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Richard Saylor
07-26-2005, 11:47 AM
At the risk of beating a dead horse, here's the palette issue in a nutshell. As drollere has observed, the Wilcox split primary palette is the same as the secondary palette except for the use of two yellows instead of green. Attached is a rough diagram, based on diagrams I saw at the Handprint site, the reference to which I don't have handy at the moment. In practice I don't think the differences amount to a hill o' beans, but in the interest of accuracy, I think it's clear from the color wheel diagrams which palette has the broadest gamut.

FriendCarol
07-26-2005, 01:01 PM
Richard, my first post (as I was writing it, the first response!) cited that page with the diagram you couldn't find on handprint.com just now. Btw, if the Site Map fails, the best way to find a page on that site is go to Yahoo! (or similar?), use the advanced search, and restrict your search to the site. That always works for me now, unless the page is 'under development'; I tend to remember a relatively unique phrase whenever I'm searching for something I already read.

(I wish that worked for me when I'm trying to use a Biblical concordance! Usually the verses I end up searching for only have the most common words imaginable, in any specific phrase I can recall! Fortunately I've found a 'Bible search site' with all the versions, so if I just remember a specific phrase with enough of those little common words, exactly as they appear in one version, I can often find it online. :rolleyes: Of course, Richard is not interested in any Biblical searching, as the new sig-line demonstrates! :evil: )

Do you paint in the studio when it's this hot? Or is it significantly cooler up there in the mountains? We're expected to reach 101F today.

Richard Saylor
07-26-2005, 01:34 PM
We :evil:s read the Bible too, only we use an inverted or diabolocal interpretation. In fact, only last night I was thinking about the wisdom of not casting pearls before swine and how easy it is to get burned if you ignore that sage advice. :D

They're expecting a high of 100 here this afternoon. I'm running an air conditioner and a dehumidifier, but it's too hot to paint.

Patrick1
07-26-2005, 05:12 PM
I was going to comment about other thread, but I can't. But I'll say that Richard, your Timmy analogy is funny, and is not far from the truth the way things are nowadays (at least here in Canada).

So two yellows, or one yellow and a green. That is the question. Consider that IIRC from handprint, the most intense yellows are cad yellow medium or PY97. So splitting a middle yellow into two less intense yellows is another reason why the split-primary is at a disadvantage. But I still like the split-primary palette.

Richard Saylor
07-26-2005, 05:29 PM
But I still like the split-primary palette. Me too.

In education, it's almost getting to the point where teachers can't give bad marks to anyone because it might hurt their self-esteem. Maybe that's okay up to a point, but someday the kids are going to have to face the real world of employment, and the boss is going to be mainly interested in their job performance, not their precious self-esteem. They need to be prepared for that.

FriendCarol
07-26-2005, 06:51 PM
Uh, oh, I'm becoming predictable. :evil:

Another funny thing is that when I was facilitating writers' groups, I was always straightforward about what was worst in a piece (in bad pieces, I would try to pick out the single problem that, if addressed, would make the writer better, fastest). Even before I started worshipping with Friends, I couldn't lie (and now it's explicitly 'against my religion' :D ). Yet every writer, even the bad ones, if I did not give my own opinion of a piece (not a good sign, btw ;) ), asked for it.

As a teacher, also, whether at university or as a corporate trainer, when something was wrong, I'd just say so in a very matter-of-fact way, and move right along to an improvement (or ask the respondent or others to contribute). No-one ever seemed upset at that. Self-esteem (which is nonsense anyway, imo) is less a matter of being right about facts than a matter of being respected as a person -- and treating people like they're made of eggshells is not respectful. Quite the opposite.

So our conclusion is to restrict real discussion of palette, color, etc. to this forum? Okay. :)

I keep hoping someone will jumpstart more serious discussion in the "Expressive Color" thread. Our best abstract artists generally seem better at the art than at verbalizing anything much about it, in depth. Great examples, no discussion.

Maybe one of you experienced landscape artists could jump in, possibly with subtler uses of expressive color within 'representational' landscapes? The thread was started partly in response to the 'gamut-mapping' procedure described in another thread, to which I objected. Landscapes are the test case, really.

I was going to say I don't have a decent landscape example to post myself, but just realized I could cross-post my Garden Sleeper there. The major alteration I made was to the composition (background), but I very much doubt the color of my foliage is that true to the photo, either! Anyone interested?

Einion
07-27-2005, 10:10 AM
I keep hoping someone will jumpstart more serious discussion in the "Expressive Color" thread. Our best abstract artists generally seem better at the art than at verbalizing anything much about it, in depth. Great examples, no discussion. Ever thought there might be a very concrete reason for this? ;)

The problem with discussing expressive use of colour as I see it is that it can take any direction whatsoever, so trying to justify/explain why a given heading was taken is like trying to justify the shapes within an abstract - you don't have to (in some cases of course you literally cannot because of accidental effects) and it could easily come down to preferences that are below the conscious threshold for the artist.

Outside of this specific issue artists often fall into a category of people for whom verbalising things about their work is difficult because it is so different from actually doing it; the great art teachers are often the exception in the art world - good artists who are good at talking about it.

Einion

FriendCarol
07-27-2005, 10:32 AM
...artists often fall into a category of people for whom verbalising things about their work is difficult because it is so different from actually doing it; the great art teachers are often the exception in the art world - good artists who are good at talking about it.Actually, that had occurred to me, many months ago -- almost as soon as I joined this site, in fact! :D For some reason, it seems to be particularly true in the Abs/Con forum, which is why I've been on the move again recently... looking for a home. (Silly, really: writers can't ever really be 'at home' in a painters' site!)

Just this past month, I found a few meta-artists (that's what I call artists able to talk about art) -- most of them relatively new to the site, and started discussing issues with them. There are two closely related threads now, in which I am finally getting to the 'language' for visual art that I need to make any progress myself. I'll list them here. (Though I have to admit I hope some of the Debate regulars, already 'participating' in the thread in Debate forum, do NOT read this and migrate to the other thread; my patience is in rather short supply these days! :D )

Vision -> Concept -> Visuals -> Paintable Image (http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=281907 )
Representation and Rendering in Art (http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=282777)

Both of these are long threads, with some long posts from long-winded people (like me! :evil: ). But you would be very welcome to join in if you see anything of interest (as would any who might normally read this thread). I tried to split out the explicit color discussion in the other thread, but that's not working. :D

Do you teach? Most of the other meta-artists I've found on this site do seem to be teachers.

jdadson
07-30-2005, 07:15 PM
So what ever happened to the upcoming discussion/debate between McEvoy and Wilcox? I was looking forward to that. I have the utmost regard for the truth.

Richard Saylor
07-31-2005, 04:08 AM
I think Wilcox opted out of the discussion. Maybe blue and yellow make green after all. :D

billw
07-31-2005, 04:41 AM
I think Wilcox opted out of the discussion. Maybe blue and yellow make green after all. :D

Actually it was the other way around. And by the way Wilcox is dead on. Since there is no real red, blue, yellow available in pigment form they CANNOT make green. As he points out what green you wish to obtain will be determined by the charecteristics and type of pigment used.

Patrick1
07-31-2005, 06:20 AM
Is the contention that M. Wilcox is apparently saying that a good split-primary palette has a wider gamut than a 6-color primary+secondary palette? Which specific pigments and which medium?

Einion
07-31-2005, 09:09 AM
I think Wilcox opted out of the discussion.That seems an inevitable conclusion. I wanted answers to the questions I posted too, specifically in relation to the industry applications of the system Mr. Wilcox described since I know what is used in certain places, and have seen the results in the flesh, so I'd like to see gamut maps to prove what he claimed.

Maybe blue and yellow make green after all. :DLOL


Actually it was the other way around. Other way around?

And by the way Wilcox is dead on. Since there is no real red, blue, yellow available in pigment form they CANNOT make green. Mmm, sure there are - I have tubes of red, blue and yellow paint, don't you? ;)

One shouldn't use the word 'real' to describe any colour (or system :D) since the colours they are are as real as any other in that they actually exist. If you're referring to purity, hue position or something like that that's a different story, but then it would be best to be as precise as possible in how one states things.

As he points out what green you wish to obtain will be determined by the charecteristics and type of pigment used.Yes that's absolutely correct, and you do know the best place to find out why exactly you do get a given result?

One of the fundamental flaws in BAYDMG is the diagrams showing reflected light; since I'm sure most of us have seen actual reflectance spectra I won't bother to belabour this point but for those that haven't let's just say those in the book are just a little simplistic. Since these are used to explain given mixing results - and note, and also used as justification of predictions of future mixing results - it is a critical point and Bruce MacEvoy is rightly critical of it. What this comes down to is this: using colour appearance to predict mixing behaviour. Anyone who has used enough paints knows that this can only take you so far and as soon as you have an exception to a 'rule' it shows that simplistic ideas are less than satisfactory when trying to be authoritative about an issue, as Mr. Wilcox claims to be.

Einion

Richard Saylor
07-31-2005, 03:45 PM
Is the contention that M. Wilcox is apparently saying that a good split-primary palette has a wider gamut than a 6-color primary+secondary palette? Which specific pigments and which medium?
In http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/book3.html#wilcox it sez:

In this revised edition [of Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green], Wilcox tries to address substance uncertainty by choosing his six "principle" (he means principal) colors to include three opaque paints (cadmium scarlet, cerulean blue and cadmium yellow) and three transparent paints (quinacridone violet [he apparently means PV19 rose], ultramarine blue and hansa yellow light).

The same six colors are used for watercolor, acrylic, gouache, and oil. They are available in sets of six from the School of Color, apparently rebadged Da Vinci paints.

Patrick1
08-01-2005, 03:44 AM
In the following post...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3522863#post3522863

...Mr. Wilcox says he developed a set of printing inks based on the split-primary system which he says is superior in gamut to CMYK and primary+secondary (+black?). That's why I asked which specific pigments he used. I don't know if he used the pigments he recommends in BAYDMG; is cadmium yellow, cerulean blue, and ultramarine blue even used in printing? Can cerulean blue hold a candle to phathlo blues or phthalo cyan in chroma of mixes? Were some other high-chroma pigments or dyes of unacceptable lightfastness used?

Without mentioning which specific pigments are used (and also the medium and how they're applied), I don't think it's possible for anyone to state unequivocally that a certain palette type can mix the widest range of colors.

Richard Saylor
08-01-2005, 04:59 AM
In the following post...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3522863#post3522863

...Mr. Wilcox says he developed a set of printing inks based on the split-primary system which he says is superior in gamut to CMYK and primary+secondary (+black?). That's why I asked which specific pigments he used. I don't know if he used the pigments he recommends in BAYDMG; is cadmium yellow, cerulean blue, and ultramarine blue even used in printing? Can cerulean blue hold a candle to phathlo blues or phthalo cyan in chroma of mixes? Were some other high-chroma pigments or dyes of unacceptable lightfastness used?

I don't know about printing inks. I think he wanted an opaque and a transparent of each "primary." Pthalo blue is transparent, and ultramarine blue is semi-transparent, so he used cerulean instead of pthalo because it is opaque. He does have some other colors in the School of Color line of paints, and one of them is pthalo blue. Click around on this page: http://www.schoolofcolor.com/acatalog/paints.html

jdadson
08-03-2005, 11:17 PM
I think Wilcox opted out of the discussion.:D

That does not surprise me in the least. How about Bill and MacEvoy? :-)

nether
08-08-2005, 10:36 AM
So what ever happened to the upcoming discussion/debate between McEvoy and Wilcox? I was looking forward to that. I have the utmost regard for the truth.

The last that I heard in this regard was that Mr.McEvoy was away for a short time. I am ready to discuss/debate any issue that he has, however, I would particularly like to examine the article that he wrote in a previous thread concerning my book 'Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green'. Not having visited this site for some time I see that there are other questions that I need to address. Once we find if we are able/unable to rouse Mr. McEvoy I will answer the other points that need attention.
Michael Wilcox

FriendCarol
08-08-2005, 11:01 AM
Welcome back. :D There is a critique of B&YDMG on Mr. MacEvoy's site:
http://handprint.com/HP/WCL/book3.html#wilcox
There is also a critique of The Wilcox Guide to the Best Watercolor Paints (http://handprint.com/HP/WCL/book2.html#wilcox1). (If I did that right, clicking should take us straight there.)

Patrick1
08-08-2005, 03:29 PM
Mr. Wilcox, can you tell me which pigments you used in your split-primary printing ink setup you described in your earlier post, and also which pigments were used in the other setups (CMYK and RYBGVO) you compared it with?

And in Blue And Yellow Don't Make Green, for the violet-red position, you recommend Quinacridone Violet (PV19). Is it the 'rose' version of PV19 (gamma quinacridone) that you recommend, or the more 'violet' version (beta quinacridone)? You can see both, along with a more reddish form of PV19 in the following color wheel. Thanks.

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

Marc Sabatella
08-09-2005, 12:15 PM
And by the way Wilcox is dead on. Since there is no real red, blue, yellow available in pigment form they CANNOT make green.

I think the problem here - as Einion says - is that the word "real" here is a misnomer. The only word or phrase I can put in that context and have the sentence make sense is "monospectral or close to it". That is, you seem to be equating "real" red with "paint that reflects only wavelengths of light that we would all agree are in the red range". And I don't see any particular to do that, when existing red paints *look* red to us. Indeed, it is the appearance of red object - complete with their reflectance across the entire visible spectrum - that are what folks had in mind when they came up with the word "red" in the first place. In that sense, to the extent we see a monospectral red as being different from the more ordinary reds we encounter in daily life, I don't even think it makes complete sense to call it "more" red.

But in any case, no one is disputing that monospectral colors would not mix the way the ones we encounter in real life do. Those aren't the claims that are being debated here.

nether
08-10-2005, 04:37 AM
Welcome back. :D There is a critique of B&YDMG on Mr. MacEvoy's site:
http://handprint.com/HP/WCL/book3.html#wilcox
There is also a critique of The Wilcox Guide to the Best Watercolor Paints (http://handprint.com/HP/WCL/book2.html#wilcox1). (If I did that right, clicking should take us straight there.)

I look forward to defending myself on both counts if given the opportunity. Firstly though, we need the author to come from behind the curtain.
Michael Wilcox

nether
08-10-2005, 05:30 AM
Mr. Wilcox, can you tell me which pigments you used in your split-primary printing ink setup you described in your earlier post, and also which pigments were used in the other setups (CMYK and RYBGVO) you compared it with?

And in Blue And Yellow Don't Make Green, for the violet-red position, you recommend Quinacridone Violet (PV19). Is it the 'rose' version of PV19 (gamma quinacridone) that you recommend, or the more 'violet' version (beta quinacridone)? You can see both, along with a more reddish form of PV19 in the following color wheel. Thanks.

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

The CMYK inks were the standard printing process inks. Process Cyan PB 15.3 Process Magenta PR 57.1 Process Yellow PY 13 Process Black PBk7. The Hexachrome set were purchased as such. They were the process colours as described above plus Hex Orange - Pigment orange 34 and Pigment Green (PG 7+ PY17).
The pigments that I used as my reference set were: PY17, PY 83, PR 53.1 PR 81.1, PB15.3 and PB1. All are standard and have not been chosen for their performance regardless of reliability. Remember that the printer will often have a different requirement to the artist when considering these matters.
Within the next four weeks I will be giving a paper at the International Research Conference in Helsinki. I will be posting the paper on my website www.schoolofcolour.co.uk & www.schoolofcolor.com after that event. As you will then see, examination by Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating, the University of Wales found that not only was the gamut from the split primary approach far greater than that of Hexachome (WITHOUT the benifit of fluorescent pigments) but that some 95% of the entire Pantone range was available.
I used the 'rose' version of PV19 in BYDMG and in my own paint ranges.
Michael Wilcox

nether
08-10-2005, 05:43 AM
That does not surprise me in the least. How about Bill and MacEvoy? :-)

Now that it is the other way round, does this surprise you? Or is it to be the usual one way traffic?
Michael Wilcox

nether
08-10-2005, 06:00 AM
I think the problem here - as Einion says - is that the word "real" here is a misnomer. The only word or phrase I can put in that context and have the sentence make sense is "monospectral or close to it". That is, you seem to be equating "real" red with "paint that reflects only wavelengths of light that we would all agree are in the red range". And I don't see any particular to do that, when existing red paints *look* red to us. Indeed, it is the appearance of red object - complete with their reflectance across the entire visible spectrum - that are what folks had in mind when they came up with the word "red" in the first place. In that sense, to the extent we see a monospectral red as being different from the more ordinary reds we encounter in daily life, I don't even think it makes complete sense to call it "more" red.

But in any case, no one is disputing that monospectral colors would not mix the way the ones we encounter in real life do. Those aren't the claims that are being debated here.

All that I set out to show in my book was that all is not what it might seem to be to the vast majority of painters. In order to understand the processes involved in colour mixing I believe that we have to move away from the appearance of a colour and take into account the fact that all colours reflect the entire spectrum in varying degrees. The colour from any mixture is due to the results of the subtractive (and to a minor degree the additive) processes involved. Part of that understanding should be that if we had such an animal as a 'pure' blue (for example) it would not help in any way in the production of a green when mixed with any yellow. If that yellow was also 'pure' the result of mixing the two would be black. I emphasised this factor in order to show that we need change our way of thinking if we are ever to fully understand colour mixing.
The actual visual appearance of a colour is quite a different matter as correctly stated by Marc.
Michael Wilcox

nether
08-10-2005, 06:23 AM
Is the contention that M. Wilcox is apparently saying that a good split-primary palette has a wider gamut than a 6-color primary+secondary palette? Which specific pigments and which medium?

This is what I am saying. The reasons may not be obvious as we are so used to thinking about colour mixing in terms of the three primary system. Let us look at just one section of the conventional colour wheel, the mixing of violet. On the surface it would seem that the ideal would be bright forms of red, violet and blue and we have everything to hand for a wide range from blue to red via violet.. But consider this. If the blue leans towards green, as in Phthalo blue or Cerulean, the mix of this blue with the violet will never give BRIGHT blue violets, it is impossible. If the red leans towards orange, such as Cadmium Red it will be impossible to produce bright red violets. (Forget the violet part of the story, concentrate instead on the mixes to either side of it).
If the answer is to be 'well, use a blue which leans towards violet such as Ultramarine and a red which also leans towards violet such as Quinacridone Violet then you will have bright blue violets, violets and red violets'.

Great, you have bright blue violets and bright red violets. But remember, you have opted to use just one blue, one red and one yellow, with a green, a violet and and an orange. Your blue now leans towards violet, as does your red. Now mix the blue with your green and try to produce bright blue greens, you cannot. Likewise your violet leaning red will not give you bright red oranges with any orange. And so it goes on.
Concentrate on colour-type and the pigments and media will look after themselves.
Michael Wilcox

nether
08-10-2005, 06:50 AM
One of the fundamental flaws in BAYDMG is the diagrams showing reflected light; since I'm sure most of us have seen actual reflectance spectra I won't bother to belabour this point but for those that haven't let's just say those in the book are just a little simplistic. Since these are used to explain given mixing results - and note, and also used as justification of predictions of future mixing results - it is a critical point and Bruce MacEvoy is rightly critical of it. What this comes down to is this: using colour appearance to predict mixing behaviour. Anyone who has used enough paints knows that this can only take you so far and as soon as you have an exception to a 'rule' it shows that simplistic ideas are less than satisfactory when trying to be authoritative about an issue, as Mr. Wilcox claims to be.

Einion[/QUOTE]

Come on, I wrote BAYDMG in order to encourage painters to think about colour mixing in a way which makes the subject both understandable and (with limitations) predictable. It was for painters, not scientists. Having said that I am confidence of the science behind my approach.
The reflectance curves on pages 195-198 are intended to give those painters who choose to venture a little towards science a clearer understanding. They are actual reflectance curves. Colour has been added in order to make the diagrams clearer. As it was, certain co-publishers baulked at the idea of including them as they worried about the acceptance of the 'painter reader'; a person generally more liable to veer away from a scientifically based diagram than towards it.
Of course the diagrams are not offered in order to make the prediction of every colour combination possible - as you and others such as Bruce MacEvoy would seem to suggest they should/could.
But it is a nice one to hide behind. 'Hey, Wilcox hasn't given diagrams that make all colour mixing predictable'. To that I would say, but neither have all the colour theorists, scientists, the millions spent on software, on colour management and research etc, been able to provide for the printing industry. I bring in the latter as their use of colour prediction is of far greater significance than it is to the painter.
Make your comments by all means but do try and bring in a little realism instead of deliberatly sidestepping.
Michael Wilcox

FriendCarol
08-10-2005, 09:11 AM
The reasons may not be obvious as we are so used to thinking about colour mixing in terms of the three primary system. Let us look at just one section of the conventional colour wheel, the mixing of violet. On the surface it would seem that the ideal would be bright forms of red, violet and blue and we have everything to hand for a wide range from blue to red via violet.. But consider this. If the blue leans towards green, as in Phthalo blue or Cerulean, the mix of this blue with the violet will never give BRIGHT blue violets, it is impossible. If the red leans towards orange, such as Cadmium Red it will be impossible to produce bright red violets. (Forget the violet part of the story, concentrate instead on the mixes to either side of it).
If the answer is to be 'well, use a blue which leans towards violet such as Ultramarine and a red which also leans towards violet such as Quinacridone Violet then you will have bright blue violets, violets and red violets'.

Great, you have bright blue violets and bright red violets. But remember, you have opted to use just one blue, one red and one yellow, with a green, a violet and and an orange. Your blue now leans towards violet, as does your red. Now mix the blue with your green and try to produce bright blue greens, you cannot. Likewise your violet leaning red will not give you bright red oranges with any orange. And so it goes on.While there are threads in which members debate, quite passionately, which 3 pigments are best for a limited palette, this particular thread concerns which SIX (6) pigments are optimal if gamut is the criterion. The two candidates are the 'secondary palette' and the 'split primary' palette. So the paragraphs I just quoted are not quite to the point, for this particular thread. ;)

Every person likely to be involved in this thread is quite aware, btw, of the two examples you cited: Richard Saylor is a mathematician (Ph.d), Einion works in the printing/digital business somehow, and WFMartin worked in color separation/lithography for years. It seems that typical painter-readers come to this forum for expertise, rather than casual reading; they appear to frequent their own Medium forum for more casual questions regarding color.

Marc Sabatella
08-10-2005, 10:01 AM
All that I set out to show in my book was that all is not what it might seem to be to the vast majority of painters.


Oh, don't get me wrong - I learned a ton from your book. I think some readers - myself included - would have appreciated a more precise discussion of reflectance and what it means for, eg, a blue to be biased toward yellow or red (with actual reflectance diagrams as the ones on Handprint) - but on the other hand, most readers would have been turned off by anything so technical, so I think you chose an appropriate level of detail for your purpose. It's kind of an open question as to whether there would have been any benefit in getting into the whole issue of cyan, magenta, and yellow as primaries (one that has led to endless debate here, so I won't go into that).

Mainly, in my previous response, I was just quibbling with the term "real" to describe the type of blue and yellow that don't make any sort of green at all.

FriendCarol
08-10-2005, 10:40 AM
As a former technical writer, I am very familiar with the problem of presenting different levels of information (both in writing style/complexity, and in detail) for different audiences. Often, this must be accomplished within the same manual (or, increasingly, online documentation).

