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Heidi7Sue
04-05-2006, 11:47 PM
I have been painting using the split primary system, and it generally works for me. The only thing that doesn't work is a question of terminology. You're supposed to have a warm and a cool version of each primary. That works for yellow and red, but not for blue, in my head. I have ultramarine blue and phthalo blue. I could argue that phthalo blue is warm because it tends toward yellow, which I think of as a warm color. I could argue that ultramarine is warm because it tends toward red, which I also think of as a warm color. Blue is what I think of as a cool color, so what's a warm blue?

The corollary of this is that I can't for the life of me think of a shade of orange that I would call "cool". :confused:

Heidi

Einion
04-06-2006, 12:14 AM
Hi Heidi, in the Starting tips and posting guidelines sticky near the head of the first page we ask that people try a search first before asking a question that might have been covered before. This is one of those ;)

Here is a selection of recent threads from the last year that touch on related issues:
Warm and cool blues (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=293876)
cobalt blue ??? (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=272160)
Colour temperature (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=323835)
Warm/Cool - it's all relative (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=324331)

Einion

Richard Saylor
04-06-2006, 02:14 AM
Six-color "split-primary" palettes are extremely popular. I suspect that some of their popularity is due to the associated rhetoric. Using a palette consisting of a warm and a cool of each primary gives the impression of rock-solid common sense, at least until one questions the meaning of the key words "warm," "cool," and "primary.":evil:

Einion
04-06-2006, 06:54 AM
...until one questions the meaning of the key words "warm," "cool," and "primary.":evil:
:lol:

Einion

Patrick1
04-06-2006, 08:47 AM
I have ultramarine blue and phthalo blue.That's what you need; don't worry too much about the w or c classification....thinking in terms of hue instead is unambiguous.

The corollary of this is that I can't for the life of me think of a shade of orange that I would call "cool". :confused: We're all lucky; Gamblin has firgured out which orange is cool!!!!!...have a look!!!!! :rolleyes: ...

http://www.gamblincolors.com/ncs/temp_list_color.html

jdadson
04-06-2006, 01:51 PM
I have been painting using the split primary system, and it generally works for me. The only thing that doesn't work is a question of terminology. You're supposed to have a warm and a cool version of each primary. That works for yellow and red, but not for blue, in my head. I have ultramarine blue and phthalo blue. I could argue that phthalo blue is warm because it tends toward yellow, which I think of as a warm color. I could argue that ultramarine is warm because it tends toward red, which I also think of as a warm color. Blue is what I think of as a cool color, so what's a warm blue?

The corollary of this is that I can't for the life of me think of a shade of orange that I would call "cool". :confused:

Heidi

I'm with Richard. The terms "warm", "cool", and "primary" are troublesome. Folks use the terms without defining them. For what it's worth (which isn't much), most people say ultramarine is "warmer" than the various phthalo blues.

By the way, if you take a look at the reflectance curve of phthalo blue "red shade", you'll see that it reflects virtually no red! It is a very pure blue. Phthalo blue green shade reflects some green, but not all that much much yellow. Ultramarine reflects a considerable amount of wavelenths longer than blue.

You might also find this to be of some interest:

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color14.html#splitprimary

Heidi7Sue
04-06-2006, 05:28 PM
Oops, my bad. :o I thought to search the forum before posting my other question, and then I spaced it before posting this one. Thanks for the links to all those other threads, Einion, and everyone else for the other links. It's been interesting reading.

And wow, there is much difference of opinion on what constitutes "warm" and "cool"! I think that explains some of my confusion. I think I will skip using those terms myself, and now I have some tools for making sense of what other people mean when they use them.

Now I just need to figure out how to handle light and shadow. Lots of people talk about cool light and warm shadows, or vice versa. But what do they mean? More forum searching!

Thanks for the input, everyone!
Heidi

Richard Saylor
04-06-2006, 07:25 PM
A search for shadows should turn up some bizarre threads. Have fun in the twilight zone. :D

Donna A
04-08-2006, 04:37 PM
Ohhhhhhh! I am such a fervent believer in the tremendous usefulness and "working" clarity of warm and cool within a given HUE!!! I consider it one of the four color qualities----and usually the one left out by so many teachers. The enormous difference it has made for the artists I work with is remarkable!!!! The implications of the warm to the cool within a hue is dramatic and, again----soooo useful!!!!

I have heard several people refer to Ultra. as warm blue "since it is so close to red" and Thalo Blue as cool. Geeee, HOW????? Unless they are looking at some great glacier and seeing the turquoise-y look of the blues and thinking ice. Hey----the sunlight is pouring down on the glacier and moving through the transparent to semitransparent areas, glowing out as that great warm blue!

Lay a royal blue garment or other object out in a bring spring day (as we are finally having!!!) with part of it in the sunlight and part in the shadow----and see what colors you would need to add to the sunlit part (something golden-ish!) and what you would need to add to the part in shadow (something toward the violet.) Put something royal blue under an incandescent light-----same thing!

And the color of shadows are soooo totally dependant on the color of the major light source and other possible light sources and other issues of the surroundings. So---there is NO "shadow colors are "..."" Nope!!! It don't work thet way no how!

And---we need to understand differences in perception between pigments and in generally understood Hue Families.

