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kaef
07-20-2014, 08:25 PM
Hello all y'all believers in CMY as the primaries! I would just like to say, Ive tried to create Ultramarine from any combo of C and M. Working with M. Graham's Cerulean blue and Mussini's Caesar Purple (PV19), Gamblin's Quin Red and Quin Magenta and D. Blick's Quin Magenta (PR122) I have been unable to come up with anything that resembles PB29. The key word being "resembles".
Everything was too dull or too red. Although PB29 from M. Graham and Mussini were a total match (excepting transparency) no other combo came close. Nor to Prussian Blue.
Any suggestions from peeps out there who support the CMY primary color theory?
Thanks!
Tom:wave:

Mythrill
07-20-2014, 08:44 PM
Hello all y'all believers in CMY as the primaries! I would just like to say, Ive tried to create Ultramarine from any combo of C and M. Working with M. Graham's Cerulean blue and Mussini's Caesar Purple (PV19), Gamblin's Quin Red and Quin Magenta and D. Blick's Quin Magenta (PR122) I have been unable to come up with anything that resembles PB29. The key word being "resembles".
Everything was too dull or too red. Although PB29 from M. Graham and Mussini were a total match (excepting transparency) no other combo came close. Nor to Prussian Blue.
Any suggestions from peeps out there who support the CMY primary color theory?
Thanks!
Tom:wave:
Hi, Tom!

You can't really recreate all colors from a CMY colorspace. You can create many, many colors, but not all.

Usually, though, when people work with CMY, they use either Phthalo Blue Red Shade (PB 15:1) or the Green Shade (PB 15:3). That mostly depends on your magenta and yellow. What is your yellow?

As for Prussian Blue and Ultramarine Blue, nothing on your triad will really reach them. You can get close to Prussian Blue by mixing Phthalo Blue (either red or blue shade) with black, and add dioxazine purple (PV 23), depending on how you think it should be. You can mix a blue-violet with Phthalo Blue + Quinacridone magenta, but it won't ever be close to the chroma of Ultramarine Blue (PB 29). If you need Ultramarine Blue, I'd suggest adding it as the warmer blue of your palette.

davidbriggs
07-20-2014, 10:35 PM
Yes, the idea that primary colours can mix to make all other colours is even more wrong than the idea that RYB are the best paint-mixing primaries (they are however psychological primaries, along with green). CMY paints can mix a larger gamut of colours than a visually "pure" R,Y and B, but certainly not all colours, so as a palette it's usual to add one or two non-primaries in each sector. However if you learn to think of colour mixing from the point of view of a 3D colour space, the most important thing is not the larger gamut, but understanding that paints close to the ideal subtractive primaries behave differently in mixtures to paints that are far from these hues.

http://www.huevaluechroma.com/063.php#hues

kaef
07-20-2014, 10:48 PM
Hi David!
I'm not really a believer in primary colors as such, although they do have their place in color theory. As far as I know CMY is the most limited color space to work in and I was involved in a debate with someone recently about Magenta, but CMY as a whole, being primary to begin with. So my exercise was really just an exercise.
I doubted from the beginning that something like PB29 could be created with M + C but I wanted to try it for myself because it's certainly possible that I could be wrong. I often am. In this case, however, I wasn't.
I can think of a whole range of colors that can't be created using CMY or RGB; or, for that matter, RYB. And I can't imagine why anyone would want to work with a 3 color primary palate unless it was to overcome the challenge of... working with a 3 color palate. Just to prove that it can be done, which, I believe, it can't.
So, my point wasn't to prove or disprove the CMY Primary color theory, but rather to see if it would work under these given circumstances. It didn't. Not for Ultramarine and not for Prussian Blue.
That's really it. I didn't intend to start yet another debate about primaries- I'm more interested in complementaries anyway- just to see if it could be done.
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. I love talking color theory and am always looking for input.
Best,
Tom :)

