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K Taylor-Green
08-30-2006, 12:13 AM
A discussion has been started in the Scumble on the color wheel. I hate to see it ended when there is so much to be learned from it.
So, Dee, Harley, and Peggy, please continue here. Also, anyone else with thoughts or questions on the matter.

PeggyB
08-30-2006, 01:38 AM
Oh Boy! Well let's see if anyone else wants to contribute before repeating myself too much. I think most everyone already knows I have a "split personality" where art goes. Some traditional, some experimental - or as I think Harley said, "Whatever makes the kite fly." I don't play strictly by the rules - sometimes to my detriment! :lol: I do know though if I want that "painterly" look I have more luck using Munsell than traditional. hmmm - "Painterly". Now there's a word that could start its own thread - just what does it mean anyway?

Anyway, back to the topic - Munsell. Here's what I wrote in the scumble so others don't have to go looking for it:
Munsell is based upon 5 "primary" or predominant colors: red, yellow, green, blue and purple. All colors are shifted a bit towards the warm side (red and yellow are closer together), and that also shifts the compliments so here is what those are:
Red - blue/green
Yellow - blue/purple
Green - red/purple
Blue - red/yellow
Purple - yellow/green
The difference is subtle, but very important. The traditional compliments can sometimes be rather "jarring" and unsettling when used together. This shift is more "gentle", but still very exciting. Visual excitement is often created by introduction of discordant colors.

Now that I've opened the door so to speak, Iíll let someone else go on further in explaining this method of color. I love playing with colors, and spent many years before switching from acrylic to pastel studying it.

Peggy

Kathryn Wilson
08-30-2006, 06:18 AM
How about showing two paintings using the different methods. I am familiar with Munsell, but would love to see examples.

Pat Isaac
08-30-2006, 08:57 AM
Just jumping in here. I would love to see examples. I am not familiar with Munsell and would like to learn more about it. Thanks, Peggy for the recap.

Pat

skintone
08-30-2006, 09:10 AM
Basically, I have no clue what you all are talking about. I didn't know there was more than one color wheel. Does this have anything to do with the two different list for primary colors? For instance since elementary school I learned red, yellow, and blue were primary colors. Then in Highschool I learned magenta, cyan, and yellow were primary colors. Are these two different color wheels?

Thanks for the info.

makinart
08-30-2006, 11:04 AM
Just a quick note as to how I remember the Munsell color wheel was taught. It was many years ago so please forgive a sketchy explanation.
Light can be easily seen as it is broken up in a rainbow. Or when I was a kid and noticed how the sun hit a white wall through cut glass on the window. The colors are red, yellow, green, blue and purple. And in a strong rainbow will go right back to red. So it can repeat itself. Hence the circle of color. The red goes to the top and the next four are evenly spaced around the circle.
You noticed that orange was not mentioned. That's because orange doesn't exist on the rainbow. (Even though we know it exists in our paint boxes. Like brown and olive.) For this color wheel we are only placing those colors that come from the broken light as in the rainbow. When those five colors are placed around the circle we see that the color opposite red is blue-green. (In the three color wheel it is green.)
For my part, I think that blue green is a better compliment than green. Green is too warm. Blue is too cool. Blue green works for me. I first noticed this when I was painting the Hopi people of Arizona. They would often wear torquoise necklaces and the blue green was a wonderful compliment to their warm skin colors. Also when I saw the women in their red shawls walkng against the blue green flora in the mountains of Mexico.
Try this experiment. Place a red dot on a piece of white paper and hold it before your eyes for a few moments. Then look over at a blank portion of the white paper. You'll see an after image that is blue green.
As mentioned, I have many colleagues who are very happy with the basics of the three color wheel. And their paintings are wonderful. It comes down to understanding the theories and using good judgment with a generous sprinkling of well developed instincts. Harley

Pat Isaac
08-30-2006, 01:10 PM
Thanks for the great explanation, Harley. I think that is something that you kind of intuitively know but I never heard it set forth as a theory before.

Pat

PeggyB
08-30-2006, 01:53 PM
Well now anyone can do examples, but won't you learn more if you do them yourself? Especially since we all know that the monitors we look at don't hold true colors for everyone, and often subtle colors are missing altogether.

I suggest you create a Munsell colorwheel as Harley described it - or if you have his book look there. (Gosh Harley, when do I get a cut of your royality? :lol: ) I created one in Publisher for my students, but can't seem to get it to fully scan to Photoshop. However, here's what I did get. Mind you the colors aren't perfect as my scanner is o l d!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2006/68149-Munsell.jpg

Given some time, I might do some small examples, but hope everyone will have some fun first trying it themselves.

Peggy

Deborah Secor
08-30-2006, 02:10 PM
Okay, if nobody gets up in arms because the guy is a watercolorist, this web site has an excellent technical discussion of color theory: www.handprint.com (http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/wcolor.html) It's worth skimming--but it's very mathmatical and challenging for this poor old artist to understand! However, I have to admit that I've used this site over and over for technical issues in my articles (reflections, the color green, color vision and perception, etc.) Amid his jargon are some interesting thoughts on color. Here's his info on the Munsell color system. (http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color7.html#munsell) Again, very technical!

Here's the Munsell Color Wheel for ya (ignore the Japanese! :lol:), just to repeat what Peggy showed... maybe the colors are a bit different due to monitors.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2006/23609-munsell_color_wheel.gif

Here's the old fashioned color wheel we all know:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2006/23609-color_wheel.gif

I'm so darned visual that it's easier for me to look at the complements in each one. I think because we work in pastel, not mixing paints, that it's much more intuitive to layer colors the way the Munsell system presents. I sometimes use three or four colors to mute or change a color, predicated far more on value than any systematic thought. Since we have a traditional color wheel at hand, I use it in my classes to help people understand complementary colors, but in time they see me use color differently. (I'm often amazed at how many people don't even know the traditional red-yellow-blue color wheel. They're challenged to tell you what to mix to make orange! We don't teach much in the way of basic color theory in our schools. This should be as basic as ABC 123!!)

Deborah

PeggyB
08-30-2006, 03:10 PM
UFF DA! Dee -your are certainly right about the technical aspect of that website! I think I'll stick with my more elementary standard of both color theories! Each has good uses, and I'm more intuitive in my use of each as I suspect most artists are. However, reading some of what is written there reminded me of the old "Colour Aid" papers that I used a zillion years ago when working with acrylics. There are 200 5x7 papers each calabrated into the hues by shades and tints of value. They assist one in seeing how different colors/hues will respond to one another when making choices or when you are having a difficult time finding the "right" one for a particular problem. They work for either color theory method. Unfortunately, they are no longer being produced.

I think Dee is right, as pastelists our medium is different in appearance from the "liquid" mediums, but we can still create our own color wheels using our own set of pastels so we will know if we have a sufficient number of pastels in each color group. Then it will also be easier to choose a particular stick of pastel as we paint by looking at one of your personnal color wheels.

Don't forget to include the earthtones in the appropriate place on your color wheels too. The earthtones are just "grayed" values of the full intensity. i.e. Grayed red is burnt sienna or burnt umber, etc. The grayed values give visual relief and subtlety to the painting.

Peggy

Deborah Secor
08-30-2006, 04:43 PM
Enough science and theory. Let's look at some ART.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2006/23609-GCBart.jpg
Look at the color Gorgiana Cray Bart infuses into the shadows!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2006/23609-mckee-maui_rain.jpg
What about this control of value? Love the intensity Tom McKee achieves here! Any complements?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2006/23609-TURNING.jpg
And how about Andrew McDermott's complements? Whooo-eee.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Aug-2006/23609-Shipperley-BurstOfPurple.jpg
Speaking of complements! George Shipperley knows how to do this stuff. *Note to everyone---this is an oil pastel! We are all-inclusive around here... :D

So--let's talk about these. Are the artists using the tried-and-true color wheel of old, or have they used Munsell's system? Or something else? (Did you know there's a Japanese color wheel?...and other kinds too!)

Deborah

skintone
08-30-2006, 05:13 PM
Well, I think the first artist is using Munsell, because the voilet box has a yellow green shadow. But the cup is throwing me off.
I think Mckee and Shipperly are definitely using Munsell.
I don't know about McDermott. I think he is using a standard color wheel.