AND there are sooo many different ways to divide up colors and organize colors and think about colors-----but----what it takes---is something that works for each of us for our paintings! And, when mentoring others, something that puts them in the position to make choices that will keep them in a position to find their own creative path and constantly grow.

I'll upload a pdf about light---and an image from my Mastering Color dvds with some interesting shadows---and light.

Really interesting info I've been gathering since my twins finally entered kindergarten and I got to take my first-in-years nice, long bath in the daytime (they're 43 now---been a while!!!) Laying back in the warm sumptuous water, I saw on our band-aid-colored tile (argh!) two cast shadows from the former Chlorox bottle I'd whittled into a rubber ducky holder hanging on the towel rack. One shadow blue-violet, one orangy. Hmmm????? Does not compute. (they were watching Lost in Space.) Got up and flicked off the light switch (incandescent bulb, of course) and the cool shadow disappears. Back on and blocked out the little round north window---the warm shadow disappears. WHAT????? Well, from then on, I began researching! NO one had ever talked to me about that. Never!!! It has become some of the most cherished bits of understanding I have about color and working with it!!!

Other than "staking my life on the idea that warm blues go toward the blue-green/green and cool blues go toward the blue-violet" I do think we can see color in many different ways that can end up working for us, personally. There are so many wonderful things I have learned from science. But I am not a scientist. I'm a painter. I want to use anything I can that will help me UNDERSTAND how to use what I'm seeing and how to put it to work to make an exciting painting.

Anyway----thalo blue----warm blue to me!!! Ultramarine blue----cool blue to me! EVERYTHING is relative! And in this way----the warm/cool relationships really work!!! Donna ;-}

Patrick1
04-08-2006, 05:28 PM
...I saw on our band-aid-colored tile (argh!) two cast shadows from the former Chlorox bottle I'd whittled into a rubber ducky holder hanging on the towel rack. One shadow blue-violet, one orangy. Hmmm????? Does not compute. (they were watching Lost in Space.) Got up and flicked off the light switch (incandescent bulb, of course) and the cool shadow disappears. Back on and blocked out the little round north window---the warm shadow disappears...Donna, if you haven't already, have a look at this infamous thread:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=257430

It should be noted that none of the photos are good color-wise. The third one I posted in that thread is close, but I adjusted the whitepoint to make the white piece of paper actually white in the pic. It made the cool shadow a lot greyer.

I always keep an eye out for these color things that others might not notice or care about. I might even be in a parking lot looking at a brick wall in shadow though my hands forming a small square to isolate the color. "What color really is that? Oh...it's like violet oxide."

Richard Saylor
04-08-2006, 05:41 PM
Donna, if you wish to think of pthalo as warm and ultramarine as cool, by all means do so! Just don't expect to be understood if you use the terms "warm blue" or "cool blue" without further qualification. It is not science; it is semantics. Whenever there is failure to agree on the meaning of a term, it is likely to lead to misunderstanding.

jdadson
04-08-2006, 06:13 PM
Donna, if you wish to think of pthalo as warm and ultramarine as cool, by all means do so! Just don't expect to be understood if you use the terms "warm blue" or "cool blue" without further qualification. It is not science; it is semantics. Whenever there is failure to agree on the meaning of a term, it is likely to lead to misunderstanding.

Can we define warm and cool? A good definition is easy to understand, and conveys the intention of those (learned people) who use the words. In the case at hand, I believe the intentions of those who speak of "warm" and "cool" are too fuzzy to admit a simple explanation. Despite all the thousands of words that have been written here about those words, no one has defined them. Until someone does, and until we agree on the definition, I lean toward considering the terms worse than useless. The concept is hardly essential. The baroque painters did magnificent work without it. "Warm" and "cool" did not enter into the artistic lexicon until the mid 18th century.

As usual, I hurry to handprint.

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color12.html

MacEvoy makes a mighty effort to explore how artists use the words, and why. But I cannot find a simple definition proposed there. I suspect the task is impossible. Too often, I see the words used inconsitently. I do not think there can be a definition that would clear everything up.

One thing that has become apparent to me is that many artists do not consider warm/cool to be purely a function of hue. Before I figured out that the words do not have well-defined meanings, it took me about a year to figure out what one well-known contemporary artist meant when he spoke of "cool" flesh tones. It turns out he meant unsaturated (grayed) flesh tones. Those are "closer to blue" than saturated flesh tones, if you measure distance cutting through color space, rather than going around the hue circle. MacEvoy didn't miss that.

What about dull (near neutral) colors? In the 19th century the common practice was to assign "gray" to the cool hues. In relative terms, a grayed color is labeled warm or cool using the same comparison as before [colorimetric distance from red-orange - jdadson]. Thus, a grayed blue green is warmer than a saturated blue green, because the gray is closer to red orange across the center of the hue circle.

Returning to the question of whether ultramarine or phthalo is the warmer, if you use the "distance through color space to red-orange" as a measure of coolness, then the two are very close, but ultramarine blue is slightly the cooler of the two. That is mainly because ultramarine is the more saturated blue. But that is opposite to how most artists think of warm/cool for blue colors. Phthalo is closer to being the visual complement of red-orange, so isn't it therefore "cooler"? In other words, in some cases we tend to think of distance around the wheel, in others distance cutting through color space. Again, I don't think there is a simple definition that fits how the words are used in practice.

jdadson
04-08-2006, 08:58 PM
The corollary of this is that I can't for the life of me think of a shade of orange that I would call "cool". :confused:

Heidi

I have a book by a famous contemporary painter that speaks of using an "orange-blue." I'm not even going to try to think about that one.

