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LarrySeiler
02-02-2007, 03:53 PM
Note in advance...I shared the following information with an artist contacting me personally, and the comment was made that it was clear enough to this artist that I should share it with others or make it available...so, I'll paste it..and edit a bit to make it appropriate as a new thread here in CW forum...

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Its my opinion that I can pretty much guarantee that Edgar Payne and Gruppe did not read pigment numbers on the side of their tubes of paint. Not saying to labor to do so won't work, but I don't...and seems to me too confusing. Better to be a simpleton I think. That's just my opinion...but there it is. Reason being you learn then to judge and argue it from your heart your eyes...not from reason. Its a thing you know you know...not a thing to become known when needed or referred to. You just know...because your eyes learn to see and you learn to trust your eyes. Your work becomes yours just the same as what has been internalized comes out.

What Payne and Gruppe might have done (I can just imagine it... :) ) in an art store is look over their shoulder one way and see if the coast is clear, then look the other...and remove the cap of the tube and touch a bit to their finger tip...then wipe it on a white piece of paper.

What is important to an artist is his eyes. A painting looks right when it agrees with the eyes. A mood suggests something in nature, when it appears right to the eyes.

A color has to feel and look right to the eyes...and, one has to have the basic colorwheel model cemented in their mind. Least this is what has worked for me for over 30 years now...I and think has a track record of having worked for many many past artists of reputation.

The split-primary palette is a very complete palette, like the one in my book...but remember it is based on a model. A model is a concept, and yet a working one.

You have to learn to recognize when a color feels warmer...when it feels cooler. That is when the power of the split-primary palette becomes most empowering.

But...for the simple experiment of the split-complementary palette...you can choose just a few of the colors you have...and think in terms of a limited palette.

Judging by the eyes becomes even more critical when you reduce your palette to a limited palette....but, let me tell you what I am looking for.

Phthalo blue is a greenish blue. Funny that some art books will refer to phthalo blue as a cool blue, and ultramarine blue as warm. They say that because the green nature of phthalo blue is further down the temperature slide than the redder nature of ultramarine blue. Sure...but, if one reflects that green is made of yellow plus blue...well...yellow is warm.

Also...in my experience of observing skies...a greenish blue is a warmer sky, least here in the northern midwest.

But...I need a blue in a limited palette to be my darkest dark as well as blue, and darks feel cooler (as shadows). As color is its brightest and most intense, it feels warmer. Phthalo blue just feels then warmer...so it doesn't qualify to be my one and only blue were I to try and elect one.

Now...one can attempt to read numbers on the side of the tube...but I want the blue to appear as a cooler darker blue to my eye. Rich...dark, blue.

I can always add a little yellow to make the blue feel greener blue if I need such.

For my red...I don't want it to look or feel orange like so many reds feel. I can always add a yellow to the red to feel orange, right? By the same token, I don't want the red to look and feel like a reddish violet. I can always add a bit of blue to the red to get a violet. I want red to look and appear like a truer red.

For my limited palette...that then turns out to be W&N Bright Red.

Now...with the pigments you have...you can add just a little of the cooler red to the warmer red (and imagine then that the warm cancels out a bit of the cool in the new red, leaving red to appear more red). Make sense?

As an experiment you can do this...so you can begin to see and judge the colors.

Add a touch of red to the cool yellow...and it will appear a bit like the warm yellow.

So...the limited palette becomes a whittled down version of the split-primary, but with the knowledge to make each of the three primaries appear as you might wish of them.

Okay...that's all experiment stuff....but now...looking at the color wheel here, I give an example of a split-complementary palette-


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Jan-2007/532-split_comp...bluedom.jpg

One pile of pigment would be your blue. Your ultramarine blue I would elect.

Then...using your yellow and red, mix up what would look and feel like a yellow-orange. Set that as a separate pile aside.

Then mix up that which will look and feel like a reddish-orange and make that a separate pile. You now have a pile of ultramarine blue...what appears a yellow-orange, and a reddish-orange. Next to that you have white...and you now have your four piles of paint to paint your painting with. That is of course, if it were blue you chose as your dominant color.

Now....if blue-violet were your dominant....then you would mix up a pile of what (to your eye) looks like bluish-violet. Next to that you would put out two other piles of color plus white. The two piles or split colors would be orange and yellow.

Now you paint.

If you see what you wish to interpret as a green color...then you would use (using the latter palette example) your blue-violet and mix with your yellow. You will get a green that might not necessarily on paper by itself appear the most satisfying green, but it will FEEL like precisely the green you'll need, and when applied to the painting that green would actually present a feeling of the mood of light nature might project. IT is a relative truth...not literal, and yet feels emotively more accurate to how nature would feel.

a touch of your orange to your bluish-violet will interpret reds...for example.

If you can imagine it....

here...let me illustrate...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Jan-2007/532-bluedominant_primaries.jpg

in the blue-dominant split-comp set up shown above, the blue will be obviously your blue...but the red-orange will be treated as though it were your red...the yellow-orange will be treated as though it is your yellow. You then mix color with the RYB model in mind. To make a green color, you would mix the blue...plus yellow-orange.

Will you get a green? Yes you will...but it will be a green unlike the full range of the full color wheel. Instead you will get a split-comp green. It takes a bit of faith in a sense to paint with it and see what happens, but the fun is seeing that indeed it works. It works because it naturally harmonizes on canvas, and the eye is tricked to make sense. The eye makes sense because it will accept the color as what you suggest it is.

Now...here is the blue-violet color as dominant...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Jan-2007/532-bluevioletdominant_primaries.jpg

Here now...your blue-violet will be chosen to work as your blue of choice. The orange will be your red...the yellow your yellow. So, you want to mix a green...you mix blue-violet with yellow. You want a violet...you mix orange (pretending to be your red) with the blue-violet (pretending to be your blue). You will have a violet that looks like the kind of violet a blue-violet dominant split-comp strategy will mix for you.

Its amazingly simple....and, its best to experiment with it and let the experience be that which convinces you.

So...set up a still life. Squint your eyes and try and feel, and then commit to what feels like the dominant color present. When you do...mix that color up... then mix up the splits according to the RYB model as near to what FEELS rightly made, feels right to the eye.

Now...when you commit to those three colors only, plus white...it will work out relatively.

Hope that makes sense.

I know folks mean well, but one size does not fit all. It can be quite confusing for some to work with color when the mind reasons its good because of a number listing color P138 and so forth, whatever. The artist needs to learn to trust the eyes...trust the heart. This is what will make the work work, and make it yours. As I said..I've painted a long time, and have taught art for as long...and never once looked at numbers.

Again...one size does not fit all...so perhaps learning to trust the eyes isn't going to work for everyone and the numbers listed on the pigment make all the sense in the world. That's all well and fine. How ever anyone finally gets it...that's what's important. The good news I want to put forth in this thread is that there is hope if you're not a numbers person...but rather an"I'll know it when I see it!" person...

peace....
Larry

JamieWG
02-02-2007, 04:54 PM
Its my opinion that I can pretty much guarantee that Edgar Payne and Gruppe did not read pigment numbers on the side of their tubes of paint. Not saying to labor to do so won't work, but I don't...and seems to me too confusing. Better to be a simpleton I think. That's just my opinion...but there it is. Reason being you learn then to judge and argue it from your heart your eyes...not from reason. ...................

I know folks mean well, but one size does not fit all. It can be quite confusing for some to work with color when the mind reasons its good because of a number listing color P138 and so forth, whatever. The artist needs to learn to trust the eyes...trust the heart. This is what will make the work work, and make it yours. As I said..I've painted a long time, and have taught art for as long...and never once looked at numbers.

Again...one size does not fit all...so perhaps learning to trust the eyes isn't going to work for everyone and the numbers listed on the pigment make all the sense in the world.

Larry, although I agree with most of what you've said, these days what you see isn't necessarily what you get. We've also learned that some pigments fade over time, whereas others are lightfast. This presents two reasons why someone might want to look at the numbers on the tube. I'll give you a couple of examples....

A couple of years ago, I decided that I wanted to use water soluble oils for work in open studio, where I couldn't use any solvents even for brush cleaning. As you and I both use nearly the same limited palette, you can understand my appreciation for the fact that a new set of oil paints would only mean four or five tubes! I ordered yellow lemon, napthol red, ultramarine blue, and white. That should do it, right? Then why, when I tried the paints, did they not perform as they should?