Eclectic_Asylum
08-30-2006, 05:49 PM
Oh this is just my kind of discussion. Before I dropped out of college to make internet money I was doing a thesis of the neurological foundation of color perception for my Neuroscience degree. There are some interesting things.

First off color wheels have very little to do with how the eye actually sees colors. They are mixing guides and the complimentary colors on the traditional color wheel are more of an outcome of the system instead of a perceptionary rule.


Second, most artists need a little background on the biology of how the eye sees.

As artist we deal with pigments that reflect light and every artist knows that the light source being reflected changes minor details about how the colors look. A little more than a century ago the common belief was that the eye sent out an essence of sorts and actually grabbed what is was seeing. The eye only deals with incoming light. What is light? Well that is an argument for physicist because know one knows for sure. The argument is that light is somekind of mixture of particles and waves. The particle is generally called a photon and the wave is measured by the term wavelength. The different colors on the spectrum correspond to different wavelength. Violets/puple are on one end of the visible spectrum and have short wavelengths. Red/deep dark red earthtones are on the other end of the spectrum and have long wavelengths.

The eye sees light when a photon hits a cell (called a receptor) in the eye causing a chemical reaction. Here's something very interesting that most people don't commonly know. The receptor cells are actually beneath layers of other cells and small capillary blood vessels. So the the light must pass through some cellular gunk on the back of the retina before it is even "seen." Imagine light must pass through something like a red tissue paper before we see it. Amazing that what we actually see comes out so clear and colorful.

There are two types of receptor cells in the eye. Rods and Cones. Rod generally deal with what refer to as black and white and cones are responsible for color.

The Rod. In the eye there is only one type of rod cell. It senses most wavelength of light that enters the eye. The chemical reaction in a rod happens very quickly and it is responible for our black and white vision. If photons don't hit the rod then we see black. If a barrage of photons pound the rod we see bright white. The chemical reaction is so fast that it can occur billions and billions of times a second. When the reaction occurs it fires a neuron that sends electrical signals to the brain. Depending on how quickly this firing occurs we see shades of grey to white.

The Cones. There are three different cones in the rod. For simplicity sake they can be called the Blue, Red, and Green cones. Each cone only reacts to photons in a small range of wavelengths, thus their names. Although we perceive an entire spectrum the cones are only activated by light in wavelengths of only part of the spectrum. The rainbow of colors we see are a mixture of the of how the electrical impulses interact in the brain. Unchanging stimulation can cause it to shut down. You can try this by staring at something for a long time and you will notice that the colors slowly fade and become less intense.

In order to have a base understanding on how this mixture occurs in the brain one must undersatand something called an opponent process. The receptor cells have two states: stimulated/active or unstimulated/inactive. This is more easily explained with the rod (black and white). When a photon of light hits the rod it creates a chemical reaction that creates and electrical impulse that is sent to the brain (this is the situmulated active state). So the opponent process for a rod is white and black. White is the active state and black is the inactive state.

With cones the opponent process is a little less logical.

Blue cone
active sees blue innactive sees yellow

Red cone
active sees red innactive sees green

Green cone
active sees green innactive sees red



A comparison between visual perception and the traditional color wheel.

The primary colors are Red, Blue, and Green light. This should be very obvious if you look closely at a television screen and see the tiny red, blue and green lights.

The opposite colors. Based on the opponent processes red and green are still opposite. Unlike the traditional color wheel blue and yellow are opposite.


The interaction between rods and cones.

I know I said that the rods are responsible for black and white vision. This is actually an oversimplification. In terms of color theory they are more responsible for the intensity/value of a color.

Example you have a pure blue light. If that blue light is emitting a lot of photons it will cause the rod to fire quickly and you will see a pure blue. If that blue light is emitting less photons then you will see a greyish darker blue.

Rods and cones have different sensitivities to light. Because of this difference a blue cone can be operating at its maximum capacity telling the brain blue blue blue. At the same time a rod can only be operating at half its capacity saying to the brain grey. This interaction is what gives the peception of value/intensity to colors.

The mixture of signals from the cones overlays with that of the rods. White is actually a highly stimulated rod and each cone being highly stimulated with red, green. and blue light. Your pure greys are cones stimulated with red, green, and blue light but the rod is only partially stimulated.


Understanding the visual field.

On the back of your retina is a map of rods and cones. The center of this map is called the fovea. Artist commonly call it the focal point. If you look at something the center of your vision corresponds to the fovea in the back of your retina. In the fovea you have the greater concentration of cones. As you move to your periphial vision there are no cones at all. Here's an experiment you can do with a colored object. Stare stright ahead and hold that object to your side. Don't be tempted to move your eyes. You will not be able to see the color of that object. Slowly move the object from your side to in front of you without moving you eyes and you will see more and more color. The cones are so concentrated in the fovea that if you are only a couple of feet away from something two feet in any direction from the point you are staring at you only have 50% color vision.


Color blindness

There are two types of color blindness red/green and blue/yellow the later being rarer. This occures when one of the cone types does not function properly. People who have color blindness will refer to the colors they are blinded to just looking like grey.





Now for some discussion.

Yellow is the most visible color and here is the reason why.

First you have yellow light which is not actually seen. The red and green cones are both unstimulated. According to their opponent process the red cone is telling the brain green and the green cone is telling the brain red. The blue cone isn't activated either so it is telling the brain yellow.

Second you have equal amounts of green and red light. The blue cone isn't active and it is telling the brain yellow. The red and green cones are both activated and they are telling the brain red and green. On your computer monitor if you use a paint or photoshop program and set the RGB to R255, G255, B0 you can see this. Remember being told mixing the opposite colors gives you muddy brown? Actually when mix red and green colors you get yellow but it is of a low inensity/value.

Yellow can actually be seen in two different ways. Somehow the red and green signals in the brain either from inactive or active opponent process must cancel each other out allowing the innactive yellow signal to be predominant.

Purple is another interesting color to put through opponent processes. The color wheel says that purple is a mixture of red and blue, but red and blue are on completely different ends of the wavelength spectrum. The red cone cannot be stimulated by a purple wavelength so the red cone is telling the brain green. The blue cone is partially stimulated because purple light is right next to blue light in the spectrum so is is telling the brain a little blue. The green cone might barely be stimulate by the purple light because green light is only a couple steps away from purple light on the spectrum so it is telling the brain mostly red but with a little bit of green. Try making sense of this? alot of Blue + alot of green + some red + a little green = purple

These examples deal with pure spectrum light, but both of these examples defy the logic of traditional color theory. The problem with our logical understanding of color theory is the color wheel. The color wheel is round but the specturm is a line. The violet and red ends of a color spectrum do not wrap around and meet each other as illustrated in the purple example.

All light we see is composed my a mixture of different wavelength pure wavelength light can only be seen in a completely dark room under scientific controls. There is always risidual light bouncing around a room. The colors we see come from the mixture of rods and the opponent processes in the cones and rods. The relationship of how active each of these different cells are in comparison to one another determines the color we see.

Jason

AnnieA
08-30-2006, 05:51 PM
Thanks Kate, Peggy, Deb, Jason and Harley (Welcome to WC!, Harley :wave: It's great to have you here!) for all for the great info you've given us here. In reading this thread, I became somewhat curious about Munsell, which I had heard of, but hadn't realized was also sort of a 3-D color triangle system. As I often do, I combed the web for some additional info...

So, here's some goodies I found for anyone who's interested:

First, a 3-D model of the Munsell system (it's called a Munsell Color Tree), found on the gretamacbeth site (I think these are the people who hold the copyright or patent on the system):
http://usa.gretagmacbethstore.com/files/CPB00002/299.jpg

An even better model is this one:
http://daphne.palomar.edu/design/color/ColorTree.jpg
(It shows clearly how the different full-saturation hues have different values)

And a 2-D chart that shows how the hue/value/chroma thing works:
http://usa.gretagmacbethstore.com/files/CPB00002/298.jpg

I also found a couple of other sites that have a lot of good color information:
This one is the color section from a basic design class offered at Palomar College:
http://daphne.palomar.edu/design/color.html

And Adobe has a lot of color info, including some stuff on calibrating cameras and monitors (which I don't completely understand how to do):
http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/search/index.cfm?loc=en_us&term=color+wheel&action=Search

The thing I notice is that Munsell uses a black-white value scale, and gradations of color stemming from that, out to the pure saturated hue. What I wonder about is where colors like John Hershey (of Unison pastels) makes would fall, as he uses complements to make grays.