Patrick1
04-09-2006, 11:56 AM
I have a book by a famous contemporary painter that speaks of using an "orange-blue." I'm not even going to try to think about that one.Did the author mean to say a greyish blue? If yes, why couldn't he/she just say so? I remember a long time ago in Landscapes someone suggested to another to use a brownish-blue color.

LarrySeiler
04-09-2006, 12:23 PM
I used the split primary palette for near 25 years...and of the past 1-1/2 years a very limited palette.

It is all relative of course...and arguable, but holds water if your painting has continuity and produces workable harmony.

I just painted a plein air yesterday...which I'll use as an example..

http://www.artlandishconcepts.org/images/piergorge_done120dpi.jpg

If you note the various blues...the sky gains warmth as it draws nearer to the sun's position on the left...it cools going to the right, and yet the cooler blue to the upper right is warmer by comparison to most blues reflected in the waters beneath.

Now...I hold right to alter my limited palette where I see fit. Paint most often with just French Ultramarine Blue..and will use Naples Yellow in my mix, tinting with white to warm it up a bit. In this case yesterday...I added a touch of phthalo blue to the palette to get a warmer feel yet. I wanted that spring glow to come thru. Crisp yet in temps...but warming.

Now...the blue is relative in other aspects. Some think of phthalo blue as the cold color learning toward green (which some will say is cold) while the ultramarine blue leans toward red, giving it a violet feel...but the presence of red is warm so some will say it is the warmer of the blue.

I have the opposite take on it showing that this can work out relative to your consistent use of it and the total package of what you produce. I see phthalo blue's green hint as the presence of a yellow in the blue, and see yellow as warmer than the red in the presence of ultramarine blue. I also see violet leanings of the ultramarine blue as being more opposite or complementary to yellow thus making that cooler in the color temperature mode of thinking.

So...in short, when I revert back to my split primary use of color, French Ultramarine blue plays the role of my cool...and phthalo blue my warm.

Many might disagree with me...but I fall back onto the proof is in the pudding argument. My painting works, no(?), and ultimately the purpose of developing a palette is so that it will be a working palette. A tool in capable hands to experience the subject (in my case the outdoors with natural light) to respond with one's sense of integrity.

Now...if the warm phthalo blue is the only blue on the palette...speaking in limited terms...it can by comparison to other colors appear cooler. This goes along with the same thinking that yellow is warmer than red, cooler than blue but red is warmer than blue. A blue green is warmer than blue...but is cooler than green and if blue green were as cool as you went..then it could effectively be your cool point in the painting.

Sounds confusing, but it becomes very workable over time....

You might also note its where a color is placed that it can psychologically take on a role. I used more red in the mix of my greens to produce the greens of the foreground pines and even in some shadows...(note some reds in the shadows) and thus though warm as a pigment, red took on a cooler role for what should be seen and felt nearer to the eye. Yet in the distance...I use violet and neutrals to suggest cools. The red would have been out of place back there and ineffective to be suggestive as a cool.

LarrySeiler
04-09-2006, 12:32 PM
Donna, if you wish to think of pthalo as warm and ultramarine as cool, by all means do so! Just don't expect to be understood if you use the terms "warm blue" or "cool blue" without further qualification. It is not science; it is semantics. Whenever there is failure to agree on the meaning of a term, it is likely to lead to misunderstanding.

I hope my explanation and example shows that one doesn't even have to be understood to yet use the terms. I'll be danged if I have to explain every one of my paintings to qualify myself!!! Let the paintings speak for themselves!!! :rolleyes:

Some aren't going to get it, that is...my use of paint...and I can live with that. After all..everyone must work with a measure of understanding and integrity that works for their body of work, and more power to them. One's zealousness that their understanding is proper needs to consider others are zealous for what works for themselves as well, and no justification is needed if indeed the work is working. Now...a problem enters in if one's work is NOT working...but it seems a bit redundant and a paradox to judge the thinking errant that produces admirable results.

If it only means by using terms cool and warm that artists are thinking about color temperature to orchestrate their painting, so long as the term and overriding factor- "COHESIVE UNITY" is attained...it will result in a painting that works and holds integrity.

jdadson
04-09-2006, 04:42 PM
Did the author mean to say a greyish blue? .

I have no idea what he meant.

jdadson
04-09-2006, 04:53 PM
I used the split primary palette for near 25 years...and of the past 1-1/2 years a very limited palette.

It is all relative of course...and arguable, but holds water if your painting has continuity and produces workable harmony.

I just painted a plein air yesterday...which I'll use as an example..

http://www.artlandishconcepts.org/images/piergorge_done120dpi.jpg

That's a lovely painting. You do really nice stuff.

But you know what? If I were presented with that picture, and asked to say which side of the sky the artist considered the cooler of the two, I would guess the left side.

