their role is to drop chroma, but I think I know what you're getting at - too often black alone just doesn't mix the right colour for halftones, plus it drops value faster than chroma. That's one reason that neutral greys can work in place of complements, although they still require a knowledge of practical mixing because of the expected hue shifts with certain colours. That's a major argument in favour of complements, they generally do the job with the least effort.

One other point I'd like to make again in relation to this last point, the ideal complementary pair have the same value, so a complement shouldn't necessarily darken at all. This is important in practical terms because dropping chroma without changing value is often required. Obviously value can be adjusted but it's another complexity in practical mixing that is often overlooked in books. This is why I've mentioned previously that for halftones on yellows invariably you have to use white. At first glance this seems nonsensical but it makes sense when you think about the value of every pigment one could possibly consider trying as a complement.

Einion

Patrick1
07-10-2003, 01:53 PM
Originally posted by Einion

Yellows are obviously the really tough colour but in oranges it's not too difficult. My only pigment orange, Cadmium Orange from Liquitex, is a mid-orange. Adding Bone Black it darkens acceptably without too much shift, although as you'd expect the higher the proportion of black the more olive it becomes.

Before, I said that Perinone isn't red enough to offset the greening effect when Mars Black is added. That was looking at the swatch under incandescent light. I looked again, this time under daylight, and the mixture looks to be pretty 'middle' or even slightly reddish; a very nice brown. That's good news to me; I generally prefer middle or reddish browns for aesthetics.


If Don has Burnt Umber as a yellow then he's wrong, unless his is far different from any example of this colour I've ever seen...I think he makes his determinations about hue by eye, so as with Quiller his results would be subjective.

Yes, he has burnt umber at the same hue as primary/light yellow. Yes; it looks like he makes his determinations by eye. This seems to be his explanation:

http://www.mauigateway.com/~donjusko/colorwheel.htm

Scroll down a tiny bit until you get to "Compare yellow in the RGB color scale to yellow in my Real Color Wheel's scale" If he chooses the brown that looks like the same hue as light yellow, then in terms of colour harmony maybe it's more accurate. I actually find that refreshing; trust your eyes above all else.

Einion
07-10-2003, 07:35 PM
Hi Patrick, yep black doesn't do a terrible job with orange does it? I'd still generally want to work with neutralising the colour but it's a useful quick route.

Thanks for the link again to that page of Don's, although I have it bookmarked I haven't visited in a long while as I just can't wade through his prose, just too hard to follow at times. It actually says lower down "Mussini Burnt Umber, a calcined translucent warm Red-Brown" so it's clear he knows the actual hue, I think he's talking then about how one would use the colour to mix a given yellow to begin with, rather than its actual hue position in relation to yellow; and since of course he's a dedicated complementary user he's not saying to use it for shadowing yellows, if I'm interpreting correctly.

Einion