This stuff is just fascinating...thanks to everyone for presenting it here.

bluefish
08-30-2006, 06:55 PM
I guess I'm 'SQUARE' because I don't use any of the 'WHEELS' - just remember the holidays and it works fine!

Christmas = red and green
Easter= yellow and purple
Halloween= orange and blue

just paint a pretty picture, people see it, like it, buy it ....it's that simple!

PeggyB
08-30-2006, 08:03 PM
I guess I'm 'SQUARE' because I don't use any of the 'WHEELS' - just remember the holidays and it works fine!

Christmas = red and green
Easter= yellow and purple
Halloween= orange and blue

just paint a pretty picture, people see it, like it, buy it ....it's that simple!

:lol: :lol: :lol: But Bluefish - the point of this discussion is "how" to more easily make a "pretty picture". Understanding color in all its various "incarnations" is one way to get to the "how"....
PS - I thought Halloween was orange and black! :D

[quote]Eclectic_AsylumI'll throw everyone a curve ball.

No two people see colors the same. What you call a greenish yellow I may see as an orange yellow. [quote]


Thanks Jason for all that information. Maybe a bit more than I actually needed to know, but I read every word in your first posting, and wasn't sorry for the reading. By the time I finished, I had only one question. Do all people see color the same way? Because in my very unscientific experience, I don't think they do. Well by golly, you answered that question too, and I was right! :)

Dee - thanks for the expamples. It will be fun to see what people think - especially since now we know for sure not all of us see colors the same.

Peggy

K Taylor-Green
08-30-2006, 10:09 PM
Wow! Lots of great information here! Just what I was hoping for. I'm rating this thread.

Kathryn Wilson
08-30-2006, 10:25 PM
No two people see colors the same. What you call a greenish yellow I may see as an orange yellow.

Ha! I suspected as much - no two pair of eyes can be the same. From person to person, it's got to be different.

I have found another color wheel - this time by another watercolorist, Stephen Quiller, in his new book on color. Will have to study his to see how it differs from Munsell.

CJMonty
08-31-2006, 02:43 AM
Ok you guys, I have been dabbling with watercolour for 4 years and sp's for 12 months. I'm sorry to say up until now none of my teachers as such have gone any where near any Fundamentals let alone Colour Theory. I do have a traditional Colour wheel but no real idea on how to use it, now you are talking about a wheel called the Munsell Colour Wheel ??? :( Which is the best one to use and where are you likely to find the Munsell wheel (here in Western Australia) :confused: This term I actually have a new art teacher and although we have not done a great deal of actual painting as such we have been going through the Fundamentals (this is watercolour) and painting sections with the differing techniques to achieve varying results. He has touched on the basic colour wheel and it's colours so far and has said he will cover tones and values which is something I guess I really need to be able to improve my paintings. You have seen some of my paintings so far under my WC name of cjmonty. Up until now I have really been painting by the seat of my pants and just doing what I have thought may look right without really understanding colour, light, shadows and anything else that is inportant to know. Where and how is the best way to get more infromation on the Fundamental that is easy to be able to follow and understand.

Thank you ALL for your very helpful discussions through out this forum I have probably learnt a whole lot more since I joined in June than in all the 4 years of attempting to paint.

Carolynn:thumbsup:

skintone
08-31-2006, 09:33 AM
Ok, I now admit that I need to take an art class. But in the meantime, I'm glad I have you guys. So here is my next question. Do photorealist you compliments to create shadows or do they just use tone?

Josie

bluefish
08-31-2006, 03:31 PM
P:angel: eggy

picky,picky, so halloween is orange and black - there's no black on any of your 'wheels' - just remember this than:

Halloween= orange
Bluefish's Birthday= blue...........:evil:

:thumbsup: 'bluefish'

PeggyB
08-31-2006, 05:07 PM
P:angel: eggy

picky,picky, so halloween is orange and black - there's no black on any of your 'wheels' - just remember this than:

Halloween= orange
Bluefish's Birthday= blue...........:evil:

:thumbsup: 'bluefish'

:lol: :lol: Oh but take a closer look - black is in the center of my wheel and on the axis of the Munsell wheel. So ok, I'll remember your birthday is Oct 31 - no wonder you are a "mysterious ghost" WC personality - or are you saying that your birthday is an entirely different holiday? :D

Peggy

makinart
08-31-2006, 06:38 PM
Thank you Peggy for your words about the Eternal Truths book and getting behind it. I might even have another look at it.
You are very persuasive in laying out the Munsell color basics; my hat's off to you and the other artists for clarifying a solid color concept. Because many of us can be mystified by mazes of color, it is essential to at least understand some basic principles. And go from there. Harley

PeggyB
08-31-2006, 10:17 PM
Thank you Peggy for your words about the Eternal Truths book and getting behind it. I might even have another look at it.
You are very persuasive in laying out the Munsell color basics; my hat's off to you and the other artists for clarifying a solid color concept. Because many of us can be mystified by mazes of color, it is essential to at least understand some basic principles. And go from there. Harley

You are welcome Harley. It is an easy masterpiece to promote. Careful though if you do take another look. I've been told by a couple published artist friends that when they looked back on a publication after some years distance, they both found something they wanted to expand upon. Do you want to write another book? :eek:

Peggy

makinart
09-01-2006, 01:54 AM
You are welcome Harley. It is an easy masterpiece to promote. Careful though if you do take another look. I've been told by a couple published artist friends that when they looked back on a publication after some years distance, they both found something they wanted to expand upon. Do you want to write another book? :eek:

Peggy

Good day Peggy,
Do I want to write another book? Hmmm, funny you should ask.
But your remark about going over words published years ago can be a bugaboo. I get the same feeling looking at old paintings. Even ones that were recently done but framed and ready to ship. So I tend not to look too close. Sure as shootin I'll find something that desperately needs fixing.
Back to words, (and I don't think I've mentioned this before), I have a tendancy to write down thoughts as they come to my head. This is especially true when painting. Also, long car trips seem to bring out interesting thoughts about art......and everything else.
Because I've turned into a bit of a recluse, my writing is a way of formulating thoughts and ideas and in turn communicate with people. Harley

bluefish
09-01-2006, 10:43 AM
Peggy:

Being serious for a second, the Munsell Color Wheel may be very accurate and enlightening, but for a beginner student, it is very complicated and almost impossible to remember all those color combinations. You are trying to get the students to remember complementary colors - yes, the 'holidays' may seem strange but they are simple. When they use 'red', a green compliment will enhance the painting (Christmas) and when they use 'yellow', a purple/violet will enhance the painting(Easter).

Now the 'fun' part - when they use 'blue' they remember 'bluefish' and use orange because 'bluefish' always wears a bright 'orange' shirt to all his shows!:clap:

A very enlightening thread - I'm sure everyone will benefit from the wealth of knowledge being expounded here!

'bluefish.........;) '

aszurblue
09-01-2006, 10:55 AM
Man I would have found this thread much sooner if it had been posted in the color theory and mixing forum. :o

First....:wave: Hi Harley, I know for a fact that I am your biggest fan!! :) I have your Eternal Truths book and cant wait to get my hands on your other one!!

Having just spent the last hour and half reading the Munsell color theory :confused: I can see how the 5 primary's could work. My first box of crayons way back in the 40's contained red,yellow blue,green,purple,black and brown.... It wasn't till high school that my art teacher told me there were only "three" primary's and that I should always start with them for all other colors. :D
What I am not understanding is why Munsell uses black for the center?? I didn't think black was a primary color? Or am I just not getting it? Azure

makinart
09-01-2006, 11:43 AM
Hi Azure,
You made my day!
Think of primary colors as those on the outside edge of the wheel. Anything within the wheel is a mix, like brown, olive. Black is one of those "colors" that isn't a color. As they say, it is the absence of color. There are plenty of battles over black.......whether or not to use it; should it be mixed with other colors? It's strange that color is what happens when light is separated. But when you mix all the colors together, you get a sort of black. I do know artists who mix their own blacks with their own mysterious mix of primary colors. Harley

aszurblue
09-01-2006, 06:09 PM
ahhhh I get it now, thanks Harley. I think I am liking the Munsell color theory. I really like the blue/green for the complement of red, the green/yellow for purple, the yellow/red for the blue..... these are colors I can understand and use. But all the technical aspects of the theory itself are overwhelming to say the least!! I love using black, I like it for its color, (oops non-color) all by its self...Sometimes I may mix in a dab of the dominant color I am using in at that time... sometimes it works... sometimes it doesn't... but I have been mixing and playing with colors since that first box of crayons :) Azure

PeggyB
09-01-2006, 07:54 PM
I don't worry at all about all the technical/scientific aspects of color. Learning two different theories wasn't all that hard either when I had a visual example wheel in front of me. Like anything one practices diligently, it gets easier with use.