Mythrill
07-20-2014, 11:01 PM
Hi David!
I'm not really a believer in primary colors as such, although they do have their place in color theory. As far as I know CMY is the most limited color space to work in and I was involved in a debate with someone recently about Magenta, but CMY as a whole, being primary to begin with. So my exercise was really just an exercise.
I doubted from the beginning that something like PB29 could be created with M + C but I wanted to try it for myself because it's certainly possible that I could be wrong. I often am. In this case, however, I wasn't.
I can think of a whole range of colors that can't be created using CMY or RGB; or, for that matter, RYB. And I can't imagine why anyone would want to work with a 3 color primary palate unless it was to overcome the challenge of... working with a 3 color palate. Just to prove that it can be done, which, I believe, it can't.
So, my point wasn't to prove or disprove the CMY Primary color theory, but rather to see if it would work under these given circumstances. It didn't. Not for Ultramarine and not for Prussian Blue.
That's really it. I didn't intend to start yet another debate about primaries- I'm more interested in complementaries anyway- just to see if it could be done.
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. I love talking color theory and am always looking for input.
Best,
Tom :)

Hey, Tom!

We're not here to imprison you to this or that color belief. A study with a CYM is interesting because it's easier to harmonize your composition, so what you're trying to do is important.

I'd just ask you to tell us the triad you're using. So far, you told us you have Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122), and Cerulean Blue. Is it PB 35? PB 36? Is it a hue? And what is your yellow?

If you tell us what your triad is, we may help you balancing it a little better. Here are a few possibilities:

CMY favoring cooler tones:


Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122)
Azo Yellow Light / Hansa Yellow Light / Lemon Yellow (PY 3)
Phthalo Blue Green Shade (PB 15:3)CMY favoring warmer tones:


Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122)
Azo Yellow Medium / Hansa Yellow Medium (PY 74)
Phthalo Blue Red Shade (PB 15:1)CMY with all-around greens and purples:


Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122)
Azo Yellow Light / Hansa Yellow Light / Lemon Yellow (PY 3)
Phthalo Blue Red Shade (PB 15:1)And so on! :)

kaef
07-20-2014, 11:33 PM
Hi Mythrill!
I was only using Cerulean Blue- PB35 and a couple of versions of PV19, Mussini "Caesar Purple" and Gamblin Quin Violet, also Gamblin Quin Red (Also, I believe, PV19) and Blick's Quin Magenta (PR 122). I didn't use a yellow in the mix, but if I had it would have been Mussini's Lemon Yellow (PY3) since that seems the most Y in the CMY triad.
I don't have/use pthalo blue but I do have Mussini's Prussian Blue which, when tinted, gets pretty cyan-y. I'd rather not use a tint which is why I went with PB35.
I'm interested to hear your thoughts, and I certainly don't feel imprisoned! ;)
Thanks!
Tom

davidbriggs
07-20-2014, 11:39 PM
Hello all y'all believers in CMY as the primaries! I would just like to say, Ive tried to create Ultramarine from any combo of C and M. Working with M. Graham's Cerulean blue and Mussini's Caesar Purple (PV19), Gamblin's Quin Red and Quin Magenta and D. Blick's Quin Magenta (PR122) I have been unable to come up with anything that resembles PB29. The key word being "resembles".
Everything was too dull or too red. Although PB29 from M. Graham and Mussini were a total match (excepting transparency) no other combo came close. Nor to Prussian Blue.
Any suggestions from peeps out there who support the CMY primary color theory?
Thanks!
Tom:wave:

Ah, I see now that your exhortation to "all believers in CMY as the primaries" referred only to the second of these beliefs:

1. The (well established) belief that CMY are the subtractive primaries, and that paints close to the ideal subtractive primaries behave differently in mixtures to paints that are far from these hues.

2. The (fortunately rare) belief that one can mix all colours from CMY paints, or that one ought to make futile attempts to do so.

It was the reference to "peeps out there who support the CMY primary color theory" that confused me.

kaef
07-20-2014, 11:58 PM
Hi David,
Again, thanks for replying. I hope it didn't seem that I was drawing a line in the sand over primaries! As I said I'm interested in the experience for the experience and not to jump on any side of the primary debate. Were I to throw down the gauntlet (or gamut) I would go with the split primaries anyway.
Thank you for the links, by the way.
I'm interested to know what you mean by "paints close to the ideal subtractive primaries behave differently in mixtures to paints that are far from these hues." You've phrased this clearly and yet I can't seem to get a grasp on it!:confused:
Thanks!
Tom

davidbriggs
07-21-2014, 12:34 AM
Tom, I introduce the idea in the following section, and then discuss it further in relation to paints the section I linked to previously:
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/053.php#paths
I'd suggest going back to the start of Section 5 (Subtractive Mixing) if it's still not clear.