The most appropriate method of handling this, imo, is either:
- the less detailed but systematic overview (i.e., for the executive) followed by separate, more detailed procedures (i.e., for clerk/secretarial/programming staff); or

- a reasonable level of detail -- but accurate! -- with specific reference to a far more detailed (still accurate!) appendix.

The design of the presentation of material is most of the art & science associated with tech-writing, in fact. The writing itself is (or should be) very highly rule-driven (i.e., somewhat boring)... although sometimes eliciting the information from the informants can be quite a challenge, requiring more creativity than any other part of the process!

Marc, I was just reading your site. Very useful introduction to painting. I absolutely agree that it isn't applying the color to the paper that's the hard part! (Even as a watercolor painter, I find that to be true.) Just FYI, some abstract painters do have subject matter, though. Some of us even have 'abstract' subject matter, which enormously increases the difficulty of 'seeing' before we can paint.

I noticed you're referring to red, yellow, blue, btw, on your site where you discuss a colorwheel. And you put orange, rather than yellow, at the top, which I find interesting. That's because you want the 'top half' to be warm, and the 'bottom half' to be cool?

Richard Saylor
08-10-2005, 03:01 PM
.....But remember, you have opted to use just one blue, one red and one yellow, with a green, a violet and and an orange. Your blue now leans towards violet, as does your red. Now mix the blue with your green and try to produce bright blue greens, you cannot. Likewise your violet leaning red will not give you bright red oranges with any orange. And so it goes on.
Concentrate on colour-type and the pigments and media will look after themselves.
Michael Wilcox Sorry, but your secondary palette is a straw man. Of course it won't work; your colors are distributed too unevenly on the color wheel. Going clockwise from yellow, I would use: yellow, green, cyan, blue (leaning toward violet), magenta, red (leaning toward orange).

With this palette, I can make bright blue violets, red violets, red oranges, blue greens, whatever.

Marc Sabatella
08-10-2005, 04:01 PM
Marc, I was just reading your site... Very useful introduction to painting. I absolutely agree that it isn't applying the color to the paper that's the hard part! (Even as a watercolor painter, I find that to be true.) Just FYI, some abstract painters do have subject matter, though. Some of us even have 'abstract' subject matter, which enormously increases the difficulty of 'seeing' before we can paint.

I noticed you're referring to red, yellow, blue, btw, on your site where you discuss a colorwheel. And you put orange, rather than yellow, at the top, which I find interesting. That's because you want the 'top half' to be warm, and the 'bottom half' to be cool?

Thanks for the comments. The mention of red, yellow, and blue is in the brief overview part, so I'm just going with the flow there. Eventually, I'll find time to write up something that delves deeper.

As for putting orange on top, I see that as the warmest color, so it makes sense to me to have it on top. This basically amounts to the same thing as what you are saying, I suppose.

Marc Sabatella
08-10-2005, 04:23 PM
Let us look at just one section of the conventional colour wheel


I think this is part of the "problem", as it is sometimes discussed here. While the ordering of colors on the wheel is pretty non-controversial, there is considerable debate as to what the spacing of colors on the color wheel should be.

Always implicit (if only sometime explicit) in the statements of people talking about different ways of choosing primaries is that perhaps red, blue, and yellow should not be seen as equally spaced on the color wheel as we generally imagine them to be. There are various different theories that all come up with different ways of spacing the colors, but when you also consider the whole business of how our vision works with the R, G, and B cones, the idea of cyan, magenta, and yellow as the more optimal set of three primaries definitely becomes hard to resist. Even if it ends up erroneous to assume that calling these "primary" means you cannot mix a cyan or magenta. In practice, you *can* mix a color the hue of cyan or magenta using the RBY primaries. You can do this about as effectively as you can mix an orange or green or violet or any other color you might care to mix. On the other hand, it is just as erroneous to assume we cannot mix red or blue because more traditional representations of the color wheel call these colors "primary". In practice, you *can* mix a color the hue of red or blue using the CMY primaries - at least, you can do so about as well as you can mix orange or green or violet or any other color you might care to mix. And indeed, the whole printing industry is predicated on this assumption.


Great, you have bright blue violets and bright red violets. But remember, you have opted to use just one blue, one red and one yellow, with a green, a violet and and an orange.


This is one of those cases where the assumed spacing of colors around the color wheel was not made explicit. As made clear by his subsequent post, Richard actually had in mind a color wheel in which cyan, magenta, and yellow
were spaced evenly. This pushes yellow and blue rather further apart than they are on the traditional wheel, and correspondingly moves both yellow and blue closer to red. On such a wheel, the palette Richard mentions contains six equally spaced colors. Whereas the more traditional "split primary" palette ends up having a pretty big hole between the green leaning blue and yellow. That is, if the wheel we are talking about here is to be believed, then phthalo blue and lemon yellow might be leaning toward green, but they are far enough away from it that you *still* aren't going to get all that bright a mixed green. Compared to how bright an orange you get from orange-leaning red and yellow, or the violet you get from the violet-leaning red and blue, as these are much closer together on this wheel.

Personally, I haven't done enough experimentation to say whether this wheel really is more accurate for this purpose than the traditional one. But given what I *have* experienced, and have read, it does seem quite likely to me.

Einion
08-10-2005, 04:40 PM
Thank you for posting the pigments lists Michael, much appreciated.

Patrick, you might remember my comment a long time ago about the pigments used in offset-litho process inks not being the same as those available to the artist and hence the results can't be directly compared to what one can achieve in paint.

The pigments that I used as my reference set were: PY17, PY 83, PR 53.1 PR 81.1, PB15.3 and PB1. All are standard and have not been chosen for their performance regardless of reliability. Remember that the printer will often have a different requirement to the artist when considering these matters. I presume you meant to say "have been chosen for their performance" not "have not been chosen...", i.e. they were chosen for their colour above all other considerations? (For those unfamiliar with the issue, this is quite normal for printing inks.)

As for the second point about printing requirements that's all well and good however we were/are talking about artistic applications almost completely here and it was presented to us here in that context.

This palette is not applicable to the average artist - quite apart from the fact that some of these pigments are not available in artists' materials some should not be used because of their fugitive nature. Hence in practical applications for the artist one can't say that a split-primary palette is superior in gamut compared to a secondary palette because the available/suitable ones are not - unless you have another list you'd like to present to us.

Come on, I wrote BAYDMG in order to encourage painters to think about colour mixing in a way which makes the subject both understandable and (with limitations) predictable. That's a valid point and I'm not critical of your book for its strengths (I have recommended it many times on many different forums, and continue to do so, with riders) however I, and anyone else with enough technical grounding, can be appropriately critical of its weaknesses until they're resolved.

It is interesting that you include "with limitations" above because this is one of the critical issues that some of us stress: theory - any theory - and practice diverge here and it's usually glossed over in books and in teaching. Please correct me if I'm wrong but it's not something set out in plain English in BAYDMG, which can, and does, lead to a mistaken belief that one can predict all mixtures accurately which is what I was getting at.

It was for painters, not scientists. Having said that I am confidence of the science behind my approach.
The reflectance curves on pages 195-198 are intended to give those painters who choose to venture a little towards science a clearer understanding. They are actual reflectance curves. Colour has been added in order to make the diagrams clearer. As it was, certain co-publishers baulked at the idea of including them as they worried about the acceptance of the 'painter reader'; a person generally more liable to veer away from a scientifically based diagram than towards it. Perhaps I need to look at the current printing but in the last updated issue I looked at in a bookshop, last year if memory serves, they were still the simplistic (and I'm sorry, inaccurate) colour-block diagrams that are in my issue, not actual reflectance curves.

Of course the diagrams are not offered in order to make the prediction of every colour combination possible - as you and others such as Bruce MacEvoy would seem to suggest they should/could. But it is a nice one to hide behind. 'Hey, Wilcox hasn't given diagrams that make all colour mixing predictable'. Not at all let me assure you, you might want to read the critique here and elsewhere more fully before making an assumption like this.

Knowing what the reflectance of a given pigment looks like is interesting and useful as far as it goes, and can give cues to mixing results, but one should observe results using paints because they frequently don't pay any attention to what theory alone (which usually concentrates on masstone) would suggest.

Make your comments by all means but do try and bring in a little realism instead of deliberatly sidestepping. I don't believe I was sidestepping anything before and I hope the above helps to clarify that.

Einion

Einion
08-10-2005, 04:42 PM
As a former technical writer, I am very familiar with the problem of presenting different levels of information... for different audiences....
- a reasonable level of detail -- but accurate! Precisely. One can simplify without introducing inaccuracy.

Einion

nether
08-11-2005, 05:03 AM
Sorry, but your secondary palette is a straw man. Of course it won't work; your colors are distributed too unevenly on the color wheel. Going clockwise from yellow, I would use: yellow, green, cyan, blue (leaning toward violet), magenta, red (leaning toward orange).

With this palette, I can make bright blue violets, red violets, red oranges, blue greens, whatever.

Would you be kind enough Richard to inform me of the actual colourants that you would use in your palette.
Michael Wilcox

nether
08-11-2005, 05:12 AM
I presume you meant to say "have been chosen for their performance" not "have not been chosen...", i.e. they were chosen for their colour above all other considerations? (For those unfamiliar with the issue, this is quite normal for printing inks.)
Einion
I meant it as read. I should clarify. The pigments were not chosen for their colour contribution only. I could have, as in the case with Pantone's Hexachrome set, chosen flourescent pigments. Or alternativly, bright pigments which faded rapidly. This would have enhansed the gamut but could not be used as a reference towards artist's paints.
Michael Wilcox

nether
08-11-2005, 05:35 AM
As for the second point about printing requirements that's all well and good however we were/are talking about artistic applications almost completely here and it was presented to us here in that context.

This palette is not applicable to the average artist - quite apart from the fact that some of these pigments are not available in artists' materials some should not be used because of their fugitive nature. Hence in practical applications for the artist one can't say that a split-primary palette is superior in gamut compared to a secondary palette because the available/suitable ones are not - unless you have another list you'd like to present to us.
Einion

Artist's paints and printers inks are, of course, produced from the same wide range of available pigments. Manufacturers of either usually have an eye on the bottom line when selecting their raw materials. This has led, certainly in the case of artist's paints, to the use of many unsuitable pigments. So the average painter, purchasing with the help of hype, 'tradition' and poor advice will often end up with a palette such as I have described in the range of printing inks. I had understood that the issue in this thread was to compare the two main approaches to colour mixing. If this is the case, all that I have done is point to an area where the subject has been exposed to in depth and thorough research. Let us put all consideration of pigments/paints/inks to one side for the moment and consider only colour type. With the help of Swansea University I compared the two systems which are at the centre of this discussion. I found that as far as gamut is concerned the split primary approach was superior to state of the art primary/secondary printing. Suitable pigments are available to the artist to follow either approach.
You can make of this what you will. I introduced the subject by way of showing that very thorough and exacting tests have been carried out comparing the two approaches.
Michael Wilcox

nether
08-11-2005, 06:00 AM
Perhaps I need to look at the current printing but in the last updated issue I looked at in a bookshop, last year if memory serves, they were still the simplistic (and I'm sorry, inaccurate) colour-block diagrams that are in my issue, not actual reflectance curves.
Einion

If your bookshop held the updated (2001) version of BAYDMG perhaps you should have hung around there long enough to get to the back of the book. There, on pages 195 - 198 you will find reflectance curves of the paints shown in diagramatical form early on in the book. Apart from the reflectance percent shown against wavelength what else would you like to see? The diagrams provided as general explanation earlier in the book are necessarily static. They are diagrams designed to help an average painter (usually I would suggest, without a scientific background), to come to an understanding of an often difficult concept.
Should I have provided a block diagram to accuratly show every known colourant? You tell me.
Michael Wilcox

FriendCarol
08-11-2005, 08:10 AM
With the help of Swansea University I compared the two systems which are at the centre of this discussion. I found that as far as gamut is concerned the split primary approach was superior to state of the art primary/secondary printing.You have identified the pigments of your "split primary approach." I am trying now to interprete what you might mean by "primary/secondary printing." Of course, if within this statement you are still using the word 'primary' to mean red, yellow, blue then your statement could basically be correct. Otoh, if the word 'primary' in your statement refers to 'cyan, magenta, yellow' then I would be very interested in hearing what pigments were used for those tests conducted with the help of the university. It would be very interesting because all the evidence I have seen/read would seem to indicate the contrary.

nether
08-11-2005, 08:43 AM
Otoh, if the word 'primary' in your statement refers to 'cyan, magenta, yellow' then I would be very interested in hearing what pigments were used for those tests conducted with the help of the university. It would be very interesting because all the evidence I have seen/read would seem to indicate the contrary.

In the tests that I have made reference to the primaries were cyan, magenta and yellow. I gave the information on the actual pigments in use a day or so ago.
The tests were part of the search for a more efficient method of colour printing. For reasons of economy in printing the number of contributing colours must be kept to a minimum, so the search was on to find the minimum number of colours which would give the widest gamut. Compared to the gamut from the Hexachrome set of cyan, magenta, yellow, orange, green and black the split primaries that were used in comparison gave a much improved gamut (without the beneficial influence of flourescence, as in the Hex set).

On the downside, a limited range of greens were unavailable from the split primary set which were produced from the Hex set. These were centred very closely to Phthalo Green. On the upside a wide range of bright violets, blue violets, orange reds and red oranges became available. Most importantly, hues retained their saturation to a remarkable degree as they were darkened.
As I have mentioned, the results will be posted on my website in around 4-5 weeks.
Michael Wilcox

FriendCarol
08-11-2005, 09:04 AM
Compared to the gamut from the Hexachrome set of cyan, magenta, yellow, orange, green and black the split primaries that were used in comparison gave a much improved gamut (without the beneficial influence of flourescence, as in the Hex set). (N.B. Emphasis added.)Ah, okay. Got it. Your assertion makes more sense now... As painters, some of us don't use black at all, and our 'secondaries' do not include orange. So we are comparing apples and oranges, as it were.

The 'secondary' palette to which we refer basically means including the secondaries of cyan, magenta, and light yellow: red-orange, blue-violet, and green. I do understand, a little, about why printers (unlike some painters) need black; it just seems funny to me to regard it as one 'color' among the 6 of a 'secondary palette!'

Richard Saylor
08-11-2005, 09:06 AM
Would you be kind enough Richard to inform me of the actual colourants that you would use in your palette.
Michael Wilcox Here is my secondary palette. It is as close I can get to the ideal colors in Da Vinci gouache.

Yellow Medium (Arylide PY73)
Pthalo Green (PG7)
Pthalo Blue (PB15)
Blue (Ultramarine PB29)
Red Rose (Quinacridone PV19)
Red (Naphthol PR188)

Richard Saylor
08-11-2005, 09:48 AM
.....Compared to the gamut from the Hexachrome set of cyan, magenta, yellow, orange, green and black the split primaries that were used in comparison gave a much improved gamut (without the beneficial influence of flourescence, as in the Hex set).

On the downside, a limited range of greens were unavailable from the split primary set which were produced from the Hex set. These were centred very closely to Phthalo Green. On the upside a wide range of bright violets, blue violets, orange reds and red oranges became available. Most importantly, hues retained their saturation to a remarkable degree as they were darkened.
As I have mentioned, the results will be posted on my website in around 4-5 weeks.
Michael Wilcox I believe you, but as FriendCarol has noted, the secondary palette does not include black as one of the six colors. As I'm sure you know, the secondaries of cyan, magenta, yellow are basically red, green, blue.

Einion
08-11-2005, 11:37 AM
Should I have provided a block diagram to accuratly show every known colourant? You tell me.Let me put your mind at rest, I wasn't implying that you should do anything of the sort, just that there should be some (ideally for all the paints recommended). Since I was in error I'm only too pleased to know that there are true reflectance diagrams in current issues of the book as it will make it more useful to learners.

However I still think that an accurate, but simplified, description of reflectance within the body of the text would serve artists better in the long run than to ignore, for example, the almost-complete orange and red reflection of all yellow pigments. From my own experience, and judged from reading many queries over the years here and on other fora, one of the main sources of confusion is conflicting information.

Anyway, I will be sure to have a better look at the current version of BAYDMG in Foyles when I am in London next month.

I meant it as read. I should clarify. The pigments were not chosen for their colour contribution only. I could have, as in the case with Pantone's Hexachrome set, chosen flourescent pigments. Or alternativly, bright pigments which faded rapidly. So permanence is an issue then?

In that case I'm genuinely confused at a number of the pigments chosen. I've never seen Victoria Blue in an artists' material and if I did I certainly wouldn't want to use it as I believe it's about as permanent as PG1. And then there's PR53:1, PR81:1 and PY17... you did rate all of these V yourself did you not? ;) I find this quite remarkable in light of your own words:
This has led, certainly in the case of artist's paints, to the use of many unsuitable pigments. So the average painter, purchasing with the help of hype...What do you call these if not unsuitable? In fact the only two lightfast pigments in the lot are Diarylide Yellow and Phthalo Blue Green Shade.

This would have enhansed the gamut but could not be used as a reference towards artist's paints.
...
Let us put all consideration of pigments/paints/inks to one side for the moment and consider only colour type. As far as applicability for artists goes we can't put consideration of pigments aside. Exactly the same pigments are vital to any discussion along these lines - something close to a given colour won't give the same mixing results because we're talking about paints, not 'colours' in the abstract; and as was already covered, paints don't necessarily mix as theory would indicate (i.e. as their masstone would imply).

So this recommendation, in the context previously mentioned (which is how the issue was raised by an enthusiastic student, or representative of, the School Of Colour - for artists) stands or falls on its own merits.

Even apart from this, printing inks are used in a particular manner. This is a point I've raised here many times before in relation to the painting application of CMY primaries. In printing, inks are applied very thinly, in sequence, on a high-white ground for best results - there is no physical mixing of colours. In order to achieve the same results you have to use 'equivalent' paints in the same way, by glazing sequentially. This is feasible in watercolour and some people already work in this manner to some extent, but it's quite alien to most acrylic and oil painters; additionally in oil painting this is an undesirable process to emulate because you shouldn't paint that thinly.

I had understood that the issue in this thread was to compare the two main approaches to colour mixing. If this is the case, all that I have done is point to an area where the subject has been exposed to in depth and thorough research. This thread is largely a result of posts by the member I made reference to above, arttra56. In the thread The three primary system of mixing colours is severely limited (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268543) the contention was that a split-primary palette was superior to a CMY palette, which, with appropriate choices it certainly would be. This would be true of gamut alone but it also adds mixing versatility for other characteristics including opacity because you have the chance to include three opaque paints in addition to three transparent/semi-transparent choices.

That was the start. However, you introduced this "The red, yellow, blue, green, violet and orange approach was also hard pressed when it came to gamut." Essentially saying your split-primary palette was superior to what amounts to a secondary palette and here we are. As for printing applications, the necessity to include a black ink, if only to print text, is so fundamental from a practical standpoint I can't imagine the uphill battle to change for anyone using a six-colour press but I wish you luck with promoting your palette.

I introduced the subject by way of showing that very thorough and exacting tests have been carried out comparing the two approaches. I'd like to see the gamut maps when they're available if you would be so kind as to point to them or post them here, thanks.

Einion

Marc Sabatella
08-11-2005, 12:29 PM
If your bookshop held the updated (2001) version of BAYDMG perhaps you should have hung around there long enough to get to the back of the book. There, on pages 195 - 198 you will find reflectance curves of the paints shown in diagramatical form early on in the book.


FWIW, I have only the 1994 edition, which is only 120 pages and definitely does not go that deep. So my comments should be considered as being relevant only to that edition. Sounds like you may have already addressed any concerns I had.


Should I have provided a block diagram to accuratly show every known colourant?


I don't think so, although it would be nice if that info were published *somewhere*. But as you have said, your task was not to teach painters to completely predict the results of every possible mixture - and actually, I believe that everyone involve has explicity acknowledged this is not possible.

My main concern with the 1994 edition is that the matter or what paint reflectances actually looked like was not brought up at all, but this is something you've apparently improved. And if you're looking for suggestions for topics to deal with in future revisions, I would still suggest some discussion of the various ways the color wheel itself can be biased and with perhaps some good empirical info on how one might take this into account in choosing a palette.

For instance, I am now taking on faith that the distance from blue to red to yellow is probably more like half the circle - a la the Munsell wheel and most of the sorts of things discussed on Handprint, as well as Don Jusko's "Real Color Wheel", I think - rather than two-thirds as on the conventional wheel. This assumption ecnouraged me to experiment with finding just one of each that could produce "good enough" oranges and violets. My red and bue both lean toward violet, so of course I do fine there. But even though my red leans toward violet, it's still pretty close to the yellow (which is fairly neutral in terms of hue bias), simply because all reds in general are pretty close to yellow on this circle - no more than a quarter of the full circuit. On the other hand, since blue and yellow are about half a circle apart - roughly twice as far as red and yellow - I know I'm not going to get intense greens. But knowing just how far apart they are on this circle, I decided to address the problem not by adding a green-leaning blue, but by adding an actual green, something close to smack dab in the middle of that expanse between my blue and my yellow.

As a a result, I have a four color palette (OK, I've recently added an earth color also) that seems to do as well in some ways as the six color "split primary" palette. Yes, I can't get *quite* as intense an orange as the split primary can, but still, surprisingly good. Violets would be identical. And I am quite sure I can get a much more intense green than the split primary palette (you'll never top phthalo green!). But an evenly spaced six color palette like the one Richard alludes to would presumably be even better.

Now, this is all predicated on the assumption that this color wheel of which I speak is more valid in ways that count than the traditional one. I've certainly read enough to suggest it likely, but I haven't done the empirical testing. This seems to be your strong suit. So rather than MacEvoy-esque theorizing about my four color palette versus Richard's six versus your six, I'd love to see someone really dig into some testing with real paints, and then have some discussion of the results - and their implications about color wheel. This seems like prime territory for BAYDMK. Whether the results confirmed the superiority of the conventional color wheel or validated the more Munsell-like ones I am assuming, it would be worth reading. In the main text if it turns out the Munsell type wheels really do work better, or as an appendix if it turns out the conventional one is better or if it turns out not to really matter.

BTW, my four color palette is ultramarine blue, azo/hansa yellow, quinacridone rose, and phthalo green. Some of the pgiment choices were dictated as much by my preference for transparent pigments (oil or watercolor, although I haven't used this palette with the latter), permanence considerations, as well as my budget, not just hue. All else being equal, I'm sure a *slightly* less violet-leaning red would be better, but I haven't encountered one that gives me the same degree of transparency & permanence as the quinacridone rose.

Marc Sabatella
08-11-2005, 12:45 PM
Compared to the gamut from the Hexachrome set of cyan, magenta, yellow, orange, green and black the split primaries that were used in comparison gave a much improved gamut (without the beneficial influence of flourescence, as in the Hex set).

On the downside, a limited range of greens were unavailable from the split primary set which were produced from the Hex set. These were centred very closely to Phthalo Green.


Well depending on how one actually measures a "much improved gamut" given improvements in some areas but deficiencies in others, this makes perfect sense to me. It seems to echo what I just wrote about my own palette. That is, it could be taken as empirical data that blue and yellow really are much further apart than we normally imagine them to be when using a conventional color wheel with red, yellow, and blue identified as primaries. Then the questions becomes, is the loss in greens worth the gain in oranges and violets, or is this gain enough to justify adding another color to the set. These strike me as questions that can only be answered subjectively.