My beginning students don't have a problem learning two color concepts so long as in the beginning they pretty much stick to the main colors, and leave the earthcolors until they have a better understanding of the whole concept of color & composition (hue, temperature, dominate value and color, etc). I find too often they aren't ready to identify an earth color as "warm" or cool" just by looking at it. Therefore, until they are able to do that they are less frustrated in their work if they leave them in the box. Of course these theories aren't introduced all in one week!

Harley, I hope you don't mind that I borrow from you, but I'd like to suggest anyone who wants to "see" a very good example of one way this works try the following.
Visualize a lovely redhaired woman - or man..hmmmm guess that would be a handsome redhaired man. In your mind "dress" this person in predominately blue green. I think we've all seen how great that color looks on redheads. Now try to "see" them in predominately that Christmas green Bluefish is so fond of referring to. If you need more than a "mind's eye" view, get out your pastels and do some real art. Let us know which one you find more appealing. They will each be "correct", but most people have a preference for one or the other.

I encourage anyone to play with both concepts, and decide for yourself if you like one better than the other or if you want to do as I do and bounce all over the place, but keep only one concept pre painting!

Azure - I bet you'll have a great time with this!

Peggy

AnnieA
09-01-2006, 09:31 PM
Gamblin oil paints has also got something on line (and there is a DVD you can buy) about color. It looks a lot like the Munsell system (3-D version), but I'm not sure. It seems to be useful info, so here's the link:
http://www.gamblincolors.com/space.html

Again, I'm wondering about colors that are mixtures of compliments. Where do they occur in the Munsell system? It appears that the 2-D color wheels just can't represent the painter's color possibilities, as there are more than two dimensions needed. From what I've seen, a painter needs to consider at least three attributes of color: hue, value, and intensity.

This is all of interest to me because I wanted to prepare a chart of all the pastels I have, so that I can best choose what new pastels I might need (I had the idea that by doing this, I could easily visualize where the gaps are). I thought I would simply sort them by hue and value, but I have quite a few Unison colors (and some others) which are muted through complimentary mixing - they don't seem to fit the model. And what does one do with the earth colors? I'm trying to figure out how to organize the chart to include them. I guess a color wheel isn't the answer. :lol:

aszurblue
09-01-2006, 09:48 PM
huh... maybe I should tell you I'm a redhead.... Blue/green for sure :)
I am not sure what Bluefish's Christmas green is?? Azure

makinart
09-02-2006, 03:13 AM
Borrow away Peggy. You are a natural in your own explanations.
You are also right in talking about dominant color and value. Once understood, those elements can make a world of difference in a painting.
One of the thousand wonders of art is our continued discoveries, whether major or subtle. Harley

Tressa
09-02-2006, 08:16 AM
Ok, just pinch me along with Traci..I am having a conversation that includes Harley Brown...I caught your entrance in the end of last weeks scumble, and have been following this thread...very glad you decided to come out and play with us here at WC!!!

Peggy, I have been using the premise that the earth tones are in the certain color families, ie..browns like burnt umber , and raw sienna in the yellow family, and burnt sienna and indian red as a red family member..if I need an earth color with a green hue, I look to raw umber..but, like you, I steer away from the complicated theory equations, and kinda go on gut instinct..so that may not work for everyone........
I did a quicky pastel for a demo(which Peggy scolded me about as it was not finished when I posted it) :evil: over in the Pastel Studio using the Munsel equation...again, reaction as much as thought...
Tres

bluefish
09-02-2006, 08:31 AM
Is the Munsell Color Wheel a pigment-color wheel(shows saturated-to neutral-color relationships) or a contrast wheel(shows which colors will enhance one another- light complements - when placed together in a composition)?

I take it that the original color wheel is basically 'Sir Isaac Newton's', wheel with pigment colors in which opposite color mixtures make black, placed in the center and the light contrast color wheel is based on opposite light-colors combined making white?

Peggy- I did what you said to do except I used a 'blond' instead of a 'redhead' and put her in a violet/blue(Munsell) dress and then put her in a purple dress(Easter) and do you know what?.......she looked good in BOTH!

Sir Isaac would be proud of you for starting this thread - but can you explain one little thing to me - when Sir Isaac bent the green ray and the red ray and combined them he got yellow - how did he do that? I can never get red and green to give me yellow! :confused:

'bluefish ;) '

Tressa
09-02-2006, 09:34 AM
Dee, I really enjoyed the article on Andrew Mcdermott, and his paintings..oooh la la...
Tres

Deborah Secor
09-02-2006, 09:58 AM
Speaking of color... Thanks, Tres!

I'm having a blast keeping up reading this. I taught a class on temperature to my master class last week and challenged them to deal with warm/cool and intense colors. I was trying to explain that the basic assumption that yellow fades first is technically inaccurate. I noticed some of my less-proficient students were boggled. With them, sticking to the tried-and-true maxim will be best--at least for now--just as the old red-yellow-blue wheel works. I mean, it all works, in theory.

Deborah

AnnieA
09-02-2006, 11:22 AM
Is the Munsell Color Wheel a pigment-color wheel(shows saturated-to neutral-color relationships) or a contrast wheel(shows which colors will enhance one another- light complements - when placed together in a composition)?

The Munsell wheel uses saturated-to-neutral color relationships. Pure hues are arranged around the outside of the circle and black is at the center. What Munsell's concepts were all about is described by this image:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Sep-2006/85002-Munsell_2-D.jpg
(image from http://usa.gretagmacbethstore.com)
The image shows the pure hue at the right, a series of mixtures with a gray tone of the same value, and, at the left, a gray value scale at what would correspond to the center core in the 3-D model.

A more developed chart of this same concept, which shows the value relationship of two Munsell primaries, is this:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Sep-2006/85002-munsell_2_page.gif
(Image from handprint: http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color7.html#munsell )
You'll notice that the diagram also shows tints with gradations to white and that the core is a value scale from black at the bottom to white at the top. But it doesn't show any mixtures of the pure hues, which would be of interest to the artist.

The 3-D models represent Munsell's ideas even better. Here's an image showing what he did with his "Color Tree":
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Sep-2006/85002-Munsell_3-D_ColorTree.jpg
(Image from http://daphne.palomar.edu) The Color Tree is helpful in understanding how the pure hues all have different values, and demonstrating their relationships to one another.

But the 2-D Munsell color wheels that I've seen don't describe tints (colors mixed with white) at all, but only tones (pure colors mixed with varying degrees of black). In the Munsell color wheel on Bruce McEvoy's Handprint site (http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/IMG/munzmap.gif), he appears to have taken Munsell a step further, and indicated color mixtures, rather than tones, in the area of the circle between the pure color outer ring and the inner black core, which although not true to Munsell, as far as I can tell, makes much more practical sense for an artist.

Maybe Munsell is best understood as a 3-D color system, and perhaps doesn't translate as well to 2-D, and that's where some of my own confusion about it comes in. :confused:

It may not even be possible to create a model with both the elements of tint/tone (pure colors modified with black) and color mixtures (pure hues mixed with one another). We only have 3 dimensions to work with, after all! Unless color itself is a 4th! :D So it looks like, as others have noted, that the models, although very useful for describing pigments themselves, are not so practical for everyday use for the painter.

bluefish
09-02-2006, 11:58 AM
Annie A:

Thank you so kindly for your 'Muncell' explanation - the 3-D part was especially interesting - wow - and I thought 'art' was easy! I wonder if the new SAT's contain questions on the 'Munsell Wheel'?

I'm sorry, but its hard to teach an 'old dog' new tricks - I have to stay with my 'holidays'........Christmas - red and green
Easter - yellow and violet
Bluefish's Birthday - blue and orange

whatever works for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

'bluefish........;) '

AnnieA
09-02-2006, 12:30 PM
Annie A:

Thank you so kindly for your 'Muncell' explanation - the 3-D part was especially interesting - wow - and I thought 'art' was easy! I wonder if the new SAT's contain questions on the 'Munsell Wheel'?

