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alexmax
04-20-2015, 09:35 AM
(I could not post the links as I have less than two posts, so I just used references you can google if you want.)
Hello, this is my first post on wetcanvas. First of all I have to express my appreciation for all the interesting contributions I read in this forum, which looks like a very good place to learn. Well I have a lot to learn, as I am just starting with acrylic painting, and my first concern is the choice of colours.


My very limited knowledge of colours is mostly based on websites and videos I found online but the following two links really made me wonder:
jQqxN8LpGzw (video on youtube);
color-bias-of-artist-pigments (on sites.google).

The video explains how cyan, magenta and yellow are the real primaries, and how red, green and blue are secondaries in the subtractive colour model. I understand that what some artists consider to be a balanced palette would include 6 colours, one cool and one warm colour for each primary colour:
1) yellow with orange bias (warm);
2) yellow with green bias (cool);
3) blue with green bias (cool);
4) blue with purple bias (warm);
5) red with purple bias (cool);
6) red with orange bias (warm).


If the “real” primaries are yellow, cyan and magenta, and the secondaries are green, blue and red, would it make sense to have a 6 colours palette like this?
1) yellow with red bias;
2) yellow with green bias;
3) cyan with green bias;
4) cyan with blue bias;
5) magenta with blue bias;
6) magenta with red bias.


If this makes any sense at all from a painter's point of view, what would be your choice of colours to achieve it? What cool/warm yellow, cyan and magenta would you choose? I was planning to buy Winsor & Blue artist grade or Galeria (student grade) paints.


I know that with practice and better knowledge of colours and the property of each pigment and how they behave when mixed with each other an artist would probably choose a different palette for every painting, but since I'm just starting I was trying to simplify things. I also know that it is good to start with only two colours and a white, for instance burnt umber, ultramarine blue and titanium white, like Will Kemp suggests (how-to-choose-a-basic-acrylic-palette-for-colour-mixing), because this would make the novice better understand the importance of value, but my free time is limited and I would like to start experimenting with some colours. :)


Thank you!

Mythrill
04-20-2015, 09:53 AM
Hi, Alex!

A CYM system is, by definition, a system with only three colors, each representing Magenta, Cyan and Yellow. The goal is usually to get close to the colors represented by your printer, so a common setup is:

Cyan: Phthalo Blue Red or Green Shade (PB 15:1 or PB 15:3)
Magenta: Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122)
Yellow: Azo Yellow Lemon or Medium (PY 3 or PY 74)The 6-color system you mentioned is a split-primary one. There are several ways to set it up, but here's a possible configuration:


Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122)
Pyrrole Red Light (PR 255)
Lemon Yellow (PY 3)
Azo Yellow Deep (PY 65)
Phthalo Blue Green Shade (PB 15:3)
French Ultramarine (PB 29)I changed the "magenta with red bias" to a red-orange because the range would be too close to make the palette truly balanced.

jorri
04-20-2015, 05:18 PM
For what reason? its not the way to get the biggest gamut. These are paints, which primary colours would be varied for each person and painting for a reason.

-Handprint is a great source of colour theory...Split primaries are not something i give much thought on, its generally just a 3d space with curved mixing lines, generally meaning its best to mix a bright colour from the two closest bright colours.

-CMY is actually pretty nice to look at, because the mixes are subdued nicely and not so bright....>but far from all the colours.
I've used Cobalt Teal, Quina Magenta, Hansa Lemon for arbitrary reasons before.

-Its not so easy having to reduce chroma all the time, i find that the most difficult part of mixing, when earths are already available.

but I'd choose:
-quinacridone magenta
-pyrrol red, napthol scarlet or cadmium scarlet,
-Hansa yellow PY97
-Hansa y Deep PY65
-Cobalt Teal/turquoise light
-Ultramarine or cobalt blue

-Pthalo green PG7 and pyrrol orange, maybe if need super-bright green and orange.

but these aren't really CMY anymore, they are just the high chroma paints, quite reasonably spaced around the colour wheel, so it sort of works for another reason.

alexmax
04-20-2015, 09:22 PM
Hi, Alex!

A CYM system is, by definition, a system with only three colors, each representing Magenta, Cyan and Yellow. The goal is usually to get close to the colors represented by your printer, so a common setup is:
Cyan: Phthalo Blue Red or Green Shade (PB 15:1 or PB 15:3)
Magenta: Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122)
Yellow: Azo Yellow Lemon or Medium (PY 3 or PY 74)The 6-color system you mentioned is a split-primary one. There are several ways to set it up, but here's a possible configuration:

Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122)
Pyrrole Red Light (PR 255)
Lemon Yellow (PY 3)
Azo Yellow Deep (PY 65)
Phthalo Blue Green Shade (PB 15:3)
French Ultramarine (PB 29)I changed the "magenta with red bias" to a red-orange because the range would be too close to make the palette truly balanced.