As a landscape painter, the absence of intense greens is seldom an issue - in fact, it's *nice* that mixed greens are rather dull by default. The phthalo green I have available doesn't actually get a lot of use - I only squeeze it out when I need a green that can stand out as more intense than the mixed greens I otherwise use. For instance, a green traffic light seen among foliage. But of course, printers are going to want a palette that works more generally. Still, deciding how much sacrifice in green, or the need for an extra color, is worth the gain in orange and violet is going to be subjective.

FriendCarol
08-11-2005, 01:58 PM
rather than MacEvoy-esque theorizing about my four color palette versus Richard's six versus your six, I'd love to see someone really dig into some testing with real paints, and then have some discussion of the results - and their implications about color wheel.Perhaps you've skipped some of the more empirical handprint.com pages! lol Mr. MacEvoy has done a great deal of empirical testing on paints, and placed them on colorwheels according to those empirical results. Not only that, but he has listed the masstone AND the undertone (or whatever term one uses for that), to the extent of identifying the shift from one to the other. He even identifies the drying shift as a percentage of the masstone.

The theoretical discussions on handprint.com can be interesting or even fascinating -- but for a watercolorist, the empirical information is absolutely compelling. Apart from everything else, he has even identified at what dilution (drops of paint per drops of water, basically) each pigment reaches it maximum chroma (to one decimal point, anyway). Can't get much more empirical than that! ;)

As to the original point: Where the two palettes are compared in handprint.com, there is a diagram of the two resulting (empirical) colorwheels, placed side by side. It appears, however, that what we call a 'secondary' palette is not much like the palette Mr. Wilcox has been referring to under that name. His contains black, and orange....

jdadson
08-11-2005, 07:12 PM
Perhaps you've skipped some of the more empirical handprint.com pages!

What is there on the handprint pages that's NOT empirical?

The words "theory" and "empirical" are by no means opposites. Indeed, "theory" is DEFINED as a practical explanation and predictor of observations.

http://www.answers.com/theory&r=67

> A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

FriendCarol
08-11-2005, 07:30 PM
That's a rather poor definition of theory. (Theory certainly does not have to be either 'an explanation' or 'practical!' Number theory, anyone!?)

That's irrelevant, anyway. :) My point was merely that some may have been misled, particularly by discussion related to pages we have cited previously (during discussions of 'color theory' and whether local color is 'real,' etc.). Such 'theoretical' or esoteric concerns by no means accurately characterize the site.

Most of http://handprint.com is highly empirical: For the most part, the site comprises accurate information, carefully compiled, about pigments, papers, brushes, etc.; plus much other material (discussion of many artists' palettes, critiques of books, etc.) directly and tangentially related to painting. It is primarily useful as a reference -- a guide based on thoroughly empirical, frequently updated tests and observations... though it's fun to read the other stuff from time to time.

Marc Sabatella
08-11-2005, 07:42 PM
Perhaps you've skipped some of the more empirical handprint.com pages!


No, but I realize that was poorly worded on my part. Mr. MacEvoy of course has done both theoretical and practical work. But the empirical stuff as it specifically relates to mixing and the implications of this for the color wheel (as opposed to the properties of individual pigments) - while there might be a decent amount of that buried there on Handprint, I think a simple and straightforward presentation of that, *without* the heavy duty theory, would be right up Mr. Wilcox's line. It would enhance the book and make some of this info accessible to those unwilling to wade through the glut of info on Handprint.


The theoretical discussions on handprint.com can be interesting or even fascinating -- but for a watercolorist, the empirical information is absolutely compelling.


And indeed, this is the part of the site I am least familiar with, because I am not a watercolorist.

> What is there on the handprint pages that's NOT empirical?

Well, there are different levels of empiricism. I mean, stuff involving mixing paints and putting the results to canvas, as opposed to measuring reflectance of individual pigments, talking about cone responses, etc. And again, it's not that there isn't this type of empirical material on Handprint - just that I think most people would benefit from a discussion that was *mostly* that. Or, more specifically, just the results of that neatly summarized, as opposed to presented in exhaustive tables and lists.

Richard Saylor
08-11-2005, 10:45 PM
I'm tired of being brainwashed about color theory being BS; and primaries don't exist; and if they do exist they're red, blue, and yellow (sigh!); and black is somehow a secondary color; and the idea that theory is somehow suspect (yeah, tell that to Einstein or Newton); and all this "iconoclasm" is supposed to be oh so very sophisticated; which makes Bill Martin feels so out of place that he stops posting. This forum is getting so that a bunch of common terms have, in effect, become politically incorrect. We hold back, and try to avoid saying "color theory" and "primaries" (unless they are red, yellow, and blue, which in some irrational way have become fashionable); red and blue make purple because I mixed some red and blue and I got purple, that's just how red and blue do their thing. Here, let me show you. Oops, must have been a different red. Hmmm, that's weird. No don't anybody give me any of that theory crap! My poor sensitive little brain can't take that heavy stuff; I'll throw a fit. I'm an arteeest, not a scientist. I hate science.

FriendCarol
08-11-2005, 11:14 PM
Color theory color theory color theory!!! theory theory theory! Cyan! -- yeah! let's hear it for cyan!!! Oh, I feel much better now. :D

I love science. I love art. Artists (some) seem rather suspicious of me. Scientists wonder what I am, 'really.' Tough. I'm gonna be an artist AND a scientist as much as I want to. And just paint (until I become a visual artist, then I suppose I'll be 'making art' instead?). Just try and stop me. Ha!

Your turn.

Richard Saylor
08-11-2005, 11:32 PM
.....I think a simple and straightforward presentation of that, *without* the heavy duty theory, would be right up Mr. Wilcox's line. It would enhance the book and make some of this info accessible to those unwilling to wade through the glut of info on Handprint. Heaven forbid that anyone should be intellectually challenged.

Patrick1
08-11-2005, 11:38 PM
...red and blue make purple because I mixed some red and blue and I got purple, that's just how red and blue do their thing. Here, let me show you. Oops, must have been a different red. Hmmm, that's weird. No don't anybody give me any of that theory crap! My poor sensitive little brain can't take that heavy stuff; I'll throw a fit. I'm an arteeest, not a scientist. I hate science.This reminds me of a thread in a forum on an artists' paint manufacturer's website (which shall go un-named ;)). The company representative, in a response to a question, posted incorrect information that was questioned my another person. The representative then insisted that their explanation is still correct, and proceeded to give a lesson to the person who (correctly) was questioning their wrong explanation. Then another person showed the representative with certaintly that they are incorrect, so the representative, probably now knowing that they really are wrong but still refusing to publicly admit they're wrong, tried to save face by basically tersely saying: "It's art, not science".

The moral of the story is that if, in the face of overwhelming evidence you're proven factually wrong, you can always fall back on the "I'm an artist not a scientist, damnit!" defense. Heh heh.

[note to self: I don't think my post is helping with the general impression on other WetCanvas forums that this is an unfriendly, argumentative forum...] :evil:

FriendCarol
08-12-2005, 12:08 AM
Hmmm. I am sure I saw that forum, Patrick, maybe a year or so ago. Can't imagine where I might have been, but I recognize the exchange!

I don't think we should worry much about people's impressions of this forum. This is THE place on WC! to get facts, theories, and opinions about specific pigments, hues, etc. Many members don't need it: they'll go on painting the same painting they've been painting the past several years. :evil: Others can't use it: The information they need, if expressed unambiguously and verbally, is a little beyond their comfort zone, so they'll just have to experiment until they can mutter to themselves "a dab of this and a big pile of that, plus just a smidgeon of that stuff from the squeezed-up tube -- that's it!" :evil:

Anyway, a lot of members have negative impressions of many areas of this site; what does it matter? Many people tell me they'd be 'afraid' (?) to post in a Debate thread. Others think Abs/Con is scary. I, personally, find the self-congratulatory "aren't we nice" tone of some areas far more difficult to bear than the straightforward disagreement here and in the two areas I just mentioned!

I'm not afraid of being accused of thinking too much, either. I'll just bite their heads off. :evil: Joke. Sort of. :D

nether
08-12-2005, 05:06 AM
So permanence is an issue then?

In that case I'm genuinely confused at a number of the pigments chosen. I've never seen Victoria Blue in an artists' material and if I did I certainly wouldn't want to use it as I believe it's about as permanent as PG1. And then there's PR53:1, PR81:1 and PY17... you did rate all of these V yourself did you not? ;) I find this quite remarkable in light of your own words:
What do you call these if not unsuitable? In fact the only two lightfast pigments in the lot are Diarylide Yellow and Phthalo Blue Green Shade.
Einion

I made mention of the results of testing with printers inks because, as far as I know, it is the only area where tens of thousands of mixes have been produced, accurate readings taken and compared. I do not think that anything similar has been carried out with artist's paints.

I used the Hexachrome set as a comparison because it has been found by all printers that I have spoken to give a wider range than the Opaltone system which is identical in colour type to the 'secondary' system refered to in this thread; cyan, magenta, yellow, violet blue, orange red and green. It would appear that if the Hex range gave a wider gamut to Opaltone that it should be the system to be compared with.

In the context of artist's paints I would never suggest the use of the pigments that I used in the print tests. The inks used were selected for colour type but first and foremost had to be acceptable to the packaging industry. Price in this industry is critical, shelf life less so. The enormous expense involved in these comparative tests did not allow the luxury of testing with pigments which an artist might find acceptable but would be unaceptable to the print industry.

The issues surrounding the selection of the pigments were various. My reference to other factors was to do with the use of fluorescent pigments. These give an enhanced range but tend to absorb water.

OK, this is the last mention that I will make to printing, you will be pleased to know. As to the discussion between the split primary and secondary palette it surely comes down to nothing more than personal choice. Gain the flexibility of straightforward access to certain yellow greens or yellow oranges - some dark dulled greens and dulled oranges, with the split primary palette and gain a few greens very close to Phthalocyanine Green with the secondary; the greens that a mix of Phthalocyanine Blue and a green yellow will not give.
Michael Wilcox

sfumato1002
08-12-2005, 06:03 AM
I use to use a very large palette which included around 20 colors, cad yellow, cad yellow deep, cad orange, card orange red, etc...etc... It was crazy.

Anyway, my paintings were not unified and color mixing was very tuff, I almost quit painting, because it was very hard to unify the painting. Split primary and secondary was also kind of difficult to unify.

I have found that just using ultramarine blue, yellow and a red plus white and black It is much easier to color mix and paint. I do use phthalo greens such as p7 or pg36 but only for intesity which I can't get with ultramarine and yellow mix.

It's very basic, very elementary and very simple to paint with just blue, yellow and red. If anything, I Just use intense greens or other pigments when needed to higher the gamut range.

Funny, I never realized how easy it is to paint, but we make it harder than it really is. Leonardo da vinci said the colors were blue, yellow, red and green, I suspect he used green just to create more intense greens than blue and yellow can mix. It's basic formula and it works. I am enjoying painting again! :wave:

Marc Sabatella
08-12-2005, 11:13 AM
Heaven forbid that anyone should be intellectually challenged.

I suppose I can see how you might get the impression from the last couple of posts of mine that I am somehow anti-theory. But I assure you, I this isn't true at all, and I am now truly regretting using the phrases "without the heavy duty theory" and "MacEvoy-esque theorizing", because I realize that it would be possible to infer some sort of negative slant to these characterizations that was contrary to my intent.

In fact, if you'll look over other threads in this forum, you'll see me pretty consistently extolling the value of the study of color theory, disagreeing at times with one of the moderators about this who occasionally questions the value of this type of study. And indeed, even on this thread, my comments have been mostly directed at convincing Mr. Wilcox to include *more* color theory, and in particular, to address the nature of primaries and the color wheel.

But I am not trying to get him to write an entirely different book. I am trying to suggest a way to include more complete / accurate information in a way that is nonetheless consistent with the format of the existing book, and I think that means not going into quite so much detail as you or I might personally prefer. The latter is a task for a different author writing a different book - and I'll be right there in line to buy it when it comes out, and to recommend it to others. But probably not to everyone. There are clearly many who would have no interest in anything so technical.

And yet the information is important enough that I would like to see it presented to as many artists as possible, and that means including it in some form in books that *are* designed to appeal to artists who are not otherwise scientifically-inclined. I'd love it if every author who has ever written a book on art that mentions priamries or the color wheel would rewrite it to reflect what we now know about these topics, but that isn't going to happen. The best we can hope for is an author like Mr. Wilcox, who is specifically setting out to disple some of the common myths about color, to dispel a few *more* of them.

FriendCarol
08-12-2005, 01:35 PM
Marc, I just copied this from a source far superior (and free, and frequently updated) than any book of which I've heard:This guide is based on the most authoritative sources, including the Colour Index International (4th edition online), the ASTM, extensive manufacturer and academic correspondence, and my own 2004 lightfastness tests of over 750 watercolor paint swatches. It provides information not available from any other source. Color measurements have been made with a GretagMacbeth spectrophotometer making these pigment descriptions the most accurate currently available.Emphasis mine. The source? handprint.com, of course! If you want to know exactly where a pigment is located on a color wheel (a variety of them!), that's in handprint.com; if you want to know almost anything about a pigment, in fact, you find it here. Yes, in neat, summary tables, very organized, by pigment -- and within pigment, by brand!

The entry for each pigment gives its chemical name, the date of its chemical discovery and/or first use as an artist's color, and a list of paints sampled that contain the pigment.Now, for a w/c painter, there is much more. The shift from masstone to undertone. The drying shift. The degree of diffusion (for wet-in-wet techniques -- some paints 'blossom' more dripped into water). But there's plenty here for every other kind of painter, too.

Want more? Below each pigment entry are notes on the pigment's appearance, history, manufacture and handling attributes, with a summary of notable differences among the paint brands listed. The spectrum is a clickable icon that links to the reflectance curve for a specific pigment ... it also indicates pigments that other artists have found especially valuable.Emphasis, again, mine. Here is a link to the reflectance curves for all the cadmiums (apparently all, anyway): http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/waterfs.html

When I say handprint.com is empirical, not theoretical, I mean precisely that. I cannot imagine there is anything empirical you could want to know about pigments that cannot be found there. Enjoy. :)

Richard Saylor
08-12-2005, 04:29 PM
I.....Funny, I never realized how easy it is to paint, but we make it harder than it really is. Leonardo da vinci said the colors were blue, yellow, red and green, I suspect he used green just to create more intense greens than blue and yellow can mix. It's basic formula and it works. I am enjoying painting again! :wave: It makes a lot of sense to use those 4 colors as "primaries." Yellow and blue are visual complements; red and green are mixing complements; and they are spaced almost equally around the color wheel. (I cheated slightly on the attached diagram.) Marc has been using essentially this palette, and so have I. It is far better than any 3 color palette and seems to be almost as good as a 6 color palette. The main problem seems to be finding a red such that red + yellow makes bright oranges, and red + blue makes bright purples. Which red are you using?

Marc Sabatella
08-12-2005, 09:49 PM
handprint.com, of course! If you want to know exactly where a pigment is located on a color wheel (a variety of them!), that's in handprint.com; if you want to know almost anything about a pigment, in fact, you find it here. Yes, in neat, summary tables, very organized, by pigment -- and within pigment, by brand!


I seem still to have not made myself clear. I am not saying there isn't empirical info there; I'm simply observing there is also a *lot* of theory there, and that this in particular is not really what I am suggesting Mr. Wilcox emulate.

On the other hand, while the info you describe is indeed "empirical", it still isn't the specific sort of thing I was suggesting would make a nice inclusion in BAYDMG. Again, I don't think *most* readers of that book are interested in exhaustive studies of the properties of individual pigments. What I think *would* be interesting are *mixing* experiments designed to give the reader an appreciation for the derivation of the color wheel itself and the nature of "primaries".

That is, don't *start* with a color wheel that has alreayd been spaced correctly and then plot inidividual pigments on it. *Start* with the pigments themselves, and through mixing experiments, figure out how close or far apart the hues they represent really are. You and I might have some idea of the issues involved with the RBY primaries versus CMY primaries and what implications this has for color wheels and for palette selection. But the average reader has never for a moment considered that there might be primaries other than red, blue, and yellow, or a color wheel other than the one that shows these colors evenly spaced. He's going to need to be convinced of that. And its not the in depth discussion of cone response and reflectance diagrams that will accomplish this most effectively. I think most readers are going to want to see for themselves that even green leaning blue and yellow paints don't give particularly intense greens, compared to the intensity of violets or oranges you can get from appropriately leaning pgiments. *This* is what is going to convince the average reader that blue and yellow are farther apart on the color wheel than red and yellow or red and blue, and in turn give him an appreciation for the sort of color wheel than you or I might take for granted, which in turn would give him some idea why cyan and magenta are as important as they are, and then would allow him to more fully understand the issues involved in palette selection. And this is *precisely* the sort of technique Wilcox used in previous versions of his book to show that a violet-leaning blue really does make a better violet than a green-leaning one - he showed *mixed* color swatches using each with the same yellow.

Now, it's certainly possible this sort of empirical derivation of the color wheel is contained somewhere on handprint. But that doesn't diminish the value of including it in BAYDMG as well.


I cannot imagine there is anything empirical you could want to know about pigments that cannot be found there.

See above. If there is anything like that there, I'd like to know, but it still wouldn't convince me it wouldn't be a good thing for Wilcox to address as well, because people are going to read his books that would probably never visit handprint or get much out of it if they did. The discussions of the color wheel itself that I read on handprint were highly theoretical. Enormously interesting to me - but not a good fit for BAYDMG.

Richard Saylor
08-12-2005, 09:50 PM
I suppose I can see how you might get the impression from the last couple of posts of mine that I am somehow anti-theory. But I assure you, I this isn't true at all, and I am now truly regretting using the phrases "without the heavy duty theory" and "MacEvoy-esque theorizing", because I realize that it would be possible to infer some sort of negative slant to these characterizations that was contrary to my intent. Just ignore my remark, Marc. It's not your fault. I'm just getting tired of babies who have to be spoon-fed.

There was a person over at the Watercolor Technical Forum who ridiculed a post I made because it contained the words "primary" and "secondary," saying that I was using "alien" language. I happened to know that this person had gotten a highly-recommended book on color theory two weeks earlier because they had posted about it right here in the Color Theory Forum. Moreover, a little later in the same thread, the moderator basically said that color theory is for the birds, that he just uses a dab of this and a dab of that until he gets it right.

I kid you not, there are people who are capable of whining if you try to say that blue and yellow make green: "OMG! That's color theory, isn't it? I never could stand color theory!"

I liken all this to people who are innumerate (mathematically illiterate) and actually brag about it, as if it were something to be proud of. Would anyone brag about not being able to read? If someone doesn't even understand percents, they can so easily be taken advantage of by unscrupulous businesses, not to mention being wrongly influenced by misleading (but accurate) statistics. It's very sad. The US at least, I don't know about the rest of the world, is getting so mentally lazy that it's almost scary. If you don't use it (the mind), you lose it.

sfumato1002
08-13-2005, 07:24 AM
It makes a lot of sense to use those 4 colors as "primaries." Yellow and blue are visual complements; red and green are mixing complements; and they are spaced almost equally around the color wheel.
thanks richard, I know this palette is very old and that many artists use it, but its always conforting to hear that it is a good palette from other artists here at WC.

Which red are you using?

I'm using tiziano red by the italian brand Maimeri. the pigment is quinacridone red PR209. Its a little cooler than cadmium red and a little warmer than magenta. I think it makes beautiful purples mixed with ultramarine blue and bright enough oranges mixed with cad yellow.

Richard Saylor
08-13-2005, 08:35 AM
I'm using tiziano red by the italian brand Maimeri. the pigment is quinacridone red PR209. Its a little cooler than cadmium red and a little warmer than magenta. I think it makes beautiful purples mixed with ultramarine blue and bright enough oranges mixed with cad yellow.That sounds like the red I'm looking for. I've been trying to use quinacridone rose PV19, which is a little too cool for a RYGB palette. Thanks!

Richard

FriendCarol
08-13-2005, 10:09 AM
Quin red by W/N is on my w/c complete palette, and I agree it's a good middle (though, apart from the Cad red I almost never use, it's my warmest red!). Watch out if you use it with the phthalos, though, because if you leave it mixed (in w/c), a peculiar thing happens. A precipitate, in fact. Yesterday as I was looking for something else on handprint.com I saw reference to a 'resin' and that is just what it's like: Sticky, tough, extremely hard to remix. Might not be a problem if your blue or green aren't thalo, or you throw out mixtures after a session (as you might for plein air, I suppose).

Just don't try to remix with a good brush. (Mortar and pestle, maybe! ;) ) But perhaps this precipitate won't appear in other media?

Richard Saylor
08-13-2005, 01:14 PM
Watch out if you use it with the phthalos, though, because if you leave it mixed (in w/c), a peculiar thing happens. A precipitate, in fact. Thanks for the warning. My green is pthalo. (Blue is ultramarine.) If I could just get genuine viridian... :(

FriendCarol
08-13-2005, 01:32 PM
Why can't you get viridian? I have some, W/N w/c. Is it not available in gouache? Not available in acrylic?

Gotta admit, I practically never use viridian; Winsor green works just fine in about 95% of my pieces.

Einion
08-13-2005, 05:16 PM
In reference to post #63 Richard, I sympathise with what you're saying here but let's leave it at this regarding further commentary on the event that spawned these threads.

That sounds like the red I'm looking for. I've been trying to use quinacridone rose PV19, which is a little too cool for a RYGB palette. Have you tried a pyrrole red? I would think one might satisfy your needs in that they mix adequately in both directions. There should be a suitable naphthol red too, although your lightfastness standards might not be met by one that meets the colour-mixing requirements.


Why can't you get viridian? I have some, W/N w/c. Is it not available in gouache? Probably not made because of its weak coverage.

Not available in acrylic?You'll read that this is not manufactured as an acrylic because of a chemical incompatibility with the pH of the binder (Golden state this explicitly I think) but I heard directly from a colourman working elsewhere that their reason was that it is a weak tinter and has poor coverage. 'Traditional' pigments aren't as important in the acrylic paint market because of their modern associations as well, which I think would have been part of the consideration given that there are not a few paints in acrylics that share these two features.

Einion

Einion
08-13-2005, 05:30 PM
Coming back to the original thrust of this thread, we've had some diagrammatic colour-wheel diagrams posted above and useful as they are to help visualise things many of you will recognise that they're only approximations of what actual paints will achieve. Any volunteers want to try producing diagrams to compare the gamut of the two palettes?

It might even be interesting for more than one version of these to see how different perceptions of colour might be, however there is enough information available online to do this with some accuracy. If you'd like to take a stab at this please note that colour wheels can only take into account two of the three dimensions of colour, the important ones here being hue and chroma.

Einion

Richard Saylor
08-14-2005, 04:07 AM
Have you tried a pyrrole red? I would think one might satisfy your needs in that they mix adequately in both directions. There should be a suitable naphthol red too, although your lightfastness standards might not be met by one that meets the colour-mixing requirements.

The main problem is finding the right colors in gouache. The naphthol red that I have looks a little too scarlet, but it might be okay. I need to experiment with it further. I could, of course, use a watercolor red. You can get almost anything in watercolor. It does not have the coverage of gouache, but that's not a major problem, just an inconvenience.

Viridian has some nice properties (and I've discovered that W/N as well as Holbein does make a viridian gouache), but it's so close in hue to pthalo that I might as well stick with the latter. I probably don't use enough to run into compatibility problems anyhow.