Now if you have some color theory that you use to good effect, and that theory is consistent with the left side being labeled "warmer", more power to you. That's something personal, your own method. I would even like to know about it. However, I do not think anything is to be gained by contending that the left side objectively is warmer - not without giving a precise definition of what that means. Why not just say the left side is greener and less saturated?

Richard Saylor
04-09-2006, 04:59 PM
Larry, paintings like your example prove that you are a master of color (and form and composition)! That painting evokes the reality of the scene in a way that makes me want to be there. (I'm an outdoorsman too.) You know exactly what to do to get the effects you want, and if you wish to assign temperature to colors in a way that is consistent with these effects, why not? All I'm saying is that if you use the terms "warm blue" and "cool blue" it's a good idea to mention that you are thinking of pthalo and ultramarine, respectively.

However, there is no "color-theoretic" basis for pthalo being warmer than ultramarine. Dragging yellow into the argument doesn't prove anything. While it is true that pthalo blue is a greenish blue (or bluish green), it is not strictly correct to say that pthalo blue has yellow in it. (Not all green comes from mixing yellow and blue anyhow.)

Heidi7Sue
04-10-2006, 04:53 PM
Larry, could you tell us where you painted that picture? It looks for all the world like Cedar Rapids on the Flambeau River (my favorite river), but there are so many rivers up there. In any case, your painting makes me wish I were holding a paddle in my hands. It is beautiful. And thank you for the explanation of how you use the concepts of warm and cool while you paint.

Heidi

jdadson
04-10-2006, 08:13 PM
it is not strictly correct to say that pthalo blue has yellow in it.

Alas, even phthalo blue, green shade reflects very little from the yellow range of the spectrum.

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/IMG/RC/rcPB15.jpg

Richard Saylor
04-10-2006, 11:22 PM
Alas, even phthalo blue, green shade reflects very little from the yellow range of the spectrum.

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/IMG/RC/rcPB15.jpgActually, there even seems to be a slightly lower yellow reflectance in pthalo blue than in ultramarine blue (relative to the blue reflectance of those colors).

Miketav
04-16-2006, 05:33 PM
That's a lovely painting. You do really nice stuff.

But you know what? If I were presented with that picture, and asked to say which side of the sky the artist considered the cooler of the two, I would guess the left side.

This is an interesting thread because it seems to highlight two things. First, many people don't agree on what "warm" means and what "cool" means. I look at Larry's painting and see that the sy is warmer than the water, which is cool. Also, the coolest part of the sky is the patch in the upper right with the left side being the warmest.
So, if "warm" amd "cool" are in the eye of the beholder, what is the purpose for trying to define them. I mean for me, there is no question about the temperature of the blues in Larry's painting. I am not guessing, to me it's obvious becuase it is I see it.

Just as obvious is the number of others who con't agree for their own reasons. This ties into the next quote:

However, there is no "color-theoretic" basis for pthalo being warmer than ultramarine. Dragging yellow into the argument doesn't prove anything. While it is true that pthalo blue is a greenish blue (or bluish green), it is not strictly correct to say that pthalo blue has yellow in it. (Not all green comes from mixing yellow and blue anyhow.)
Why is that true. If you have a consistent color theory, there SHOULD be a basis to determine, one way or the other, which is which. Otherewise, what good is the theory?

Mike

Richard Saylor
04-16-2006, 07:18 PM
Why is that true. If you have a consistent color theory, there SHOULD be a basis to determine, one way or the other, which is which. Otherewise, what good is the theory?I'm not sure I understand your question, Mike. My position is simply that temperature seems to be more of a subjective, intuitive feeling than an objective attribute of color. As such, I am suggesting that it may not be a suitable "color theory" topic. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is not an interesting subject for discussion.

Larry's use of temperature is closely tied to the idea that warm colors advance and cool colors recede. He apparently is able to use it consistently (and, I might add, effectively). As he says, "no justification is needed if indeed the work is working."

Einion
04-16-2006, 07:42 PM
So, if "warm" amd "cool" are in the eye of the beholder, what is the purpose for trying to define them.
Depends on the context but primarily so that other people understand which colours/hues you're referring to as warm or cool if you're trying to explain how you work or if you're teaching. If you just say "I'd use a warm blue..." without further explanation you can't assume it will be understood exactly as meant.

I mean for me, there is no question about the temperature of the blues in Larry's painting. I am not guessing, to me it's obvious becuase it is I see it.
I know what you mean but for those who don't think this way much, or at all, the whole issue isn't about 'temperature' at all remember.

Even though I don't use this much I do think it's worth looking closely at how one defines the concept so that you can be consistent. While I haven't had any trouble as seeing a vivid scarlet as the hottest colour (possibly just because I learned this fairly early on and it became sort of hard-wired for me) I found it very difficult to decide what was the coolest blue; there are some past threads on related points you might like to hunt up. Given that the warmest and coolest colours should oppose each other on the wheel the correct colour, for me, became simple - cyan - if I want to be consistent. However the subjective nature of this whole area means there really isn't a problem if one sees yellow as warmer than scarlet, while agreeing that cyan is the coolest.

Just as obvious is the number of others who con't agree for their own reasons. ???