I'm sorry, but its hard to teach an 'old dog' new tricks - I have to stay with my 'holidays'........Christmas - red and green
Easter - yellow and violet
Bluefish's Birthday - blue and orange

whatever works for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

'bluefish........;) '

Oh yeah, bluefish, the point of any of these models for use by an artist should be to make things easier, not more difficult!

I do have to admit :o to a personal fascination with color theory for it's own sake, but for practical purposes, I completely agree that some of it is not that useful. I had hoped this thread might help solve my issue with wanting to make a systematic chart of my pastels, for instance, but it seems there just isn't a perfect color model anyway.

So, as you said, "whatever works..." :)

AnnieA
09-02-2006, 12:35 PM
Apologies. The link I posted in the previous post to the Munsell color wheel on Bruce McEvoy's Handprint site didn't work. Here it is again:

http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/vismixmap.html#munsell

bluefish
09-02-2006, 02:10 PM
For those of you into 'wheels', here's a couple more for you to ponder over-

Michael Wilcox's Colour Bias Wheel

Hilary Page's Color Wheel

Have fun........'bluefish:confused: '

makinart
09-02-2006, 02:32 PM
Hi Tres,
I know what you mean about complicated. And art can have it.
In fact, when the professors started on some long-drawn theory that, (in my young mind), didn't have anything to do with the color of a reflecting vase or the foreshortening of an arm, I'd look out the window and watch the birds fly by.
I like art principles that come to the point and I think the Munsell does just that. Let's keep to the red area of the wheel. The colors from that area would also include the rich earth hues and even a mixture of warm and cool grays. In other words if you were to do a painting from this area alone, your work, in color, would resemble the earth tones of a Rembrandt. But your warm colors would need some relief; and that's where the compliment comes "into the picture." If you use the blue green full chroma, you would use less of it. You could use more of it if the blue green were to be grayed down. Artists over the years, using this theory, have made sure that they use much more of the "dominant color," (in this case, the red area) and less of the compliment. The dominant color and compliment shouldn't be in equal amounts in a painting. This takes away the drama of the principle color.
You are right in using your gut with color, as I do. I found that instinctive area of my mind did better when I had some knowledge of what color does.
The dominant color in a painting can be lush greens, and blue greens, (with the little red school house.) Or a cool blue and blue purple evening setting with the warm glow coming out of a cabin window.
Peggy explained it perfectly with the red headed woman wearing a blue green dress. A red dress wouldn't do it.
Enough of my rambling. Harley

PeggyB
09-02-2006, 02:51 PM
Thanks Harley - once again you've explained what could be a complex "problem" in simple terms. Words are not my strong suite so I'm emincely greatful that you've joined us on WC because you are very good at putting into a few exactly right words what is in my mind! Painting intuitively is great, but just try telling someone else what that is like!! You can do that for us. :)
Peggy

makinart
09-02-2006, 06:11 PM
Thank you Peggy.
I'm hoping people don't get us wrong in thinking that we just follow a wheel and we're off to the races. But it's a beginning. And the basis of this, (or any color wheel,) is a solid start. Artists have been using these theories for eons. Many of them would break the rules but they first understood them.
When I look at a great work of art more often than not, it follows certain edicts of hues. As well as values and design. Whether the artist was using a specific theory, I don't know. I just see the wondrous result.
Studying many of the artists like Whistler and Sorolla and Sargent, I got an idea of how they learned structure and color under their teachers and mentors. Once understood, it wasn't long before their great abilities made an everlasting impact.
An artist can abide by certain time honored rules of color and still be an absolute, unique artist. Learning principles doesn't mean that we're throwing away our individuality. Charlie Parker and Zoot Sims are totally different on the saxophone, but both surely learned the same basics of music.
Art has so many facets that all these theories can be confusing. I know, because we would almost drown in them at art college. It took me a bit of time to understand that we really have to do it step by simple step.
Today, I took another step by painting a subject I'd never painted before. It was a lesson from beginning to end. And what fun it was.
I've always said: if something is too easy, it ceases to be enjoyable. (Other than sitting in an old rocking chair on an old porch and listening to the wind through the leaves.) Harley

Tressa
09-02-2006, 06:36 PM
Harley, one of the things I identified most with you, was your thoughts during college..I had to work HARD to stay focused, as you said, when the prof would drone on about concepts and theory, and yada, yada,yada..all I could think is"come ON....I just want to PAINT this picture in my head, or this still life I have set up, or the scene on my way to school, but without learning and growing, and experiencing new things, we are in a sailboat with no sails...and I still have to remind myself about the steps..
I try to push myself to paint unfamiliar subjects, and try different techniques to grow as an artist, and as a person,...

Just following the wheel will get you started, then you need to make the recipe YOURS, and add a bit of spice, and secret ingredients...
Tres

Deborah Secor
09-02-2006, 07:59 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Sep-2006/23609-sargent-lantern.jpg

How about these complements? Sargent...

Deborah

sailmary
09-04-2006, 12:31 AM
What about 2 holidays (Christmas and Easter) and a pair of jeans (blue with orange stitching)?

Pat Isaac
09-04-2006, 07:24 AM
Okay, Christmas and Easter and around here in MA we always referred to Howard Johnson's as the orange and blue because their building were that color.

Pat

bluefish
09-04-2006, 08:22 AM
sailmary and Pat:

Excellent ideas - you get the point completely - I'm not offended by you're not celebrating 'bluefish's birthday' - you found your own means to remember 'blue and orange'! simple and fun - and it will produce some outstanding paintings - maybe I'll write a "Painting With The Holidays" book - nah!!!!!!!!!

'bluefish........:D '

makinart
09-04-2006, 08:49 AM
Hi Deborah,
That Sargent is a masterpiece and a great example of the Munsell approach
Harley

makinart
09-04-2006, 12:36 PM
Good day, Tres,
We eventually find our routes.
Sometimes we get it forced on us which isn't always a bad thing. For instance, I'm glad they had classes in English and math. If I had my own way back in those school days, baseball would have been my main subject.
On the other hand art college was a mixed bag. I was too naive to know what fundamentals were needed so I trusted the profs to an extent. As time went on and I was getting better at bad art, I started picking and choosing what I needed.
Even then, I had debates with other artists as to the value of drawing. Some of them thought that drawing casts and models, etc, representationally, limited their "expressions." Harley

Pat Isaac
09-04-2006, 01:30 PM
Interesting, I never found that learning to draw in the classic sense limited my "expressions". I always felt it was a must to be able to draw well and during my teaching years our curriculum for HS was a fine arts approach, with drawing as the basis for all the techniques and media. We did do a lot of color theory, but nothing so elaborate as this thread. Even in art school, I never had that much color theory.

Pat

PeggyB
09-04-2006, 03:25 PM
There were times when much younger I wished I'd received a "formal" art education, but now I'm not so sure that was a good "wish". I did have somewhat equivalent formal training in that when my husband was in the AF and stationed at Wright Patterson AFB, I belonged to an officers' wives group known as Brush and Palette. Our instructors were professionally trained currently exhibiting artists - all from "professional art schools" not university art schools. We also had members who'd attended some of the finest art schools in the world that were willing to offer assistance and advise too. I learned the importance of not only drawing, but drawing from life, and drawing accurately. One instructor had an extensive background in color theory, and I studies with her for 4 years. (we were there two different times for a total of 11 years, 8 of which I painted). One was a master of life drawing, and I studied with him for 3 years. Although the last 5 years there most of my work was abstract, I still took all the life drawing I could fit into my schedule (I had 3 children within 23 months of one another -yes, twins the second time around) so that schedule was pretty well organized for me to do this. Pat I commend you for emphasizing drawing in your classes. Too many high schools don't have "real" art teachers, and those that teach the art courses haven't a clue how to draw. Our school district is a case in point...

The training I had through Brush and Palette was equated by the local newspaper art critique as being a "mini art institute" - high praise from that source! Today I understand what I received, and am very greatful. Besides that it was much more fun learning because I wanted to, and not having to work for a grade! My international relations major in college never did give me half as much joy. . . and I won't even begin to go into what I think of that business today!

Learn to see shapes and color relationships accurately, and the painting will flow more quickly with lots less stress and overworking (not that I'm always successful in this regard!).