Einion
08-14-2005, 08:05 AM
The main problem is finding the right colors in gouache. Ah yes of course, I was thinking of watercolour.

The naphthol red that I have looks a little too scarlet, but it might be okay. Yes it might; one of the naphthol reds I have, PR112, is significantly more magenta in undercolour and tint than its masstone.

Einion

FriendCarol
08-14-2005, 09:34 AM
Yes, one of those very nice properties of viridian is that it isn't staining. That's why I have both viridian AND phthalo (Winsor) green BS on my complete palette. :D

Glad to hear W/N makes a viridian gouache. It's possible I might, someday, wish to include gouache in my work. If so, I think a 4-color gouache palette would suffice (unlike my complete 21-hue w/c palette :evil: ). I would opt for viridian, FUM, something like Hansa yellow, and -- let me know, Richard, what red you finally determine is best! (Though, if I use viridian as my green, I could probably stick to the quin red I'm used to in transparent w/c.)

jdadson
08-15-2005, 04:39 PM
That's a rather poor definition of theory. (Theory certainly does not have to be either 'an explanation' or 'practical!' Number theory, anyone!?).

The abridged dictionary lists 6 meanings. (See below.) The first of them is the way scientists use the word, as in "theory of gravity" and "theory of evolution." The third is the mathematician's usage, as in "number theory."

My point is that although there is some color theory (theory of color) on the handprint pages, almost everything there is practical and empirical. Some of the posts here seemed (to me) to imply that "theory" and "empirical" are opposites. Not so.

Theory n.

1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

2. The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice: a fine musician who had never studied theory.

3. A set of theorems that constitute a systematic view of a branch of mathematics.

4. Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than theory.

5. A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: staked out the house on the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime.

6. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.

FriendCarol
08-15-2005, 05:20 PM
Any volunteers want to try producing diagrams to compare the gamut of the two palettes? I'm not volunteering because these colorwheels (representing something like the gamut) already exist side by side on the pages of handprint.com -- a comparison of the two palettes under discussion, I believe. Next time I run across that page, I will try to copy the diagram here (but I have a long list of other items that have higher priority). :D

Off-topic: JD, my statement stands. For one thing, a failed/replaced theory is (for scientists) still referred to as a 'theory'; albeit one rejected on the basis of the evidence. So much for 'tested/accepted.' As for 'set of statements or principles'... not hardly, nor 'devised to explain.'

A theory comprises hypotheses (like a statement or principle, but really quite different, since testable ;) ) linked by common concepts, basically. A theory is considered heuristic (useful) precisely in that it predicts consequences NOT yet observed!

We have a peculiar problem in our age: Those compiling dictionaries are not the ones using many of the terms (in academic/specialized areas, in particular) for which the new dictionary's editors are trying to discern a meaning.

To be blunt: newer dictionaries very often get it wrong. The process of creating a dictionary these days is literally one of compiling usages (most frequently, published examples of the word as it appears in print), then attempting to state the 'meaning' that appears to come out of the usages! :rolleyes:

I agree with you, of course, about the overwhelmingly empirical nature of what is presented on the handprint site -- in its w/c section, anyway. ;)

jdadson
08-15-2005, 05:47 PM
Off-topic: JD, my statement stands.

So do mine. If you think the dictionary is wrong, I suggest you take it up with the dictionary editors. That's what I do! I've had some very interesting correspondence with the editors at Merriam Webster. But on this one, I've got to side with the pros.

jdadson
08-15-2005, 05:57 PM
To be blunt: newer dictionaries very often get it wrong.

I always have the venerable 1957 New Collegiate Seventh Editition within arm's reach.

Theory n.

1. The analysis of a set of facts in relation to one another
2. The general or abstract principles of a body of fact
3. A plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena
4. a) A hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation
b) SUPPOSITION, CONJECTURE
c) A body of theorems presenting a concise systematic view of a subject
5. Abstract thought

FriendCarol
08-15-2005, 06:23 PM
'Tis a teeny bit better; still a 'these days' dictionary, of course. ;) You'll notice 'abstract thought' is still one definition. I'm waiting for the day some silly new dictionary says something like:
academic: irrelevant, as in "it's all academic, anyway." :rolleyes:
Perhaps at that point someone will realize dictionary-making has gone a bit too far in the opposite direction (compared with its original procedures, which basically ignored the way people actually used words). I'll PM you.

Richard Saylor
08-15-2005, 09:00 PM
I guess I just think of color theory sorta like like number theory or relativity theory or quantum theory. I don't see much sense in trying to make an artificial distinction between practical and theoretical. I can easily visualize a big fat textbook entitled Color Theory, whose table of contents encompasses everything from the concrete (such as the chemical properties of pigments) to the conjectural (such as the psychology of color). For example, most of the material in the Handprint site which is not specific to painting techniques would be appropriate for such a book.

Changing the subject slightly..... Wilcox's book seems to be very popular, especially among watercolorists, but I wonder how many people have really tried to read it with comprehension from cover to cover. It seems like it deals with exactly the sort of information which turns so many "artists" off to color theory.

Patrick1
08-15-2005, 10:03 PM
I'm not volunteering because these colorwheels (representing something like the gamut) already exist side by side on the pages of handprint.com -- a comparison of the two palettes under discussion, I believe. Next time I run across that page, I will try to copy the diagram here...
Do you mean the comparison of split-primary vs. primary+secondary?

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/IMG/secsplit.gif

Split primary on left, secondary on right. The differeces in greens I can easily understand, but the the split-primary's greyed oranges I find surprising...I'd expect pyrrole red and cadmium yellow would do much better than that (in comparision to pyrrole orange at right). Can anyone explain that? I'll bet all the differences will be more apparent in real life, and in oils & acrylics.

FriendCarol
08-15-2005, 10:05 PM
It seems like it deals with exactly the sort of information which turns so many "artists" off to color theory.I looked at it in a library once. Usually I take out books from the library (imagine that!), so I must have rejected it for some reason. But then, I have a strong antipathy to 'rhetoric,' so it could have just been the title that turned me off.

Ho hum. Another very quiet day in Color Theory/Mixing forum. :D

No one wants to argue over my candidates for the 4-color gouache palette? Isn't there a better yellow? (Or blue or green or red?) Do gouache paints include cadmiums, btw? Don't know why it suddenly occurred to me to wonder about that. :rolleyes:

Wait a minute -- gouache doesn't mix! Or was that a problem peculiar to my Pelikan pan set? I think I'm at that stage of exhaustion resulting in free-associating. Better log off now; goodnight, all. :D

P.S. Hi, Patrick -- cross-posted. You found it, I see! :) Nope, can't explain it, except in w/c cadmiums are opaque; perhaps that's affecting the chroma in the orange? Too tired to think straight just now.

Marc Sabatella
08-15-2005, 10:13 PM
Some of the posts here seemed (to me) to imply that "theory" and "empirical" are opposites.

That wasn't my intent. Obviously I chose my words poorly; there is clearly considerable overlap. What I I would say is that much of what is normally thought of a theoretical is rather different from most of what is normally thought of as empirical. For instance, any time we show we a reflectance diagram to demonstrate the results of mixing two paints, we are dealing with something that is more clearly associated with theory than practice. Any time we show the actual mixed paint swatch, we are dealing with something that is more clearly associated with practice than theory. The strength of BAYDMG is that it concentrates mostly on the latter, while including only as much of the former as I think most people care to know. I think the edition I have actually stops a little short of where I'd prefer in terms of including of the more theoretical-leaning material, but it sounds like the most recent edition is better there. But given that there is no discussion at all of the nature of the color wheel and the primaries at all - why cyan and magenta have any relevance whatsoever - I'd simply like to see the same sort of discussion of this topic.

Einion
08-16-2005, 10:02 AM
My point is that although there is some color theory (theory of color) on the handprint pages, almost everything there is practical and empirical. Some of the posts here seemed (to me) to imply that "theory" and "empirical" are opposites. Not so. Your point is well taken but let's try to be as specific as possible if going down this road; as we've seen here before, and undoubtedly will again, the concept of colour theory is very different to various members and for good reason. So a general reference to 'colour theory' is one thing, but what does it mean? A reference to theory as presented in a specific venue is quite another; it could be very good - Handprint - presented in a manner to lead to real-world usage, or poor - many other sources - completely ignoring dichotomies.

As far as theory and empirical being opposite, or at least tendentious, this is the case for much of the implications of colour theory as typically presented - the idea that a colour wheel accurately maps how pigments will work being probably the best example.


I'm not volunteering because these colorwheels (representing something like the gamut) already exist side by side on the pages of handprint.com Actually they don't if you think about it carefully, hence my stress that hue and chroma are the important dimensions.

A theory is considered heuristic (useful) precisely in that it predicts consequences NOT yet observed! Yep, and hence the limitations of conventional colour theory when you come down to it.

I'm waiting for the day some silly new dictionary says something like:
academic: irrelevant, as in "it's all academic, anyway." :rolleyes:
Perhaps at that point someone will realize dictionary-making has gone a bit too far in the opposite direction (compared with its original procedures, which basically ignored the way people actually used words).No need to wait, see 8 (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=academic) :D

At times I agree with you on this, although the current-usage rule has come to be predominant and that's unlikely to change. I hate the reversals and distortions of meaning in many words with common usage, sometimes in very compressed timeframes. The best example I know is factoid, which should mean exactly what its originator correctly structured the word to mean - the 'oid' suffix used as it should, "having the appearance of" - but incorrect media use of the word (so much for the linguistic skills of journalists!) has caused it to mean something very nearly opposite to originally. This is particularly ironic given the context in which Mailer first used it!


Changing the subject slightly..... Wilcox's book seems to be very popular, especially among watercolorists, but I wonder how many people have really tried to read it with comprehension from cover to cover. It seems like it deals with exactly the sort of information which turns so many "artists" off to color theory.I suspect that even with the simplified, user-friendly way the theory is presented that most readers just 'look at the pictures'.

Einion

Richard Saylor
08-16-2005, 12:18 PM
As far as theory and empirical being opposite, or at least tendentious, this is the case for much of the implications of colour theory as typically presented - the idea that a colour wheel accurately maps how pigments will work being probably the best example. The key words are "as typically presented." The typical presentation of color theory is so oversimplified that it cannot help but be inaccurate. Either the expositors themselves are ignorant, or else they seem to be assuming that the intelligence of artists is so limited that accurate explanations are out of the question. Better no color theory at all than color theory so grossly oversimplified as to be misleading. It's not rocket science. For example, colors wheels are realistically explained at the Handprint site and should be understandable by anyone of average intelligence.

FriendCarol
08-16-2005, 12:37 PM
It's not rocket science. For example, colors wheels are realistically explained at the Handprint site and should be understandable by anyone of average intelligence.As someone who once taught at university, and has since (from time to time) been a 'trainer' in corporate America, I can assure you that although persons of average intelligence COULD understand color wheels, even persons of above-average intelligence will seldom make the effort! Einion is right: They barely want to look at (self-explanatory) pictures, they do not want to read. In fact, corporate trainers are basically limited to PowerPoint (TM) presentations with few words on each frame, just for that reason. And then, of course, we have to read each frame aloud to them! :rolleyes:

Intellectual laziness is rampant in our age. I hope for a bit better from succeeding generations, because the ubiquity and depth of on information on the Web makes it so much easier for young folk to access information. I hope they'll get used to having their least, merely curious, questions answered by reading, and so continue to be curious and seek information throughout their lives. Since many produce Web sites themselves, I believe they are also absorbing the importance of appropriate language use for credibility -- so I'm hoping for better grammar, spelling, and verbal expressiveness, too. (What an optimist! :D )

Web sites and books and other sources of information that provide accurate information to as much depth as is wanted or needed, and provide context both upwards and downwards, should be valued most by these younger readers. This, given the way search engines work, should help with the evolution of the Web and information generally. :cool:

We're already seeing some unprecedented results: young prodigies producing visual art, for example. So the 'unintelligent generations' should be a temporary blip, historically speaking. It's fun to speculate on what 'color theory' will look like in another decade. Traditional palettes and fugitive pigments will be left behind rather quickly, I imagine.

P.S. Einion, that definition of 'academic' is very nearly as bad as I predicted! In my very first post-academic position, I warned the consulting company I represented that a company (where I had been placed myself) was about to get rid of that consulting company, and replacing us with consultants from another company. I was asked why I said that, and gave them a rather technical answer, based on a few skills gained in academia (in this case, 'organizational communication'). They ridiculed me as 'an academic,' of course. Within a week, what I had predicted came to pass. They never forgave me. :D Which hardly mattered, as I had already moved on to other, equally stupid consulting companies!

As to factoid, yes, I've seen the abominable journalism usages. (Journalism students used to be required to take an introductory course I used to teach. None of them, even immediately post-Watergate scandal, were very impressive. Sad, that.) Worse, at least over here, journalists now use 'sound-bite' approvingly!

The entire culture of journalism has very little to do with information or its reporting anymore. There are technological concerns (media effects, etc.), time pressures (when to release/report the story), size/length concerns (how long should this segment be), and fact-checker concerns (ostensibly about accuracy, actually more about litigation). This all leaves almost no room for traditional concerns.

Marc Sabatella
08-16-2005, 01:44 PM
It's not rocket science. For example, colors wheels are realistically explained at the Handprint site and should be understandable by anyone of average intelligence.


True, but the question isn't whether they are understandable if one puts in the time to read them, but how many artists would consider it worth their while to do so. You can feel they *should*, or complain that that they *don't*, but neither seem particularly constructive, compared to simply finding a way to present the material in a format that *would* be both useful and palatable.

In general, the attitude that any given artist *should* know all of this strikes me as unrealistic. There are all sorts of information we *could* learn and might benefit from knowing, but we manage to lead effective lives without. For instance, you obviously know how to use a computer to post to this forum, and presumably for other tasks you deem important. And yet, have you ever bothered to learn C or C++ programming, operating system design, or any of the various things that would help you better understand how the computer works? Well, maybe you have - I don't know your background. But presumably you can imagine something else I could use as an analogy. You know how to drive your car and do basic maintenance, but perhaps could not design your own internal combustion engine. You bake bread every once in a while, but might not be able to describe all the chemical reactions that take place in this process. We all reach a point where we we have enough information about a subject to accomplish what we want to accomplish, and don't realistically need more information, and have every right to expect to be able to spend our time in other pursuits.

Now, I would agree that most artists *could* benefit from more color theory. But they have every right to want to stop when they have "enough" information. The equivalent of knowing enough about your computer to email & post, keep track of inventory, and maybe do some web design or editing of images of your paintings, but short of learning Pentium assembly language programming. And I think a text that dealt with the subject of color theory at this level would be of enormous benefit to artists. As things stand now, I'd say Wilcox stops a bit short, but MacEvoy goes farther than most artists have any need to deal with. What's wrong with having something to address that middle ground?

FriendCarol
08-16-2005, 03:12 PM
Given a choice, there's no doubt at all I'd always prefer a source that has far more material than I think I need at the time. It's relatively easy to stop reading when one has enough; anyway, if the author is relatively organized and provides appropriate tools such as TOC/index (or it's a Web site, which facilitates a search), one can locate the information one wants and then get out.

One point I used to make about technical writing generally is that 'random access' to information is usually extremely important to your audience. No one, ever, wants to read a technical document cover to cover! An additional difficulty, for a site such as handprint which provides such a wealth of information, is the great diversity of the audience.

Documentation specialists try to anticipate the needs of the audience, and design documentation such that each type of audience will be reasonably well served. But a site such as handprint can expect absolute novices, experienced experts seeking technical information, and almost everything in between. There is fine introductory material, and guidance and encouragement for the beginner; there is also a wealth of technical material. There is, in addition, an attempt to synthesize some of the material (visible to some extent, imo, primarily in a struggle with 'color theory').

The site does a great job, and serves many painters very well. I rather enjoy autorial idiosyncracy in my Web sites, to be honest; prefer the subjective to the faux-objective POV. But that's me; I realize some others would prefer a much simpler and differently organized site. As private documents, personal Web sites certainly do tend to reveal their authors' preferences... so be it (or, 'amen!'). ;)

In this case, it wasn't that hard to find information specific to secondary and split primary palettes, right? Perhaps you didn't need to see a variety of palettes of painters who use each (with discussion of features enabled by the palette), but that is also available -- along with the (for some problematic) theoretical background of such palette 'designs.'

Richard Saylor
08-16-2005, 04:58 PM
.....You can feel they *should*, or complain that that they *don't*, but neither seem particularly constructive, compared to simply finding a way to present the material in a format that *would* be both useful and palatable.I realize that's probably an editorial "you," but the truth is that I don't give a rat's *** about whether an artist learns color theory. I do have concerns about widespread mental laziness, because that could potentially have widespread ramifications which are not very pleasant to contemplate.

In general, the attitude that any given artist *should* know all of this strikes me as unrealistic. There are all sorts of information we *could* learn and might benefit from knowing, but we manage to lead effective lives without.See my previous remarks. There is a difference between saying "A should do B" and "A should be able to do B."

And I think a text that dealt with the subject of color theory at this level would be of enormous benefit to artists. Maybe so, maybe not. Take that up with someone like Larry Seiler.

As things stand now, I'd say Wilcox stops a bit short, but MacEvoy goes farther than most artists have any need to deal with. What's wrong with having something to address that middle ground? I don't disagree with that at all. It's a great idea, in fact. However, it's still true that you can lead a horse to water, but.....

Now to get back on topic (or at least a little closer)..... Since you and I have a common interest in 4-color palettes (not counting additional convenience colors or black and white), are you still interested in finding a slightly warmer red than quinacridone rose? In acrylics I have a quinacridone red (PV19) which is practically perfect for a 4-color palette, but I haven't seen it in either watercolor or gouache. I may end up trying quin. red (PR209) in watercolor. Meanwhile, I'm experimenting with naphthol red (PR188) which has a dual warm-cool personality. Still, quin. rose is rather nice, being an almost exact visual complement of pthalo green BS. If I think about it enough, I always come around full circle and forget what I was trying to do originally. :confused:

FriendCarol
08-16-2005, 06:34 PM
Editorial note for non-regulars :evil: In acrylics I have a quinacridone red (PV19)Sleepless night? Distracted? It's okay, we're practically mind-readers by now, and knew you meant permanent rose (or brand-equivalent name) PV19!

Richard Saylor
08-16-2005, 06:53 PM
Editorial note for non-regulars :evil: Sleepless night? Distracted? It's okay, we're practically mind-readers by now, and knew you meant permanent rose (or brand-equivalent name) PV19!

GOLDEN ACRYLICS
Quinacridone Red
Rouge de quinacridone
Quinacridon Rot
Rojo quinacridone
Quinacridone / PV19
Lightfastness 1
Conforms to ASTM D 5098
GOLDEN #1310-2
Series 6
:p

FriendCarol
08-16-2005, 07:34 PM
Huh! Now, what does this mean? Is my PV19 (W/N perm. rose) also a 'quinacridone red?' How can quinacridone red be PR209 and PV19? Very puzzling. :)

Later you say "Still, quin. rose is rather nice, being an almost exact visual complement of pthalo green BS." My perm. rose is almost complement of PG7 (just add a bit of Hansa or Transparent Yellow, which might be PY97 but I'm not certain off-hand). So when you said 'perm rose' you were referring to... ? (Quinacridone red PV19??) :o

I heard of PV19 coming in a violet as well as the rose, but not a redder version. Is this peculiar to acrylics? Peculiar to Golden?

Richard Saylor
08-16-2005, 08:44 PM
There's quinacridone (permanent) rose PV19 and there's quinacridone red PV19. Red is redder than rose; rose is rosier than red. :D

Quinacridone rose PV19 is opposite pthalo green BS PG7 on the Handprint Artist's Color Wheel. Quinacridone red PV19 ain't on the wheel, but I think it would be about where "quinacridone carmine" is. Quinacridone red PV19 is, in fact, a carmine. Very lovely color too, I might add.

FriendCarol
08-16-2005, 09:40 PM
Well, when I said quinacridone red, left mixed with Winsor green BS (PG7), precipitates into something like resin, I was speaking of 'my' quinacridone red, identified on the label as PR109. But now
I'm very curious as to why the PV19 (apparently called 'quinacridone red' sometimes) doesn't also produce this precipitate. And it definitely does not: I leave my latest 'dark' in a mixing dish all the time; about half the time, it's made from perm. rose (PV19) with Winsor green BS and a little PY97 (assuming that's correct for Trans. yellow, or Hansa). None of this resin-like stuff ever precipitates from that mixture.

Looks like we need a chemist to join our merry band of color adverturers! :p

Patrick1
08-17-2005, 12:34 AM
Since you and I have a common interest in 4-color palettes (not counting additional convenience colors or black and white), are you still interested in finding a slightly warmer red than quinacridone rose?...I may end up trying quin. red (PR209) in watercolor.I tried PR209 in acrylics a few years ago and I liked it; mixes clean oranges and very decent purples for a red...if you don't mind the transparency. It's similar to Quin. Rose, only less magenta-ish (see picture below). Though if you already have and like Quin. Rose, it's questionable whether or not it's different enough to justify buying it. There's also PR207 which AFAIK is similar, but a bit 'warmer' still.

Richard Saylor
08-17-2005, 01:57 AM
Thanks, Patrick.

FriendCarol
08-17-2005, 07:29 PM
Waiting for the chemist, or someone just like him.

Shades of Firesign Theatre. :evil:

sfumato1002
08-18-2005, 04:51 AM
After stating that I like the four color palette best, that is red, yellow, blue and green, I just read something in handprint website stating that the CMY palette is the best for getting more variety in color and getting wider gamut. Just wanted to know what anyone else thinks about the CMY triad palette. Now I'm confused on which one is best. :confused:

Richard Saylor
08-18-2005, 06:06 AM
After stating that I like the four color palette best, that is red, yellow, blue and green, I just read something in handprint website stating that the CMY palette is the best for getting more variety in color and getting wider gamut. Just wanted to know what anyone else thinks about the CMY triad palette. Now I'm confused on which one is best. :confused:I've used CMY extensively and still do, but I seriously doubt that it has a wider gamut than a four color RYGB palette. The main reason I like RYGB is that it allows me to use my favorite blue, ultramarine. It is impossible to duplicate ultramarine with a CMY palette.

Of course, CMY and RYGB can be combined into the six color CMYRGB palette, which is almost perfect. However, I prefer the elegance and simplicity of using only three or four colors.

sfumato1002
08-18-2005, 07:22 AM
I've used CMY extensively and still do, but I seriously doubt that it has a wider gamut than a four color RYGB palette. The main reason I like RYGB is that it allows me to use my favorite blue, ultramarine. It is impossible to duplicate ultramarine with a CMY palette.

Of course, CMY and RYGB can be combined into the six color CMYRGB palette, which is almost perfect. However, I prefer the elegance and simplicity of using only three or four colors.

Thanks richard, that was helpful. I also like ultramarine blue a lot. :)

BTW, the CMYRGB sounds very interesting. what do you think of using CMY base colors for simplicity, mixing all my earth colors, and all other colors I can with just CMY, and then, if necessary, using ultramarine blue, or pg36 or maybe an orange or red just when necessary to brighten colors if I needed in those hues. Just a thought.

Richard Saylor
08-18-2005, 07:35 AM
BTW, the CMYRGB sounds very interesting. what do you think of using CMY base colors for simplicity, mixing all my earth colors, and all other colors I can with just CMY, and then, if necessary, using ultramarine blue, or pg36 or maybe an orange or red just when necessary to brighten colors if I needed in those hues. Just a thought. Yes, that's what I would do.