Well, it turns out that the yellow lemon is a yellow pigment with white added. For those like you and me, who use our primary triad to mix our darks, that's simply not going to work, even if the paint out of the tube looks like lemon yellow. It's not.

Now for the ultramarine. Although the color seems right, it doesn't behave like ultramarine. It's more transparent, not giving adequate darks even though the tinting strength is there, and performs differently in mixes than what I'm used to. That's not surprising, considering that viewing the pigment numbers reveals that it's actually phthalo blue mixed with dioxazine violet. Of course, I'd have to know that real ultramarine should be PB29 in order to realize that it's a different pigment from what I expected.

I actually like the Van Gogh water soluble oil paints and I continue to use them. I got the yellow light instead of the yellow lemon after making that mistake, because that doesn't have the PW4 (white), and is a single pigment yellow. I can count on that to behave as expected!

I also added burnt sienna to my palette so that their version of "ultramarine" would give dark enough darks (mixed with the burnt sienna). It works fine. Holbein makes an ultramarine H2O paint that is really PB29, so next time I'll try that one because it is really ultramarine and should behave closer to what I'm used to.

Then there is the issue of fugitive pigments. How are we to know that our painting will appear the same in 30 years as it does today, if we don't know what the pigments are? We all know now that alizarin crimson is not lightfast, and fortunately, most companies have provided pigment charts and lightfastness ratings so that artists that value the characteristic of lightfastness can use pigments they feel they can better depend on for longevity.

These are the reasons why I personally look for the pigment numbers on the tubes. What those numbers tell me isn't necessarily what I'm seeing when I smear that pigment onto a piece of white paper, or especially when I buy online over the internet!

Jamie

FriendCarol
02-02-2007, 05:06 PM
Those marketing names can get you every time. :D I now have a few 15ml. tubes of W/N Transparent yellow. Two of them are PY 97, the other is PY 150. They behave very differently! If I accidentally (not checking the number on the label) squeezed the wrong one onto my palette, I'd know -- because the very transparent, lighter, slightly greener one looks like a raw umber on the palette, whereas the slightly darker really middle yellow looks yellow. :lol:

JamieWG
02-02-2007, 05:13 PM
Those marketing names can get you every time. :D I now have a few 15ml. tubes of W/N Transparent yellow. Two of them are PY 97, the other is PY 150. They behave very differently! If I accidentally (not checking the number on the label) squeezed the wrong one onto my palette, I'd know -- because the very transparent, lighter, slightly greener one looks like a raw umber on the palette, whereas the slightly darker really middle yellow looks yellow. :lol:

Carol, are you sneaking around in my paint box again? LOL....Those exact tubes in watercolor have fooled me again and again! I squeeze out something that says it's transparent yellow, but it looks like raw umber. Then I go to use it, and what I thought was raw umber turns yellow. Then I wonder why the "Transparent Yellow" I used last week didn't play this trick on me! Thanks for revealing the truth behind the mystery.

Jamie

LarrySeiler
02-02-2007, 05:44 PM
a good reason therefore for thread discussions, eh...never too old to learn apparently, but it'll pass by this ole dog's head. Hopefully, folks that can learn to benefit from reading the numbers will get alot reading over this thread.

However...it still goes without saying that I've eyeballed up my paint all my life...and perhaps it has to be summed up then that I've been just pretty stinkin' lucky.

It also goes without saying that those of us that are numbers challenged may find it too too confusing.

The numbers thing though is secondary to why I created the thread, and I hope folks will understand at least how I mix up my dominant color and my splits to pretend or take their role to serve as my assigned blue, red and yellow. What their numbers are, how they add up...I haven't a clue, for others I'm happy...for myself not going to bother trying to figure it out.

Assigning the colors to play this RYB role may seem a bit odd...peculiar even...and I've only played with this split thing for about a eight months really, but it works out in my mind...the RYB model, and seems to play itself out on the canvas.

I'm more a simpleton...not afraid over my life to buy a tube and try it out. It mixes to my liking...looks good... I use it. Folks might know why based on the numbers...but that goes over my head.

I guess my whole life has been like that. I play guitar because I managed (lucky once again) to figure it out over the years...by ear. If I had to learn to read and play by sheet music, count out loud playing my notes and that was my only choice...I'd have quit playing. Don't know what they'd call people that tend to do things that way...(moron..??? hahhaa...I don't know), but it doesn't get lost to me that way.

LarrySeiler
02-02-2007, 05:53 PM
If I accidentally (not checking the number on the label) squeezed the wrong one onto my palette, I'd know -- because the very transparent, lighter, slightly greener one looks like a raw umber on the palette, whereas the slightly darker really middle yellow looks yellow. :lol:

well...that is my point, you check the numbers...but it still comes down to you knowing it was wrong ultimately because "one looks like" raw umber, whereas the other "looks yellow"

I can't remember the numbers...ain't likely to write them down, but I can remember what I tried and liked, and will order more the same because of how it "looks"

again...I'm a simpleton this way...

For those that wonder why I use W&N Bright Red for my limited palette...it is no secret I explain that I want a red to appear red. I don't want a red too orange, because I can add a yellow to get the red to appear more orange. I don't want a red that leans toward a violet...because I can add a blue to the red to get that. I want a red to appear red.

I have no clue what the numbers are on the side of the tube or how such would have any bearing, but I know I like that red very much and it performs well because it looks right to my eye.

Crazy, I know. I am into worldviews, apologetics, ethics, philosophy, theology, history...read and read, think thru things, chew and spit out...but when it comes to paint numbers, I'm like.."huh?"

all I'm saying is other "huh?" folks have half a chance if I managed these years...hahahaa...

but, don't give up on me...maybe something someone says will sink in and what I've been missin' all these many years will make sense and some lightbulb moment will happen. I'm not against learning.

Larry

FriendCarol
02-02-2007, 06:33 PM
If a lightbulb moment ever comes, Larry, I'm sure it will be because you order the 'same' paint -- it looks the same in the tube and has the same marketing name. Then when you use it, you discover it's not your same old paint! Doesn't mix the same, that's the usual clue. Those paint manufacturers can be tricky. :D

Let's hope it won't happen, though... After all, you're using just a few tubes, and they're quite standard -- no need for the manufacturers to alter these old tried & true basic colors. I'm not familiar with the W/N "bright red"; suppose that's not a tube they offer for watercolor.

I would have thought Transparent yellow (what other brands sometimes call hansa yellow) should have been stable, too. What yellow do you use, just out of curiosity? I know you use Naples yellow sometimes as your 'white.'

LarrySeiler
02-02-2007, 11:02 PM
Probably another good argument, Carol... for settling into no more pigments or colors than you need become visually proficient with.

With acrylics, I used atelier...then switched to Galeria 200ml plastic spout tops, had a warm and cool variant of each primary...and perhaps three others plus white and black. Never needed any other colors in the twenty years I painted soley with acrylics.

Had a similar palette with oils for ten of the past twelve years, the limited palette only the past two years (three primary colors...plus two others and white). Narrowed down you get pretty good trusting your eyes.

I guess the natural question then would be...well, at least from my position is why so many artists have this seemingly never ending quest to buy more and more colors? Its like some I know that have 20 pairs of shoes, and 30 purses and handbags. Just gotta have 'em. Can't use 'em all...but gotta have 'em and keep your options open for the possibility of more! :D

At any rate...I don't mean disrespect, and I appreciate Jamie bringing it up certainly...though I don't personally get it, guess that's my own problem.

Thing is...I hope my two little horizontal charts give the basic idea. The dominant represents one primary, though it may at best be allegorical to the pure basic primary. The splits represent the allegory to the other two primaries. One represents a blue, another yellow, and one red.

Its fun to set up the palette and approach it that way, and see what comes.

peace

LarrySeiler
02-03-2007, 01:03 AM
8"x 10"

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Dec-2006/532-ficticioussnowcreek_donewc.jpg

this is a painting I shared earlier in this forum on this subject...
here the split-comp palette...

Orange dominant...bluish-violet and bluegreen the split complements-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Dec-2006/532-orangedominant_palette.jpg

they can also be thought of as your version of a blue, red and yellow...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Feb-2007/532-orange_dominant.jpg

mad mike
02-03-2007, 03:28 AM
I really value the Voice of Experience, but I'd like to add my Voice of Inexperience to this.