Peggy

Pat Isaac
09-04-2006, 04:10 PM
It certainly sounds as if you had a great art education with "art school", Peggy and it shows in your work.
I still take uninstructed life classes that are offered by several artists in the building where my studio is located. I just think it is one of the best drawing experiences.

Pat

makinart
09-04-2006, 04:17 PM
Hi Peggy and Pat,
You both have brought out the importance of good old basic drawing. And drawing with accuracy. (I know that many artists cringe at the word accuracy as if it meant drawing engine parts for car manufacturers.) As you both mentioned, we look for what is actually there; seeing those values and colors as they really are. And certainly, once observed, we do what we want: abstract, impressionism, expressionism, realism. Whatever.
I remember a professor said the one thing we have to take with us into the world above all others is the ability to honestly observe.
In hindsight, many of my colleagues in art college didn't want to do the hard work. But compounding that problem, many of them were lauded for their experimental and "revolutionary" art. Well, the art really wasn't all that revolutionary. Many of them later, tried to do catch up with night classes of pure drawing. This happened when they went into the world and found that most of that world couldn't care less about the new pathways they were blazing in painting.
Life's lessons do open our eyes. Harley

Pat Isaac
09-04-2006, 05:07 PM
How true, Harley. There are still some artists in the place where I have my studio building who their work in impressionistic and drawing doesn't matter, but one look at the work and you realize that it does.
I always used to tell my students, "draw what you see, not what you know".
and.....squint to see values and color. Your professor was right.

Pat

K Taylor-Green
09-04-2006, 05:35 PM
Basic drawing is the cornerstone of the classes I teach my youngsters, from kindergarden to 12th grade!! If you can't draw it, color isn't going to help it.
I try to make it fun, of course. Attention spans are real short for the little guys.
I agree with Pat, draw what you see, not what you know! Even little ones can benefit from this, while still encouraging their imaginations.

bluefish
09-05-2006, 10:40 AM
I have the highest admiration for all of you who, like Deborah, Peggy B, Pat, Kate, & others teach color theory in todays complicated would - you almost need a Master's Degree in Organic Chemistry to understand the radical innovations taking place in the utilization of developing modern pigments. Whether you utilize a traditional wheel, Munsell wheel or the holidays means little if you do not understand the basic make up of the pigments utilized to make the colors - in Peggy's classic example of the 'redhead' in the 'blue/green' Munsell dress - I may choose to use 'cobalt green' or 'phthalo blue(green shade - pb 15.3 or 15.4)' or a more green 'phathalo green(blue shade)' for her dress but what do I use for her hair - is it Ingazin red(pyrrole crimson or pyrrole vermilion),anthraquinone red or one of the quinacridone reds?

Many years ago,when I painted skies, they were always Cerulean Blue but now I almost always utilize copper phthocyanine -PB 15.3 as a key pigment. New pigments are being developed rapidly - one of my favorite yellows in acrylic work is Nickel Titanate Yellow - two of the major pastel manufacturers now have it available in pastel form - more and more of the pastels we are now utilizing are products of modern chemistry - colors that were not available just a few years ago. Modern Color Theory has developed into Modern Pigment Theory, with all of it's complexities!

'bluefish'

PeggyB
09-05-2006, 12:39 PM
I have about zero interest in "what" a color is composed of. I either see it as "blue green" or I don't. As Jason so very well stated earlier, no two people see colors exactly the same way because of the way our eyes differ in make up. I choose colors based upon what I like which is based upon many years of trial and error, and education. That education had nothing to do with the science of mixing colors. However, for the scientifically minded it might help them to know the composition of their pastels. I don't like using the word "intuitive" because it is so overused, but I think most artists I know are intuitive about color choices - after years of experience and education no matter what the source of that education.

Peggy

Pat Isaac
09-05-2006, 12:39 PM
Yes, there are so many more colors out there now, variations of standard ones. My oil pastels now have a range of ochres that are just wonderful.

Pat

AnnieA
09-05-2006, 01:50 PM
Harley, Kate and Pat: I agree with you about drawing. I wish my high school/university design major had included more classes on the fundamentals of drawing. I've had to pick things up on my own.

I did get color theory, though, at the university. We had to paint Ostwald's triangles! :eek:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Sep-2006/85002-Ostwalds_Triangle_large_for_WC.jpg
(sorry for the fuzzy image)

It was really tedious, but it sure helped develop my eye for value.

AnnieA
09-05-2006, 02:09 PM
...you almost need a Master's Degree in Organic Chemistry to understand the radical innovations taking place in the utilization of developing modern pigments. Whether you utilize a traditional wheel, Munsell wheel or the holidays means little if you do not understand the basic make up of the pigments utilized to make the colors - in Peggy's classic example of the 'redhead' in the 'blue/green' Munsell dress - I may choose to use 'cobalt green' or 'phthalo blue(green shade - pb 15.3 or 15.4)' or a more green 'phathalo green(blue shade)' for her dress but what do I use for her hair - is it Ingazin red(pyrrole crimson or pyrrole vermilion),anthraquinone red or one of the quinacridone reds?

Many years ago,when I painted skies, they were always Cerulean Blue but now I almost always utilize copper phthocyanine -PB 15.3 as a key pigment. New pigments are being developed rapidly - one of my favorite yellows in acrylic work is Nickel Titanate Yellow - two of the major pastel manufacturers now have it available in pastel form - more and more of the pastels we are now utilizing are products of modern chemistry - colors that were not available just a few years ago. Modern Color Theory has developed into Modern Pigment Theory, with all of it's complexities!

The issue of the pigment composition of our materials, thankfully, matters less for us pastel artists. The ones who really are most concerned with it are watercolorists (although I guess it's also a concern for oil painters, and acrylic painters such as yourself) where the correct choice of pigments based on their mixing potential is crucial. There is a section in the back of Hillary Page's book on watercolor paints - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0823022617/102-4067257-8364926?n=283155
- that has some really interesting (well, at least to me :lol:) stuff on reflectance curves, which determine a pigment's usefulness in mixing. There is a science to it, you're quite right, bluefish. I'm glad that as pastellists, we don't have to concern ourselves about pigments in this way though, as the color mixing that we do is optical.

K Taylor-Green
09-05-2006, 02:26 PM
Annie, tedious would be right!! My students gripe when I make them do a value scale!!

AnnieA
09-05-2006, 03:35 PM
...My students gripe when I make them do a value scale!!

Well, Kate, I predict that 30 years from now, there will be some who will remember and thank you. :)

Thanks, Mr. Kaufmann! :wave:

Actually, I still remember my high school design teacher, Mrs. Herschenson. She was great! She taught that anyone could make art, if they followed just 7 basic design principles:
Theme with variation
Positive/negative spaces
Focal point
Small/Medium/Large areas
Light/Medium/Dark Values
Felt line
Color Scheme (analogous, complementary, etc.)
Repetition of shapes?
Repetition of shapes would make 8, I realize, but maybe it goes under "theme w/variation"...it really has been quite a while! :lol:

And you know, that list has stuck with me. It helped when I did architectural work, and I now often think of it as I work on a painting (in some ways it's become ingrained) ...so as I say, your students may not appreciate it now, but many will probably thank you later. :)

Thanks, Mrs. Hershenson! :wave:

Pat Isaac
09-05-2006, 03:37 PM
I certainly hope so as my students all grumbled and I do have to say that some of them are now art teachers and following the curriculum they had with me in High School. :lol:

Pat

PeggyB
09-05-2006, 04:34 PM
I certainly hope so as my students all grumbled and I do have to say that some of them are now art teachers and following the curriculum they had with me in High School. :lol: Pat

What better compliment could any teacher ask for than to have ones high school students follow in their path?

Peggy

Pat Isaac
09-05-2006, 04:49 PM
Yes, I do feel quite honored and they are also doing very well, send me reports perioically.

pat

makinart
09-05-2006, 11:18 PM
Pastels surely are optical, like you say, Annie.
What delicious fun it is to have them layed out on a table, clean and in fairly good order, ready to grab and dab. Either with a delicate touch or a "hit and run" stroke that comes from the solar plexis.
The colors and the feel of pastel is one of those rare parts of life that has to be experienced. The first time I used them way, way back, I fell in love. It has gotten stronger by the year. Harley

AnnieA
09-06-2006, 03:24 AM
Yes, I do feel quite honored and they are also doing very well, send me reports perioically.