Patrick1
08-18-2005, 08:04 AM
what do you think of using CMY base colors for simplicity, mixing all my earth colors, and all other colors I can with just CMY... Mixing earth colors from CMY is more difficult than from RGB...the biggest reason being the very high tinting strength of phthalo blues/cyan.

IMO, the opposite is a better idea: using a RYB palette for the majority of a painting, and then using red/orange, green, and cyan only if/when necessary for the few really high chroma areas.

sfumato1002
08-18-2005, 11:38 AM
Mixing earth colors from CMY is more difficult than from RGB...the biggest reason being the very high tinting strength of phthalo blues/cyan.

That makes sense patrick. I was just stating the CMY palette because it seems you would probably rarely need to add any more colors to your palette. I have never tried a CMY palette, it sound interesting, but you are right, the CMY palette will be more difficult to control do to the tinting strenght of phthalo blue. Plus like richard said, the richness of ultramarine blue cannot be duplicated with cyan and magenta.


IMO, the opposite is a better idea: using a RYB palette for the majority of a painting, and then using red/orange, green, and cyan only if/when necessary for the few really high chroma areas.

That's what I've been doing lately and it works great. I was just curious about the CMY palette.

Patrick1
08-18-2005, 02:01 PM
I made an ooops in my last post: I meant to say that you can supplement a RYB palette with magenta, green and cyan.

I was just stating the CMY palette because it seems you would probably rarely need to add any more colors to your palette.CMY might give you enough chroma for all your needs, it might not; It depends on your painting style or the particular painting.

The advantage of CMY is that when applied thinly (like in printing or watercolors) it can give the largest gamut (range of colors) of any three-pigment palette. But some mixed colors (oranges blues and greens) will still be somewhat dull; for example...CMY can't mix a green as clean as phthalo green or a blue as clean as ultramarine blue, as Richard said. That's where you might need to add other pigments if need be.

But when choosing pigments, color harmony, ease of use, mixing combinations & complements, opacity/transparency, value range, lightfastness... might be a higher priority than chroma/gamut.

LarrySeiler
08-18-2005, 02:44 PM
I've used CMY extensively and still do, but I seriously doubt that it has a wider gamut than a four color RYGB palette. The main reason I like RYGB is that it allows me to use my favorite blue, ultramarine. It is impossible to duplicate ultramarine with a CMY palette.



I have somewhat evolved my limited palette for plein air painting to include viridian or phthalo green....so in essence it is a RYGB palette.

It adds to variations in foliage, and in providing more variation and contrast in my shading and indirect light.

Ultramarine blue...a bit of naples Yellow and white...a touch of viridian, and its the nicest warmest sky color. Don't miss phthalo blue anymore since phthalo blue was used mostly for skies and foliage variation. I agree, I'd be lost without ultramarine...

Larry

Marc Sabatella
08-19-2005, 04:06 PM
Given a choice, there's no doubt at all I'd always prefer a source that has far more material than I think I need at the time.


Me too. but I know I don't speak for everyone when I say that. What I have been trying to describe is something I think most people would prefer, and I also don't think they should be lambasted for preferring it.


In this case, it wasn't that hard to find information specific to secondary and split primary palettes, right?


I don't know; I didn't go in there looking to answer those questions. I wen looking for something else and ended up spending hours over the course of a couple of weeks following the various the avenues presented to me. And I loved every minute of it. But realistically, I think someone could have written something up that explained what I actually wanted to know in a more straightforward manner if they weren't trying to be all things to all people. The problem with that approach is that it appeals mainly to people to see value in being all things to all people, and that isn't all people. Many people would rather see something that has already been digested for them. And I am not going to call this "laziness", since we *all* do this regarding some subjects. The ones we are really curious about, we investigate. The we aren't, we learn only as much as we need. I simply do not see this as a bad thing.

Marc Sabatella
08-19-2005, 04:33 PM
I realize that's probably an editorial "you," but the truth is that I don't give a rat's *** about whether an artist learns color theory.


You're right; I meant that more generally. Good to know where you stand, though :-)


Now to get back on topic (or at least a little closer)..... Since you and I have a common interest in 4-color palettes (not counting additional convenience colors or black and white), are you still interested in finding a slightly warmer red than quinacridone rose?


Yes, although I'm not really actively looking. For one thing, I've mostly made piece with the quinacridone rose, knowing if I need better oranges, premixing with a palette knife is my equivalent of turning the amp up to 11. Also, now that I've started using a transparent red oxide in addition to my basic RYBG, I'm finding I actually use it in place of the quinacridone rose quite a bit, meaning more of my red mixtures are tending to be duller by default than what I was doing previously, because the oxide makes it easier to get a beautiful dull color. Thus, an orange mixed from the quinacridone rose and yellow only is more likely to stand out in contrast without any additional boost in intensity.

But yeah, a warmer basic red is still interesting to me, if I don't have to sacrifice transparency, permanence, or - and this is the kicker - value. Maybe now with the oxide I'll be less concerned with this, but I really like having my basic pigments as dark as possible to give me plenty of leeway in mixing near-blacks. The PR209 quinacridone reds I've seen are noticeably lighter, so I've shied away. I've heard of, but not seen or played with, PV19's labelled quinacridone red. Naphthol is what I had been using until I decided that the sacrifice I was making in violets concerned me more than the sacrifice quinacridone rose induces in oranges. Not that they are objectively worse, but I often want a very bright violet, and seldom want a very bright orange. Plus, I noticed the naphthol I was using was rated only "II" in lightfastness, and was noticeably less transparent than the quinacridone rose.

And I have to confess a preference for paint I can get locally and for paints from MGraham (walnut oil as opposed to linseed oil), even though I know they can be intermixed. I am actually using Utrecht transparent red oxide rather than MGraham simply because the MGraham oxide is part of their "extended" series not available locally. Same with their PR209 quinacridone rose.

Bottom line, if I was more dissatisfied with what I've doing now, I'd probably still be experimenting, but for now at least, I'm happy to have something that works for me 99% of the time.

FriendCarol
08-19-2005, 07:42 PM
The new Dick Blick catalogue came in today's mail, so I looked through it during one of my rest sessions. In W/N gouache, I see viridian and ultramarine, but where are the others I would want for a 4-hue palette?

They list a 'primary yellow,' is that Hansa? There's a spectrum yellow, too, but that looks a little darker (at least on the catalogue page). There's a 'primary red,' but nothing labeled 'quinacridone red' or 'permanent rose' (there are some 'rose' colors, though).

Also, these are labeled "designers' gouache," which I assume means for illustrators, not other artists. (May not be lightfast.) In fact, the Holbein sets are labeled "Artists's Gouache Sets" and "Designers' Gouache Sets," recognizing the difference. Of the designers' set, it says "selecting... at equal intervals in the Munsell color system." Of the artists' set it specifies landscapes & still life w/c artists, and lightfast.

Richard, do I correctly recall you mentioned you use mostly da Vinci for gouache? Just wondering; not planning to get any gouache for at least another couple months. :D

Richard Saylor
08-20-2005, 12:54 AM
They list a 'primary yellow,' is that Hansa? There's a spectrum yellow, too, but that looks a little darker (at least on the catalogue page). There's a 'primary red,' but nothing labeled 'quinacridone red' or 'permanent rose' (there are some 'rose' colors, though). Primary yellow is a mixture of arylamides PY1 and PY3. (Hansa yellow light is PY3, I think.) Spectrum yellow is arylamide PY1. Primary red is rhodamine/alumina lake and something else. It's super bright, moderately cool, and very fugitive. W/N doesn't have any bright, lightfast reds in gouache. They recommend using their watercolors for that.

Also, these are labeled "designers' gouache," which I assume means for illustrators, not other artists. They're for artists too, but anyone concerned with permanence must consult the composition and permanence tables.

Richard, do I correctly recall you mentioned you use mostly da Vinci for gouache? Just wondering; not planning to get any gouache for at least another couple months. :D Yes, Da Vinci.

Richard Saylor
08-20-2005, 01:41 AM
You're right; I meant that more generally. Good to know where you stand, though :-) Actually I do care about artists learning color theory if they really want to learn. However, there's a certain type of temperamental artist who gets belligerent if you don't tell them what they want to hear. Fortunately they are in the minority; unfortunately it's a rather vocal minority. I was thinking of them when I made reference to a certain rodent's posterior. :)

Bottom line, if I was more dissatisfied with what I've doing now, I'd probably still be experimenting, but for now at least, I'm happy to have something that works for me 99% of the time. That's good. I'm about 98% satisfied. I may add a few earth colors to the basic RYGB palette. I think it's fairly safe to do that without compromising color harmony. It's a pain to mix something like burnt sienna, for example, when "real" burnt sienna would do just fine. Of course, I'm talking about painting in the studio. For plein air I would want to keep it about as simple as possible.

Richard Saylor
08-20-2005, 02:01 AM
.....Ultramarine blue...a bit of naples Yellow and white...a touch of viridian, and its the nicest warmest sky color. Don't miss phthalo blue anymore since phthalo blue was used mostly for skies and foliage variation. I agree, I'd be lost without ultramarine...

Larry Just about anything which pthalo blue is good for can be mixed from ultramarine blue and the other colors. Moreover, when a strong ultramarine blue is needed, only real ultramarine blue will do. When I'm using an RYGB palette, I don't miss pthalo blue either.

LarrySeiler
08-22-2005, 11:49 AM
only real ultramarine blue will do.

I found that true when Jamie turned me on to Utrecht's French Ultramarine blue.

When blue is your darkest dark with a limited palette...you certainly need that dark to be rich and full. The Utrecht one fit the bill for me...curious, you may have already said Richard, which one are you using?

Larry

jdadson
08-22-2005, 01:12 PM
Who makes "unreal" ultramarine blue?

FriendCarol
08-22-2005, 01:28 PM
Those who adjust phthalo blue with extenders, most likely. ;) Ultramarine blue 'hue': Don't know why anyone would bother, since the 'real' stuff is already cheap, long enough shelf life, not hard to store, not a toxic manufacturing process, etc., afaik.

Einion
08-22-2005, 01:34 PM
Who makes "unreal" ultramarine blue?I believe Richard is making a distinction between the colour 'ultramarine' and the paint.

Einion

Richard Saylor
08-22-2005, 02:01 PM
Who makes "unreal" ultramarine blue?By "real" I mean paint using the pigment PB29 rather than an ultramarine hue mixed from, say, pthalo blue rs and quinacridone magenta. I.e., what Einion said.

Richard Saylor
08-22-2005, 02:06 PM
Those who adjust phthalo blue with extenders, most likely. ;) Ultramarine blue 'hue': Don't know why anyone would bother, since the 'real' stuff is already cheap, long enough shelf life, not hard to store, not a toxic manufacturing process, etc., afaik.I was thinking about those who limit their palette to the CMY primaries.

Richard Saylor
08-22-2005, 02:14 PM
I found that true when Jamie turned me on to Utrecht's French Ultramarine blue.

When blue is your darkest dark with a limited palette...you certainly need that dark to be rich and full. The Utrecht one fit the bill for me...curious, you may have already said Richard, which one are you using?

LarryI haven't tried Utrecht. In acrylic the best one I've found so far is Golden. Gouache is so opaque that it's probably not as critical. Da Vinci seems to work okay.

Richard

sfumato1002
08-24-2005, 11:47 AM
Mixing earth colors from CMY is more difficult than from RGB...the biggest reason being the very high tinting strength of phthalo blues/cyan.

What can I say, you were right. I had to try painting with just CMY before posting what I thought. Like you said, the phthalo blue makes it very difficult to control mixtures and colors seem too inky.


IMO, the opposite is a better idea: using a RYB palette for the majority of a painting, and then using red/orange, green, and cyan only if/when necessary for the few really high chroma areas.

Yes, you were correct! that's a better formula by far. Now I'm happy painting again. :) After trying CMY I appreciate RYB even more.

Patrick1
08-25-2005, 02:11 AM
... the phthalo blue makes it very difficult to control mixtures and colors seem too inky.In addition to its tinting strength, with phthalo blue you can often get an unwanted greenish-looking hue to earth tone mixes (like raw umber)...ultramarine blue is a lot friendlier for earths.

Though if I really need to mix dark, 'rich' earth colors (like the color of brown madder or quinacridone burnt orange PR206)...a phthalo blue and a quinacridone might be needed for their transparency and darkness.

After trying CMY I appreciate RYB even more.If you can get nice earth tones and color harmony with CMY, RYB should be a piece of cake :).

Richard Saylor
08-25-2005, 03:31 AM
If you can get nice earth tones and color harmony with CMY, RYB should be a piece of cake :).That's true. It's mostly what you get used to. Obviously pthalo blue must be used very discreetly. It looks like blue, but it reflects roughly half green and half blue and can definitely cause green to appear where you don't want it. I love everything about CMY except the C (pthalo blue).

Pthalo blue looks like blue.

Once my son and I were out taking a long walk, and he wanted to take a shortcut through what looked to me like a freshly plowed, very muddy field. He said, derisively, "Oh, I know that looks like mud....." So we started through the field. Of course, it was mud and made horrendous a mess of our shoes.

FriendCarol
08-25-2005, 10:30 AM
LOL! What did he think it was??? (Did he take the new pic in the avatar? Nice new avatar! :) )

Okay, I just found an old da Vinci brochure in my taboret (I think someone sent it with 3 sample tubes of w/c attached). If I decide to set up a 4-color gouache palette (which I would feel free to supplement with my many tubes of 'transparent watercolors'), here's what I'm thinking:
Utrecht Ultramarine. W/N Viridian & Quinacridone red. (I see even the da Vinci 'Red Rose,' 477, is listed with 'very good' lightfastness.)
And the da Vinci yellow would be... ?

There are three yellow pigments listed with 'very good' lightfastness: Yellow deep (492) yellow medium (493), and yellow light (Hansa, 494); only yellow ochre (496) is listed as 'excellent' lightfastness. The da Vinci white & black are also listed as lightfast, so I'd probably get those, too.

Einion
08-25-2005, 04:37 PM
If you can get nice earth tones and color harmony with CMY, RYB should be a piece of cake :).Too right! :)

Einion

Einion
08-25-2005, 04:41 PM
I love everything about CMY except the C (pthalo blue).

Pthalo blue looks like blue.This was one of my original gripes from a practical standpoint too - the huge hue difference between the masstone and undercolour/tint of Phthalo Blue GS.

Einion

Patrick1
08-25-2005, 06:04 PM
This was one of my original gripes from a practical standpoint too - the huge hue difference between the masstone and undercolour/tint of Phthalo Blue GS.And with Quinacridone Magenta too...if you use CMY mainly for its large gamut (for a three-color palette), you must paint thinly enough to get high chroma. (Try getting a clean orange color from a thick impasto mix of Quin. Magenta + a transparent hansa yellow...ouch).

Richard Saylor
08-25-2005, 09:28 PM
LOL! What did he think it was??? (Did he take the new pic in the avatar? Nice new avatar! :) ) Either he was playing a practical joke or else he really thought it was just typical NC red clay. He isn't an NC native and hadn't been living here very long at the time.

I took the avatar picture. The camera had a self-timer.

For lightfastness I would go by Handprint's pigment ratings rather than the manufacturer's. Da Vinci Red Rose is PV19 and looks like a typical quinacridone/permanent rose. Yellow Medium is PY73 and is a little warmer and deeper than Yellow Light PY 3, which is lemon.

Einion
08-25-2005, 10:58 PM
And with Quinacridone Magenta too...if you use CMY mainly for its large gamut (for a three-color palette), you must paint thinly enough to get high chroma. (Try getting a clean orange color from a thick impasto mix of Quin. Magenta + a transparent hansa yellow...ouch).Doesn't that depend on whose posts you believe? ;)

For those new to the issue I'm kidding, Patrick is completely right here - to get the best results from a CMY palette (or as close as painters can easily get, i.e. not very) you have to paint thinly on a very white ground, just like in process printing.

Einion

Patrick1
08-26-2005, 06:00 PM
Here the bottom mix shows what kind of oranges you get from a thick mixture of Quinacridone Magenta + a transparent middle yellow (no pigment listed). The orange you get looks like some burnt sienna was mixed in. But you must remember, though, that...the true subtractive primaries are still X, Y, and Z. :wink2:

Richard Saylor
08-26-2005, 09:10 PM
Here the bottom mix shows what kind of oranges you get from a thick mixture of Quinacridone Magenta + a transparent middle yellow (no pigment listed). The orange you get looks like some burnt sienna was mixed in. But you must remember, though, that...the true subtractive primaries are still X, Y, and Z. :wink2:It's the kind of orange that can be described either as "mud" or "old gold" depending on whether you are a pessimist or an optimist. My wife saw that color on one of my CMY doodles and decided she wanted to paint our kitchen a tint of that color.

The orange problem is why quinacridone rose PV19 may be a more popular "magenta" than quinacridone magenta PR122, but even rose works better for violet than it does for orange. The true weak point in using CMY for painting is M, not C. Pthalo blue gs or bs (as yucky as it is) makes fairly good violets as well as greens, but all candidates for M fail to make really nice oranges.

It's sort of depressing to have a vivid rose and yellow glistening cheerfully on the palette, and then you mix them together, and it's as though someone turned out the lights.

FriendCarol
08-26-2005, 10:43 PM
Robman just posted an amazing reply in a Debates post (about whether the secret to the 'glow' of 'Old Masters' paintings had been discovered -- glass :rolleyes: ). Of course I don't use oils, or even acrylics, but his description of the glow that can be achieved (apparently, in part, by using lead white under the pigment) tempted me almost to consider it. :D
http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3821057&postcount=2

See what you think. Of course, I have no idea if old masters used a secondary palette, so perhaps we need a new thread again. (It must be fun to split a thread?) Since Einion already mentioned the white ground and very thin layers, I just thought this might be something you folks would like to read.

Einion
08-27-2005, 10:09 AM
It's the kind of orange that can be described either as "mud" or "old gold" depending on whether you are a pessimist or an optimist. LOL

The orange problem is why quinacridone rose PV19 may be a more popular "magenta" than quinacridone magenta PR122...For good reason too - saturated oranges being much more common in nature than saturated violets.

...but even rose works better for violet than it does for orange. Yes indeed it does; this is one of the points I have tried many times to get through to a couple of other members. The basic rule that the distance from the goal of the starting points determines the success of the outcome, which is actually fairly well represented in Blue And Yellow Don't Make Green.

...all candidates for M fail to make really nice oranges.The reds are nothing to shout about either, as anyone who has worked in printing can tell you. But let's not be too harsh here, context in painting is everything and in context CMY mixes can work perfectly fine; as I've said before, it's not like most people ever look at magazine covers and think to themselves, "My goodness, isn't that red awfully dull?"


Carol, don't be mislead by that thread. Without more detail I don't want to be too damning but some pigments were made of glass, or natural glass-like minerals, so it's not surprising you'd see some in an old painting under microscopic examination! And I can absolutely guarantee to you that if one put two master works side by side - one where you've found glass and one where you haven't - and you wouldn't be able to tell which was which.

As for Robman, I'm sure he's very happy painting the way he is but he's very misinformed about a number of the issues.

...the glow that can be achieved (apparently, in part, by using lead white under the pigment)A lead-white ground has nothing to do with it directly, it's the fact that the ground is white. This is exactly the same principle as the white of the paper showing through washes of watercolour.

Of course, I have no idea if old masters used a secondary palette...Not really no. Although some were essentially based on split primaries (painters in the past being nothing if not practical) most palettes prior to the 19th century were not in the least even in how they distributed colour - a palette doesn't need to be, plus they were often limited by available pigments anyway - and some heavily representing the warm side of the colour wheel. The range of pigments used by 'old masters' also varied quite a bit with the era, geography and their pocket.

It must be fun to split a thread?Oh, it's such fun :wink2:

Einion

FriendCarol
08-27-2005, 11:20 AM
Just read your response to the post. :) I did find it curious that my previous rough understanding of scumbling (we don't do that much scumbling with w/c :D ) and glazing were incorrect for oil painting. Thought I was learning something new!

I've heard the Victorians used to glaze their paper with Chinese white before painting with w/c. That wouldn't work for wet-in-wet techniques (which I use sometimes), but maybe I'll try it under particular focal point areas, for dry-brush (or slightly wet-on-dry) local colors, when I want a just a bit of bright color. (A couple weeks ago I tried to paint a ladyslipper, but produced lovely harmonious browns and greens and violet instead... The flower was barely noticeable, which was not the effect I wanted!) If nothing else, it might smooth out the paper a bit, making it less absorbent of the colored pigment.

Einion
08-27-2005, 12:33 PM
Why not try hot-pressed paper instead? Seems like a simpler alternative.

There are many coated papers made commercially too (papers intended for process printing often have a clay/pigment coating to improve smoothness and whiteness) but I don't know if any are made that are suitable for artistic applications.

Einion

Richard Saylor
08-27-2005, 12:47 PM
The reds are nothing to shout about either, as anyone who has worked in printing can tell you.True. My naphthol red PR188 (which is scarlet in masstone) is good neither for orange nor for violet. I think pyrrole may be better for orange, but I haven't tried it. (Or maybe you meant that magenta + yellow doesn't make good reds. That's true too.)

All roads seem to veer toward the split-primary (or at least the secondary) palette. :( However, I don't think I'll ever be convinced that I need two yellows.

Marc Sabatella
08-27-2005, 01:32 PM
For good reason too - saturated oranges being much more common in nature than saturated violets.


You think so? I see it the other way around. It might depend on the part of the country you live in. In Colorado, we have a ton of dull oranges in the terrain, and also a ton of intense violet wildflowers. But relatively few orange trees :-). Some roses and other garden flowers can take on an orange hue, but they are usually rather washed out compared to the violets I see in the landscape.

Also, independently of how things actually *are*, there is the matter of the type of vision we are trying to present. For whatever reason, when I am pushing color one way or another for aesthetic reasons, I am much more likely to want go more intense with the violets I see shadows than I am ever inclined to want to go with my oranges. But that's just me, of course.

Anyhow, I'd say in general I'm more concerned with getting intense violets than intense oranges. But as Richard says, even rose PV19 gives me all the intensity in violets I really want, and I do appreciate the fact that if I mix carefully enough with a clean knife, I *can* get as intense an orange as I want 99% of the time.

Marc Sabatella
08-27-2005, 01:52 PM
All roads seem to veer toward the split-primary (or at least the secondary) palette. :( However, I don't think I'll ever be convinced that I need two yellows.

FWIW, that realization was the first step on my road *away* from the split primary palette. Next was was trimming from two blues to one, but that decision came pretty quickly as well - for color harmony reasons, I found I disliked having both in my painting, and given how much I liked ultramarine and hated phthalo, that choice was a no-brainer. Once I added the green, I never looked back. Giving up the two reds took quite a bit longer to accpet, though.

sfumato1002
08-27-2005, 02:12 PM
and given how much I liked ultramarine and hated phthalo, that choice was a no-brainer. Once I added the green, I never looked back.

It's probably weird, but I look at the pthalo cyan as a green more than a blue. pthalo cyan makes beautiful greens mix with yellow. So the green in my RYBG palette is either a pthalo cyan or pthalo green, it depends how intense my green needs to be. so my palette consists of

Ultramarine blue
yellow
red

and

pthalo blue, pg 7 or pg36, depends how much intense my greens need to be.