My take on the history of the primary colour "debate" and the "split primaries" can be found here:
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/062.php

WFMartin
07-21-2014, 12:56 AM
Many years ago on Wet Canvas, someone issued a challenge to those of us who contend that CMY are the primary colors. It was rather a "time to put your money where your mouth is" sort of a challenge.

The original poster (who proposed the challenge) also asked Winsor & Newton for their recommendation regarding the paint colors that they felt were the closest to true, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. Winsor & Newton recommended their Winsor Blue Red Shade (I think it is PB 15.3) for Cyan, Permanent Rose 502 (PV19) for Magenta, and Transparent Yellow 653 (PY128) for Yellow. I took the challenge quite seriously, and I used those recommended colors as the primary colors.

These are all transparent colors, which mix to create profound dark hues, in their transparent form--without the use of Black, of any sort. When white paint is mixed with them, each one bursts into high-chroma versions of their hues.

Using those colors [and white] I selected one of the proposed photos that contained the most varied, and dramatic colors of the several photos that were offered, and I painted it quite successfully. At least that is the impression I got when I posted a photo of my painting. It contained purples, blues, greens , terra cotta, neutral grays, Yellows, Oranges, Red, and, of course, black etc., etc.

Now the crux of the matter is .......when colors are achieved by mixing only these primaries together, there surely [B]are some secondaries, and tertiaries, that can be bought in tubes, that will definitely "outshine" those mixes, in terms of chroma (saturation, purity, intensity). A good example of this is Cadmium Orange. Out of the tube, it represents an Orange of much higher chroma than what can be mixed using Magenta and Yellow, and I'll be the first to admit that.

However, the practicality of it is that the instances in which I ever truly need such a high-chroma Orange when working on a painting is practically nil....almost never. My Oranges, or Ultramarine Blues are nearly always mixed with other colors, and for that, the primary colors serve the purpose quite well.

By the way, I've since changed my mind regarding my selection of a suitable Cyan, and for that I now use Grumbacher Thalo Blue (PB15).

Although I am the first to admit that there are many tertiary colors [such as Orange] that can be found in a higher-chroma state out of the tube, compared to actually mixing two primary colors (Magenta and Yellow) together, I'd have to state (without hesitation) that if I were being asked to select only 3 paint colors (plus white) with which to be stranded on a desert island, while also being required to create each and every color that I witnessed on that island, my choices would be: Cyan (Grumbacher Thalo Blue....PB15), Magenta (Winsor & Newton Permanent Rose 502, OR Grumbacher Thalo Red Rose......both of which are PV19), and Winsor & Newton Transparent Yellow 653....PY128), and white, of course--any white.

Granted, it is insane to do all the mixing that would be required with only the 3 primary colors on a regular basis, but as an exercise, or for a challenge, it most certainly can be made to work, .....and very well, at that.:thumbsup:

For what it's worth, a color very close to Fr. Ultramarine Blue can be achieved by mixing Grumbacher Thalo Blue (PB15) with Permanent Rose 502 (PV19).
It won't be exact, nor will it quite achieve the chroma of tubed, Fr. Ultramarine Blue, but it will be very close. I don't remember, but a tiny touch of White may be required, as well.:)

kaef
07-21-2014, 01:15 AM
Thank you William!
I was hoping you'd chime in on this thread as I know you're a CMY man and you have a lot of experience, which I respect.
Would you, in place of Pthalo Blue, allow for Prussian Blue as a replacement? Not on a desert island but in my humble experiment?:D
Thanks!
Tom

WFMartin
07-21-2014, 01:27 AM
Thank you William!
I was hoping you'd chime in on this thread as I know you're a CMY man and you have a lot of experience, which I respect.
Would you, in place of Pthalo Blue, allow for Prussian Blue as a replacement? Not on a desert island but in my humble experiment?:D
Thanks!
Tom

No, not really. Although Prussian Blue is one of my favorite colors, in terms of being practical for creating paintings, it is not as close to a true primary as is Thalo Blue.