Is there a single reference book that contains a reasonably complete list of pigments (I'd only need those used in oil paints,) along with a description of the color (and it's properties,) each pigment produces?

Without that, I'm going to have a very hard time with this "paint by the numbers" concept. I have no frame of reference.

Personally, I'd much rather have color charts, made with the actual paints, from each of the major brands. Perferably one where each tube color is shown straight from the tube, then dragged a bit to demonstrate it's opacity or translucence, and lightened with white, to see at various values.

I'd have NO interest in a printed color chart from them, it isn't their ink I'm looking to buy, it's their paint I want to see.

I wouldn't expect something like that to be given away. I'd be happy to pay for such a "sample chart." It would likely save me money in the long run, keeping me from buying every tube there is, just to find out which ones suits me best.

Do the major brands offer these charts?

I am a visually oriented person, that's why I paint.

Mike S.

PS - Spelling might be a problem, I'm posting from work and my home computer spells much better than this one! :D

FriendCarol
02-03-2007, 05:28 AM
Probably another good argument, Carol... for settling into no more pigments or colors than you need become visually proficient with.Okay, I'll address this in my own peculiar way. When I decided to take up visual art as something other than meditation with gouache, I was so poor that it took me a year, 12 full months, to save up enough money to buy [a] a lot of pigments on Ebay (I was unable to get to an art store at all, that entire year, so buying a single pigment every few months wasn't an option), [b] a couple decent Escoda brushes, rounds #8 & 14, ordered from a friendly small store in FL, and [c] an Ott-lite from Ebay (I was living in a very dark room at the independent living center, with only Eastern exposure early in the morning). I had a few w/c blocks left over from my gouache meditation days, and had never used proper w/c paper, anyway. Didn't know what I was missing.

In that year of waiting to paint, I read almost every book in the library on w/c, some 2-3 times (there weren't that many :D ). I also found handprint.com, and read a lot of that. Didn't understand much of it, but I read it, over and over.

Read most of Zoltan Szabo's books -- he's a watercolorist who really appealed to me at that time, and was very strong about using the characteristics of pigments to construct (plan) a painting. At the time, he actually lived down the road in Matthews; perhaps that's why the library had a very good collection of his works, maybe all of them.

So, finally the great day came that I was ready to paint. :) (That came very close to my join date here.) I'd been waiting a year. I began with Jack Reid's book, title something like "Let's Get Started." He used the traditional small palette with a few fugitive pigments, but I knew not to use them from handprint, so that was fine. He had us start using only FUB. I did those exercises. Then we were allowed to use BS as well. I did those exercises. The wet-in-wet were not working, because w/c blocks do not really act like proper w/c paper in some respects, so I bought a few sheets of Curry's (free shipping to U.S. at the time, plus a discount for American currency).

I went as far as I could go with that book. That wasn't all that far, because I had no visual imagination at the time, and was easily confused if I tried to paint something like only the part of a branch under the snow. :D But I learned how to do a wash, and stuff like that. Learned how important very 'small' things can be in visual art, like a tiny horizontal line that evokes the distant sea.

Then I returned that library book, and was let loose upon this site... My first post was apparently in a project. Then I formally adopted a limited palette approach, and began working WDEs each week. My first step was always to plan my palette, then I'd do a quick color wheel to make sure I could get all the colors I wanted for that 'real' painting. I'd learned to do this reading Zoltan Szabo, and was happy with this approach.

Over the course of the next few months, I used 2-5 paints per painting. It's important to realize I already knew what these paints could do -- because I'd read handprint for almost a year to select my pigments, before I ever got my hands on them. Soon after I began working with the real thing, all that 'book-reading' kicked in, as I observed some tendency of the paint and related it to what I'd read. The head knowledge, at least as to pigments, turned into something very like experience. (I know not all people are like that, but I'm a book-learner, this works for me almost all the time.)

Every once in awhile, I'd do a painting I called a palette-tester: Choose something complex or difficult (usually from one of Zoltan Szabo's books, borrowed again from the library), and see if I could do what he had done, although my palette was a bit different; smaller. I learned a lot about mixing colors this way, and was satisfied I could achieve all the effects I wanted.

Then something interesting happened. After about a year, I began to develop a taste for a different visual style. The paintings of Zoltan Szabo no longer appealed to me so much. At the same time, a painter whose w/c work I admired privately critiqued my work, and -- not knowing I was using a limited palette -- said it looked as if I were. More synchronicity: I read a WIP of Nick Simmons (Koi Joy, I think) and was amazed at the way he used many colors, some with very nearly the same hue, and got wonderful results. Finally, I read that Joseph Raffael (sp?) sometimes uses as many as 40 pigments in the same painting! :eek:

My complete palette at that time was about 21 tubes -- and most of them I'd never used, or had used once in a year. I'd tweaked my palette a bit, but always removed a paint for every one I added.

Since I most admired the work of the w/c colorists, I realized I had to give up my limited palette approach, and I did. Soon afterwards, I accidentally used both FUB & Cobalt blue deep in the same painting, and that really made it better! I could see the difference.

So, here's where I am now: I still only have 22 colors on my complete palette (plus a tube of 'permanent magenta' [PR 122] which I've owned for a year but not yet opened). But my goal is eventually to be able to use color the way Nick Simmons, Joseph Raphael, and a few other w/c painters do. Why? Because I love the way their paintings look in terms of color (although they're not in the visual style I'm aiming for in other ways).

So that's my story: How I gave up the limited palette and started trying to better integrate more color into my paintings, in a very selective way. Currently I aim for more neutrals over most of the surface, but a few areas of good, harmonious, but unrestrained color.

I do understand the limited palette approach, and use of simultaneous contrast to strengthen the visual impression, etc. I appreciate that approach -- used it myself for a year. But it's no longer an approach that works for my own evolving style (or if it does, in a particular painting, that's just accidental). Limited palettes are great -- but they're not for everyone, just as I'm not Jack Reid. I still love his work, but... I'm not him!

LarrySeiler
02-03-2007, 07:41 AM
I am a visually oriented person, that's why I paint.

Mike S.



I hear ya Mike...

I don't know of any color charts available from paint that paint manufacturers produce.

I'm not sure why folks come into confusion or problems with this, but they must and these things become for whatever reasons apparently a great concern. I speak ad nauseum I suppose, but if it looks good to my eye and does as I know it should in relation to my understanding of the color wheel...its good for me.

An artist just shared a new pigment he's been using for plein air (winter scenes) in the plein air forum...called Caput Mortem Violet, but it was his immediate description of it that made sense to me...(me...also a visual person like you, Mike), "a rich dark cool earthy red"

Had he shared numbers, I'd have been clueless...but I can imagine a "rich dark cool earthy red"

"cool" describes violet as a temperature..."rich" and "dark" its value and chroma, (as far as I'm concerned).

I owe Jamie who responded earlier a ton...because I had been searching for just the right French Ultramarine Blue when I decided to experiment with a most limited palette.

When blue is going to be your darkest dark...and values being so important, then a "rich deeply dark French Ultramarine blue" not like others she's ever used is good enough description for me. Had she shared numbers in her description to me...I just wouldn't have got it. But I could visualize what she was suggesting. She was kind enough to share some with me...and I was convinced.

If someone says...well, you're not going to appreciate one cadmium lemon yellow in paricular by a certain company because its too transparent, I can visualize that. Some people are just hard wired differently. I am more right brain...some are balanced in-between, some more left brained where things like numbers, order, attention to detail and reason attempt to be on top of all that sort of thing.

I don't know...but to me...I think coming to know colors by visual description and then its relationship to how a colorwheel model or concept will play into it comes rather easy for me, and I fly near automatic in that.

Color temperature makes sense as well to me in a visual sense. If I try and mix a phthalo blue (quite warm) with a cadmium red medium (warm and leaning toward orange) you're going to get one kind of violet that feels one way...versus if you take a cool blue to a cool red...versus a cool blue to a warm red.

I won't go into all that happens in those relationships here...but one can grow to recognize and understand visual and temperature wise what happens and is going to happen.