Thank you Mythrill! So it's called split-primary. I was reading more about colour theory, and it looks like maybe I have to do a lot more reading before I buy expensive paints and regret about it. But I could start with your configuration with student grade paints maybe.

I am sorry jorri but I couldn't understand half of what you said. As I said, I'm just starting and don't know much about all this stuff. :D Thanks anyway.

Mythrill
04-20-2015, 10:30 PM
Thank you Mythrill! So it's called split-primary. I was reading more about colour theory, and it looks like maybe I have to do a lot more reading before I buy expensive paints and regret about it. But I could start with your configuration with student grade paints maybe.


Alex, since you use acrylics, I'd suggest starting with artist-grade materials. This is because student-grade acrylics might look chalky or "dead" due to low pigmentation. This is particularly noticeable with Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122).

If this is not realistic to your budget, I'd suggest getting highly pigmented colors from student-grade brands and lowly pigment colors from artistic-grade brands. In your particular case, you can reliably save money getting student-grade Phthalo Blue (PB 15:3 or PB 15:1) and Ultramarine (PB 29).

DMSS
04-20-2015, 11:54 PM
If the “real” primaries are yellow, cyan and magenta, and the secondaries are green, blue and red, would it make sense to have a 6 colours palette like this?
1) yellow with red bias;
2) yellow with green bias;
3) cyan with green bias;
4) cyan with blue bias;
5) magenta with blue bias;
6) magenta with red bias.


When I started painting I spent hours reading everything I could find to figure out what would be the ideal palette. My opinion is that when you are starting out you can start with a palette of colors that spaces nicely around the color wheel. Experiment and see what you can and can't achieve with what you choose. For what it is worth, it would be hard to go wrong with:

Either Hansa Yellow Light, or Pthalo Green (Yellow Shade)
Cadmium Yellow Light
Cadmium Red Light
Magenta or a Rose
Ultramarine Blue
Cerulean Blue or Pthalo Blue (Green Shade)
Yellow Ochre or Raw Sienna
Burnt Umber
Burnt Sienna or Transparent Red Iron Oxide
Raw Umber
Black
White

Note the inclusion of earth colors. My mixing took off once I began to appreciate them!

If you really want only 6 colors, plus black and white, and if you want to base it off of CMY theory, then Cyan, Magenta, a lemony yellow, a red, a green and a very violet-blue like Ultramarine Blue would work well. That would give you your 3 primaries, plus their complements.

davidbriggs
04-21-2015, 01:14 AM
The standard colour-bias explanation would predict that you shouldn't be able to mix a wide range of colours from just a green-biased blue, a purple-biased red, and a green-biased yellow, so people rightly tend to abandon it once they see what you can get from a cyan, magenta and yellow palette.

That said, our best magenta paints are redder than an ideal subtractive magenta, and our cyan paints are a lot bluer than an ideal subtractive cyan, so for an enlarged "gamut" (range of colour mixtures) it would be a reasonable idea to supplement a quinacridone magenta with a strong violet paint and supplement a phthalocyanine blue or cyan with a phthalocyanine green (blue shade). Yellow paints are very close to ideal subtractive yellow, so there's not much to be gained by having two yellows; better to add a strongly coloured orange or red instead, as others here have suggested.

Bradicus
04-21-2015, 01:19 AM
Alex,
Welcome to the forum. You will enjoy the feed back, and we reading yours I am sure.

So your first question was to a CYM palette, but reading on, it looks like maybe you are just looking for a great starter palette. If I am misstaken, please correct me. Although a 'full' gamut palette is technically max colours, it may not be the best starting place IMHO.
But Mythrills list will get you there for sure, as will Jorri or DMSS's.

In starting out, I quickly learned that I needed at least one bright and one deep in each area, and a couple of earths to make life easier. I also dont like pthalo's much, so strong. So I avoid personally for the most part. Buy student grade here and they are tolerable!

So heres my suggestion, unless you need ultra bright colours then it wont suit so well. Go with Mythrills list.

Permanent Alizarin crimsom, transparent and dark
Cad red, bright and opaque

Ultramarine blue, dark and tranparent.
Cobalt blue, bright and semi-opaque

Sap green, dark and transparent

Cad yellow, bright and opaque

Yellow orche, dull and semi-opaque
And burnt sienna, dark and Semi-tranparent

And of coarse white!