I have not done a color analysis on Prussian Blue, but in terms of practicality, it is as if someone had mixed some black with Thalo Blue. It is just a "dirtier", or "grayer" form of Thalo Blue. When any color is grayed, that limits the gamut of colors it is capable of creating, when mixed with other colors.

One of the characteristics of a true, primary color is that it lie on, or near the outer ring of the color wheel. Such is not the case with Prussian Blue; it is grayed substantially from the true primary, Cyan, and that places it closer to the center of the color wheel than Thalo Blue.

But, that is not to say that Pussian Blue is not a useful color, because it certainly is. It mixes much more appropriate "greens" for foliage, and grass than Thalo. but either one is "useful", provided you mix it with other appropriate colors.

But, please realize that in my usual painting operation I almost never mix target colors from only the primary colors. I use many earth colors, and tubed secondary colors. The "secret" behind understanding the behavior of the primary colors is to be able to quickly estimate the contribution of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow by any tubed color you may select as an "ingredient color". While there may be thousands of tubed paints offered, there are quite honestly only 3 colors being contributed by each of them. That is the value of learning the characteristics of the primary colors, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow.

Mythrill
07-21-2014, 01:56 AM
Hi Mythrill!
I was only using Cerulean Blue- PB35 and a couple of versions of PV19, Mussini "Caesar Purple" and Gamblin Quin Violet, also Gamblin Quin Red (Also, I believe, PV19) and Blick's Quin Magenta (PR 122). I didn't use a yellow in the mix, but if I had it would have been Mussini's Lemon Yellow (PY3) since that seems the most Y in the CMY triad.
I don't have/use pthalo blue but I do have Mussini's Prussian Blue which, when tinted, gets pretty cyan-y. I'd rather not use a tint which is why I went with PB35.
I'm interested to hear your thoughts, and I certainly don't feel imprisoned! ;)
Thanks!
Tom
Hi, Kaef!

Just as Bill said, a phthalo has more range than Prussian Blue (PB 27). If a phthalo is too strong to you, I'd suggest adding medium to it (in oils this is done by adding silica gel or linseed oil; in acrylics this is done by adding medium gel; in watercolors, this is done by adding more water, and so on).

If you're going with a Lemon Yellow (PY 3) or Cadmium Lemon (PY 35), which I do recommend, I'd also suggest you using Phthalo Red Shade (PB 15:1) as opposed to blue shade (PB 15:3). This will give you the widest gamut possible to practice. This makes you have this:
Titanium White (PW 6)
Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122)
Lemon Yellow (PY 3)
Pthalo Blue Red Shade (PB 15:1)You only need white if you're painting with opaque media (e.g, oils, acrylics, etc) as opposed to transparent (e.g, watercolors).

If it were me, I'd probably also add Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42) to desaturate colors and increase my gamut exponentially.

kaef
07-21-2014, 02:28 AM
Hi Mythrill- I just ordered some Mussini PO71 to work with the PB27, but it hasn't arrived yet. I only work in oils, and I try to use transparent colors when I can. BUT, at the suggestion of yourself and William, both of whom I respect, I'll check out some Pthalo Blue. I have some Pthalo Green and it is soooooo strong I can't even use it!
I'm starting to think William is right about using lower key colors- I rarely see something as anything but dull, realistically, or representationally interpreted.
Lots of grey in the world.:angel:
Thanks!
Tom

Mythrill
07-21-2014, 08:58 AM
Hi Mythrill- I just ordered some Mussini PO71 to work with the PB27, but it hasn't arrived yet. I only work in oils, and I try to use transparent colors when I can. BUT, at the suggestion of yourself and William, both of whom I respect, I'll check out some Pthalo Blue. I have some Pthalo Green and it is soooooo strong I can't even use it!
I'm starting to think William is right about using lower key colors- I rarely see something as anything but dull, realistically, or representationally interpreted.
Lots of grey in the world.:angel:
Thanks!
Tom
Kaef, if you want a grayer triad, you might want to work with more subdued colors as if they were your primaries. Your gamut will be even more limited, but it will be very harmonious.