Why is that true. If you have a consistent color theory, there SHOULD be a basis to determine, one way or the other, which is which.
This is a complex area but one of the things that we've come to understand here over the years is there is no single colour theory - which is why some people prefer to say 'colour theory', especially if some older concepts are assumed to be present.

Otherewise, what good is the theory?
Some colour theories (perhaps the majority in fact) don't have anything to say about 'temperature' so whether they can define it at all is actually irrelevant :)

Einion

Miketav
04-17-2006, 12:22 AM
Depends on the context but primarily so that other people understand which colours/hues you're referring to as warm or cool if you're trying to explain how you work or if you're teaching. If you just say "I'd use a warm blue..." without further explanation you can't assume it will be understood exactly as meant.

That's my point, I guess it is subjective. In such a case, one can say, "I use a warm blue and this is how I define a "warm" blue...."


Even though I don't use this much I do think it's worth looking closely at how one defines the concept so that you can be consistent. While I haven't had any trouble as seeing a vivid scarlet as the hottest colour (possibly just because I learned this fairly early on and it became sort of hard-wired for me) I found it very difficult to decide what was the coolest blue; there are some past threads on related points you might like to hunt up. Given that the warmest and coolest colours should oppose each other on the wheel the correct colour, for me, became simple - cyan - if I want to be consistent. However the subjective nature of this whole area means there really isn't a problem if one sees yellow as warmer than scarlet, while agreeing that cyan is the coolest.

I guess I fall into the latter category. Maybe it's me, but I have an intuitive ability to sense a "coolness" or "warmth"" by the feeling I get from the color itself. Again-back to Larry's painting. I have an instant understanding of which blue is cooler and which is warmer.

Again, it also has a lot to do with the colors on the canvas as to the relative "coolness" or "warmth" of any pair of colors seen.


Some colour theories (perhaps the majority in fact) don't have anything to say about 'temperature' so whether they can define it at all is actually irrelevant :)

Einion

I guess that it true too. I am just learning about color theory. I have been told that I have a good sense of color. It is something intuitive with me and I don't think about it much at all.

I am learning that not everyone has this ability.

Mike

Miketav
04-17-2006, 12:24 AM
I'm not sure I understand your question, Mike. My position is simply that temperature seems to be more of a subjective, intuitive feeling than an objective attribute of color. As such, I am suggesting that it may not be a suitable "color theory" topic. That doesn't necessarily mean that it is not an interesting subject for discussion.

Larry's use of temperature is closely tied to the idea that warm colors advance and cool colors recede. He apparently is able to use it consistently (and, I might add, effectively). As he says, "no justification is needed if indeed the work is working."

After reading a lot of messages on this topic I totally agree with you Richard:)

bigflea
04-17-2006, 09:57 AM
In practical usage, separating color into warm/cool categories has a limit in terms of assigning a color to describe a specific area and solve a color relationship problem.

Larry's use of phalo in the sky area nearest the sunlight source seems to me to solve the problem of the color relationship because of the chromatic differences between the areas of the sky. Nearer the sunlight source, the sky has a chromatic quality that is higher in the key than the sky receding away from the sunlight source, which is deeper or lower chromatically in the key. To me that means that it can be misleading to think in terms of warmth or coolness without also assigning a chromatic scale to the color notes, and that it is actually the chromatic value of the notes that clues the eye to the sensation of temperature.

Pthalo blue is considered by some to be a purer blue that other blues, which means, when used in small amounts with alot of white, it is making a note that is high in the chromatic scale of possible notes, especially by comparison to an ultramarine. It may not be possible to decide which one is the warmer because the difference could be in the brightness and purity of the notes.
Ken

jdadson
04-17-2006, 04:39 PM
Mr. Flea, you substitute one set of jargon that I don't understand for another one that I don't understand. I've read 10,000 words about "keys" and I still do not know what they are. Forgive me for suspecting that the term is not well defined. Now here's "lower chromatically in the key." I have not a clue. And what is a "note"? I almost want to go back to "warm" and "cool".

Can you say what you're saying in terms of hue, value, and saturation? If not, why not?

Miketav
04-17-2006, 07:38 PM
Mr. Flea, you substitute one set of jargon that I don't understand for another one that I don't understand. I've read 10,000 words about "keys" and I still do not know what they are. Forgive me for suspecting that the term is not well defined. Now here's "lower chromatically in the key." I have not a clue. And what is a "note"? I almost want to go back to "warm" and "cool".

Can you say what you're saying in terms of hue, value, and saturation? If not, why not?

Yes, I agree. After I read his message, I concluded that nobody really knows what they are talking about. I decided to not worry about it and paint what I like.

Mike

artist60164
04-17-2006, 08:16 PM
does anyone know how to make black? help

Richard Saylor
04-17-2006, 10:29 PM
In Ken's defense, he does know what he's talking about, but it would be very difficult for him (or anybody else) to communicate in a few posts what probably took years to learn. Besides, much of the terminology (such as keys, notes, scales, chromatic) is adapted from music theory, which itself may be 'Greek' to the typical artist. I may not agree with him, but I appreciate the fact that he is making an effort to share this information in a sea swarming with skeptics and even scoffers. If I were he, I wouldn't bother.

bigflea
04-17-2006, 10:37 PM
Mr Jive,
First, my name is at the bottom of the post. If your intentiion is to establish a sincere communication between us I suggest you use it instead of making up names for me, which seemed based on your inability to give credance to other people and their ideas because they do not easily fit into your system of reference. In other words, give a try toward understanding the meaning of the words that are being used to communicate to you. For example, chroma ought to mean something to someone so educated and brilliant as you.

