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old_hobbyist
04-05-2014, 06:34 PM
A number of artists are touting painting in broken color. What is it and are there examples of same?

DMSS
04-05-2014, 06:57 PM
I think it is laying down 2 colors next to each other on the canvas, and they mix optically, as opposed to mixing those 2 colors on your palette and applying the mix to the canvas. It can also be done by scumbling a layer of 1 or more colors on top of a dry layer of another color. I guess the Impressionists used broken color, so their paintings would be examples. I'm not an expert, but others on this forum are, so let's see what they have to say. Perhaps there is a more technical or informative way to describe this than I have provided?

WFMartin
04-05-2014, 07:10 PM
To me the term, "broken color" usually refers to a technique of paint application for which the consistency of the paint has to be just optimum, the brush is loaded with just the appropriate amount of paint, and the brush is held nearly parallel with the surface of the canvas , and dragged, carefully over the surface of the canvas.

The paint is deposited only upon the "hills" of the weave of the canvas, leaving the "valleys" of the canvas texture free of paint.

This method is often used to achieve an optical middle value, when the underpainting is of a dark color, and the fresh paint (the paint being "broken" as it is applied) is lighter, and is deposited only upon the tips of the weave.

That is what "broken color" means to me.:)

opainter
04-05-2014, 07:36 PM
I'm not sure the etymology (source of this phrase, "broken color"), but I imagine it to come from the phrase "broken line." When I think of broken color, I don't think of color that needs to be fixed (although I suppose that it could mean this!), but I think of a "broken line" of paint, like you might see horizontally in the painting of water in a seascape, where the color adheres to the underlying paint when enough pressure is applied, but then does not adhere when enough pressure is not applied.

old_hobbyist
04-05-2014, 10:28 PM
These comments help. Thanx.

Journeyman
04-06-2014, 05:27 AM
With older artists and books the mention of broken colour is nearly always referring to mixing colours on the palette and braking them with the use of complements or near compliments or some other strategy. Since the impressionists a new way of using the term has immerged and they are referring to the tiling of paint strokes that mix optically. So to understand the term you need to understand the context in which it is being used.

:wave: Dave

sidbledsoe
04-07-2014, 10:02 AM
If you've seen paint by number paintings (or you are an old timer like me and grew up doing them) then you have your example of what is not broken color.
They have flat, discreet patches of paint of only one single hue, value, and intensity, they don't even have blending.
But broken color is when the paint is applied and there are streaks of another color, veins of another, and bits and pieces of yet more color. Think of Monet, Pisarro, Van Gogh and you will see much broken color.
Here is a painting I did where I loaded it up with broken colors such as in the
foreground and especially in the closest birch tree trunk. If you didn't want broken color, then you would mix up a batch of paint until it is homogenous, pick up only that color, then apply a flat area with a single color. I actually double or triple loaded the brush at times with different colors from the palette, without mixing them up on the palette, then applied in a scumbling manner, while letting them mix right upon the canvas.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Apr-2014/112587-112587-IMGP2435.jpg

Patrick1
04-07-2014, 12:05 PM
Yup...to me, broken color simply means a color area composed of bits of different color rather than one solid color - and this can be brought about by several ways such as intentionally placing dabs of different solid colors next to each other, incomplete mixing, letting the paint 'break' as it's applied with a knife, etc. I've never done this to intentionally exploit optical mixing like the impressionists, but sounds fun.

Sid thanks for sharing your artwork :thumbsup: . How did you mix the purplish near-blacks?

sidbledsoe
04-07-2014, 12:25 PM
Thanks a lot Patrick, that is exactly what I think broken color is too.
About the darks, I change stuff over time so much that I find it hard to remember exact details, but what I did was, I went back to the thread I posted when I did this and found a post that listed the palette colors I used:
for this one I used Winsor Newton Artisan water soluble oils and these colors, the initial toning was with burnt sienna* and drew in the shapes and light and shadows with light/warm to cool/dark mixes of burnt sienna and ultramarine blue.
Then for the over painting I used cad red hue, cad orange hue, cad yellow pale hue, ultramarine blue, phthalo green, and titanium white.
So for those darks I would have used mostly ultramarine blue and some of the cad red hue (a napthol) then possibly a little bit of orange or yellow too, but I wouldn't have added any green.
*You can see tiny bits of the undertoned burnt sienna on the distant shoreline, and in the foliage and the ground, here and there.

old_hobbyist
04-07-2014, 06:02 PM
sidbledsoe, it appears that you are keeping the local values the same but altering their different local temperatures -warm, neutral, cool. Is that a fair assessment?

Patrick1
04-07-2014, 06:55 PM
Thanks Sid. Yes - any dark blue + a middle red (other than perhaps real Cadmium Reds) makes awesome purple-blacks. Full strength, it can serve as a true black and I'm surprised that more people don't use this mix for such purpose. One of my favorite combos.

Nice to see someone else who uses Artisan oils. I do too - but more because I don't have much choice. In this part of Canada, Artisan is often the only water miscible oils that most stores sell. I don't like the feel (and even smell) of it, but the pigment load & color is very satisfactory...and at a much lower price than other water miscible oils.

sidbledsoe
04-07-2014, 07:42 PM
Sure Patrick, yeah I think the Artisans work great.
That pic looks a little higher chroma than the real painting.

sidbledsoe, it appears that you are keeping the local values the same but altering their different local temperatures -warm, neutral, cool. Is that a fair assessment?

If so then it just happened or came out that way, I do think and paint in terms of balancing temperatures and I think of the values in basics of darks, mids, and lights

opainter
04-08-2014, 02:08 AM
With older artists and books the mention of broken colour is nearly always referring to mixing colours on the palette and braking them with the use of complements or near compliments or some other strategy. Since the impressionists a new way of using the term has immerged and they are referring to the tiling of paint strokes that mix optically. So to understand the term you need to understand the context in which it is being used.

Dave

I think that most artists today would use the term "broken color" in the new sense. But maybe not all. It is interesting to note that although Vincent van Gogh was a post-impressionist, and was into optical mixing in perhaps a bigger way than some of the impressionists, he still used the term "broken color" in the old sense. I just noticed this today in my reading of the latest biography of him, Van Gogh: The Life, by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. I forget the page number where this was, but I think it's around page 450 or so.

Gigalot
04-09-2014, 12:54 PM
Great painting, Sid! Broken colors are also great, but Burnt Senna looks too much broken for me :D . I will try to replace it to Alizarin Hue!

oldboy
06-07-2014, 05:36 PM
Bumping this thread a little.

All answers so far are quite correct and valid, however if you use colours ( say green/yellow green ) but pay intention to getting both colours to the same value and you might well be pleasantly surprised at the vibrancy acheived.