For me...when I painted with the split-primary palette (for years and years )...I was painting in a complete color temperature mode. of thinking and seeing. It made perfect sense for me when painting from nature to see what temperature the light was versus the shadows, individual colors and I could read their temperature. I intuitively understood what color to mix....(which of the split-primaries to use) because of color temperature and the relationship of colors to each other.

To me...it was like playing with hot water...and cold water. Mix cold water to slight warm...in equal amounts, you have a not so nearly cold water, but no where as warm. My right brain understands that concept. Throw numbers at me...my face becomes blank... :confused:

Its NEVER been an issue for me in 30 years...and while it is undeniably important for some artists (perhaps many...), I don't see why suddenly now it should matter to me...unless somehow those numbers instantly means I'll paint more like a modern master. Then again...I wonder how important such numbers were to past masters. I never read in my many books where artists really talked about such. Not Carlson, Payne, Gruppe, Strisik...

But...because I don't get it...nor think I need it, I don't want to forget that because we are all wired differently...there are artists that probably can't get what I get and need those numbers.

LarrySeiler
02-03-2007, 07:46 AM
What I'm taking away from your comments, Carol...is perhaps these numbers thing are more important to watercolorists?

I mean...with my small Cotman Field kit..and the little I've done with watercolors over the years I've had no problems seeing a color and liking it and using it for what it provided me. Never worried about numbers. But, if one is more a watercolorist exclusively...perhaps these readings of numbers are more important to a common understanding...

I don't know...just trying to understand what might be understood.

FriendCarol
02-03-2007, 09:31 AM
You're absolutely right, Larry, I think they are more important to watercolorists, and for two separate reasons: First, our medium "ain't go no respect," if you know what I mean. Museums hide away watercolor paintings in dark rooms, make private appointments to show them, etc. -- and that's largely because historically, watercolorists used pigments that didn't stand up well over time, were not lightfast. This has also kept prices low... So just in the past generation or so, we've gradually been enlightened by a few pioneers to watch what pigment we're using! Make sure what we buy and use is lightfast, for the sake of the collectors who might buy our work, if nothing else.

The second reason is, as Mr. MacEvoy points out, watercolors tend to have less intensity (chroma) available than other mediums. Which leads to two conclusions: If you want the most intense color in a particular spot, dilute and mix it in the optimal manner. But, since we also know about saturation costs, we have to start with the best hue for the mix, as well.

Saturation costs, for anyone not familiar with the term, refers to the fact that when you mix any two paints, the mixture will not have as high a chroma as the originals. Stated another way, in practically every case, the 'gamut' of any chosen palette is found within the colorwheel positions of the paints in that palette -- (almost) never outside it. So if one wants an extremely vivid blue, starting with the blue that's closest to what you want, then tweaking it with something close to that color (an analogous color) will get you there best. That means having some range of potential starting points in your arsenal.

So this does apply more to watercolor, you're right, Larry. In addition, of course, the best watercolorists take advantage of granulation or flocculation to add texture, opacity and transparency for different effects (I like a little cadmium in my skin tones!), and when planning to lift, take staining tendencies into account, also. We have our advantages, as well as disadvantages. :)

LarrySeiler
02-03-2007, 09:50 AM
dang Carol....that makes perfectly good sense, and I can see the concern about such then for watercolorists. A fight just for legitimacy, the talent taken more seriously, getting good work to remain to be seen as fresh as the day it was made for years to come.

I wonder...Sargent did many many watercolors...and his book I have is an inspiration and got me back to doing a number of watercolors a few years back.

I have seen a number of Sargent's oils in museums, but don't recall seeing his watercolors. Anyone know how they have held up...and do they set up elaborate lighting., etc., for such viewing and preservation????

Thanks Carol...I think this last post of yours goes a long way to cross some bridges of confusion, at least for me, and why this has not been something that has come across my plate as a necessary concern for paint I use, or the way I paint.

aszurblue
02-03-2007, 11:01 AM
Hi, if I may, let me put my two cents here.
Having been a watercolorist just about all my life, I am totally visual, always have been. I never had to deal with numbers till I joined WC. By just mixing and playing around, you "see" the difference in your colors, the ones that work for you and the ones that don't... So I totally understand what Larry is saying... For me thats part of the fun I get from painting. I don't know squat about numbers, but I do about colors... Azure

Richard Saylor
02-03-2007, 01:56 PM
The numbers (such as PY 150) on paint tubes are just ID numbers, like
SS Numbers. If there happen to be two or more Larry Seilers in the US, the government can tell which is which by their SS Numbers.

In the case of paint, there happen to be two different yellows named Transparent Yellow. You can tell which is which by their ID numbers, one of which is PY 97, the other PY 150.

Those numbers are basically just ID numbers for colors. They are as esoteric and technical as parts numbers for a lawnmower.
THERE IS NOTHING MATHEMATICAL ABOUT IT! HEAVEN FORBID!!!!!

Richard

LarrySeiler
02-03-2007, 03:05 PM
but...point being Richard...unless I write them down and put those numbers into a pda and keep it on my side, or endeavor to make identifying pigments by numbers a priority...I'm not for one going to remember them.

I already possess a human language and knowledge base that has got me this far in life, and understand descriptive terms as that which separates one color from another. I can remember brand names and what I liked. I can tell another person that I highly recommend Utrecht's French Ultramarine Blue for its being so nicely dark and rich...but I'll be dang if I'm going to go grab my gear out in conversation to read numbers on the side. Unless Utrecht decides to pull a fast one and make a second FRENCH ultramarine blue with same name, its not likely going to be an issue for me. Heavin need not forbid for my sake...

that's just me...and I maintain I have had no need of it for 30 years of painting. It has ONLY come up most recently in my life from conversations in these forums at WC...

In all my years perusing art stores...art departments...whatever, its not been a topic of concern. Sorry...wish I could say it has...

Most issues around these many forums I have been aware of my whole life...

Since I don't want to make an issue about numbers, I wonder if we could not (unless no one has any comment regarding it) get back to the real point of my starting this thread...and that is how a split-complementary palette allegorically can be thought of, played with and used as the three basic primaries that yield intriguing color moods?

I meant to ruffle no feathers by confessing that which is true for myself as a painter, my apologies to you Richard...

THANKS

JamieWG
02-03-2007, 03:39 PM
I wonder if we could not (unless no one has any comment regarding it) get back to the real point of my starting this thread...and that is how a split-complementary palette allegorically can be thought of, played with and used as the three basic primaries that yield intriguing color moods?

Larry, I love the color and mood of that example you posted with the oranges and violets, and the greener-leaning blue. If I can ever wrap up this monster still life I'm working on, I'm going to play around with that one and will report back!

Jamie

Richard Saylor
02-03-2007, 03:41 PM
but...point being Richard...unless I write them down and put those numbers into a pda and keep it on my side, or endeavor to make identifying pigments by numbers a priority...I'm not for one going to remember them.Me neither, but I look them up if I'm ordering a color online or trying to match a color in a different (i.e., cheaper :D ) brand of paint, or if I'm posting about a certain color and want to make sure that I'm communicating accurately. It's no big deal, and it certainly doesn't help me (or anyone else) paint better. It can be a convenience, nothing more.

The same goes if I'm ordering a new air filter for my mower. If I give the part number I'm much more likely to get the right filter.

Richard

LarrySeiler
02-03-2007, 07:50 PM
Larry, I love the color and mood of that example you posted with the oranges and violets, and the greener-leaning blue. If I can ever wrap up this monster still life I'm working on, I'm going to play around with that one and will report back!

Jamie


that'll be cool, Jamie...I'd like to see artists feel free to share experiments along this line. I find the split-comp palette strategy offering much...and doing such so it would seem, with a bit of fun and ease.

I managed to rebuild fifty-percent of my dvd project today and last night, so I feel much better about that. Also had 120"x 30 yards of canvas arrive this week, and I had a 40"x 50" stretcher frame I had made by cross cutting 2x4's, so I stretched that and put a couple coats of primer/gesso on it today. It'll be fun to paint...but typically until I can find a permanent home for works that size...I hang them in area restaurants rather than sit against a wall here at home. I have a masters show to prepare for though...

clean the plate off...and put a bunch more on it!! :D

LarrySeiler
02-03-2007, 07:53 PM
ordering a necessary part for the vehicle, I can understand...still, I don't really spend much time pursuing the idea of adding different colors to my palette repetoire. I'm pretty happy and prolific with what I've developed. I may try a few in the future..but I already have a good word from artists that use what I might incline to try.

take care, Richard...whatever makes our worlds go round for us! :)

mad mike
02-11-2007, 01:21 PM
Looking at the pigment numbers like "part numbers" makes sense to me.