I realize you do not understand the context in which the words are used. In my opinion, that is because you are trying to put everything about painting into neatly defined categories and definitions that may not actually have any real significance to solving painting problems. You want to define it, but you do not have enough experience in problem solving to understand what a term means when it comes to actual pigment mixing and assigning a scale of chromatic relationships to areas of a composition or of form. What I mean is, by doing more mixing of pigment, and trying to solve the problem presented by warm/cool contradictions, you may come to a simpler understanding of the problem than the one posed by insisting on a definition that covers all circumstances.

I sympathize with your difficulty, if it is sincerely a problem for you, but based on your attitude here in your comment to me, I think you really have not demonstrated that you could understand a decent answer or definition, if it was handed to you on a golden plate.

My point is that painters often think conceptually in a way that is misleading them. Warm/cool can be one of these misconceptions, when chromatically, the actual note of color used for one area of the sky, (sticking to Larry's example) is lighter, paler, and purer, as a blue than the other area of sky, In other words, the painter is solving the chromatic problem, even though the conception of warm/cool may not be perfectly agreed upon. So the problem of warm/cool is more appropriately conceived of as a chromatic scale or relationship of chromatic intensities. In Larry's illustration, he used a hue and a chromatic distinction beween the twp areas of the sky to create the sensation of recession and of relative warmth.

Color notes are actual touches of pigment on a flat surface, that are distinguishable by their differences in hue, value, and chroma. They can be thought of as notes when they are part of a compositional arrangement of color, which implies an intentional effort on the part of the composer.
Ken

jdadson
04-17-2006, 11:32 PM
Okay Ken it is. "Mr. Flea" was supposed to be funny. Jive Dadson is supposed to be funny too. That's not my real name, although the letters are the same.

The question remains, can you explain "chromatic scales" and so forth in terms of hue, value, and saturation?

Einion
04-18-2006, 04:18 AM
does anyone know how to make black? help
Add black pigment to a binder; mix well :D

Seriously, most palettes won't create a true black but you can get close if you have the right pigments - many pairs of paints that act as mixing complements will give you a very dark grey, sometimes close enough to black as makes no odds.

Some possibilities:
Phthalo Blue GS and many red-orange or scarlet paints;
French Ultramarine and Burnt Umber;
Dioxazine Purple and any dark green.

By the way, it's better to start a new thread if you have an unrelated question like this, unless you're the original topic starter. In addition to helping it not be overlooked it makes the question and any answers easier to find in future if someone is searching for something similar.

Einion

Einion
04-18-2006, 04:19 AM
Ken, I have to say in all honesty I found your original post to be impenetrable too.

JD, given your apparent standards with regard to explanations I doubt there could be an acceptable one for this so you might consider just dropping it.

Regardless gents, http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Oct-2004/13766-off_topic.gif

Einion

Patrick1
04-18-2006, 04:39 AM
The question remains, can you explain "chromatic scales" and so forth in terms of hue, value, and saturation?Sure...every note including all sharps or flats. Oh wait a minute, this is supposed to be about painting, not music.

I have the feeling Ken means something like color sequencing...a change in color, particularly hue for the colorists. Example: take a green, lush tree in sunlight under a blue sky. The deepest shadowy areas will be a dark, very greyed blue or turquoise color. the mid-tones will be a brighter, less dull middle green. The highlights will be a brighter still yellowish green. If it were late or early in the day, and the sunlight was instead yellowsh or orangish, or for an object of different color, the whole sequence of colors would be different.

Miketav
04-18-2006, 12:40 PM
Hi Ken, I understand what you are saying when you argue against the "warm/cool" designations towards a chromatic approach.

I did some digging onthe internet and found an interesting site of basic color theory. http://www.alvit.de/web-dev/color-tools-mixers-palettes.html

One of th problems I have with the music simile is that in music, when you say "play a chromatic scale" everyone knows exactly what you mean: "The chromatic scale contains twelve notes separated from one another by a half-step". Now, any music student who learns what a half step is can play a chormatic scale in any key. There will be no agrument that the student is playing a chrmatic scale. in a particular key.

My question is: does the same thing hold in color theory? Is there a consensus on what constitutes a chromatic palette? Is there consensus on where colors (or notes as you call them) belong on that palette?

Thank you,

Mike

Einion
04-18-2006, 01:38 PM
One of th problems I have with the music simile is that in music...
It's not that great an analogy if you're trying to pin something down. Hearing and vision are not exact parallels; there is no such thing as a metamer in hearing and no such thing as a chord in colour.

But this is an aside, can we stick to the thread's original topic please? Anyone interested in discussing this further is free to open a new thread, or I can split off existing posts from this to begin a new one if someone wants.