You dont need them all, but will be a great palette to get going annd learn how colours mix, both transparent and opaque.

Let us know which way you go.
Cheers,
Brad

alexmax
04-21-2015, 09:58 AM
Thank you so much for all the help! I appreciate it a lot. As soon as I get a day off I will do a big reading session and I'll go through this thread again and decide what to buy. Too many things to remember. :) I'll definitely follow the advice about choosing colours with high pigmentation, I'm reading everywhere about the importance of it.

Bradicus, jorri, DMSS, you all mention "earth" colours, and Bradicus you say that a couple of them would make my life easier. What do you mean by that? Do I need them for mixing unsaturated, natural colours? What would a typical use of an earth colour be? I hope I'm not going off-topic too much. :)

alexmax
04-21-2015, 10:05 AM
Alex,
Welcome to the forum. You will enjoy the feed back, and we reading yours I am sure.

So your first question was to a CYM palette, but reading on, it looks like maybe you are just looking for a great starter palette. If I am misstaken, please correct me. Although a 'full' gamut palette is technically max colours, it may not be the best starting place IMHO.
But Mythrills list will get you there for sure, as will Jorri or DMSS's.

Sorry if I can't answer to everyone, I really don't have the time on the days I work but I'm reading and absorbing everything!

Yes that's the idea, a good starting palette that is not too much "educational", like the 2 colours + white palette suggested by Will Kemp, and maybe not too biased towards one style/subject. I wanted to try painting objects I have in the house, but also natural and urban landscapes from pictures I take.

Gotta run to work. I thank God that this forum and you guys exist. :thumbsup:

DMSS
04-21-2015, 10:21 AM
Bradicus, jorri, DMSS, you all mention "earth" colours, and Bradicus you say that a couple of them would make my life easier. What do you mean by that? Do I need them for mixing unsaturated, natural colours? What would a typical use of an earth colour be? I hope I'm not going off-topic too much. :)
Easier: If you need a color that is not high chroma, for example, a dull yellow or a dull green, then starting with an earth color, in my example Yellow Ochre, would get you there more efficiently than starting with a Cadmium Yellow. But that is just my experience and others find they do just fine dulling their mixes by adding complementary colors.

Need: You don't necessarily need Earth colors, but they make life easier for many painters. And some painters find it easier to mix natural looking colors by starting with an Earth color and adding a higher chroma color as needed, rather than doing it the other way around. I also think there are plenty of accomplished painters who use a palette of only high chroma colors and still mix beautiful natural colors.

Use: Another use of Earth colors is to mix greys and dull down other colors. For example, you could dull down Ultramarine Blue by mixing with Cadmium Orange, or by mixing it with Burnt Umber, which is a very dull orange. I find it is easier to do with Burnt Umber.

I hope this helps.

Crystal1
04-21-2015, 03:45 PM
You might want to check out the Golden Acrylics Color Mixing Guide on line. They have a few of their colors with a guide on how to use these colors to mix a lot of other colors, so that you don't have to buy them all. At any rate, good luck and happy painting.

Bradicus
04-21-2015, 05:30 PM
?..Bradicus, jorri, DMSS, you all mention "earth" colours, and Bradicus you say that a couple of them would make my life easier. What do you mean by that? Do I need them for mixing unsaturated, natural colours? What would a typical use of an earth colour be? I hope I'm not going off-topic too much. :)
Alex,
A earth colour is just that, a colour made from earth. Clay, soil, etc,.
Also some are now synthetic, but look same/simular.

So your browns, deeper yellows and dull dark reds are typically called your earths.
Examples would be raw and burnt sienna, raw and burnt umber, and so on.

These help dull your colours down(grey them) and as colours themselves.
You can of coarse mix these colours, and should to learn. But as you get on, many use earths to save time in mixing.

I like to play with many different earths, but my go-to earth is Trans oxide red, or TRO for short.

Everyone has a way, and I am sure others use different methods.

But thats the great thing, all the exploration!
Cheers,
Brad

alexmax
04-22-2015, 08:11 PM
Thank you again, now I like the idea of having an earth colour I can use for obtaining natural colours. I decided to do some extensive reading before I buy new colours. Now I'm painting my first picture using some colours I had bought and that I received today. Galeria cad yellow medium hue, cad red hue, winsor blue, titanium white and mars black.

Maybe it's because they are student grade, but the paints are more "liquid" than I thought by watching videos on youtube.