I really hate to spend half a day driving to a store, looking around and driving back, just to find out they don't have the particular tube of color I was looking for. So, I'm doing the majority of my shopping for supplies on-line.

Now it's great to see that if I need a specific color and whatever source I'm buying from doesn't have it in stock, that I can use the pigment number to find some other brand that will be the same, or at least pretty close, to the one I wanted.

I can look at the tube that is almost empty and get that "part number," and use it to find an acceptable substitute while rummaging around in a store. But to do this on-line, I'd need a list from each of the major paint maker that actually provides that pigment number.

Is there a single source for this sort of information, or do I have to track down the info from each maker? Looking at the web sites, such as Dick Blick's, where I got my last order, I don't see any mention of pigment numbers for the major pro-quality oils.

A good description of a color means much more to me that a pigment number. But having that magic number would make it easier to find what I need, when dealing with several different brands. This sounds great, but without some sort of list, its kind of hard to put this method to work.

Mike S.

Einion
02-11-2007, 02:42 PM
Is there a single source for this sort of information, or do I have to track down the info from each maker? Looking at the web sites, such as Dick Blick's, where I got my last order, I don't see any mention of pigment numbers for the major pro-quality oils.
If you're talking about the Colour Index Names (PB29, PW6 etc.) mostly this is something that artists pick up piecemeal, from labels, product literature, websites etc. Here's a couple of recent threads on the question:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=364545
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=381428
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=389611

Einion

stoney
02-11-2007, 06:32 PM
I really value the Voice of Experience, but I'd like to add my Voice of Inexperience to this.

Is there a single reference book that contains a reasonably complete list of pigments (I'd only need those used in oil paints,) along with a description of the color (and it's properties,) each pigment produces?

Without that, I'm going to have a very hard time with this "paint by the numbers" concept. I have no frame of reference.

Personally, I'd much rather have color charts, made with the actual paints, from each of the major brands. Perferably one where each tube color is shown straight from the tube, then dragged a bit to demonstrate it's opacity or translucence, and lightened with white, to see at various values.

I'd have NO interest in a printed color chart from them, it isn't their ink I'm looking to buy, it's their paint I want to see.

I wouldn't expect something like that to be given away. I'd be happy to pay for such a "sample chart." It would likely save me money in the long run, keeping me from buying every tube there is, just to find out which ones suits me best.

Do the major brands offer these charts?

I am a visually oriented person, that's why I paint.

Mike S.

PS - Spelling might be a problem, I'm posting from work and my home computer spells much better than this one! :D

There is one brand for which the labels match the paint inside the tubes. I don't recall which manufacturer though. It might be an idea to bounce an email Dick Blick's {artist supply company} way.

mad mike
02-11-2007, 07:00 PM
Yes, I remember reading about one that had an actual sample of the paint on the tube. They said something about it once being a common practice, with them being the only one still doing it.

Since I'm only using paints from Grumbacher (PreTested,) W&N, Sennelier, and Rembrandt, guess I'll search them out and see if they can provide a list of pigments to match their color names. I do intend to try other makers, as I go along.

I suppose it wouldn't hurt to do the same with the other available good-quality oils from Dick Blick, since that source seems to be the one I'll be doing most of my on-line business with.

Thanks, but now, I have to get back to the easel, got one in progress and a second to do right after that.
(I B paint'en! :D )

Mike S.

stoney
02-11-2007, 07:11 PM
Yes, I remember reading about one that had an actual sample of the paint on the tube. They said something about it once being a common practice, with them being the only one still doing it.


Mike S.

Do you remember who it was?

Yeah, I've got all sorts of stuff in work myself.

mad mike
02-11-2007, 07:32 PM
Just did some checking and it was Old Holland that I was thinking about. I notice that Roberson Artist's Oil Colour also does something along those lines, as well. (From looking in the Product Review section of the Forums.)

Mike S.

Einion
02-11-2007, 08:33 PM
Since I'm only using paints from Grumbacher (PreTested,) W&N, Sennelier, and Rembrandt, guess I'll search them out and see if they can provide a list of pigments to match their color names.
Most modern paintmakers have a pigment list somewhere on their site which can be used as a starting point for comparisons across brands. I have the PDF files for three of these brands here so they're definitely available, although there appears to be a problem with the Grumbacher site at the moment.

W&N is here (http://www.winsornewton.com/index2.php) (click on Site Map, then navigate from oil paint to the Composition & Permanence Tables). Talens is here (http://www.talens.com/english/).

From the last time I checked the Sennelier homepage I can't recall if they list theirs (the site is a little idiosyncratic in how it's laid out and functions).

Just did some checking and it was Old Holland that I was thinking about. I notice that Roberson Artist's Oil Colour also does something along those lines, as well. (From looking in the Product Review section of the Forums.)
I oils Old Holland is the first one usually mentioned; Michael Harding and Vasari also have the same sort of painted paper loop at the top of the label.

In acrylics Golden and Tri-Art have a swatch of the paint on the label.

Einion

mad mike
02-11-2007, 08:40 PM
Thanks for the resources! I know I can count on you for good, hard data. :D

Mike S.

2bears
02-11-2007, 10:53 PM
In acrylics Golden and Tri-Art have a swatch of the paint on the label.
Einion

Golden also has hand painted color swatches on large paper. It's the equivalent of three pages all together so it opens up like a folder. It's kind of fun to peruse when I'm looking for a color and don't want to open up all the paint tubes. Mine was free because I attended a Golden introductory workshop at the neighborhood art store. I think you just have to call Golden's customer service or check their website and they'll send you one.

I have two of them. The colors are not in a color chart format. I've been wanting to cut the swatches apart to arrange them into a color wheel but am afraid I might mess it up. I really have trouble distinguishing warm and cool colors and have been taking notes on what others say are warm and cool. But, I guess in another 20 or 30 years of painting I'll get it. I've only painted since 2005.

Einion
02-12-2007, 09:18 AM
Golden also has hand painted color swatches on large paper.
Yes, I have one; they're not as easy to come by over here as in the US so I was pleased to pick up one in London on a trip.

I have two of them. The colors are not in a color chart format. I've been wanting to cut the swatches apart to arrange them into a color wheel but am afraid I might mess it up.
If you have two of them, go for it! Especially if you make sure you write the name on the reverse or something you can always rearrange. Plus, beyond putting them in a wheel you can visually try combinations and patterns of colours.

I really have trouble distinguishing warm and cool colors and have been taking notes on what others say are warm and cool.
FWIW I wouldn't put huge stock in that, have a look at this (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4547806#post4547806) :D

Einion

2bears
02-12-2007, 12:17 PM
FWIW I wouldn't put huge stock in that, have a look at this (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4547806#post4547806) :D

Einion
Oh dear! I did take a look...sigh...

stoney
02-12-2007, 05:04 PM
Just did some checking and it was Old Holland that I was thinking about. I notice that Roberson Artist's Oil Colour also does something along those lines, as well. (From looking in the Product Review section of the Forums.)

Mike S.

Thanks Mike.

2bears
02-13-2007, 10:26 PM
If you have two of them, go for it! Especially if you make sure you write the name on the reverse or something you can always rearrange. Plus, beyond putting them in a wheel you can visually try combinations and patterns of colours.

Einion
Enion, I'm thinking through my color chart and building it soon will post it here ...well...when I get it just right. Thanks for the encouragement!

Thank you Larry Seiler for starting this most interesting thread and the time you took to summarize colors so well. I've marked it as a favorite thread for future use and reference.