Einion

Miketav
04-18-2006, 03:37 PM
But this is an aside, can we stick to the thread's original topic please? Anyone interested in discussing this further is free to open a new thread, or I can split off existing posts from this to begin a new one if someone wants.
Einion, with all due respect, I though we were. In Ken's last message, he said:

My point is that painters often think conceptually in a way that is misleading them. Warm/cool can be one of these misconceptions, when chromatically, the actual note of color used for one area of the sky, (sticking to Larry's example) is lighter, paler, and purer, as a blue than the other area of sky, In other words, the painter is solving the chromatic problem, even though the conception of warm/cool may not be perfectly agreed upon. So the problem of warm/cool is more appropriately conceived of as a chromatic scale or relationship of chromatic intensities. In Larry's illustration, he used a hue and a chromatic distinction beween the twp areas of the sky to create the sensation of recession and of relative warmth.

Color notes are actual touches of pigment on a flat surface, that are distinguishable by their differences in hue, value, and chroma. They can be thought of as notes when they are part of a compositional arrangement of color, which implies an intentional effort on the part of the composer.
So Ken is saying that it is not as useful to speak in terms of warm and cool but in terms of a chromatic scale.

I am trying to get more information on such scales and how they are used in art as opposed to the use of terms like "warm" and "cool".

If you want to open a new thread on chromatic scales, I guess you could do that. Either way, I think this is a valuable discussion.

Mike

Einion
04-18-2006, 06:38 PM
Mike, please try to use the quote feature, it's built into the forum code for a reason.

Einion, with all due respect, I though we were.
I'll have to presume that you were not a lurker for a while before joining so you'll have to trust me when I tell you there are good reasons for this ;)

Read post #29 and you'll see where the potential for this going into a completely new area starts and #33 takes us right there. As much as possible it's a good idea to keep a thread to the original topic, unless the question appears to be asked and answered.

Either way, I think this is a valuable discussion.
Not here - that's the point. This thread is not about "chromatic scales", "chromatic quality", "chromatic notes" or keys, whatever they're supposed to be. If you're interested in any of these please do a search, you'll find plenty of reading from the archived threads; after that if you still have questions then start a new thread. That's one of the forum guidelines (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=298912): search first, then ask.

Einion

Miketav
04-18-2006, 07:53 PM
Mike, please try to use the quote feature, it's built into the forum code for a reason.


I'll have to presume that you were not a lurker for a while before joining so you'll have to trust me when I tell you there are good reasons for this ;)

Read post #29 and you'll see where the potential for this going into a completely new area starts and #33 takes us right there. As much as possible it's a good idea to keep a thread to the original topic, unless the question appears to be asked and answered.


Not here - that's the point. This thread is not about "chromatic scales", "chromatic quality", "chromatic notes" or keys, whatever they're supposed to be. If you're interested in any of these please do a search, you'll find plenty of reading from the archived threads; after that if you still have questions then start a new thread. That's one of the forum guidelines (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=298912): search first, then ask.

Einion

OK, thanks for the advice. I'll remember that before wasting yours or anyone else time.

Thanks,

Mike

tk04
04-19-2006, 06:02 AM
Mike - chroma is the intensity of the color itself. Often the colors are cleanest, most intense, traight from the tube. Some colors, like phtalo blue, is at the most intense if you add some white. Viridian is a high-chroma color. If you put a dab of viridian with some white in it, in a picture, it will be much more "visible" than if you put a dab of some other green in the same picture.

Warm colors are often said to "come forward" in a picture, and cold to "recede". Like red is more "visible" than blue. But chroma has a somewhat similar effect.

In Larry's picture the blue water is the most "visible" part, even if the right side with the trees has warmer colors than the water. So you can't just look for cold and warm - you have to take chroma into consideration too. It's obviously relevant in a discussion about the use of warm and cold colors in Larry's picture.

tk04
04-19-2006, 10:17 AM
As an addition - the chromatic scale is just how much the colors are greyed. If you put a non-greyed color, it means a color with high chroma, in the middle of greyed colors the high-chroma will stand out, or be more visible. You can look a Larry's picture that way too - that all the colors are greyer than the blue in the water.

Miketav
04-19-2006, 11:58 AM
[QUOTE=tk04]Mike - chroma is the intensity of the color itself. Often the colors are cleanest, most intense, traight from the tube. Some colors, like phtalo blue, is at the most intense if you add some white. Viridian is a high-chroma color. If you put a dab of viridian with some white in it, in a picture, it will be much more "visible" than if you put a dab of some other green in the same picture.

Hello Karin,

thanks for your input. My problem was that I know about hue, value and intensity. I was unfamiliar with "chroma" now, I know its just another word for intensity. For a while there I though there was a fourth qualityof color called "chroma".

Thanks,:thumbsup:


Mike

Einion
04-19-2006, 12:12 PM
My problem was that I know about hue, value and intensity. I was unfamiliar with "chroma" now, I know its just another word for intensity.
Check out the WC! glossary Mike, it has many of the common terms defined; that's also mentioned in the Starting tips and posting guidelines sticky.

For a while there I though there was a fourth qualityof color called "chroma".
Thankfully no, colour has only three dimensions. There are just multiple ways of defining them.