Mythrill
04-22-2015, 09:50 PM
Thank you again, now I like the idea of having an earth colour I can use for obtaining natural colours. I decided to do some extensive reading before I buy new colours. Now I'm painting my first picture using some colours I had bought and that I received today. Galeria cad yellow medium hue, cad red hue, winsor blue, titanium white and mars black.

Maybe it's because they are student grade, but the paints are more "liquid" than I thought by watching videos on youtube.

Alex, Galeria's fluidness is specific to Winsor & Newton's marketing. They specifically make them less viscous than their Artists' Acrylics. I don't know why they market it that way, though.

jorri
04-23-2015, 09:06 AM
Sorry you couldn't understand my over-convoluted post, the jist was:

Forget CMYK, it doesn't really exist in paint, there is just a set of up to 10 high chroma paints you can use to mix everything, (with black and white).
[really there are even more than 10, if you want this at all value ranges]

You'd end up with a pallette suited for bright colours though, it doesn't always work in practice:

Its easier to have earths. its tricky to accurately reduce chroma and create browns. this applies to a few low chroma colours, greens as well, sometimes even blues (i call all of them earths although technically its the browns).
It never looks the same mixing the colour of the earths from bright pigments, the other qualities (like opacity) of the paint are so different.

These are closer to the the colours that you will actually likely use, that is the main reason. Otherwise you spend a long time mixing and get less control of the attributes of the end result such as transparency.

alexmax
04-26-2015, 09:12 AM
Thank you for your help! I decided to go with Mythrill's list, plus I threw in a Burnt Sienna and a Burnt Umber. I read that I should be able to mix nice dark colours with the Ultramarine Blue.
Thank you for the explanation jorri!

Mythrill
04-26-2015, 10:18 AM
Thank you for your help! I decided to go with Mythrill's list, plus I threw in a Burnt Sienna and a Burnt Umber. I read that I should be able to mix nice dark colours with the Ultramarine Blue.
Thank you for the explanation jorri!

Alex, if you can afford earth colors, I'd also suggest Yellow Ochre (PY 43) and/or Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42). They can work as very subtle yellows and are are absolutely wonderful. Plus, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide is great for glazing. :)

alexmax
04-29-2015, 06:00 PM
Alex, if you can afford earth colors, I'd also suggest Yellow Ochre (PY 43) and/or Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42). They can work as very subtle yellows and are are absolutely wonderful. Plus, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide is great for glazing. :)

Sounds good, thanks for the advice. :thumbsup:

One curiosity: it's looking to me like burnt umber, burnt sienna and yellow ochre together make some kind of "earth primaries". Is there some kind of chromatic logic o meaning in this?

Mythrill
04-29-2015, 07:01 PM
One curiosity: it's looking to me like burnt umber, burnt sienna and yellow ochre together make some kind of "earth primaries". Is there some kind of chromatic logic o meaning in this?
Alex, the reason is that they're usually synthetic nowadays, being so pure they become really chromatic. This is really notable with Transparent Red Iron Oxide (PR 101) and Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42), and more noticeable in watercolors, acrylics, and in painting techniques that reveal the undertone of your pigment (for example, painting transparently in oils with medium).

With some effort and color context, it's perfectly possible to make Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide behave as if it were a primary yellow, or make Transparent Red Iron Oxide behave as if it is were a subdued red-orange!

Patrick1
04-29-2015, 07:05 PM
One curiosity: it's looking to me like burnt umber, burnt sienna and yellow ochre together make some kind of "earth primaries". Is there some kind of chromatic logic o meaning in this?
In such an earth palette, Yellow Ochre functions as the 'purest' yellow, Burnt Sienna as the purest red. Mixing the two gives a surprisingly bright orange. Often, tints of black or Paynes Grey will be the choice for blue. I suppose Burnt Umber might be used as the 'coolest' / 'bluest' color...but it would take a lot of skill to pull that off...skilled use of simultaneous contrast and values would be needed to give more or less an impression of 'full color'.

Patrick1
04-29-2015, 07:10 PM
Alex, the reason is that they're usually synthetic nowadays, being so pure they become really chromatic. This is really notable with Transparent Red Iron Oxide (PR 101) and Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide (PY 42), and more noticeable in watercolors, acrylics, and in painting techniques that reveal the undertone of your pigment (for example, painting transparently in oils with medium).

With some effort and color context, it's perfectly possible to make Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide behave as if it a primary yellow, or that Transparent Red Iron Oxide is a subdued red-orange!