I can easily understand why, Pat. You are exceptionally generous with your time in giving feedback and encouragement, besides being a good teacher. :)

AnnieA
09-06-2006, 03:30 AM
...The colors and the feel of pastel is one of those rare parts of life that has to be experienced. The first time I used them way, way back, I fell in love.

Oh, you've probably captured the essence of it right there, Harley...how could one not fall in love with pastels? :heart::heart::heart:

And it shows in your work, also, Harley, btw.

AnnieA
09-06-2006, 03:52 AM
I just ran across this website for kids describing some of the more technical aspects of color. I'm posting it here for any teachers who might find it useful:
http://www.thetech.org/exhibits/online/color/

Pat Isaac
09-06-2006, 07:51 AM
What a fun site, Annie. Thanks.

Pat

Mike_Beeman
09-06-2006, 10:02 AM
This post has been quite interesting to read...some of it a little to technical for my ADHD brain to comprehend but...
I remember in college we had to make value and intensity chips of the old system with very little explanation as to how it might work ...just make those colorful little chips AND...."experiment,... play around with it....you'll figure it out, etc" was the best advice we got for what it was all about.
years later, I took a watercolor workshop (this was before I knew pastel was around) with Tony Couch and he did an excellent job of introducing the Munsell System...to this day my little Munsell color guide sets next to my pastels and I really like it!

aszurblue
09-07-2006, 06:59 AM
Where dose one get this 'little Munsell color guide'?? Azure

Tressa
09-07-2006, 08:07 AM
Just thought I would throw a curve in here and give you Don Jusko's take on the color wheel...Tres


http://www.realcolorwheel.com/othercolorwheel.htm

PeggyB
09-07-2006, 09:22 AM
Well Tres, it appears that colorwheel is just another variation on Munsell - plus two, and it gets a tiny bit more specefic as to the pigment names of some of the colors, but not all of them. For instance, he is specific about "thylo cyan" (blue-green), "cobalt" (blue), and "ultramarine" (purple-blue) blues, but then isn't specific about many other pigments. He added "turquoise" and "sorlet crimson", but what pigment is "turquoise"? The Munsell wheel can be broken down into many more sub colors (see the posting Deborah did earlier on this thread where she reprinted a Japanese version of the Munsell wheel).
Either of these two wheels may create "black", not "brown" so I think either of them will work pretty much in a like manner. Having pigment names is probably more useful to anyone who uses the "liquid" mediums. As others have suggested, we pastelists have an advantage with all our colors having been "pre-mixed" :D

Where can you get a Munsell wheel? Well if you are a pastelist, and you don't need to be too specific about pigment or brand names, you can create your own by making it on the computer or using some of your pastels (messy though). You can also see a sample earlier in this thread and copy it. Or pm me, and I'll send you the simplified version I made for my students. Give me a little time to respond though as technically I'm not home right now, and am supposed to be visiting my daughter and sister. However, my sis had an early morning appointment so I'm here happily writing away. :)
Peggy

makinart
09-07-2006, 01:07 PM
These are interesting comments and exhibits in the color world. All worthy.
Color can be a bugaboo and revelation to study and understand. When I first saw the Munsell over thirty years ago it seems right from the start. I never dug into it as deeply as many, but I got a fair understanding what it was all about. And how it came about. Since then, I've used it like a cook where I don't measure everything exactly with the entre. Like throwing in spices and garnishes, I go with knowledge, experience and what my tummy tells me. Right or wrong is never the point; only how a certain approach can effect us as individuals. The same revelations happened with my understanding of half tones, shadows, the strength and hues of reflected lights. One of the wonders of art is that we all paint differently and yet each one of those paintings can inspire. From Caravaggio to Cassatt to Klimt.
Harley

AnnieA
09-07-2006, 03:02 PM
Just thought I would throw a curve in here and give you Don Jusko's take on the color wheel...

Wow, Tressa! A great find! There's a lot on his site. He says his "Real Color Wheel" is an improvement even over Munsell. He believes the improvement is mostly in terms of paint mixing, so again, this may not be much of an issue for pastellists, although he does say that some of the "oppositions" (I presume he means compliments) that Munsell used were not accurate, and he says that Munsell's "triad was lopsided, and he had no Cyan." I think that Munsell's theories were intended to be purely about color itself, as we perceive it visually, whereas the artist who combines paints on his/her palette to create new colors needs to know the mixing characteristics of actual paints and pigments.

Jusko has clearly done a tremendous amout of work on his color wheel. Here is a more fully fleshed out version, that includes pigment numbers and corresponding paints from a number of manufacturers: http://www.realcolorwheel.com/tubecolors.htm

And he's even got this chart, which shows all of the pigments mapped out, and clicking on one will lead to info on it's mixing compliment, and examples of paintings using his methods: http://www.realcolorwheel.com/rcwchartoppmap.htm
It's really quite fascinating, and it looks like there's just tons of info on his site. I've bookmarked it for exploring later, as it will be very useful, if I make good on my threat to try oils! :lol: Thanks, Tressa! :wave:

Gamblin Oils also has a color system; it's 3-D, and I imagine it is based on their own oil colors: http://www.gamblincolors.com/space.html
(I may have posted this earlier, I realize, :o but I just don't have the patience to go searching thru the entire thread to check - I'm on dialup! :eek:)

Gamblin has also created a chart of oil paints that identifies them by hue, value, chroma (I think this is the same as intensity) and hue temperature. http://www.gamblincolors.com/ncs/temp_list_color.html

Now all this detailed color information that both Jusko and Gamblin get into might be a handy thing to have for our pastels, wouldn't it? I suppose that some of the material on that chart would be relevant, if one knows the pigment composition of the particular pastel in question.

But, in a practical way, both systems are probably too fussy for the average pastelist. Why bother, if mixing isn't an issue... :confused: Or is it? When we blend pastels, or even lay many layers over each other, do these pigment characteristics affect the color that's created? I really am not certain.

For me, at this point, it looks like Munsell is the way to go. There's only so much info I can keep in my head while I'm also painting. Of course, using Munsell, it's gonna make me nuts trying to figure out how to do a "split compliment" color scheme now. :lol:

Tressa
09-07-2006, 05:17 PM
Thanks Annie, it is a very complex site, but he does have a lot of info there that is very interesting to read nontheless...
And yes, I believe that we as pastelists, still have to be concerned with this issue, as we still "mix" as you say, by laying down color side by side, overlap, and glazing over another, and believe me, YOU CAN GET MUD!!:lol:
No, we are not mixing liquid, but we are mixing visually..and some colors just don't look to happy next to each other..
Tres

AnnieA
09-07-2006, 05:54 PM
...we as pastelists, still have to be concerned with this issue, as we still "mix" as you say, by laying down color side by side, overlap, and glazing over another, and believe me, YOU CAN GET MUD!!:lol:

Oh, Tressa, I have no doubt of my ability to get mud! :lol:

But what isn't clear to me is whether the actual pigment characteristics can cause that mud for pastellists, or is it a question of using the wrong optical colors?

I'm probably not explaining what I'm wondering about that well. I guess what I'm getting at may be based a bit on some things I read in Hillary Page's book on watercolor paints. At the back, it had some stuff about what are called "reflectance curves." Don't be too impressed by my use of this term - I couldn't even begin to define it technically! :rolleyes: But I do understand that the relevance to painting is that the curves will tell you which pigments are "good mixers" with which you can obtain bright, clear mixed colors, and which pigments are "poor mixers" that are more inclined to produce MUD when mixed with other pigments. :cool:

So what I'm wondering is, do reflectance curves apply to pastels as well??? :confused:

All this probably seems like it's getting pretty esoteric, but if there is a way of identifying which pastels are more likely to produce mud, I'd sure like to know that...so I could avoid using them in areas that will have a lot of mixing (scumbling, blending, cross-hatching, etc.)! :D

It really may apply only to liquid paints, though...

scall0way
09-11-2006, 04:32 PM
What an interesting thread. :) I don't recall ever learning about color theory in art class in school. But that was all a long time ago ... But I have some books with info about color theory, and last year I took an interesting one-day workshop on Color Theory at the art museum where I take my lessons. But I think they all emphasized the "traditional" color wheel. I never heard of the Munsell color wheel before. However I am a bit comforted to hear we all see things slightly differently.

