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Irina
04-26-2001, 07:36 AM
Hi everyone!
Spring is back here and so is my intention to mess around with watercolors. I need some guidance though and I found on the Internet two books on the subject: M. Wilcox's "Blue and yellow don't make green" and J. Rodwell's "Watercolorist's guide to mixing colors". I cannot afford to buy both at once and I wonder if anyone has any of those and can tell me which one is better for a newbie like myself. Thanks in advance!
Irina Almgren

just dave
04-28-2003, 02:21 PM
Your post was so long ago but I see now one replied so I will, if only so somone else searching can have an answer to your two year old question:

I think you need three books; and have to do whatever you have to do short of stealing or selling your body to get them: the Wilcox book you mentioned plus Stephen Quiller's "Painter's Guide to Color" plus

I guess getting only one I would buy the "The Watercolorist's Complete Guide to Color" by Tom Hill which is the most helpful.

I would not get the Rodwell book. That and another I have choose different colors for their primaries without any mention of the color bias.

I would read the beginning of the Wilcox book to get the concepts of color bias.

Then look at Quiller's book, realizing that Quiller's book is based upon a "secondary color wheel" even though he doesnt say that.

Some time spent on the "handprint.com" website watercolor link would really help you. Look through all that info and you'll know more about colors and mixing than most artists.

Cathy Morgan
04-28-2003, 10:44 PM
Before buying any books, I'd read the handprint (http://www.handprint.com) site first. He not only has a book's worth of information on color theory and mixing colors, but reviews books on the topic.

The Golden Paints (http://www.goldenpaints.com) site has a lot of good information on color mixing, too.

Irina
04-29-2003, 03:44 AM
Just Dave and Cathy,

Thanks a lot for answering the mail I do not recollect writing :D I think I got the Wilcox book but finally came to the conclusion I have to do some mixing of my own. :)

Guys, thanks for the tips on the sites, I will definately have a look.

Happy painting!
Irina

magnuscanis
04-29-2003, 06:46 AM
I would second the recommendations for both the Wilcox book and the handprint website mentioned above, and the idea of consulting several sources rather than basing your knowledge of colour theory on a single author's bias. I think, though, that you've hit the nail on the head when you say you have to do some mixing of your own. Colour mixing, like mathematics, music or just about anything else, is not something you can learn just by reading about it. You have to actually get your hands, or at least your brush, dirty.

droll13
07-17-2003, 07:41 PM
For anyone at all serious about watercolors, I would also suggest Wilcox book on pigments. Title is something like "The Wilcox Guide to the Best Watercolor Paints". It may duplicate much of what's on handprint.com. But personally, I prefer having my own real live book.

Dave

lyn lynch
08-01-2003, 01:53 AM
I see this is a very old thread but wanted to add that I subscribe to the Wilcox book and recommend it w/every opportunity; it is the only color book I refer to.

I've only been painting in watercolor a bit more than one year and in that time I have repeatedly redone my palette. As said by another, 'get your brushes' wet. I made practice sheets using the numerous tubes of watercolors I purchased because they have such charming names, I guess.

As I am able to better comprehend the information given in the Wilcox book, I whittle down my palette a bit more. I make more color practice sheets and try that palette. In so doing, I found that there are some paints that make a nice mix or compliment, but, and due to my inexperience, I cannot find the proper mix of paint and water, i.e., the cadmiums.

So, going back to my book, I looked for alternatives to the cadmiums. I add that I work only figures, and the head primarily so I don't really NEED the cads. Found alternatives and made more color mixing charts. Still, something was missing.

Went to Handprint, and specifically "colors" section. I wanted a limited palette, and due to my reference of figure, felt I could have quite a limited one. I decided on which colors I felt necessary and then checked how Handprint felt about them.

From the Handprint information, I decided to purchase all new paints for my new palette--I purchased M.Graham, even the cadmiums. I went back to my Wilcox and made more color charts and a color wheel based on my limited palette and how I wanted to use them.

So, I'm happy. M.Graham paints, Wilcox reference for color wheel, Handprint for manufacturer.

I understand that Wilcox has put his weight behind a certain paint manufacturer, and for this reason some people have a bit of bias toward him. The book that I have does not support a certain manufacturer, and my own reseach makes me believe what he writes.

just dave
08-02-2003, 02:49 PM
I still say to be complete it is good to have Stephen Quiller's [U]Color Choices[U] book. That details the "secondary" color wheel that the Handprint site says is better than the commonly-used "split primaries" palette.

lyn lynch
08-04-2003, 01:57 AM
Dave, sparing myself the pages and pages of Handprint, what exactly is the "secondary color wheel"?

just dave
08-06-2003, 04:34 PM
The Handprint information, which was only four clicks away, says.....
That a good selection of color names and numbers for this palette would be: "hansa yellow (PY97), cadmium red orange (PR108), quinacridone rose (PV19), ultramarine blue (PB29), phthalocyanine cyan (PB17), phthalocyanine green YS (PG36) • Because it provides pure pigment paints for each of the six colors in the secondary color wheel, the secondary palette offers the most evenly balanced and highly saturated range of mixing possibilities of any minimal palette.
No other selection of six paints will produce more intense color mixtures around the entire circumference of the color wheel. There is also no other palette that makes mixing the color circle easier to visualize or teach. As the demonstration painting shows, the palette can mix a full range of maroon, brown and ochre tones precisely; and the six colors can be represented by less saturated paints for more subdued mixing effects. If a dark neutral (such as neutral tint or payne's gray) is also added, then there is almost no hue, value or saturation that this palette cannot mix. As Voltaire might say, it is the best of all possible minimal palettes.

For beginners and skilled artists alike, the secondary palette provides the most efficient and effective framework for color mixtures. There's no irrelevant "color theory" dogma, and the palette naturally produces the most attractive complementary contrasts. By comparison, the "split primary" palette offers less saturated mixtures in the oranges, violets and greens, and encumbers everything with unnecessary sanctions against "crossing the primaries" or "mixing mud."

The flexibility of the secondary palette appears in the freedom you have to choose the three complementary color pairs -- light yellow with blue violet, red orange with cyan blue, and magenta with middle green -- independently of the others, if that helps you to get unique color contrasts for a particular painting, or to adjust the spacing of saturation costs among the paints around the circumference of the visual color wheel, or to introduce pigment accents of granulation, blossoming or wet in wet activity (diffusion, flocculation, or pigment separation). This puts the emphasis on choosing paints, quirky and beautiful material substances, to suit the effects you want in a particular painting, rather than focusing always on the abstract realm of colors and fixed color mixing recipes. The underlying secondary palette structure is always there to keep the basic color mixing relationships straightforward and familiar."

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/paletfs.html

lyn lynch
08-07-2003, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by just dave
The Handprint information, which was only four clicks away, says.....

That a good selection of color names and numbers for this palette would be: "hansa yellow (PY97), cadmium red orange (PR108), quinacridone rose (PV19), ultramarine blue (PB29), phthalocyanine cyan (PB17), phthalocyanine green YS (PG36) • [snip]


That's all I was looking for, thanks.

ginatec
08-09-2003, 07:03 AM
Originally posted by Cathy Morgan
Before buying any books, I'd read the handprint (http://www.handprint.com) site first. He not only has a book's worth of information on color theory and mixing colors, but reviews books on the topic.

The Golden Paints (http://www.goldenpaints.com) site has a lot of good information on color mixing, too.

Thanks Cathy for the links...I have been getting interested in Watercolor and this is just the thing I was looking for!