LarrySeiler
02-14-2007, 10:35 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Feb-2007/532-endsession3lrgstrngfalls.jpg

this is a 40"x 50" in-studio piece I'm working on...about 2/3's finished perhaps...one or two more sessions. Each session has been about 2 hours, which means I'll have about 12-14 hours invested...

at anyrate...one thing that surprises me with all the talk on the forum about color, this or that pigment preferred, the necessity of having perhaps more pigments whatever...that there is not much talk about the interactive internal relationship and play that color has and feeds off of. A color taking on a different nature and personality from how it appears mixed on the palette because of the color that it is near or one placed next to it. A grayish dull mixed blue hue, can appear quite bright and full of life when a reddish-orange brown undertone is allowed to show thru or be hinted nearby.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Feb-2007/532-lrgstrngfallscloseup4.jpg

if you look at the blue just above the darker diagonal rock edge here, I have opted to allow a particular amount of the undertone to be seen, and it brings life to the suggested indirect light implicating the sky above, and adds energy to that blue.

Many would look to bring such excitement by what particular tube of paint to pull out of their bag, tray...but the secret to working with a limited palette or more specifically the limitation of a set palette strategy from a limited palette is to learn by experience to anticipate and anticipate well, what colors you can manipulate the viewer's eye to think they are seeing.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Feb-2007/532-lrgstrngfallscloseup5.jpg

Most of us are familiar with those color studies and psychology of the eye that Johanne Itten conducted...showing a small gray square within a larger square of color, and demonstrating that a large amount of one color wants to cast its complementary onto nearby adjacent color. A large amount of red...wants to make that gray square appear greenish. A large amount of red wants to make EVERY nearby adjacent color feel some weight of the complement green.

Such understanding developed really outweighs in my humble opinion any argument that requires adding many pigments to one's arsenal. It can allow a simple choice of one pile of pigment called a dominant, and two piles of paints called the split-complementaries...plus white and black to come off feeling as though perhaps MANY colors must have been used.

Such knowledge amounts to an art itself...an art within the art. It is why I confidently believe using a limited palette with understanding has no lacking for color...

stoney
02-14-2007, 05:32 PM
This one's a mind blower, Larry. Wow. I know it comes with time and learning.

LarrySeiler
02-14-2007, 07:01 PM
thanks Stoney!!!! :thumbsup:

Gouchocinco
02-15-2007, 09:26 PM
i am looking for a good red....not a cherry red...or a balloon red...or a peppermint red...and not a real dark maroonish apple red...but a rich deep red....any suggestions...

FriendCarol
02-16-2007, 09:42 AM
not much talk about the interactive internal relationship and play that color has and feeds off ofActually, we wrote quite a lot about this, as I recall, about a year ago. Search for mention of "simultaneous contrast" will bring up at least some relevant threads.

In addition, drollere often mentioned how important 'lightness' is, and of course that's a relative term, too. The same issues tend to surface in this forum, over and over, so most have been addressed at one time or another! ;)

I love this waterfall picture! One thing that puzzles me (watercolorist that I am) is that the lines (brushstrokes? canvas weave?) I'm seeing do not match the shapes of the colors. Is that because the last, top layer of colors has been applied more thinly, so the brushstrokes retain a previous coat (underpainting?)? Any chance of seeing the whole piece when you've finished it? (Put a digital watermark or something on it, though!)

LarrySeiler
02-16-2007, 10:33 AM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Feb-2007/532-40x50strongfallsdone72.jpg

here ya go Carol...

and a pic for a sense of scale...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Feb-2007/532-artist_withpainting.jpg

LarrySeiler
02-16-2007, 10:54 AM
One thing that puzzles me (watercolorist that I am) is that the lines (brushstrokes? canvas weave?) I'm seeing do not match the shapes of the colors.

I applied a heavy texture to the canvas prior to painting...this allows drag of the brush...an uneven deposit of pigment for variation and scumbling, and aesthetically suggests detail where and to the degree one wishes. Its more an individual and personal aesthetic than an across the board universal reason....

Larry

bigflea
02-16-2007, 10:39 PM
Gee whiz,

the study of light keys is all about the relationship of colors one to another. (Ofcourse, 'experts', such as drollere, contend there is no such thing as a light key effect that a painter can study. He proved it, to his satisfaction, as far as I can tell. This inspite of the fact that greater painters than drollere pointed to the presence of light key effects as a worthy study for painters.)

To me, there is no reason to limit oneself to a particular palette. If my eyes can understand a few limited pigments, and how these interact, I can certainly enjoy and understand 2, 3, 4, or 5 times as many pigments, if I am willing to study the differences between hues in the same families, and the differences between neutral mixtures, near neutrals, etc.

If a painter advocates a particular palette, but only shows how it produces neutrals, which differ mainly in value but not chromatic harmonies, what is the point? Almost any palette can produce neutrals that vary in value.

Any debate or change in palettes arises out of a need to find a pigment solution to address a chromatic effect that may be seen or may be needed in a particular group of hues. Neutral effects of value are not really a problem that needs to be solved, imo.

Ken
PS. Not to take away from your study Larry, or the subtle shifts of color shown in the water. Very nice

LarrySeiler
02-17-2007, 06:54 AM
To me, there is no reason to limit oneself to a particular palette.

Perfect Ken, and I'm so happy you put words into this context. For you...advice is to paint your heart and what makes sense, and in the end that will make your paintings your paintings.

Until you can convince me with any number of my works two things, one "how they can be improved to any degree worthy of once more reinventing myself" and two...answer the question "what method or artists represent the objective absolute of that ought that ought to be producing the ideal works for which everyone's aesthetic creativity should humble themselves and submit to?

You know...I was paging thru one of my American Art Review magazines the other day. First of all...I oft quote Hawthorne because I think he was a good teacher, so don't get me wrong. But featured on one page was a painting Hawthorne did of Henry Hensche in an outdoor rain type garb (I think it was) holding a fish by his side. Truth be told...I thought the color was horrible. Did not touch on reality of light to my eye, and was very poorly executed.

Were I to show that painting to others not so informed to Hawthorne's teachings and simply ask what they thought of the painting, I'm sure many reactions would question just how good it was. If Simon Cowell were an art judge, I shudder to think what he would have said!

But...the main thing is...in your artist's heart of hearts...this is how YOU see, and to do anything less is asking you to abandon your artistic integrity.

The difficult thing for many artists to even imagine and try to put into practice, is that because their own way of seeing is so precious to themselves, they then are obligated to fight for the right and freedom for others to be true then also to their aesthetics.

That being said...there is no arguable objective that will lead us to conclusively state which palette is ideal. In reality..we have to first inquire what the hope of the artist is...and determine if the palette then aided such aim, or perhaps was a hindrance.

Creativity is very strongly attached to personality and one being truly an individual...and to force one's creativity upon another is to remove their sense of due autonomy.

There are some basic principles that will lead to fine painting...but "fine" will be subjective to the genre and guiding principles confined to such.

What I believe one can state emphatically is what another might do were that artist interested in painting just like ourselves. Thus, if I were to wish to paint a Ken'scape...for example, it would well serve me to try and understand everything you are doing.

This is good...a time honored tradition for learning, that is looking up to an artist and an era in painting direction, learn what one can...see the light so to speak, but then hopefully internalize it and in the end realize there is only one that can paint like me...that I am best qualified to do that, no one else...and then pursue that path so inclined.

I agree then wholeheartedly. You can't see...so, don't. Don't see...don't let what others disagree with affect your choices. Do value your integity and vision, don't impose what objectively ought to be for others when no such aesthetic mandate exists. Its all good....!!!!! :D :clap: :thumbsup:


Ken
PS. Not to take away from your study Larry, or the subtle shifts of color shown in the water. Very nice

Thanks Ken...and I owe you to be judged by your works, and not what I like or don't like of Hawthorne or Henches work. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...and the tree gives hint to the course in falling the apple traveled. So this is good cause to observe what we like with one artist's work and vision, but where the line gets crossed that we do not like. Another artist and so forth.

A full palette is necessary only to fulfill the potential where a full palette's fallen apples may finally rest. Same with a limited palette's tree of apples.

peace

Larry

aszurblue
02-17-2007, 09:32 AM
Wow... What a great read this thread has been... Just when you think you have it ALL figured out, you find out you haven't :) I have picked up so much knowledge by just reading, I am of a mind to tell you guys,,,, y'all need to write a book :clap: Azure

LarrySeiler
02-17-2007, 10:09 AM
well...its been interesting...Azure

Ken's got a great mind...a lot of experience, and as the old proverb says, "as iron sharpens iron, so one man's wit sharpens another"

artists are known to wear their emotions on their sleeves, and while it may appear contention and great frustration is at hand with differences, there stands to be much gained and learned, with mutual respect and regard often waiting just over the next hill...