:thumbsup:

Modern Transparent Yellow and Red Iron oxides are so stunningly chromatic for earth colors, they can't even be called earth colors any more...they are almost too good!

alexmax
05-02-2015, 10:48 PM
Interesting, thank you! I'll try mixing some colours tomorrow, but I noticed something that confuses me. The pigment code on W&N quinacridone magenta is pv19, instead of pr122. Then I checked the codes on their website and they have quinacridone violet as pr122.

So, did I buy the wrong colour? Every other website and wetcanvas post that I read have quinacridone magenta as pr122 and quin violet as pv19, but it looks like W&N has inverted the two. Maybe I'm just missing something.

Edit: sorry one more thing, is W&N cadmium red light (pr108) the same colour as a "normal" cadmium scarlet (pr108)? I know that cadmium red (pr108) and cadmium red deep (pr108) are different colours.

Mythrill
05-03-2015, 04:56 PM
Interesting, thank you! I'll try mixing some colours tomorrow, but I noticed something that confuses me. The pigment code on W&N quinacridone magenta is pv19, instead of pr122. Then I checked the codes on their website and they have quinacridone violet as pr122.

So, did I buy the wrong colour? Every other website and wetcanvas post that I read have quinacridone magenta as pr122 and quin violet as pv19, but it looks like W&N has inverted the two. Maybe I'm just missing something.


Alex, as I stated before, this is exactly what happens on their professional line. Quinacridone Magenta is PV 19-beta, and Quinacridone Violet is PR 122. So yes, if you want to get their magenta, get the tube named "Quinacridone Violet" instead.


Edit: sorry one more thing, is W&N cadmium red light (pr108) the same colour as a "normal" cadmium scarlet (pr108)? I know that cadmium red (pr108) and cadmium red deep (pr108) are different colours.

It depends on the brand. In some, they mean the same thing, and in some, "scarlet" is lighter than "red light". Winsor & Newton's Cadmium Red Medium (PR 108), for instance, is what many brands would consider "light". When in doubt, check that particular brand.

Mythrill
05-03-2015, 05:05 PM
All right! Here is my attempt to do CYMK. I'm treating it as if it were a regular painting and doing an "earth" underlayer, dulling down colors to achieve that result. These are acrylics on paper (primed), and my chosen palette is:
Titanium White (PW 6)
Phthalo Blue Green Shade (PB 15:3)
Quinacridone Magenta (PR 122, W&N)
Hansa Yellow Medium (PY 74 LF, Daniel Smith)
Ivory Black (PBk 9)http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-May-2015/96427-CYMK_flowers.jpg


Not surprisingly, it photographs well, as monitors and printers are optimized for CYMK. However, the browns aren't quite right. Unless you work with black, they are always too warm and reddish. I didn't get the hues of the vase quite right, so I'm adjusting them at the moment.

Mythrill
05-03-2015, 06:24 PM
Sorry, the previous post was meant for the topic "Interesting commentary about working with a CMY" palette", at http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1378536. The next ones will be there instead. :)

Patrick1
05-04-2015, 04:10 AM
Mythrill...nice work so far. Did you need to use a lot of black to get all the various subtle browns? I find that is what CMY has most difficulty in doing - not impossible, but requiring lots of mixing and re-adjusting.

It can be good to pre-mix a pile of one or more earths when working in a CMY (or even an RYB) triad...first mix an orange or red-orange, then gradually add a bit of blue until it's the brown of the darkness you want.

Mythrill
05-04-2015, 08:46 AM
Mythrill...nice work so far. Did you need to use a lot of black to get all the various subtle browns? I find that is what CMY has most difficulty in doing - not impossible, but requiring lots of mixing and re-adjusting.

Hi, Patrick!

From what I've seen, CMY only gives a range of warm browns. CYMK also has a lot of problems creating cool browns, but at least you can get something close by sacrificing some saturation. And yes, to create cool browns, black (any) is indispensable! What seems to work best is to start from a black and white mix, then add some yellow and very tiny touches of magenta and blue (if needed). Then lighten with white. Starting with yellow and white also works.

To be honest, I think pale, cool earth colors leave a lot to be desired with CYMK... they lose a lot of saturation and become too opaque when mixed with white. But with a few tricks, you can make them work with the big picture.


It can be good to pre-mix a pile of one or more earths when working in a CMY (or even an RYB) triad...
Indeed! I think mixing with a palette knife works best. It's what gives the most uniform mixes. In acrylics, there's not much time to blend strokes on the canvas, so this is very useful.

davidbriggs
05-04-2015, 09:35 AM
I've mentioned him here before, but some people might like to do a Google image search for "Tim Maguire paintings" to see the range of colours this Australian artist gets from just cyan, magenta and yellow (and no black).