Einion

Einion
04-19-2006, 07:26 PM
I wanted to post a selection of quotes (most from the site) to show the range of opinions on which are the warm and cool blues; names omitted to protect the innocent:

the cool primaries.... lemon yellow, cobalt blue, alizarin crimson.
the warm primaries.... cad yellow, cad red, ultramarine blue.
Ultramarine Blue (a cool blue)
The Ultramarine Blue bottle simply calls it "warm blue" and the phthalo blue bottle as "cool blue"
Cool blue—Cobalt Blue or Ultramarine Blue. Warm Blue—Manganese Blue or Cerulean...
Cerulean Blue... cool blue-towards green
French Ultramarine... warm blue-towards violet
I think the general Blue hue, expanding from turquoise to BV is cool, but within these analogous hues, there is warmer or cooler hues compared to each other, But all blue hues should fall in the cool. for example, an ultramarine is cool, warmer than cyan, but it is still a cool hue.
I checked McCaw's book and he does use ultramarine as his cool blue and phthalo blue as his warm blue. It's all relative, as ultramarine can be the warm one and cobalt as the cool one.
Ultramarine Deep - warm...
Pthalo Blue - cool...
A cerulean blue is warmer than an Ultramarine blue because it is greener, thinking such teal would be warmer still.
Cool Blue: Ultramarine, Cobalt... Warm Blue: Thalo (Pthalocyanine), Manganese Blue...
...any cool blue such as manganese, phthalocyanine blue, prussian blue, cerulean blue, etc.
...any warm blue such as ultramarine, permanent, cobalt, etc.
Ultramarine--is, well, ultramarine. A cool blue...
...a cool blue... ultramarine blue.... Cerulean blue is a warm blue to me, it has more green in it.
...choosing a cool blue such as phthalo... a warm blue such as ultramarine...
The only semi-opaque blue is Cerulean Blue which is a cool blue, and Cobalt Blue which almost neutral.
Chromacryl names their primaries Cool Blue, Warm Blue, etc. Cool Blue is thalo and Warm Blue looks like ultramarine.
...a cool blue, Phthalo Blue (GS)... a warm blue, French Ultramarine...
Prussian Blue: ...warm blue with more muted tint than Phthalo Blue.
...
Ultramarine Blue: warm Ultra Blue is...
...
Cerulean Blue: ...an important place on the mineral palette because blues are rarely shifted to the cool, green side like this one.
...
Phthalo Blue: warm blue... [relates to PB15:1]
...
Manganese Blue Hue: ...cool, transparent blue with green undertone...
Ultramarine Blue [warm]
Prussian Blue [cool]
Ultramarine Blue (cool blue) ...Phthalo Blue (warm blue)
...ultramarine blue (PB29) a warm blue and phthalocyanine blue GS (PB15:3) a cool blue...
WARM BLUE – any purplish blue. Only need one.... COOL BLUE – any greenish blue.

Unfortunately there are a lot of places where people mention they use warm and cool primaries but they don't specify which is which - the very problem highlighted above - although occasionally you get lucky and can piece it together from other comments in the post.

Doing the search on WC! more widely than just in Colour Theory is quite the revelation; I suggest anyone curious about the topic do the same. Even just limited to the last year there are dozens of threads in other parts of the site, in addition to a number of scintillating discussions here of course, and many show the confusion that led to the question that concerns use here, what is a warm blue?

I'll close with this quote since it's so apropos:
...I have a couple of books, one says Ultramarine is warm and the other says it is cool.

Einion

Patrick1
04-19-2006, 08:28 PM
Einion...thanks...that's classic. :lol: I'll point to that post whenever someone asks "Which blue is warm, which is cool?"

And a lot of those contradictory quotes are from accomplished artists. An audacious assertion: If someone paints well, it's because they see and use color well; which blue they consider to be cool, which warm, which hue the warmest, doesn't matter.

Einion
04-20-2006, 02:37 AM
Einion...thanks...that's classic. :lol:
Ain't it? :D

And a lot of those contradictory quotes are from accomplished artists.
Yep, and notice the ones that aren't even internally consistent!

An audacious assertion: If someone paints well, it's because they see and use color well; which blue they consider to be cool, which warm, which hue the warmest, doesn't matter.
Yeah, the final quote sums it up so beautifully.

I think it's fairly easy for anyone that doesn't think this way as a rule to look outside it, in a way that an artist who relies on their cool/warm idea as a cornerstone of the way they paint maybe can't do. I think you hit the nail on the head - it actually doesn't matter! If we make the assumption that the artists writing the books mentioned have at least a degree of talent/skill to have a book in print, if a given two don't agree on which of PB29 and PB15:3 is the cool one I think it does point very much to this fact, particularly if they paint about equally. And it would take very little effort to find good painters from both sides of the fence (I can think of two right off from the quotes I used).

Thinking about this afresh because of this thread I find it interesting that blue is the real sticking point; I think most or all of us would expect that few artists would disagree on which of Arylide Yellow Light and Diarylide Yellow was the warm one, or Cad Red Light and Permanent Rose, or Chromium Oxide Green and Phthalo Blue GS and even Dioxazine Purple and Quinacridone Violet. But given the disagreement on which hue is warmest (as you recall the two major opinions appear to be red-orange/scarlet and yellow) if we look at the colours used by a selection of artists in a different way we might see that members of either camp actually paint fairly similarly, despite what one might expect to be a fairly profound disconnect; this again suggests that the idea is less important than is supposed, at least as it is presented.

Einion