Do you think It's okay to look at pthalo blue in this way?

jdadson
08-27-2005, 08:10 PM
It's probably weird, but I look at the pthalo cyan as a green more than a blue.

Among artists, weird is generally okay.

How about these for the "big four"? -- cad yellow light, cad red, ultramarine blue, and (drum roll....) veridian. Those space out around the old color wheel pretty good. I've got several phthalo blues and greens, but we don't get along very well. They are a lot stronger than anything else I use, and they stain something ferocious. I don't like blue brushes.

Patrick1
08-27-2005, 09:25 PM
How about these for the "big four"? -- cad yellow light, cad red, ultramarine blue, and (drum roll....) veridian.That'll mix around the color wheel cleanly except dull purples and to a lesser extent, green-blues. (might be a good thing).

FriendCarol
08-27-2005, 09:33 PM
Thanks, Einion. My plan is to switch to HP, somehow. My current abstract project uses my first sheet of 300# Arches HP. But this only comes in sheets (okay for now, but I really want to use rolls -- much more economical).

The 156# HP rolls would be too lightweight for me: Every painting session at my painting table or easel is limited to 45 minutes, and the lighter paper doesn't stay wet long enough once I've wet it, and it's not worth rewetting it in the time remaining. I'm trying to figure out a new way of working, maybe keeping a wet 'towel' (but some very flat, very absorbent material) under the paper, and using clips instead of tape. But then again, with paper this light, it also needs to be stretched. :rolleyes: It's really too bad I don't like working on Yupo. (That does come in rolls.)

Btw, your new avatar looks like the actor who plays (played?) in Alias, a tv show in the U.S. -- Jennifer Garner, if I recall the name correctly. Did you paint that? Your banner (sig) looks great, btw!

Jive, as to the phthalos: My fondness for Winsor green BS and Winsor blue RS is, in part, because they're so powerful. Lots of color (or value), really cheap! :D Viridian is nice, and on my complete w/c palette because it's non-staining (a good option to have in w/c), but it's also expen$ive. So are those cadmiums, though both are on my complete palette, too (I've only used them in about 2-3 paintings this past year).

One can learn to use those fierce phthalos. For several months, my palette well for Winsor blue held a little puddle of blue water, while everything else was tube pigment (not diluted)! I suppose the equivalent in acrylics would be a little mixed in white. But now I'm used to how strong it is, and it's on my palette at full strength. It's also true that Winsor green (in particular) takes about 3 times longer to rinse from a brush, but I've adapted to that, too.

If I were allowed only 4 colors, I'd have to go with Winsor blue RS [PB 15, I think, maybe 15:3], Winsor green BS [PG 7], Transparent (Hansa) yellow [PY 97], and Permanent rose (PV 19). If I were allowed a 5th, it would be burnt sienna (a synthetic iron oxide, in the W/N brand).

Anyway, I'm about to try to move from limited (working) palette to using many more colors in some paintings. Most of the abstract works that I like best use many more pigments. (I've learned a well placed black -- a mix in my case :D -- harmonizes anything.)

Einion
08-27-2005, 11:47 PM
Or maybe you meant that magenta + yellow doesn't make good reds. Yep.

However, I don't think I'll ever be convinced that I need two yellows.If you're deliberately striving for a limited palette for whatever reason a single high-chroma yellow is sufficient from what I've seen.


You think so? Nope, I know so :D

...independently of how things actually *are*, there is the matter of the type of vision we are trying to present.Good point, always worth bearing in mind.


It's probably weird, but I look at the pthalo cyan as a green more than a blue.
...
Do you think It's okay to look at pthalo blue in this way?
It is a bit weird if you're speaking of PB15:3 :) but if you value it more for mixing greens it sort of makes sense. And it does indeed mix much more chromatic greens than violets.


How about these for the "big four"? -- cad yellow light, cad red, ultramarine blue, and (drum roll....) veridian. Well presuming this choice of paints has the specific aim of restricting chroma this is a decent palette.

Those space out around the old color wheel pretty good.The spacing is actually quite irregular if you check but that's not that great a handicap if a limited gamut is intended in the first place.


The 156# HP rolls would be too lightweight for me...Not heavy enough in that it doesn't hold enough water? Could you stretch it over a second sheet of the same paper that would act as a reservoir?

Btw, your new avatar looks like the actor who plays (played?) in Alias, a tv show in the U.S. -- Jennifer Garner, if I recall the name correctly. Did you paint that? Your banner (sig) looks great, btw!The new avatar is Jennifer Garner yes, I thought Gillian Anderson was long overdue a break, her poor neck must be killing her. The last sig was shortlived, I wanted something with better brushwork.

Einion

Richard Saylor
08-28-2005, 01:59 AM
It's probably weird, but I look at the pthalo cyan as a green more than a blue.It probably makes the most sense just to call it cyan, like what's his name :confused: the real color wheel guy in Hawaii does. (It's late.)

How about these for the "big four"? -- cad yellow light, cad red, ultramarine blue, and (drum roll....) veridian.Cadmium red + ultramarine blue doesn't make decent purples, but it makes interesting purplish browns similar to caput mortuum.

Richard

sfumato1002
08-28-2005, 06:55 AM
How about these for the "big four"? -- cad yellow light, cad red, ultramarine blue,

I think that is very good to mix all the base colors, but I think I would need to add secondary colors for higher chroma as needed such as pthalos, cad yellows or oranges and magentas. But I only use these secondaries sparingly here and there.


and (drum roll....) veridian


I don't have much experience with veridian, but I'm really into pthalos but I'll give veridian a try.

sfumato1002
08-28-2005, 07:02 AM
It probably makes the most sense just to call it cyan

Yes I know. You are right, what I meant to say is that I prefer to mix all my greens just using cyan and yellow, I can create a wide variety of high chroma green hues from blue green to yellow green with just these two pigments, I just add some red to dull it down if I have to. Of course a pg36 will create even higher chroma greens but I rarely have to make my greens that intense so I always find myself using cyan as my main green.

sfumato1002
08-28-2005, 07:10 AM
It is a bit weird if you're speaking of PB15:3 :) but if you value it more for mixing greens it sort of makes sense. And it does indeed mix much more chromatic greens than violets.

Exactly, thats what I meant. I value pb15:3 for the greens it makes. :)

FriendCarol
08-28-2005, 02:07 PM
Of course a pg36 will create even higher chroma greens but I rarely have to make my greens that intense so I always find myself using cyan as my main green.Sometimes a verbal label as well as the sequential pigment ID can actually reduce confusion. :D (Suspect you meant PG 7.)

Einion
08-28-2005, 08:16 PM
Suspect you meant PG 7.Why? Despite the fact that I prefer the blue shade, PG36 is slightly higher in chroma than PG7 if I remember correctly.*

*Likely on general principles, given chroma will increase as the hue nears yellow.

Einion

Richard Saylor
08-28-2005, 09:59 PM
I think Handprint recommends pthalo green ys for the secondary palette, probably because it is more nearly centered between cyan and yellow than pthalo green bs.

Richard

FriendCarol
08-28-2005, 11:03 PM
Of course a pg36 will create even higher chroma greens but I rarely have to make my greens that intense so I always find myself using cyan as my main green.Me: PG7...Why?Now I am confused as to what MB is referring to as 'cyan.' From the first quotation, I assumed sfumato meant that he used one phthalo green as cyan and the other to mix higher chroma greens. :D

Now I'm guessing he uses one phthalo BLUE (as cyan) to make greens (!), but the other phthalo GREEN to make more intense greens? Don't mind me; I'll just reread the last few posts. (Richard's post seems to confirm the latter hypothesis...) :wave:

For cyan, I do use a light tint (undertone, not masstone) of phthalo green (BS), adding a tiny bit of phthalo blue (RS). This probably works differently in acrylics, though, since adding white (to get the undertone) will make it bluer, anyway. Right?

Einion
08-29-2005, 08:56 AM
Me: PG7...Now I am confused as to what MB is referring to as 'cyan.' PB15:3, he stated so above.

For cyan, I do use a light tint (undertone, not masstone) of phthalo green (BS), adding a tiny bit of phthalo blue (RS). This probably works differently in acrylics, though, since adding white (to get the undertone) will make it bluer, anyway. Right?Phthalos are very good tinters (i.e. they make high-chroma tints) the effect of adding white is much the same as exposing the undercolour by using the paint thinly.

PG7 makes a decent working cyan even with Ultramarine incidentally (good enough for most practical uses of the colour like low skies and water) but a mix of Phthalo Blue GS and it would be closer to ideal if anyone wants that.

Einion

Marc Sabatella
08-29-2005, 03:05 PM
It's probably weird, but I look at the pthalo cyan as a green more than a blue. pthalo cyan makes beautiful greens mix with yellow.


And this "phthalo cyan" of which you speak is PB15:3? Don't know that I've ever encountered it in an artist quality paint, so I can't say if that's a weird way of looking at it. But the more usual phthalo blue, which is what I had been referring to in the post to which you responded, definitely doesn't strike me as a green more than blue.

Marc Sabatella
08-29-2005, 03:09 PM
[ in reference to the claim that nature provides more intense oranges than violets ]
Nope, I know so :D


I'm not saying you are wrong; I've seen no data on this. Seems it must exist, though. Same sort of studies used to figure out that the average scene reflects 18% of light, or more recent ones that suggest it's really somewhat less than that?

Marc Sabatella
08-29-2005, 03:23 PM
How about these for the "big four"? -- cad yellow light, cad red, ultramarine blue, and (drum roll....) veridian. Those space out around the old color wheel pretty good.


Maybe the "old" (as in, the one we learn in grade school), but even so, I'm not so sure - viridian would seem closer to ultramarne or cad yellow than cad red is to either of those. On the more scientifically calibrated wheels, it comes closer, but cad red is still rather closer to cad yellow than to ultramarine. And besides that, it seems to result in lower chroma mixes in many situations than other pigments of close to the same hue. Ditto with the cad yellow light. If you wanted higher chroma mixes from a four color palette, I'd replace the cad yellow light with really just about any non-cadmium anything else of about the same hue, and replace the cad red with something less overtly orange (and also non-cadmium).

As for viridian, that's a pretty close match in appearance to phthalo green, and even if it doesn't make *quite* so intense mixes, I doubt the difference would be noticeable often, and if you don't mind paying for real viridian, I can see why you'd want to avoid the phthalo green. I don't like the phthalo green any more than the phthalo blue, but then, I use my blue *all the time*, so I need it to be something I like, whereas I need my green much less often - on only a minority of my paintings, and only sparingly even int the paintings where I use it at all. So I do manage to keep its tendency to take over under control. But if I weren't so cheap, I'd still switch to viridian in a moment. Actually, given how little I use it, I wouldn't go through it very fast; it wouldn't kill me to give one tube a shot.

FriendCarol
08-29-2005, 06:50 PM
so my palette consists of
Ultramarine blue
yellow
red

and
pthalo blue, pg 7 or pg36, depends how much intense my greens need to be.It is a bit weird if you're speaking of PB15:3 but if you value it more for mixing greens it sort of makes sense. And it does indeed mix much more chromatic greens than violets.Of course a pg36 will create even higher chroma greens but I rarely have to make my greens that intense so I always find myself using cyan as my main green.
(and, later)
Exactly, thats what I meant. I value pb15:3 for the greens it makes.:confused: Okay, so we call two PG pigments 'blue,' but that isn't what we meant really (right? we really meant we call one of the blue pigments 'cyan'?), and anyway we use them to make green.
ROTFL!!!
No wonder I was slightly confused. :D

Thanks for enlivening my day, sfumato!
One of us should start a new thread. Let's see, what topic haven't we explored recently?

Richard Saylor
08-29-2005, 07:15 PM
But if I weren't so cheap, I'd still switch to viridian in a moment. Actually, given how little I use it, I wouldn't go through it very fast; it wouldn't kill me to give one tube a shot.Now that inspires me to switch to viridian. :) Pthalo green is the only fearfully aggressive color in my RYGB palette.
Same sort of studies used to figure out that the average scene reflects 18% of light, or more recent ones that suggest it's really somewhat less than that?It has been revised downward a few percentage points. However, most lightmeters are still calibrated to 18% grey. Tradition dies hard.

FriendCarol
08-29-2005, 08:05 PM
And then you could switch to quinacridone red (more balanced, I think), too! :clap:

Let us know how it works out, in case some of us want to copy you. :D

Maybe we need a thread on the 4-color palette!

Richard Saylor
08-30-2005, 01:52 AM
Okay, I've ordered quin. red PR209 and viridian (both in watercolor) from Dick Blick. (In the old days before the current gas prices :( I would have driven up to beautiful Boone and gotten them in person at Cheap Joe's.) From the looks of the spectrum thingie, I'm not sure how the quin. red will work for oranges and purples, but we shall see.

FriendCarol
08-30-2005, 12:42 PM
If you tell me what you'd like to see (quin red -- W/N transparent) with which yellow & blue, I can try to make swatches for you. Ultramarine PB29, that's an easy one. (The yellows I have include PY97 -- Hansa, called Transparent yellow by W/N; nickel titanate -- 'lemon yellow'; gold ochre -- either PY 42 or 43, the other being yellow ochre; & raw umber.) Actually I can tell you already that quinacridone red with Transparent yellow makes a brilliant, intense red-orange. In fact I added it to my palette (rather than a tube orange, since I hate them) for that reason. :cool:

So I'll go mix up some Ultramarine with quin red, and then scan and post it. It's w/c, but it should give you an idea, anyway. The new schedule I'm trying to follow says I eat lunch now... but the radio says we're under a tornado watch until 4pm; my stomach has informed me it does NOT want any food showing up for awhile. :wave:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2005/36783-quinred.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2005/36783-quinred2.jpg

FriendCarol
08-30-2005, 01:43 PM
Hey -- painted it, scanned it, AND uploaded it (with a fragment from a bad abstract, too) all within an hour. (Required only 2 reboots.) :) Sorry it's not all methodical with steps and stuff, but that just takes too long these days.

In between (while it was drying) I went out and decided to leave the 3 dresses drying on the line just a tiny bit longer. Now, of course, it's raining buckets. :rolleyes: Oh, well, at least I accomplished one thing today. Hope it's useful.

Einion
08-30-2005, 05:34 PM
I'm not saying you are wrong; I've seen no data on this.This isn't one of those things one needs data to support, it's just a general observation, like if you paint in the southwest you obviously have less need of dark, saturated greens than someone painting in New England.

In nature saturated violets are relatively rare, while fairly high-chroma oranges and reds are much more commonplace. Some autumn colouring, in North America perhaps most of all, is really very saturated so although it's a small part of a landscape painter's subject matter it's important nonetheless; but in landscapes generally the primary role of violets would be for distant mountains and these are fairly dull and hence easily within the range of 'poor' mixed violets.


:confused: Okay, so we call two PG pigments 'blue,' but that isn't what we meant really (right? we really meant we call one of the blue pigments 'cyan'?), and anyway we use them to make green.
ROTFL!!!
No wonder I was slightly confused. :DI thought you'd been a member long enough but maybe you missed some of the previous debates about the nature of 'cyan' primaries; without that sort of background I can easily understand someone getting a little confused.

The problem basically stems from the fact that the commonest paint used as a primary cyan isn't cyan at all in masstone, it's only in undercolour/tint that it approaches the correct hue; it's still obviously too blue, even if one is judging merely by eye (no need for technology, except to prove just how off it is!)

This sort of thing is interesting as far as it goes but generally it doesn't actually matter that much if a given paint is not quite the right hue since colour alone is not an accurate predictor of mixing ability, as all painters should know, and as well as that we all adjust mixtures by eye anyway, so any failing in a given mix can be adjusted for. I think the question only becomes important if one is looking for the holy grail of limited palettes - the smallest number of paints that will mix all colours. Tailoring a small palette to give the best mixtures in a given area - I paint southwestern landscapes so range in the warm part of the wheel is most important, for example - is the best approach in my opinion.

Einion

Einion
08-30-2005, 05:36 PM
Shame there were no takers for the accurate gamut maps for the two palettes, they would have shown quite definitively which palette has the widest mixing latitude in terms of colour.

Einion

Patrick1
08-30-2005, 06:12 PM
Shame there were no takers for the accurate gamut maps for the two palettes, they would have shown quite definitively which palette has the widest mixing latitude in terms of colour.I missed that...which two palettes? I'd like to see real gamut maps (or at least paint wheels) for CMY vs. RYGB. Each will have its relative strenghths & weaknesses, but I'm guessing they'll be pretty close in overall breadth of gaumt. (I'm sure that available primaries have more overall mixing potentail than non-primaries, despite the lately fasionable notion that primaries don't exist).

Marc Sabatella
08-30-2005, 06:13 PM
This isn't one of those things one needs data to support, it's just a general observation, like if you paint in the southwest you obviously have less need of dark, saturated greens than someone painting in New England.


Well, I think data *would* be very interesting. For its own sake, but also to resolve what seems to be a difference in how you and I are perceiving nature, because I would say it seems equally obvious the reverse is true. No big deal, I'm just curious. Chances are pretty good geography is actually the main difference here. I didn't know where you lived, but just checked your profile - you're in Ireland? OK, I've never been there. Have you been to Colorado?


In nature saturated violets are relatively rare, while fairly high-chroma oranges and reds are much more commonplace. Some autumn colouring, in North America perhaps most of all, is really very saturated so although it's a small part of a landscape painter's subject matter it's important nonetheless; but in landscapes generally the primary role of violets would be for distant mountains and these are fairly dull and hence easily within the range of 'poor' mixed violets.


If it were only the distant mountains that were violet around here, I'd agree with you. But like I said, it is quite common in wildflowers too, to the point where very often, the single most saturated color in the entire scene - aside perhaps from the blue of the sky - would be the violet wildflowers. The only time we ever have oranges that intense are the aspens in autumn, and then it's pretty much a tossup. OK, sunsets and forest fires too, but I don't paint them often. The more usual oranges in the landscape we get are in the dirt & rocks, and that's basically on the same order of intensity as, say, violet shadows on snow, which are usually more obviously and intensely violet to me than distant mountains. It's also not uncommon for water or metal to take on a violet color that is no less intense than our typical oranges. At least, to my eyes. This is where it would be quite interesting to see some actual data. Although I'm not sure how it should account for the fact that our eyes *perceive* small differences in intensity as being bigger or smaller depending on the hue, and we're probably more sensitive in orange than we are in violet.


Tailoring a small palette to give the best mixtures in a given area - I paint southwestern landscapes so range in the warm part of the wheel is most important, for example - is the best approach in my opinion.


That's certainly my main consideration, but I keep my phthalo green on my palette despite the fact I use it far more often almost anywhere outside Colorado than I do here. I don't do figures often, but have taken into accouint my ability to create believable flesh tones (in lights and shadows) when selecting my yellow & red. It's possible to optimize for one type of painting while not completely ruling out your ability to do another.

FriendCarol
08-30-2005, 06:30 PM
So what did you think of the quinacridone red PR209 with ultramarine PB28 (w/c)? Good oranges, good violets, right? ;)

P.S. This was on a leaf from a 4"x6" Canson 'postcard' block, so it's not much reduced, maybe about 35% or so.

Richard Saylor
08-30-2005, 10:13 PM
So what did you think of the quinacridone red PR209 with ultramarine PB28 (w/c)? Good oranges, good violets, right? ;) Very nice! Thanks. Looks like it may work okay after all.

Richard

Marc Sabatella
09-01-2005, 05:14 PM
if I weren't so cheap, I'd still switch to viridian in a moment. Actually, given how little I use it, I wouldn't go through it very fast; it wouldn't kill me to give one tube a shot.


OK, so I bought a tube yesterday and tried it this morning. Can't say I was blown away after one painting. It looked as dark as phthalo in the store, but on my palette outdoors, it was disappointing light in value. Although with transparent red oxide on my palette, I'm less concerned over variety in darks, so I could get by with a lighter green. But it's really not all that intense, either, and the tinting strength is pretty low. So I've got to use quite a bit more of it than I would phthalo to get any noticeable improvement in the intensity of my greens (and even then, I'm still limited). I did like how easy it was to use to modulate the sky, though. So I'm not giving up yet.

sfumato1002
09-01-2005, 06:14 PM
I'd just like to point out that after experimenting with RYBG, I see a need to use black to created darker shadow. I can't get a black enough dark with RYBG.

Example, some carbon black and adding a speck of cad red light for really dark shadow. BUT all other mixtures are mixed with RYBG only and NO black. Because I find that using no black in color mixtures, one can create better color harmony, so I'm just talking about using black for the dark shadows. Like shadows in the mona lisa. Just wondered what anybody else thought of using black just for the dark shadows alone.

Richard Saylor
09-01-2005, 06:48 PM
I don't need black in gouache, but I can understand that it might be needed for watercolor. I don't think a really neutral black would interfere with color harmony, even in mixtures.

I think it should still be considered a four-color palette, even with black included.

Richard

Richard Saylor
09-01-2005, 06:55 PM
As suggested by FriendCarol, I am trying out quinadridone red PR209 and viridian (in W/N watercolors) as the red and green in a four-color gouache palette. I stole the idea of using PR209 from sfumato1002. Here are some preliminary results. The blue and yellow are Da Vinci gouache. The colors IRL (particularly the oranges) appear brighter and more saturated than this image looks on my monitor. So far this is probably the closest I've come to my ideal red.

Einion
09-01-2005, 10:45 PM
I missed that...which two palettes? I'm glad I mentioned this again then! The two in the title of the thread, see post #70 on page 5.

Each will have its relative strenghths & weaknesses, but I'm guessing they'll be pretty close in overall breadth of gaumt.They will indeed each have their strong points and one (you'll remember which I'm sure) would certainly get my vote for versatility, gamut aside.

(I'm sure that available primaries have more overall mixing potentail than non-primaries, despite the lately fasionable notion that primaries don't exist).Well as 'we' informally agreed to define primaries here this is a non-issue :)


Well, I think data *would* be very interesting. For its own sake, but also to resolve what seems to be a difference in how you and I are perceiving nature, because I would say it seems equally obvious the reverse is true. Flowers are of course a notable exception, having the commonest intense violets in nature; but as with autumn leaf colour this is but a small part of available subjects. Remember I was talking in general, not specific local conditions. If we consider landscape painting overall violets are mostly visual effects and not violet-coloured objects, and all quite subdued, compared with the gamut of blues for examples.

...you're in Ireland? OK, I've never been there. Much less colour in nature than the northern parts of the US, light's pretty similar because we're at much the same latitude (i.e. lots of good training for seeing grey!)

Have you been to Colorado?No, seen pictures :) Was in Nevada and Arizona recently though, one would not need a large palette to paint much of the landscape I saw :D Did I mention it was hot? :eek:

If it were only the distant mountains that were violet around here, I'd agree with you. But like I said, it is quite common in wildflowers too, to the point where very often, the single most saturated color in the entire scene - aside perhaps from the blue of the sky - would be the violet wildflowers. Yep, I could see how that could be.

The only time we ever have oranges that intense are the aspens in autumn, and then it's pretty much a tossup. Just by eyeballing I'd say it would be likely that they would exceed the chroma of the violet wildflowers (maximum chroma peaking around orange, hence the lumpy shape of the Munsell colourspace) but you may be talking more about saturation rather than chroma so it's a moot point.


I'd just like to point out that after experimenting with RYBG, I see a need to use black to created darker shadow. I can't get a black enough dark with RYBG.I would also.