I guess its pretty fair to say that I have a mind that is set, hard to be persuaded differently, and have my share of emotions dripping off my sleeves...so, there it is eh? hahaaaa....what to do....what to do... :wave:

stoney
02-17-2007, 04:40 PM
You know...I was paging thru one of my American Art Review magazines the other day. First of all...I oft quote Hawthorne because I think he was a good teacher, so don't get me wrong. But featured on one page was a painting Hawthorne did of Henry Hensche in an outdoor rain type garb (I think it was) holding a fish by his side. Truth be told...I thought the color was horrible. Did not touch on reality of light to my eye, and was very poorly executed.

peace

Larry

This one? If so maybe you'll indicate why? http://www.artnet.com/Artists/LotDetailPage.aspx?lot_id=8ECFB4E827536C3ADDDAAE6D2900B2DB

LarrySeiler
02-17-2007, 09:18 PM
nope not it, the one I saw is different....and this one is okay, doesn't strike me as having a good sense of REAL'ness about it...but is aesthetically pleasing.

stoney
02-18-2007, 01:46 PM
nope not it, the one I saw is different....and this one is okay, doesn't strike me as having a good sense of REAL'ness about it...but is aesthetically pleasing.


I'm curious to see what fraction of what you see that I can determine. Late evening.
The girl is wary, distrustful, and seeks the protection of her father. The gentleman's very tired, but will humour the observer for a moment. Clothings shabby and cheap. Very bright light source coming from 4 or 5 o'clock. The areas in the full briliance of the light source is washed out as it should be. Good definition on his arms and hands. His face and neck are weathered. Looks like a bit too much shadowing in the left shoulder area forward of the neck. There's a fence along their left side which is throwing a shadow behind them. Some items are to their left which show up as a shadow. Good subtle shadows on her neck and dress. Subtleties in his red longjohns and waders. Background items are, for the most part, identifiable and none are well defined. The plate she's holding looks good and good definition on her hand.

I think that's about it. How did I do?

LarrySeiler
02-18-2007, 03:29 PM
I'm not looking at REAL'ness in the sense of narrative...but in the context of the alleged atmosphere and light this piece puts these subjects in. Painting outdoors...in natural light all times of day, and in all seasons...I do not feel genuinely nature's light here. It is contrived...artificial.

LarrySeiler
02-18-2007, 03:33 PM
The one I was referring to I'm looking at...I have the AAR mag on my lap...page 56 of December 2006...the painting is 80 x 48"..
called, "Portrait of Henry Hensche"

its not that I don't think Hawthorne can paint. I was particular surprised at how bad I thought (in light of his billing, being a teacher, called a master and so forth) this painting was.

Guess I don't expect to open a magazine and see a poor painting by Richard Schmid...as a comparison.

Thing is...if this painting of his represents his idea of good convincing light, well executed painting...I would be hardpressed to imagine students would be knocking the doors down to learn from him. Obviously...this is not one of his better ones, IMHO...

stoney
02-18-2007, 06:55 PM
The one I was referring to I'm looking at...I have the AAR mag on my lap...page 56 of December 2006...the painting is 80 x 48"..
called, "Portrait of Henry Hensche"

its not that I don't think Hawthorne can paint. I was particular surprised at how bad I thought (in light of his billing, being a teacher, called a master and so forth) this painting was.

Guess I don't expect to open a magazine and see a poor painting by Richard Schmid...as a comparison.

Thing is...if this painting of his represents his idea of good convincing light, well executed painting...I would be hardpressed to imagine students would be knocking the doors down to learn from him. Obviously...this is not one of his better ones, IMHO...


I've not been able to find that particular work after a dilligent search online. I've found a bunch of other ones (many times over), but not that particular one.

stoney
02-18-2007, 06:56 PM
I'm not looking at REAL'ness in the sense of narrative...but in the context of the alleged atmosphere and light this piece puts these subjects in. Painting outdoors...in natural light all times of day, and in all seasons...I do not feel genuinely nature's light here. It is contrived...artificial.

Appears to me to be under artificial light in the late evening.

LarrySeiler
02-18-2007, 09:33 PM
I too tried to find it online...without success. Short of scanning in the magazine...but...its there.

Einion
02-19-2007, 08:10 AM
Ofcourse, 'experts', such as drollere, contend there is no such thing as a light key effect that a painter can study...
Ken, please don't make this kind of comment about another member; active or not. Similar issue as commentary on the work of another member, as here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5393575#post5393575) (unless it's posted for critique or given as an example by the painter themselves).

And I'm pretty sure that you're misrepresenting what drollere said about 'light keys'. His reservations about them - with a heavy emphasis on how they are presented - are pretty much exactly in line with mine (as I think I made clear at the time) and Larry's, as well as a few others' who have posted in threads where they've been mentioned. So singling them out hardly seems realistic anyway.

If a painter advocates a particular palette, but only shows how it produces neutrals, which differ mainly in value but not chromatic harmonies...
See, this is a good example of the kind of thing that was referenced back then. Quite apart from not being sure what you mean by "chromatic harmonies" all palettes that are truly workable (i.e. encompass all hues) are capable of making coordinated colour schemes, simply because they do encompass all hues.

The issue of colour harmony, which I'm guessing is what you're referring to, is a very open question and there's no doubt that it's highly personal to each painter - there are no absolutes as far as this goes - with certain cultural influences playing a part; as has been mentioned a couple of times in past threads. What would be considered acceptable in terms of colour combination by a mainland Chinese person could very likely be horribly clashing to the average Westerner.

Einion

stoney
02-19-2007, 11:09 PM
I too tried to find it online...without success. Short of scanning in the magazine...but...its there.

I wasn't doubting you.

LarrySeiler
02-20-2007, 02:19 AM
I wasn't doubting you.

no...I didn't think you were. Just thought it would have been helpful to the discussion were I able to find it and share...drats!!!! :thumbsup:

stoney
02-22-2007, 12:12 AM
no...I didn't think you were. Just thought it would have been helpful to the discussion were I able to find it and share...drats!!!! :thumbsup:

Cool. I like to try to make sure miscommunication doesn't occur. Drats indeed, but that's the way it goes from time to time.

tk04
02-22-2007, 01:20 PM
...........
Its my opinion that I can pretty much guarantee that Edgar Payne and Gruppe did not read pigment numbers on the side of their tubes of paint
..........


Not sure about when they lived. If I quess wildly I would have said that they probably made their own paint. Then they would have known what type of pigments that were in their paints. Then they also normally choose pigments because they want that specific pigment, not just "red".

Perhaps they painted so late that tubes had become common and then they probably would prefer tubes outdoor. If they were broke and had a professional painting background they might have preferred to make their own paint for indoor use since it's much cheaper. But, of course, they might have earned so much on their paintings that they didn't bother about costs. Under all circumstances, these numbers are just a shorthand for the type of pigment(s) used in tubes.

bigflea
02-23-2007, 12:36 AM
Hawthorne, by most accounts, was a great teacher, who provided students with a sense of what could be profound and noble in the study of art. He was very much interested in the Impressionist ideas, as demonstrated in Monet's works, and sought a way to understand them, and a way to teach those ideas about light and atmospheric keys, as something new in the study of art.

I doubt if anyone familiar with Hawthorne's body of works would say he demonstrated how to apply those ideas to the study of the figure outdoors. He mainly painted figures in an interior lighting, or in a kind of theatrical lighting, but not in a light key we might equate with sunlight on a sunny day outdoors. To me, the outdoor light key paintings of his I have seen look more influenced by Chase, who was his teacher at one time, then Monet, and seem more composed of tone harmonies with limited hue divisions in the modeling of planes.

His interior figure paintings, that I saw when I was a student of Hensche's at the Cape School, were painted with alot of black, or else a medium that turned the colors black. So I do not think of Hawthorne as a colorist of light keys, but as a painter who sought to advance the idea of color modeling of form as a way to begin understanding the effect of light keys. He demonstrated that in his works. The variety of tonal color change in Hawthorne's portrait and figure compositions sets his work apart from Sargent.

He felt that color was something that needed to be learned and studied, and was not something that was easily seen or understood. Hensche continued Hawthorne's idea of color modeling study, but went much further than Hawthorne into the studying the differences in types of light and atmosphere present in the Cape Cod location of the school.

