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ThinkSeeDraw
02-16-2002, 01:13 PM
hey all, got a question for ya:

what's the difference between Ivory Black and Mars Black

and while your at it, what about lamp black????

thanks for any responses you may give ;)

Einion
02-18-2002, 12:12 AM
Ivory Black is actually Bone Black, PBk9, these days, made from charred animal bones as the name suggests. It is warmer than other blacks, usually slightly transparent, a moderately-weak tinter and probably not the best black to have if you want only one.

Mars Black, PBk11, in common with the other mars colours, is made from iron and is very opaque and usually strong in mixes. It varies in hue and value, mine is noticeably warm in masstone (especially when compared to a carbon black) but cool in tint while others are blue-grey in masstone. It can be strongly granulating in watercolours.

Lamp Black, PBk6, is about the best of the commonly-available carbon blacks, probably the best choice for a single black. In common with Carbon Black, PBk7, it is the darkest-valued of the lot, an intense tinter, should be extremely opaque and very cool in tint. In fact the only black that supposedly makes neutral greys with just white is Spinel Black but since it is usually more expensive than Cobalt Blue it's only for the rich or indulgent among us!

Bear in mind though that using blacks in the manner that most people use them (small quantities added to other mixed colours) it doesn't make a whole lot of difference which you choose as it can be hard to tell their effects apart. I have experimented a bit and I can pretty much use Carbon Black and Mars Black interchangeably where masstone is concerned while Bone Black is the choice for transparent effects.

Einion

ThinkSeeDraw
02-18-2002, 08:43 AM
just what I needed, thanks Einion :)

amanda
03-05-2002, 09:57 AM
thanks for that, it's very helpful to all of us!:D

Bendaini
03-05-2002, 03:44 PM
That was indeed informative...

But everything i have ever heard suggested not using black as a tinter because it makes everything lack luster... the color kind of gets removed.

I use burnt umber and ulramerine blue mixed together with a touch of linseed oil... it comes out a very warm black that reflects back a verying degree of colors... Much warmer to me then using black out of a tube.

Einion
03-07-2002, 03:08 AM
Originally posted by Bendaini
everything i have ever heard suggested not using black as a tinter because it makes everything lack luster... the color kind of gets removed.
Sorry to sound pedantic but tints are colour plus white, colours plus black are generally called tones.

Adding black doesn't necessarily result in dead colour, Payne’s Grey for example is usually a simple mix of black and Ultramarine and tints of it could hardly be called dead. Too much black can certainly be the death of a mix if you want to keep the chroma high but used with care it can be extremely useful. It's worth remembering that the desire to remove black from the palette is essentially only an (unfortunate) holdover from the impressionists, it had been in use in painting for far centuries before this.

Originally posted by Bendaini
I use burnt umber and ulramerine blue mixed together with a touch of linseed oil... it comes out a very warm black that reflects back a verying degree of colors... Much warmer to me then using black out of a tube.
As I think Milt has said in the past it's only people who don't use black that think it's replaceable :)

Seriously, while I appreciate that one's personal colour-sense might prefer a mixed dark instead of a black, in many cases there is no real substitute for the deep hole a carbon black can represent on the canvas. And when mixing colours, in realist work in particular, black can be vital to achieving some hues.

Einion

chris 97
03-07-2002, 04:05 PM
could be more than i ever wanted to know about black;) but i did enjoy the discussion:) thanks for sharing your in depth knowledge of the subject with one of those "mix your own types":D

Bendaini
03-07-2002, 06:27 PM
As I think Milt has said in the past it's only people who don't use black that think it's replaceable :)
On the contrary, i have used black before, quite a bit of it on my first painting. The whole background was completely black. However, for my personaly taste, i do like the browns and blues to give just a touch of color to my paintings. Considering the things i paint are never BLACK exactly there is no reason i should use it.

For instance, i just painted an underwater scene at might... it was far better to have the blues and browns, along with a touch of white reflection from the moon, then it would have been with plain black.

I will agree it has its place if what your painting is black, but will you also agree that it is rare that anything is truely black? Even while drawing a glass object the glass is transparent, but what a person sees is the colors from beyond it distorted in the glass, and thus you draw the glass with color.

Einion
03-08-2002, 12:14 AM
Truly black pictorial elements are indeed quite rare, most black objects for example have very few featureless black areas and are largely modelled by lightsource and reflected light colours. But there are true blacks in reality so in realist work, if one wants to be accurate with colour and value, black is a solid choice (and certainly a cost-effective one in place of many mixed darks if one needs a lot of it). In a night scene for example black should really be used to accurately match any darks, as these are truly black; in daylight, the unlit interior of a building seen through an open window or door can often be dead black too, although again I can understand a preference for a mixed dark in either case if one's use of colour is influenced by impressionism at all.

But what I think is often overlooked is the valuable role black has to play in accurate colour mixing. Now a lot depends on the rest of one's palette of course but it might be impossible, or at least much more difficult, to match a colour without a little black. Again in a night scene, black is also the easiest route to accurately represent the range of very low-chroma hues that the human eye sees when light levels fall below the threshold for cones to work properly; given a dark enough scene there is in fact no colour vision at all and what better way is there to represent black and white vision than by using black? Now this is obviously a very limited case so here's another: a good range of ethnic skin tones can be mixed from white, Yellow Ochre, Red Oxide and black, where the black/ochre pair make the green neutral to offset the red. Now the same results can be achieved using a green or blue, a different yellow and red and no black but the range, simplicity and ease of handling of these four colours used together is impressive.

It's also worth mentioning that matches for traditional colours like Sepia, Indigo, Asphaltum and Van Dyck Brown, and of course the wealth of greys now offered, are almost all commercially mixed using a black so many people use it unwittingly while publicly advocating discarding it!

Einion

Bendaini
03-08-2002, 03:38 AM
Those are all very good points.

After writing my last post i went and looked at the colors that came in the oil set i bought. It didn't come with a black. That is how i stumbled in on the brown/blue combination for the first time. I had been useing to using black up until that point.

Quite interesting how inventive one becomes when they are missing a tube of paint.

I might add at this point that i niether do realisum or impretionisum. I do what someone called "magical realisum"... fantasy pictures basicly. It has a whole diffrent twist then either impretionisum or realisum. I pretty much follow my own ways, not the "teachers".