Just wondered what anybody else thought of using black just for the dark shadows alone.Well if you're happy with your mixed colour there's no need to force yourself to use a black paint. Myself, I've used black for so long it's really an integral part of my 'mixing language' so I routinely use it (them to be accurate, I have a few) where the effect in mixtures gives exactly what I want. You could mix the same colours without the black of course, just with more effort, and since I'm all about making things easier it's a no-brainer for me.


Thanks for taking the time to post the pic Richard, good to get an idea of the results. Mixes darn well doesn't it? I might give that pigment a try next time I'm ordering some acrylics.

Einion

Richard Saylor
09-02-2005, 12:00 AM
Thanks for taking the time to post the pic Richard, good to get an idea of the results. Mixes darn well doesn't it? I might give that pigment a try next time I'm ordering some acrylics.It's a remarkable mixer, especially for the red-to-yellow sector, but it makes acceptable purples too, and it's probably more lightfast than the naphthols. However, it would be nice to find it in something cheaper than W/N Series 3 :eek: watercolors.

Patrick1
09-02-2005, 01:46 AM
if I weren't so cheap, I'd still switch to viridian in a moment.........

.........OK, so I bought a tube yesterday and tried it this morning. Can't say I was blown away after one painting. It looked as dark as phthalo in the store, but on my palette outdoors, it was disappointing light in value. Although with transparent red oxide on my palette, I'm less concerned over variety in darks, so I could get by with a lighter green. But it's really not all that intense, either, and the tinting strength is pretty low. So I've got to use quite a bit more of it than I would phthalo to get any noticeable improvement in the intensity of my greens (and even then, I'm still limited).
I tried ultramarine violet as a 'substitute' for dioxazine purple (they're so different I don't think substitute is the right word). I noticed much the same things as you at first. But after a few paintings, I got used to it, and found its weaknesses are its strengths. Makes things easier.

Richard Saylor
09-02-2005, 02:36 AM
It seems a waste to pay so much for such a puny color, but I think the low tinting strength of viridian should be an asset rather than a liability. Pthalo green can be difficult to work with. I'm all for keeping things simple and easy, which is the reason I'm fond of limited palettes.

Patrick1
09-02-2005, 02:42 AM
They will indeed each have their strong points and one (you'll remember which I'm sure) would certainly get my vote for versatility, gamut aside.Just to be clear, I was talking about comparing the gamut of CMY vs. RYGB. Gamut aside, I'd also take the RYGB palette over CMY...more ways to mix up colors...it's faster & easier.

I'll eventually do my own paint mixing wheels of both CMY vs. RYGB and split-primary vs. primary+secondary...to see the results in the flesh.

Patrick1
09-02-2005, 02:56 AM
Richard, your two mixing scales are very good...looks professionally done. (as opposed to my swatches which usually end up looking like smudged bird poo). Did you use a knife? I like the surprisingly clean purples and their near-black masstone which gives a rich, velvety look. The second swatch on the bottom scale looks like Alizarin Crimson.

Richard Saylor
09-02-2005, 03:47 AM
Richard, your two mixing scales are very good...looks professionally done. (as opposed to my swatches which usually end up looking like smudged bird poo). Did you use a knife? I like the surprisingly clean purples and their near-black masstone which gives a rich, velvety look. The second swatch on the bottom scale looks like Alizarin Crimson.Thanks for the compliment, Patrick, but I was thinking just the opposite. Yours are neat, mine are messy. Yes, I used a knife both for mixing and painting, mainly because I'm lazy. Knives are easier to clean than brushes. The one I used is a tiny little trowel-shaped knife.

By the way, it is a digital photo which I took outdoors in open shade. The colors don't look as clean under artificial lighting.

Marc Sabatella
09-02-2005, 01:34 PM
I'd just like to point out that after experimenting with RYBG, I see a need to use black to created darker shadow. I can't get a black enough dark with RYBG.

That's why you'll note I've been mentioning the value of the pigments I start with as an important consideration. It's one factor in prefering quinacridone rose over - well, over any of the other red choices, for prefering ultramarine blue over cobalt, and as I've now discovered, for preferring phthalo green over viridian. I believe you mentioned using cad red light and viridian, so right away you've limited your darks beyond what a RYGB *can* produce.

That said, I agree that mixing good darks is one of the challenges of this type of palette, and it's one reason I immediately found I loved having transparent red oxide on my palette as well. Since adding it, I am completely happy with the darks I can create, and because I'm also finding it useful in other situations, as I related in another thread, I don't worry about color harmony.

Marc Sabatella
09-02-2005, 01:43 PM
It seems a waste to pay so much for such a puny color, but I think the low tinting strength of viridian should be an asset rather than a liability. Pthalo green can be difficult to work with.

If it were cheaper, I might be OK with the low tinting strength, but as it is, I can see that I'd go through almost as much of this stuff as I do my yellow if I were gong to get any real benefit out of it. And again, it isn't even all that intense a green, so if want to have, say, a green stop light or street sign stand out from a background of summer foliage, it's going to be quite a bit tougher, no matter how much I use. Plus I'm just not sure I want to have use so much green - really, I prefer doing as much as I can with just the red, yellow, and blue. I readily accepted the addition of transparent red oxide because its benefits were immediately obvious. As it is viridian looks like an expensive nuisance right now. But I'm going to give it another shot or two.

Marc Sabatella
09-02-2005, 01:47 PM
As suggested by FriendCarol, I am trying out quinadridone red PR209 and viridian (in W/N watercolors) as the red and green in a four-color gouache palette. I stole the idea of using PR209 from sfumato1002.

Thanks for doing this. I agree the oranges look good, but I can't quite tell about the violets. Since most opf them are on the red side. Is it a super strong tinter? Is it hard to get colors between the blue and the first violet to the left of it? What do they look like?

Also, it isn't clear how this color compares in value to the rose...

Richard Saylor
09-02-2005, 04:18 PM
Thanks for doing this. I agree the oranges look good, but I can't quite tell about the violets. Since most opf them are on the red side. Is it a super strong tinter? Is it hard to get colors between the blue and the first violet to the left of it? What do they look like?

Also, it isn't clear how this color compares in value to the rose...I think q. rose is darker in masstone than q. red.

Q. red has adequate but not overpowering tinting strength, similar to that of q. rose.

It's impossible to tell whether a mixed violet has been made from red or rose. This is why I'm so pleased with the red. It makes violets just as good as q. rose, and it makes better reds and oranges. It's easy enough to make strong darks with gouache, so it doesn't matter much that red is a little lighter than rose. I know that value is a more important consideration for you.

Richard

FriendCarol
09-02-2005, 05:01 PM
In the postcard I posted, I made the darkest value of quin red (PR 209) I could at the top of the center area -- albeit in transparent w/c. As a red, it seems adequately dark.

Richard, you might want to take along a small tube of (transparent) w/c viridian (or even a small tube of the Winsor green!), just to make your viridian stronger. I don't know if that would work, but it's a tip I read, to mix w/c with gouache in order to increase its... saturation? Something like that.

If you do carry a small tube of the phthalo, though, avoid using it in any mix (that you might keep around for awhile) with any quin red in it. I hope the quin red only interacts with the phthalo green -- I've never noticed any other problem with it.

Will we see pictures soon? Temps here are expected to reach 'only' high 80's next few days. :)

Richard Saylor
09-02-2005, 09:07 PM
The humidity is the big problem. My house stays at a comfortable temperature (without AC), but I have to use a hair dryer to get paint to dry.

What I have is viridian in watercolor. I won't need pthalo green. Ultramarine blue + yellow + viridian should take care of all my green needs.

sfumato1002
09-03-2005, 03:59 AM
I believe you mentioned using cad red light and viridian, so right away you've limited your darks beyond what a RYGB *can* produce.

No. I use PR209 and for green I use the phthalo's which I like much better than viridian. I some times include cad red light just to make my oranges higher in chroma. But my base palette is:

1. Blue = Ultramarine blue
2. Red = Pr209
3. Yellow = Cad yellow

extra colors for higher chroma:

cyan
cad. red light
phthalo greens




That said, I agree that mixing good darks is one of the challenges of this type of palette, and it's one reason I immediately found I loved having transparent red oxide on my palette as well. Since adding it, I am completely happy with the darks I can create, and because I'm also finding it useful in other situations, as I related in another thread, I don't worry about color harmony.

Maybe you can get a very dark color with transparent red oxide, but it will not match carbon black darkness. I'm happy with the darks I get, but sometimes I just need plain old black.

sfumato1002
09-03-2005, 04:04 AM
but I can understand that it might be needed for watercolor. I don't think a really neutral black would interfere with color harmony, even in mixtures.

I think it should still be considered a four-color palette, even with black included.

Richard


Thanks richard for the reassurance. Black is a difficult color to use for me. I really like the color harmony I get from the four color palette, I only wanted to include black for the dark shadows, maybe with time and practice I will use black within my RYBG mixtures.

sfumato1002
09-03-2005, 04:12 AM
Well if you're happy with your mixed colour there's no need to force yourself to use a black paint. Myself, I've used black for so long it's really an integral part of my 'mixing language' so I routinely use it (them to be accurate, I have a few) where the effect in mixtures gives exactly what I want. You could mix the same colours without the black of course, just with more effort, and since I'm all about making things easier it's a no-brainer for me.


Thanks Einion. I'll use black here and there. I still need more practice with using black, I've notice that I can loose control fast, I find it much easier to mix within RYBG. I've notice that Ivory black is easier to control than carbon black which is much greasier and has a stronger tinting strenght, But I like carbon because it makes darker blacks. Maybe with practice I will start using blacks a little more within my mixtures like you but for now I really like using RYBG to mix all my tints and shades. thanks again.

Patrick1
09-03-2005, 04:52 AM
I'll use black here and there. I still need more practice with using black, I've notice that I can loose control fast...That's normal at first. I'd say that much of the bad reputation black has gotten is from its misuse (using too much and/or it inadvertently contaminating other mixtures...). The key is to use blacks sparingly, just like with phthalos. Used properly, you'd never know if black was used in a painting. For example: that nice dark brown color in a painting...is it burnt umber, or is it a mix of perinone orange + black?

I haven't used much tube blacks in painting yet (heck...I haven't done much painting at all recently), but I'm coming to see that adding the right amount of black can sometimes be the easiest, most direct way to make shadows, by adding to the color mix you made for the object's local color. And the slight apparent hue shift towards blue that often results can be a useful thing. Of course, you might have to adjust by adding some other colors, but sometimes just adding black gets you pretty close to the right shadow color.

jdadson
09-04-2005, 05:30 PM
In the last oil painting I did, I tried to use as much black as possible. Call it an experiment. There's a pear that's quint rose and black with some cad red. There's an apple that's cad scarlet and black with some yellow stripes. The background is gray made from black and white. However, the star of the show is a pair of orange slices that are all orange, deep yellow, and white. I'll try to remember to bring it in to the office and post a picture of it. It didn't turn out bad, by my current standards.

All the old masters that I admire used black, and lots of modern ones too.

Richard Saylor
09-04-2005, 10:08 PM
All the old masters that I admire used black, and lots of modern ones too.There are watercolor societies today that ban both black and white. I wonder what the great watercolor masters like J. M. W. Turner, J. S. Sargent, and Winslow Homer (and a slew of others who used black and white) would think of that. It's totally absurd.

Richard

FriendCarol
09-04-2005, 11:26 PM
Yes; however, it's more fun to speculate what they would do if they had access to modern pigments!

Btw, MB, I've been told again and again that I can get darker blacks by mixing than if I used a tube black, and I've no reason to doubt it (and have never used a tube black). There's currently a sunflower in the Watercolor Studio subforum (or was yesterday -- it's probably still on the first page) that seems to demonstrate that quite well.

P.S. Richard, I have to ask: is that new avatar a double-exposure? I heard you can get a huge moon with a telephoto lens, but what about that 'man in the moon?' Neat avatar, btw!

Richard Saylor
09-05-2005, 12:22 AM
P.S. Richard, I have to ask: is that new avatar a double-exposure? I heard you can get a huge moon with a telephoto lens, but what about that 'man in the moon?' Neat avatar, btw!I stole it. It is a screen capture of a frame from the movie Joe versus the Volcano. Joe, adrift on a raft and near death from dehydration, hallucinates this enormous moon, has a mystical experience, then falls unconscious. I created a web site about the movie several years ago. I gave the site to someone else, after excising some personal stuff, but my original design has been preserved pretty much intact. http://www.mindspring.com/~waponi/

Richard

jdadson
09-05-2005, 02:55 AM
Btw, MB, I've been told again and again that I can get darker blacks by mixing than if I used a tube black, and I've no reason to doubt it.

Doubt it anyway.

Richard Saylor
09-05-2005, 04:09 AM
Doubt it anyway.

I do too. Anyone who says you can get darker blacks by mixing it from other colors is obviously exaggerating. (There is no color darker than black.) Why would they exaggerate? Probably because they have an agenda. They believe black to be the enemy of good color and want people to stop using it. They're on pretty shaky ground if they have to lie to make the point.

That being said, there may be ways to get more startling contrast than by using black. For example, by exploiting visual complements. An indigo blue spot on an orange background might appear as though it is "darker" than pure black, but it would be because of the way we perceive color, not because of the intrinsic value of the color.

Richard

Einion
09-05-2005, 09:24 AM
Doubt it anyway.Roger that.

What most people who state this are going on is their own eyes and observers are notoriously subjective - even if making a conscious effort to be objective (which few, in my experience, do). Once you get really dark you cannot distinguish hue, and context within the painting is paramount anyway of course, so it comes down more to wishful thinking than anything else that a mixed dark is superior to a pigment black, if the basic requirement is merely the lowest value.

Einion

Marc Sabatella
09-05-2005, 11:57 AM
Maybe you can get a very dark color with transparent red oxide, but it will not match carbon black darkness.

True, despite whatever anyone might say. I suspect aside from having an agenda in making such a claim, it is also possible someone is thinking specifically about watercolor in pans (or otherwise dried), where just the act of adding enough water to make it flow lightens the color, making it sometimes hard to get the full blackness out of the black pigments. But that's mostly poor technique, not a fault of the pigment.

Anyhow, I wouldn't doubt that black pigment is going to be as black as you can get. I just haven't ever encountered a situation where I'd want a color darker than what I can mix. But then, I paint mostly daytime landscape, where true blacks are practically non-existent.

Marc Sabatella
09-05-2005, 12:03 PM
It's easy enough to make strong darks with gouache, so it doesn't matter much that red is a little lighter than rose. I know that value is a more important consideration for you.


I assume the the reason gauche makes mixing darks easy is the opacity? Anyhow, thanks for the images - the violets definitely look good!

Richard Saylor
09-05-2005, 04:02 PM
Here is generally what anti-black watercolorists (and others) say:
1. Tube blacks are a color-killers.
2. Tube blacks are dull and dead-looking.
3. Blacks mixed from other colors are more lively and interesting than tube blacks.
-------------------------------
My feeling is that, yes, black can be misused in a painting, but so can red or green or any color. In fact, I think it would be far easier to screw up a painting with pthalo green than with, say, mars black. So why pick on black?

FriendCarol
09-05-2005, 08:09 PM
I can only speak for myself, of course. :D I pick on tube blacks because, at least in w/c, I believe all of them are made with carbon particles. I don't want that floating in my rinse water, let alone on my paper. I don't even permit a color with any black in it onto my palette -- burnt sienna (synthetic iron oxide) is the 'darkest' color on my palette. (Though I often think the dioxazine seems darker. It's such a great 'darkener.' :D )

jdadson
09-05-2005, 08:15 PM
I can only speak for myself, of course. :D I pick on tube blacks because, at least in w/c, I believe all of them are made with carbon particles. I don't want that floating in my rinse water, let alone on my paper. I don't even permit a color with any black in it onto my palette -- burnt sienna (synthetic iron oxide) is the 'darkest' color on my palette. (Though I often think the dioxazine seems darker. It's such a great 'darkener.' :D )

Iron oxide pigments are made with rust particles. How icky is that? What have you got against carbon? Some of my best friends are carbon.

All watercolors are made with pigments (particles), according to handprint. If the base chemical is a dye, the paint manufacturer "lakes" it onto something like chalk or clay or alum.

How do you tell if a color "has any black in it"?

Richard Saylor
09-05-2005, 10:10 PM
Carbon particles... That's what makes pencils write. I like carbon. :cool:

FriendCarol
09-05-2005, 10:56 PM
I can tell a color has black in it if it's sepia, indigo, payne's gray, um... I might have forgotten a couple. Basically, put some water on it: there's the black stuff. Yuch. :D

Btw, I also hate pencils (except w/c pencils -- they're okay). I used to think it was only because I didn't have the right eraser, but now I have a huge collection of erasers, yet I still don't like pencils. :p

Rust is quite fascinating. Carbon is boring. It's all... well, black!

jdadson
09-06-2005, 12:33 PM
Carbon particles... That's what makes pencils write. I like carbon. :cool:

Carbon is what I'm made of. Carbon and water. It's a great combination.

jdadson
09-06-2005, 03:20 PM
Those particles in the black paint are not at all like pencil sharpener shavings. They are real small - smaller than the particles in any other pigments in fact. They are half the size of pigment particles in quinacridones and phthalos, the nearest competitors. Pigment carbon particles are 50 nanometers across or less. That's 1000 times smaller than the tiniest speck of dust you can see. We are talking T-9-C.

FriendCarol
09-06-2005, 05:03 PM
I invite you to come and look at the rinse water sometime when I'm practicing figure brushstrokes with sepia. :p Those particles are visible to the naked eye (even mine, which have rather poor visual acuity), and I always have to go wash my brush after using the nasty stuff. (Normally, rinsing my brush in the rinse water, then in the clean water, leaves it clean enough to put it away at the end of a painting session. :D )

Richard Saylor
09-06-2005, 07:20 PM
I invite you to come and look at the rinse water sometime when I'm practicing figure brushstrokes with sepia. :p Those particles are visible to the naked eye.....They're probably clumps of pigment/binder.

Richard Saylor
09-06-2005, 07:26 PM
It ain't PC, but there are people in this world who just don't like black. :(

Black is beautiful! :clap:

FriendCarol
09-06-2005, 08:57 PM
LOL! Very timely reminder of an excellent 60's slogan. :p I think the problem is it's the only 'color' where the "clumps of pigment/binder" float, instead of sinking to the bottom. I'm used to cleaning out the residue from the bottom of my outer water container from time to time. But the sepia/indigo etc. leaves a floating mess. Reminds me of using the gold/silver in my old Pelikan pan set, before I grew up enough to avoid certain pans. :rolleyes:

I like my mixed blacks very much, btw. :D In fact, black is always the first color I mix, and I store a batch of it for use throughout that painting. (As a shortcut, I often add some mixed black to another color when I want to darken it. Faster than mixing the whole thing from scratch, and it's already using the same pigments anyway.)

Marc Sabatella
09-06-2005, 09:59 PM
My feeling is that, yes, black can be misused in a painting, but so can red or green or any color. In fact, I think it would be far easier to screw up a painting with pthalo green than with, say, mars black. So why pick on black?

I don't have strong feelings on this, but I think the general idea is that if you are only using black in your darkest colors, then you might be compromising color harmony. Other pigments tend to be used throughout a painting, particularly in a limited palette. Of course, one could figure out a systematic way of using black other than just as a darkener and thus avoid these concerns.

Richard Saylor
09-07-2005, 12:01 AM
I don't have strong feelings on this, but I think the general idea is that if you are only using black in your darkest colors, then you might be compromising color harmony. Other pigments tend to be used throughout a painting, particularly in a limited palette. Of course, one could figure out a systematic way of using black other than just as a darkener and thus avoid these concerns.Interesting conjecture, but that's not it. The usual negative attitude toward black is because it's a "color killer" (i.e., lowers chroma when mixed with other colors), and it's "dead" (which I think must mean "too neutral" or something like that). I'm not talking about people who use limited palettes in the interest of color harmony. Watercolor palettes generally vary from about 6 colors (split primary) to 12 (probably most common) on up to 20 or even more, enough colors to fill all the designated spaces on their store-bought watercolor palettes. The criteria for choosing the colors are always chromatic considerations unrelated to color harmony. (For example, almost all watercolor palettes have both ultramarine and pthalo blue (for a warm and a cool blue), two colors which can be sickening when both are used to any extent in the same painting.)

In fact, it is probably the case that mixing black with another color actually contributes to color harmony rather than the opposite, since it lowers chroma. Einion, for example, believes that color harmony is more easily obtained with lower chroma colors. (FWIW, I think so too.) Anyhow, a truly neutral black is not strictly a color and therefore cannot possibly interefere with color harmony, and it seems to be precisely the neutrality of black that makes it despised by most anti-black people.

Richard

Einion
09-07-2005, 10:39 AM
My feeling is that, yes, black can be misused in a painting, but so can red or green or any color. In fact, I think it would be far easier to screw up a painting with pthalo green than with, say, mars black. So why pick on black?Easy target - unthinking reiteration of teachers'/idols' blanket statements against black - that's the simplest explanation and I've certainly read comments from this position in a number of places.

Then you have what I judge to be quite a commonplace with folks who started off as self-taught leisure painters - early experiences with colour mixing using black very often led to problems of contamination (just like Patrick says above: black ended up in mixtures it shouldn't have been in, or too much of it did) and it led to a bias against its use in any mixture.

If you couple the two you get the real ardent types, like preachy ex-smokers dead set on converting the world! :)


I believe all of them are made with carbon particles.Tsk, tsk, Mars Black? <wags finger> ;)

I don't even permit a color with any black in it onto my palette...Fair enough, I couldn't help but laugh on more than one occasion in the past when you discover painters in the anti-black camp unknowingly using black because it was 'hiding' in convenience mixtures like Payne's Grey, Parchment, Indigo etc. :D


...I think the general idea is that if you are only using black in your darkest colors, then you might be compromising color harmony. It won't, believe me.

Other pigments tend to be used throughout a painting, particularly in a limited palette. And this is a myth - that using the same pigments throughout a piece in some way ensures harmony. We've covered this issue a couple of times before here, it's quite possible to create discordant colour with only a four-colour palette, it's only a heavy restriction of chroma (as I just noticed Richard has mentioned) that will ensure 'harmony' as most people see it.

Einion

Marc Sabatella
09-07-2005, 11:48 AM
And this is a myth - that using the same pigments throughout a piece in some way ensures harmony. We've covered this issue a couple of times before here, it's quite possible to create discordant colour with only a four-colour palette

True, it's *possible*. And it's *possible* to get very good color harmony with a large palette. But I remain unconvinced that smaller palettes don't help most people in practice. All logic and all the evidence I've seen strongly points this way. If a painting is mostly done using ultramarine blue and somethwere there is a spot of a color mixed with cobalt blue - that usually sticks out quite obviously to me as discordant. Ditto if a painting is mostly done using quinacridone rose but somewherer there is a spot mixed with cadmium red, etc. Some painters are skilled enough and sensitive enough to this to prevent this from causing problems as I see them, but most that I've seen are not.

Note I fully admit to being more sensitive to this issue than most - many paintings that strike me as pretty discordant look fine to others, and paintings that some might criticize as either too wild or too bland in terms of color look great to me if the colors seem related in the way I prefer. Similarly, many low chroma paintings that others see as inherently harmonious don't strike me that way at all.