I use a wider palette because I can see how a greater variety of pigments helps me make color differences in the modeling of forms in similar keys. A limited palette makes it more difficult to make these color modeling distinctions, because the pigments used from one key to the next are the same. I want to make chromatic value differences, and I can see distinctions between the chromatic effects of hues in the same families, used in pigment mixtures.
Ken

LarrySeiler
02-23-2007, 04:01 AM
thanks for the clarification and confirmation of what I was thinking on Hawthorne...Ken! :thumbsup:

bigflea
02-24-2007, 09:16 PM
I, for one, really want to find that Hawthorne portrait of Hensche. I guess I am curious what Hensche saw when he was a student with Hawthorne. Hensche always spoke of Hawthorne with great deference, and attributed all his ideas to Hawthorne's inspiration and vision. Hensche went to great lengths, it seemed to me as an ignorant student, to take no credit for anything of value in his own works, but never failed to credit Hawthorne for his teaching and painting ideas. He stated clearly, his opinion, that Hawthorne was not able to demonstrate the effect of differing light keys in his own works, but pointed the way for other painters, who wanted to master the problem, in the study of color modeling of form under different light and atmospheric conditions. Hawthorne's works can be difficult to assimilate, in comparison to our own visual experience, I believe, in part because of the medium he is purported to have used. It may have turned subtle colorings into a darkened neutral that was unintended at the time of the painting.

I doubt that Hawthorne felt he had mastered the problems of light keys and color relationships. That may be one of the reasons he was effective as a teacher. He may have put himself in the same position as his students, that is, in awe of what is compelling and fleeting in our visual experience of nature.
Ken
ps. I believe I have seen this portrait before, but it may be a dfferent one than what I remember.

LarrySeiler
02-25-2007, 12:17 PM
Well...I'm sure you can order a back issue...
American Art Review magazine...page 56 of December 2006

if it were online, I'd share...more public domain, but not feeling it appropriate to scan the image...

take care

Larry

LarrySeiler
02-27-2007, 02:25 AM
here's a new one I started...yesterday, a 24"x 30"....oil
started with a reddish brown undertone over a white canvas...then used a rag to wipe out a feeling for direction for water to follow.

My palette was to mix up a bluish-violet, then choose orange and yellow as my split-complementaries...plus black and white.

I intend to try and keep the water this time soft...a sense of blur and thus enhance that feeling of motion....movement-

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Feb-2007/532-upperstrongfalls_endsession2_72.jpg

FriendCarol
03-03-2007, 08:46 PM
Er, bit of an interruption... a few pages back... Great finish on that painting, Larry! Just starting to catch up now, in some threads. Thanks for posting it. :)

LarrySeiler
03-03-2007, 09:48 PM
thanks Carol...appreciated :)

h20color
03-09-2007, 03:04 AM
Just browsing through on a lazy Friday afternoon and perhaps I missed any discussion from the watercolorists p.o.v. about color numbers on tubes.

As a watercolorist, I find it helpful to check the recipe numbers before purchasing a new tube of color in order to keep from buying a tube of paint that has several colors mixed together. If a tube of color is formulated with one or two colors it keeps one's painting from becoming muddy when mixing with other colors.

In watercolor to keep your color fresh and alive on the paper, you need to mix the minimal amount of colors together to achieve your end goals. Does that make sense?

Even in watercolors (ie: burnt sienna or even burnt umber) with the same formula (as per tube information PY, PR or what ever) by different manufacturer's give different results. Drat it! I use a minimal palette most of the time but must own about 80 different colors from WN, Holbein, D. Smith. I love them all.

If you use acrylics, Golden in upstate New York, has handpainted sample brochures for their products. These are great.

Unfortunately Winsor Newton stopped making theirs a number of years ago, but lucky me, I actually kept one of their handpainted watercolor sample brochures from years ago. Today it is fun to compare the colors from then to now, and I must say, WN stopped producing one of my favorites, but taking the time, it is easy to hand mix.

When I teach my watercolor beginners, I start them off with a limited palette of six colors as this accomplishes several things:
cuts down on expenses,
forces them to mix colors,
keeps them in control of what they have done as it is easier to remake a needed color if you keep the mix to a maximum of two with maybe a tweak of a third and last but not least:
They have an immediate sense of power because they are in control of the colors rather than the other way around.

For the person who wanted a bright red? In watercolor, it is easy to brighten a red by tweaking a little "Opera" with it. Gives it lots of life!

LarrySeiler
03-09-2007, 07:03 AM
I'll agree (from an oil painter's standpoint) that refining yourself to just what tube of paint you ultimately end up using will cut expenses or save money.

then again...painting with a limited palette does that for me. Perhaps if I started out again today I would pay attention to such things as numbers. Over thirty years of painting one arrives just the same to favorites.

Then...when I elect to paint with a specific palette like a split-complementary palette...I mix up my paint and restrict the whole painting to three colors white and possibly black.

When you use only one blue...and not black, as I do most often painting outdoors...it had better be rich and dark. Utrecht French Ultramarine fits that bill for me, whether I'm aware of the numbers or not. Since it works...at this stage of the game I don't think numbers matter, least not for me.

Just finished putting together a short 15 minute dvd demo for classroom art instruction using tempera paints and a split-complement palette to paint a simple landscape. I use tempera with a good deal of water and attack the work with watercolor practices in mind. Ordering supplies for a classroom of students...such as Crayola powder tempera, your choices are limited. "Blue" for example... :D

but...you can teach and make it work...

I continue to surprise myself each year just how much can be done with the most limited opportunity. Budget cuts providing less money for supplies means your students either suffer for it, or you find human convention to make up for it.

More and more though, I can see how serious watercolorists would benefit. I bought a bunch of watercolor tubes of paints years ago just by eyeballing those color charts. Worked well enough for me.

LarrySeiler
03-09-2007, 03:30 PM
Just loaded up part 1 of a 15 minute dvd that explains the split complementary palette to students of my middle to early high school students.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU6_08YFAFw

some basics for anyone not quite sure...
won't be loading up part 2...but, this part should help if any are fuzzy..

mad mike
03-09-2007, 03:44 PM
So. . . Does this mean that the entire Split-Comp. palette lesson will soon be available as a "short subject?"

Or did you simply decide that the part you posted was all you really wanted to say at this point?

Inquiring minds want to know! :D

LarrySeiler
03-09-2007, 04:27 PM
I actually have the split-comp as an entire 15 minute dvd...with music, and the demonstration.

Its rather simple..using tempera paint like watercolors...and intended as I said for young students...but, I suppose in my world where I'm around art education all the time..for those that are self-taught or had no formal training, this might seem pertinent for adults as well.

The Part1 of the YouTube version has no music...but the dvd version does. Plus, I've created it so teachers in a classroom setting would have options. For one, by freezing a frame, you have a perfect still shot if you wish to elaborate on a point, see something in particular. I recommend for teachers in a classroom setting to freeze each particular painting example and have students attempt to figure out what the dominant color was, and therefore the splits...

that is a very useful exercise in and of itself to making a full and complete understanding.

But...the second part is about 12-13 minutes in just itself...and not time lapsed. As such, it is too long for YouTube...

on the other hand...if and when I purchase the bandwidth site, its something I can make available not worrying about the 100MB and size limitation.

take care, Mike...

Wojdo
05-17-2007, 02:07 PM
HI Larry, I think this split comp sounds good, I,am going to give it a try, is there a difference in cadmium yellow light and cad lemon light or bright red and cad red light.

I have to order some paint first, is this what Payne used I really like the greens in his paintings.

LarrySeiler
05-17-2007, 09:02 PM
cad yellow light is a tad warmer than lemon..and cad red light appears too orange to my liking, but it should be a personal preference.

There are good number of artists that work with a limited palette, but we live in different regions, different light and this is often a long process and an individual one for artists to pick what looks best to their own eye.

Some like Rembrandt permanent red...but again, just a tad too orange to my liking. You'll have to experiment and understand what it is you want your yellow to perform, your red and so forth.

Not sure exactly what pigments Payne used, and I'll look thru my comp book of his again to see if he mentions it. Don't remember. But, I'm sure the reds, and the yellows he used were familiar and acceptable to his eye contingent on where he lived, what kind of light he was accustomed to seeing nature in...