Here are a few possibilities of a low-chroma triad:

Classic low-chroma triad (very subdued. Use black as a dull blue):
Yellow Ochre (PY 43)
Red Ochre (PR 102)
Black (Ivory, PBk 7, Mars, PBk 11, or Lamp, PBk 9)

Modern low chroma triad (more saturated and versatile).
Opaque Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42)
Opaque Red Iron Oxide (PR 101)
Ceruleum Blue (PB 35) / Ceruleum Blue Chromium (PB 36)

Modern low-chroma triad 1 (subdued, yet still more saturated):

Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42)
Transparent Red Iron Oxide (PR 101)
Prussian Blue (PB 27)

Modern low-chroma triad 2 (organic "earth" colors – even more saturated near-neutrals)

Nickel Azo Yellow (PY 150)
Quinacridone Burnt Orange (PR 206)
Prussian Blue (PB 27)

Tiasa
07-21-2014, 02:06 PM
Kaef,

I think it is harder to use CMY with oil paints than acrylics because it is harder to get information about oil paints. As both David Briggs and W.F. Martin have said, it is important to get the right versions of CMY. Sometimes “close” isn’t good enough and oil paint manufacturers just don’t tell you much about what’s in the paint tube you buy.

With Golden Acrylics, they recommend mixing equal parts of Magenta PR122 and Cyan PB15:4 (Thalo Blue GS) to get Ultramarine Blue. I have tried it and it does work. For oil paints I would recommend following W.F. Martin’s choices for specific brands and colors. He has done some good research on this matter.

There are probably other colors in oil paint that will work, but finding them by buying and testing a whole bunch of oil paints doesn’t appeal to me.

sidbledsoe
07-21-2014, 04:10 PM
Kaef, if you want a grayer triad, you might want to work with more subdued colors as if they were your primaries. Your gamut will be even more limited, but it will be very harmonious.

Here are a few possibilities of a low-chroma triad:

Classic low-chroma triad (very subdued. Use black as a dull blue):
Yellow Ochre (PY 43)
Red Ochre (PR 102)
Black (Ivory, PBk 7, Mars, PBk 11, or Lamp, PBk 9)

Modern low chroma triad (more saturated and versatile).
Opaque Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42)
Opaque Red Iron Oxide (PR 101)
Ceruleum Blue (PB 35) / Ceruleum Blue Chromium (PB 36)

Modern low-chroma triad 1 (subdued, yet still more saturated):

Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42)
Transparent Red Iron Oxide (PR 101)
Prussian Blue (PB 27)

Modern low-chroma triad 2 (organic "earth" colors – even more saturated near-neutrals)

Nickel Azo Yellow (PY 150)
Quinacridone Burnt Orange (PR 206)
Prussian Blue (PB 27)
Here are my favorite limited palette choices for what I call my minor palette for tonal style paintings
Indian Red= violet leaning red = my magenta
Yellow ochre= orange leaning yellow = my yellow (not quite primary but a nicely subdued yellow)
Prussian blue= green leaning blue = my cyan
I am using it now on this painting which is about 75% complete:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2014/112587-IMG_0360.JPG
It gives me a very harmonious color scheme that I like for a tonal style landscape.

The thought of working with a limited palette of phthalo blue, quinacridone magenta, and a vibrant yellow palette alone, to mix colors and paint with, makes me cringe a bit too much.:D

Mythrill
07-21-2014, 04:41 PM
Here are my favorite limited palette choices for what I call my minor palette for tonal style paintings
Indian Red= violet leaning red = my magenta
Yellow ochre= orange leaning yellow = my yellow (not quite primary but a nicely subdued yellow)
Prussian blue= green leaning blue = my cyan
I am using it now on this painting which is about 75% complete:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jul-2014/112587-IMG_0360.JPG
It gives me a very harmonious color scheme that I like for a tonal style landscape.