So as for black, I still say if it is used only in darks, there is a potential harmony issue - the darks will likely not look as related (as I see it) to the lights as if they were mixed using the same colors used in the rest of the painting. I'm not saying it absolutely always has to be this way, but again, common sense and the evidence I've seen suggest it is often the case. So that could be a reason to avoid it, or it could be a reason to learn how to not make this be a problem for you. But that requires recognizing the *potential* for problems, I think.

Similarly, we all know that some properties of the phthalo colors cause many people problerms. For some people, those problems are reason to avoid these colors. For others, those problems are reasons to learn how to use the colors in a way where these properties of the phthalo don't actually cause problems. But you can't do this without recognizing what those issues are.

I see black the same way. The issues don't make the color unusable - they just mean you need to learn how to deal with them if you want to use the color.

Richard Saylor
09-08-2005, 03:52 AM
Marc, I too believe that a limited palette can be an aid in achieving color harmony. I have a great deal of admiration for people who can use an extensive palette without creating color clashes. That would be very difficult for me.

I just do not believe that the problem most people have with black is that it interferes with color harmony.

Richard

Addendum: In theory I can see where color dissonance can arise from using, say, a CMY palette, but in practice it just doesn't seem to happen.

FriendCarol
09-08-2005, 11:14 AM
Yes, I agree -- afaic, black can be used to harmonize any colors (or, as I wrote in my list of 'abstract rules' :rolleyes: "Any color can arise from black.") When I finally bought my tubes of watercolor, I was determined to use a very limited palette (for each specific painting, I mean!) to 'ensure' color harmony. I picked that up from Keys to Successful Painting, the Tony Couch book that got me started. In fact, I had actually managed to work that out for myelf previously, using the Pelikan pans: Of the 24 colors (pigments?), there were a few I never used, and there were a few I always used, and I always checked myself if I were about to use another color halfway through a painting, and asked myself where else I would be using that color.

Black as a color absolutely; black as one of the pigments, no, thanks. (I don't know about Mars black -- I gave away several tubes of black, but 'Mars' wasn't one of them!) It's so easy to make, anyway, mixing a big batch of black (or dark, if I don't need true black) is always the first thing I do for a new painting. So why would I want a tube of black, anyway?

Now, as to color harmony with more pigments/colors -- I just recently started noticing that some painters (Nicholas Simmons for one) sometimes use many, many colors (the koi series, for example), and it all looks good. So I want to start using more colors myself. Anyone have a clue how that works? :D

If you make a grid of black lines, not even all that thick, you can put just about any colors, literally, in adjoining cells -- and the whole will still look great. Black unifies everything (or 'any color can arise from black'). Are there any other tricks, apart from repeating a color 'throughout' a painting (here and there, anyway)?

Or are we about to step into 'color harmony' again? Let's start from broad daylight, if we can. :D

candoco2
04-13-2008, 10:40 AM
Hi, This is my first post in the forum, so apologies if this has already been covered. I have been trying out both the split-primary and secondary pallette and am now working with the latter. However I don't know if I truely did use the split-primary now, as i've continued with my research into adopting a limited 'colourist' pallette.
So I wondered what other artists' considered was a true representation of a split-primary pallette?
My introduction with split-primary was from Michael Wilcox's BAYDMG. However, when reading this in tandem with Bruce McEvoy's Handprint website, I came to the conclusion that Wilcox's split-primary was the secondary pallete minus the green. Also Wilcox actually introduces Pthalo Green as part of extending his split-primary pallete. I actually found this frustrating, as colour mixing is difficult to get to grips with anyway, and I felt the secondary pallette was simpler and made more sense than Wilcox.
I am getting on much better with this secondary pallette, and whilst I still use the Wilcox book for guidance with mixes and colour harmony etc, I cant help feeling now that's its given me an unfair representation of the split-primary. To be fair, I also look elsewhere, (ie Einion posting pigments used etc, thanks!) and I dont think its a question of either/or Wilcox/handprint etc.
I feel McEvoy attempts to demystify artists' mixing anxieties, whilst Wilcox just leads us down an odd path. Has anybody else found this frustrating, and Wilcox a poor advocate of the split-primary? Also those Wilcox/DaVinci School of Colour paints are full of filler, something Wilcox rails against in his own book??!!

delicious
04-19-2008, 11:14 PM
I favor a split primary because I think it is truer to the nature of color--that's my opinion of course but color control and manipulation is an area of success for me whatever that's worth...

Anyhow what that means to me is a cool red and a warm red, a cool yellow and a warm yellow, and a cool blue and a warm blue. I do not use this combination for every painting, but these comprise my essential palette.

Now it is often said that red yellow and orange are warm and green blue and purple are cool but "true" as this may be that is not the way I look at color. Ultramarine is a classic cool blue, cerulean a classic warm blue (I use manganese for my warm) lemon yellow is a classic cool yellow without a hint of orange in it while cadmium is a classic warm yellow that looks orangish (the orange makes greens more dull in mixing) and alizarine is the classic cool red, cadmium warm (I use different reds for both but these are the most well-known.)

The beginnings of my shift to this palette were when as students we were always supposed to use a cadmium-type of red for our "primary" and the violets were always so crappy. I could never get a nice clear light yellowish green for leaves, either, because the warm yellows made it impossible.

I don't believe that there are any red, yellow, or blue paints that are truly "neutral" primaries. They all are a bit warmer or cooler. With split primaries, I can do anything and everything I want to with color. Nothing stands in my way as with a traditional palette. I don't like using secondaries much because by mixing my own the color range is more unified within my paintings.

And I don't think it is relevant whether the colors are evenly spaced on a color wheel (as you saw in the first post on this thread). If you learn to mix color well, you have infinity available to you. The split pallete gives me that infinity--primary+secondary palettes do not. That's my personal experience. I love my palette :D and everyone is different.

Richard Saylor
04-20-2008, 01:17 AM
I don't believe that there are any red, yellow, or blue paints that are truly "neutral" primaries.Since there's no compelling reason that red, yellow, and blue should be considered primaries, neutrality is hardly relevant. The main reason a split primary palette has a larger gamut than a simple RYB palette is that it consists of six different colors rather than three. If those six colors are chosen carefully (informed by some experience with color mixing), their gamut can be quite amazing, but there's nothing sacred about those particular spectral intervals which are somewhat arbitrarily designated 'red,' 'yellow,' and 'blue.'

delicious
04-20-2008, 01:47 AM
Nothing sacred I agree. I just find the warm/cool versions the most useful for my personal navigation. And that way of thinking through color allowed me to make great leaps toward mastery that took me beyond what my teachers were offering.

So that is my "essential" foundation palette. I learned to use that first, and now I am able to add and subtract flexibly and limit my palette pretty drastically to lean it a particular direction. This is always in response to my subjects and my vision for particular pieces. I am working on a pair of paintings using ultramarine blue, manganese blue, carmine red, and terre verte green plus white. This is a cool plus a warm blue, cool red, and then I replaced yellow with the earthy green. This is a great experience, I'm finding it a very comfortable pleasing palette to work with, and it fits the work perfectly. The split palette was a good foundation for me to learn to do this.

The structure we create via the color wheel is just a tool for understanding and navigating something infinite. I prefer split primaries for the basic structural system I impose. I have good reasons, and I imagine those who differ have good reasons as well. For me getting away from three primaries + three secondaries (the first most of us learned early in school) thinking is a step many of can benefit from if we want to become more "nimble" with color.

Richard Saylor
04-20-2008, 03:09 AM
For me getting away from three primaries + three secondaries (the first most of us learned early in school) thinking is a step many of can benefit from if we want to become more "nimble" with color.

I agree.

What most of us learned in school is that red, yellow, and blue are the primaries; and orange, green, and purple are the secondaries.

Here is the Secondary Palette to which I referred in my earlier posts to this thread. It consists of the three primaries Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow; and the three secondaries Red, Green, and Blue. (Note that it contains no purple or orange.)

If lemon yellow is substituted for Green in the Secondary Palette, it becomes a split-primary palette.

candoco2
04-20-2008, 05:21 PM
Yes, but don't you also think a secondary palette has an even wider colour gamut than a split-primary, due to its broader spacing of its (rgb) secondaries?

Richard Saylor
04-20-2008, 06:22 PM
Yes, but don't you also think a secondary palette has an even wider colour gamut than a split-primary, due to its broader spacing of its (rgb) secondaries?I agree. However, for some artists gamut is not the primary consideration. They may find a split primary palette to be easier and more intuitive to use. Also, lemon yellow and a cyan-type blue (such as pthalo blue gs) can produce some fairly intense greens, so the notorious blue-to-yellow gap is, in effect, not as drastic as it appears to be.

LarrySeiler
04-20-2008, 09:43 PM
I agree. However, for some artists gamut is not the primary consideration. They may find a split primary palette to be easier and more intuitive to use. Also, lemon yellow and a cyan-type blue (such as pthalo blue gs) can produce some fairly intense greens, so the notorious blue-to-yellow gap is, in effect, not as drastic as it appears to be.


I had a pretty intense light color day in northern Wisconsin...the first 75 degree day, not having been above the low 60's...and sun was so welcome.

So, had to grab my gear and go paint...and while I used to paint for near 27 years with a split-primary palette...my palette is even more limited now. One blue, (Fr Ultramarine Blue), one yellow (Cadmium Lemon Yellow as you mention Richard), one red (W&N Bright Red), Naples Yellow, Viridian and Flake White.

My painting today...

Packed my paintbox in about a mile...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Apr-2008/532-lastwinter08_paintboxwc.jpg

my painting.... 8"x 10" oil
*image is clickable (to see larger)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Apr-2008/532-lastwinter08_painting120.jpg
(http://bp3.blogger.com/_1JvZ2lx1Rak/SA0qoN5YL0I/AAAAAAAAA0g/yI0Hj2wT5nc/s1600-h/lastwinter08_painting120.jpg)

I find it interesting delicious mentioned favoring the split-primary as being more true to nature's color, and I wonder if you paint directly from nature then, Delicious?

I find painting with even a more limited palette not in the least limiting.

Emile Gruppe was pretty adament that if the values were nailed, that nearly any color can be used and it will read as believable and the painting will work well...

After painting outdoors on location for near 13 years or so now, I'm always impressed by how many neutrals really are observable...and even the slightest hint of color can be caused to sing with paint...

Oh...and the reference photo of my paint box and the background has to be understood that the painting actually reflects more what I was actually seeing. As is typical, the photo of the scene behind the paintbox is inaccurate.

An interesting thread and discussion...

candoco2
04-21-2008, 09:33 PM
for some artists gamut is not the primary consideration.

Yes, a good point. For myself, i'm seeking to develop a restricted 'colourist' palette, so a very wide gamut is important. Hence the secondary pallette, though I do find as yet, not a great deal of use for pthalo green other than as a good mixer with magenta.
I still can't decide which of these 2 choices to use as a simple palette to plan my paintings from though!
Nice work Larry, I agree with you, severely restricting your palette does really open you up to colour, but for me on a personal level, I love strong saturated secondaries, especially deep warm oranges.

Einion
04-22-2008, 08:16 AM
For myself, i'm seeking to develop a restricted 'colourist' palette, so a very wide gamut is important. Hence the secondary pallette...
Then a secondary palette is definitely the way to go - no question, the largest gamut for just six paints.

Einion

aszurblue
04-22-2008, 12:17 PM
Is it not true that if you chose pigments that are pure color,it is essential to mixing? When mixing two colors, don't you want to know that you are mixing just those two colors, not premixed colors that have other than the pure colors in the mix. I have just worked up to a 12 color palette and keeping to pure(no mix) one for each of the hues for the traditional color wheel. I can mix any color I want. So you can work with any color palette you choose. Or have I missed the point here? Azure

LarrySeiler
04-22-2008, 12:41 PM
Not sure how others might answer, Azure...but as artists we all differ by eye, by preference, by what feels right.

for example...I have chosen thus far W&N Bright Red..and why? My logic as follows...
It takes only the slightest yellow added to a pure red, and you would have a warmer red or reddish orange, which some of the red pigments out there impress on me? It takes only a bit of blue to add to pure red to get a reddish violet or cool red.

So...to my eye, and over time I came to conclude for my purpose that W&N Bright red appeared the right red. Didn't look orangish...didn't look leaning to a violet side.

I understand what you are saying, I want colors I can mix the closest approximation that I want.

Ironically...I have found all that possible, for decisions and choices I make painting from life...with the few colors I am using-
Utrecht Fr Ultramarine Blue
Utrecht Cadmium Lemon Yellow
W&N Bright Red
sometimes viridian
sometimes Naples yellow
white (flake or titanium)

If I experiment with more the Zorn palette (the one I refer to) I use yellow ocre, black W&N Bright red, and white...

my blogspot holds the work from the past two years using these pigments exclusively...

aszurblue
04-22-2008, 03:07 PM
Thanks Larry, guess what I was trying to say is that anyone can make their own color palette with pure colors. I am not sure who Zorn is or why his palette would be better? I broke my palette down into triads, full color, warm, cool and earth. I am no where the the artist you are, but my biggest problems with someone's alse palettes was not having the right color mix to paint with. So I started all over, went back to the basic three, then just working my way up, staying with just pure color mixes. Am I doing it wrong?? Azure

Einion
04-22-2008, 03:15 PM
Is it not true that if you chose pigments that are pure color,it is essential to mixing? When mixing two colors, don't you want to know that you are mixing just those two colors, not premixed colors that have other than the pure colors in the mix.
Generally speaking if you have single-pigment paints they will make cleaner (more saturated or brilliant) mixtures, yes. It's not quite as simple as that in practice because different pigment types mix in different ways (e.g. tints of Cadmium Red v. tints of Naphthol Red) but it's a good rule of thumb.

As far as this being essential to mixing though, some people specifically want to have duller colour, we often forget that :)

Einion

LarrySeiler
04-22-2008, 04:18 PM
As far as this being essential to mixing though, some people specifically want to have duller colour, we often forget that :)

Einion


that's very very true...

for example, when I first started painting plein air about 13 years ago...I had painted tonally instudio for nearly 17 years. Color observed while painting outdoors from nature initially...seemed to explode and my color in my paintings was quite expressive and even perhaps unharnessed or wild.

Nearly exhausting I suppose my initial reaction of that property of nature...I have come to see a great beauty in the somber, the subtle, the neutrals, the quiet whisper of nature that releases color and beauty. Such color might indeed be considered "duller"...or called, controlled...tempered...

beauty becomes a relative thing really...
:)

Richard Saylor
04-23-2008, 03:26 AM
Yes, a good point. For myself, i'm seeking to develop a restricted 'colourist' palette, so a very wide gamut is important. Hence the secondary pallette, though I do find as yet, not a great deal of use for pthalo green other than as a good mixer with magenta.
I still can't decide which of these 2 choices to use as a simple palette to plan my paintings from though!Pthalo green bs can be used to tranquilize reds, cool down greens, and add a bit of life to earth colors. I use viridian similarly. If you could sneak some dioxazine purple (PV23 RS) into your palette, you would have loads of fun making gorgeous blues with dioxazine and pthalo green (and white).

Richard

Richard Saylor
04-23-2008, 04:06 AM
Another beautiful painting, Larry!

I'll be going to Cape Hatteras (North Carolina) next month and plan to do some on location paintings with gouache and watercolor, using a limited palette of white, red, yellow, green, and blue. Such a limited palette worked for Okracoke Island scenes (a few miles south of Hatteras).

Richard

LarrySeiler
04-23-2008, 07:49 AM
have fun, Richard...
there is some resurgence of the use of gouache in the plein air forum, and I myself will be experimenting with casein shortly. A company is interested in having me try their paint, giving me about twenty tubes...but, funny I am more a limited pigment artist at this juncture, so I asked if I could try some of the oils as well...to balance out the numbers...hee heee.... :lol:

It certainly can be very addicting painting on location. Triggers something that feels to have come more alive in you....not just as a painter, but the eyes, all the senses, one's disposition. Enjoy!

The scene you shared reminds me of many on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior...nice effort there! :)

candoco2
04-23-2008, 07:35 PM
Pthalo green bs can be used to tranquilize reds, cool down greens, and add a bit of life to earth colors. I use viridian similarly. If you could sneak some dioxazine purple (PV23 RS) into your palette, you would have loads of fun making gorgeous blues with dioxazine and pthalo green (and white).

Richard

Thanks for the tips, think if I pick up a purple (at a later date, that would be my first choice Richard). Right now i'm using the yellow shade of Pthalo Green, but will try the red shade next time.

delicious
04-26-2008, 03:01 AM
I find it interesting delicious mentioned favoring the split-primary as being more true to nature's color, and I wonder if you paint directly from nature then, Delicious?

I find painting with even a more limited palette not in the least limiting.




First off I (obviously?) misunderstood the "secondary" palette that was being referred to. I didn't know anything about the one you meant and it doesn't sound like there is very much difference.

I never said the split primary was truer to nature's color. I said "truer to the nature OF color" if I recall correctly, in comparison to the primary/secondary palette I thought was being referred to.

I paint from nature both directly and indirectly but not tonally because for my work the process is unecessary, adds extra steps, and I find it reduces the power of my image and my pleasure in painting when it is analyzed and mapped out first. Although i am glad I practiced it.

Of course everything we know about color comes from nature thus everything we do with it, likewise.

I agree with what you said about color, subtlety, the uninhibiting qualities of limited palette, tonality and "colorism" and many other things. Your paintings are of course lovely. Congratulations and keep up the good lessons.

Good night and peace,

Avena

aszurblue
04-27-2008, 12:16 PM
Well Avena, You got lots of opinion's here. That's what makes WC so fun. We each have our own palette that work because of the way each of us sees color and paints. That is what makes art so exciting. Finding your own palette whether it be 3-6-8-or more colors takes time. What have you decided is best for you? Azure

delicious
05-01-2008, 12:15 AM
Azure, I start with and always keep on hand the six split primaries among my supplies, then I trade or eliminate colors based on what I am expecting to do in each painting. Sometimes I find I want to add a secondary or I change a primary red for an earth red, and I go ahead and keep it flexible.

My palette today has cool red, two blues, sap green, and warm deep yellow plus white. I often paint with the four without green or plus lemon yellow. I don't own a single orange tube. I sometimes use a purple. Usually I paint with four to six colors including four or five primaries.

I used to like lots more colors but over time I started ignoring half of them even when they were in front of me, and I liked the results in my work.

(I ended up feeling like I was in the wrong conversation because I didn't understand the second palette being discussed and I don't have one exact "ideal" palette. I just learned something about warm and cool primaries a long time ago that has helped me ever since, and that's what made me chime in.)

Richard Saylor
05-01-2008, 06:46 AM
.....(I ended up feeling like I was in the wrong conversation because I didn't understand the second palette being discussed and I don't have one exact "ideal" palette. I just learned something about warm and cool primaries a long time ago that has helped me ever since, and that's what made me chime in.)I think this thread was initiated from another thread which was determined by a moderator to be inappropriate for the original thread title. I was responding to some other posts which do not appear in this thread. (Don't worry if that's confusing.)

I would be more than glad to explore the so-called secondary palette vs. split-primary palette if there is interest. In my opinion, delicious has the right idea.

Richard

aszurblue
05-01-2008, 10:03 AM
EEK.. I just noticed when this thread was started.. I also thought I had stepped on to the yellow brick road at times:lol:

candoco2
05-04-2008, 07:46 PM
I would be more than glad to explore the so-called secondary palette vs. split-primary palette if there is interest. In my opinion, delicious has the right idea.

Richard[/QUOTE]

Richard,

not sure how familiar you are with the Wilcox book, 'Blue and Yellow...', but it would be great for any insight into a dilemma I posted about a fortnight ago in this forum (#212)

I am keen to explore a good example of split-primary, but somehow don't feel Wilcox is a good example. I don't deny however that his book is EXTREMELY useful.

Richard Saylor
05-05-2008, 03:10 AM
The attached diagrams show how I compare a theoretical secondary palette with a split-primary palette. I space the primaries (CMY) equally around the circle. This is for logical and visualization purposes, and it puts the visual complements opposite one another.

There is no green in the split-primary palette, but if cyan is taken to be pthalo blue gs, then cyan plus cool yellow (lemon) will make very good greens, which should be adequate for everything except maybe green neon lights.

I really don't see much practical difference between the palettes. My mathematical background prompts me to prefer the secondary palette for its logical structure. (Also, in my profound ignorance, I am unable to compare the color temperature of two different blues.)

Richard

aszurblue
05-05-2008, 01:39 PM
You ignorant!! That would be the day the devil sets up house heeping on a iceberg!:)

Now this question may be the most ignorant in WetCanvas history... Can some one explain what the difference is between Split Primary and Secondary palette? I thought they were the same?? Azure

candoco2
05-05-2008, 09:23 PM
The attachment with the 2 palette types was very useful. I would agree, I also like the logic and balance of the secondary palette. Particularly, having the green, each colour then has its own complement. It is simpler, and I find it easier to make mixes from. With the split-primary, many mixes require 3 paints, which can get confusing when seeking harmony across a painting.
Whilst I often do use 3 paints also of course, with the secondary palette, the balance here does help, as the secondaries are there to fill out the limitations of my primaries.

Richard Saylor
05-06-2008, 07:34 AM
You ignorant!! That would be the day the devil sets up house heeping on a iceberg!:)You're very kind. :)

Now this question may be the most ignorant in WetCanvas history... Can some one explain what the difference is between Split Primary and Secondary palette? I thought they were the same?? AzurecA split primary palette uses a warm and a cool of each of the colors red, yellow, blue. For example, the reds might be cadmium red light and alizarin crimson, the yellows: cadmium yellow medium and cadmium lemon, and the blues: cerulean blue and ultramarine blue. To use them to the fullest, one must keep in mind their relative position on a color wheel. (I'll skip Wilcox's color bias theory.) Colors which are close together mix to produce brighter colors than those which are farther apart. For example, cadmium red light and cadmium yellow medium are the two closest yellows and reds, and these two will produce the brightest orange colors. Alizarin crimson and cadmium lemon are farther apart, so they will produce duller oranges.

For the secondary palette, you take the primaries to be cyan, magenta, and yellow. These might, for example, be pthalo blue (green shade), quinacridone rose, and hansa yellow medium. It is possible to mix all hues with these three colors. In particular, you can mix blue from cyan and magenta, green from cyan and yellow, and red from magenta and yellow. Red, green, blue are the secondary colors. Some of these secondaries may be dark and/or dull, depending on the choice of primaries. For the secondary palette, instead of depending on these mixed secondaries, you add bright versions of these colors to the palette. Red might be pyrrole red, green: pthalo green (blue shade), blue: ultramarine blue. Thus a typical secondary palette might consist of pthalo blue gs, quinacricone rose, hansa yellow med., pyrrole red, pthalo green bs, and pthalo blue gs.

A secondary palette may be changed into a split primary palette merely by replacing yellow and green with a warm and cool yellow. I show this in the attached diagrams in my last post before this one. All this information is in the Handprint web site at one place or another.

Richard

aszurblue
05-06-2008, 06:44 PM
ahaaa, mine would be the first. When I scraped the palette I was using and started all over, I went to the pure primary's and made my own warm and cools. Then did the four color triads The one blue I added was ultramarine, cause I love the color. This would be watercolors

I was using the magenta, yellow and blue in acrylics and not liking it to much.. I think I may try the pyrrole red, the pthalo green, and ultramarine blue and see what I get. I have just about any color I want in the acrylics.. Your typical secondary palette sounds too good to pass up :)

Thank You for taking the time to post a reply. With WC being so slow it dose take some work to get it posted...Azure