That's because I was surprised to see Harley say there is no orange in a rainbow, and who am I to argue with him, except that I *always* see a very distinctive orange in the rainbows I see. I just saw a rainbow up in Canada a couple weeks ago, and orange was certainly there. In fact I just looked at the photo I took of it (though I suppose we can argue that a photo is different from the naked eye) and the classic "Roy G. Biv" colors that I learned in school are all represented there.

But I adore color, so want to learn as much as I can about it!

aszurblue
09-12-2006, 05:54 AM
May be we can ask Harley to do a demo when he gets back :) Azure

makinart
09-19-2006, 01:01 AM
Hello Debbie,
I've looked at those rainbows too thinking there has to be an orange. In my eyes, there is a sliver that is razor thin. That's my yes but I think I'm putting orange there because, of course, we know it is between red and yellow. The theory of the Munsell wheel is based on the five colors, red, yellow, green, blue and purple which are the obvious rainbow colors. As well as those colors you will see broken by a glass prism.
The bottom line is this: it has worked for many artists for decades.
Harley

makinart
09-19-2006, 01:06 AM
Azure,
Thanks for the request but I won't be doing a demo.
Harley

aszurblue
09-19-2006, 07:06 AM
Thats OK Harley, You just keep on talking about color theory and I'll just keep on reading. Or any subject you like for that matter:D :D

You are right about no orange in the rainbow. When I am airbrushing a cake, I never use orange in my rainbows, but when done, you'd sure think so. So I never think to use the color orange in paintings of them, just blending works.
Azure

makinart
09-19-2006, 01:47 PM
Hi Azure,
You are doing supremely in describing the "red, orange, yellow" discussion. In fact, you nailed it.
We sense the orange is there but in the big picture we only look at the main ingredients of the breakup of light.
Thank you for your spot on reply. Harley

ps. Cake tops! Now there's some color. HB

aszurblue
09-20-2006, 06:17 AM
Thanks Harley, I love mixing and blending colors. Can get some weird and wacky colors tho. Off hand is there a book I can buy with the Munsell color theory and chart in it? Azure

makinart
09-20-2006, 12:10 PM
Hi Azure,
I remember a few years ago, Augustine Hope put out a book about the history of color, Living Colors; and the Munsell is included. There is even a Munsell website.
A number of my art pals are sticking to the three color method and they're as happy as could be. Their works are wonderful. Other friends swear by the Munsell method and paint masterfully. For my part, the slight difference makes it for me personally. One example of blue-green being the compliment of red with Munsell. On the other hand, with the three color wheel, the compliment of red is green. I like the cooler blue-green against red. That is just one comparison of so many.
cheers, Harley

aszurblue
09-21-2006, 09:51 AM
I agree Harley, my right brain just raps around the Munsell way. I respond to the colors better. I think growing up with no color boundary's/rules till high school, is what makes me 'see' color. Of course experimenting all those years didn't hurt either.:D
I had a hard time with the three primary's and lets just say, I was not my teacher's pick of the litter:lol: Azure

PeggyB
09-21-2006, 01:51 PM
I agree Harley, my right brain just raps around the Munsell way. I respond to the colors better. I think growing up with no color boundary's/rules till high school, is what makes me 'see' color. Of course experimenting all those years didn't hurt either.:D
I had a hard time with the three primary's and lets just say, I was not my teacher's pick of the litter:lol: Azure

Well Azure, you'd sure be my pick of the liter! :lol: However, I teach color a bit differently. Usually the people coming into a new class have never tried pastel very much if at all, but are familiar already with the three primaries system. Therefore, I work with them in that way until they are comfortable with the medium (gave a workshop yesterday, and only one person out of 10 was experienced in pastel!) Many of these people are continuing in a weekly morning class starting next week (another night class starts Oct 2). I'll introduce the Munsell method as soon as I get a feeling of the people involved, and in the end will let each of them decide for themselves which one they prefer - I wouldn't be a good "pastel dictator" as I feel there are just way too many "right" ways to handle pastel. :lol:

Peggy

Naturally~Nervous
09-21-2006, 10:13 PM
Hello, color theorists ~

In college Color 101, we were taught utilizing the Munsell system and made student grade color sheets for the various hues (significantly cheaper than a more professional grade!).

The Munsell sphere really helped me understand the relationship between all the various tints/shades/values/hues/etc. Each of the pictured hue family sheets (shown in a previous post in this thread) are actually slices from the sphere as shown in the 3-D Munsell model. Think of the sphere as an orange and each hue family card as a section from the orange.

When I taught color theory to non-credit adult students, I used the Munsell system, too, and they all seemed to achieve a good understanding of the whole thing. After introducing the color sphere, I'd pass out pastels and have everybody create an exact match of their own skin color. They were amazed at how easy it was to do! Just my experience with Munsell.

I just read through the threads and will have to return to follow all the embedded links - they look very juicy indeed!

Thanks! Naturally~Nervous

gewaarwordings
09-23-2006, 11:29 PM
Hi,

I stumbled across this forum because I'm doing the very first exercise in the virtualartacademy colour unit ... which asked me to paint a munsell colour wheel (I'm using oils).

It's a simplified munsell colour wheel - basically the 10 colours without the 3-d element.

I've painted my version of it, and the longest of all for me was to get all the values to match (he has one use your digital camera on black&white to test that the values are all the same), but my colours aren't quite like those on the colour wheel. Most notably, my greens are different.

The tube paints I had were sap green, viridian green, hookers green and prussian green. I tried sap and viridian, but they just look different. Does anyone know what green I can use to get the pure, bright greens they use on the colour charts?

To do the colour wheel, you do a gray circle in the middle, then try and have all your colours match the gray in value. Is it ok to mix a little gray with the yellow to get it to match the value? Because there's no way it's going change to the correct value by just adding white?

Just a response to the theory in this thread: my notes mention that there are 5 main colour charts, but that, for practical use, I only need to concern myself with the conventional and the munsell colour wheels. It does mention that munsell has the extended notation for value and saturation; and that these are useful if you're taking notes out in the field, of colours, for later use.

beebluefern
09-24-2006, 05:29 AM
So glad I popped in here this morning to have a look and found this thread. I haven't finished reading everything so I can't comment right now, but hopefully later.
Colour has always been my strong suit and just fell in love with this Munsell Colour Wheel...Wow!! To me, it makes the most sense. The traditional colour wheel just has some "missing links" and that really makes for some dull painting choices...especially if you are being taught you need to follow these things to the letter. I am naturally inclined to be a bit more zingy! Munsell is certainly zingy.
I have also begun the Virtual Art Academy program and am thoroughly enjoying it! Also looking forward to getting into the units on colour.
Can't wait to read more on this!!! Thanks!:thumbsup:

Hey, great to see you here Harley! Thanks for all the colour info...I enjoy your books, articles in IA mag, etc.!

Btw, just thought I would post this digital painting I made a few months ago. I want to re-create it in pastel. I realize now why I really connected so nicely with the pallet in this=Munsell!!!:D
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-Sep-2006/34609-munsell_pastel.jpg

aszurblue
09-24-2006, 07:02 AM
Wow Pam, when you do recreate this with pastels, please let us see!!.

Hi Peggy:wave: :D I live for the day when I can find a hands-on class in Munsell color therory:lol: Azure

beebluefern
09-24-2006, 08:10 AM
Thanks Azure....I keep going back to this and looking at exactly how to reconstruct it. Definitely will be using Nupastel (or similar hard pastels)...the thing I love the most about this piece is how the colours are laid down side by side (as in pastel) creating the tones, etc. It's definitely going to be a challenge, but I would love to do this on a large scale-on black paper. When I do it, I'll post it!

Aspiring
01-18-2008, 08:54 PM
What is Harley's book, please.
Aspiring

K Taylor-Green
01-19-2008, 09:33 AM
Harley's book is called Eternal Truths for Every Artist. You will love it!

PeggyB
01-19-2008, 10:16 PM
What is Harley's book, please.
Aspiring

Unfortunately, unless you can find it at a library, you won't be able to read it. It is out of print, and prices I've seen on E-Bay, etc are extremely expensive - as much as $100. I sure wish it would be put into a second edition so the many people I know who don't have it would be able to purchase it for a decent price - hint, hint.

Peggy

Aspiring
01-19-2008, 10:31 PM
I did find it at the libary and requested it. I looked on Amazon and it was $199 if memory serves me. Thanks for telling me about it.
Jane