The thought of working with a limited palette of phthalo blue, quinacridone magenta, and a vibrant yellow palette alone, to mix colors and paint with, makes me cringe a bit too much.:D
Sid, that's an excellent painting! Who knew Indian Red was so versatile?

By the way, is your "Indian Red" PR 101 or PR 102?

sidbledsoe
07-21-2014, 05:34 PM
thanks mythrill, that is synthetic PR101 Daler Rowney Georgian oils. It isn't done yet, I will be putting in some more colorful grasses, some glazing all over, and finish the big foreground tree last.

Mythrill
07-22-2014, 06:52 AM
thanks mythrill, that is synthetic PR101 Daler Rowney Georgian oils. It isn't done yet, I will be putting in some more colorful grasses, some glazing all over, and finish the big foreground tree last.
Sid, this Indian Red is quite nice. :)
How far apart it is from Georgian's Venetian Red?

sidbledsoe
07-22-2014, 08:31 AM
You can clearly tell the diff, the Indian red is slightly darker and leans violet, whereas the Venetian leans slightly orange, both Georgian PR101:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Jul-2014/112587-IMG_0361.JPG
from left to right, diluted with medium, straight paint, tinted with white and again. The Indian red is the closest hue to magenta in an earth red that I have, the Venetian is more like a cad red.

everelusive
07-29-2014, 07:54 PM
The map is not the territory. An "ideal" cmy palate will mix any colour imaginable, however, I have yet to find any pigments that even come close to full chroma primary hues.

davidbriggs
07-29-2014, 11:21 PM
They don't exist, though bright yellow pigments come closest.

Incidentally, the idea that ideal primaries should be able to mix all possible colours is a myth of "traditional" colour theory; speaking scientifically, even in theory no three colourants could mix the entire gamut of optimal colours subtractively (and the same of course is true for additive mixing).

sidbledsoe
07-29-2014, 11:32 PM
Dr. Briggs, I have also read that the gamut is less for subtractive mixing than it is for additive mixing, do you concur with that, in general?

davidbriggs
07-30-2014, 10:09 AM
Dr. Briggs, I have also read that the gamut is less for subtractive mixing than it is for additive mixing, do you concur with that, in general?

I suspect you are right, Professor Bledsoe, but it's not straightforward since the subtractive gamut would have to be considered as a fraction of the range of object colours, while the additive gamut is a subset of the range of colours of light. (Unless we are talking about both in relation to the range of possible colours on a device, in which case the rgb gamut and the ideal subtractive gamut are equal of course). I don't have a figure for either as a specific fraction, but Zsolt's program drop2color lets you show a gamut of what he says are "ideal" subtractive primaries in relation to the range of theoretically possible object colours (his "eye gamut").

sidbledsoe
07-31-2014, 12:15 AM
Thanks Dr. Briggs, I wanted a second expert opinion on a post I made (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=20157103&postcount=16), because I only recently read that while googling for info on monitor's and their color gamuts which were being discussed it in this thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1356227).

davidbriggs
07-31-2014, 01:51 AM
Sorry, Sid, I took your question to be about the absolute theoretical limits of additive and subtractive mixing. If you mean to compare RGB devices with CMY images then you are definitely correct. An RGB screen exceeds overall the total gamut of artists paints (though not in all hues), and the gamut of artists' paints obviously exceeds that of any three CMY colourants.

To avoid any misunderstanding by others though, let me add that while the gamut of artists' paints has a somewhat smaller volume than that of RGB, it is a much better fit to the range of natural object colours, because it is restricted by the same physical limitations on the reflectances of materials. So although the RGB gamut it bigger overall, it is almost certainly a little more restricting for representing natural appearances than the range of paint mixtures.

Quinacridone Gold
09-10-2014, 11:37 AM
I have been doing some exploration of limited palette colours trying out CYM and RYB and came up with a couple of rather nice options for 6 colour balanced palettes, though in each the purple is not really a necessity. Each pair neutralise each other to create a myriad of earth colours. My preference is to go with the RYB using Ultramarine, crimson and yellow as I find them more useful in the real world. The secondary colours in the bottom chart are about as balanced and bright as I can find.