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impressionist2
05-20-2002, 08:04 AM
I am painting a lot of boats, water and sky lately. I recently added cobalt blue to my already existing ultra blue and cerulean blue on my palette.

Cobalt is very intense. Questions: Use it mostly as a foreground color because of the intensity? For objects nearest the viewer? Or distant objects to make them pop out?

Makes really interesting purples mixed with thalo rose or aliz. crimson.

Any other thoughts on the uses for this great color?

Renee

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-May-2002/ColdSpring2.jpg

Studio224
05-21-2002, 05:35 AM
In watercolor, I like to use Cobalt Blue mixed with Cad Red because the two together granulates and I love this effect...

Patrick1
05-21-2002, 06:11 PM
I had a tube of cobalt blue (W&N Artisan) and I used it up. I liked it, but I don't know if I'll ever need to replace it. For now, I prefer to use only ultramarine blue and phthalo blue GS. Real cobalt blue is a beautiful color, but for distance effect, I prefer ultramarine blue...cobalt seems more muddy in mixes. I try to minimize using blue in the foreground, but when I do, I prefer ultra and phthalo blues since they are more transparent and allow greater value range.

BTW, beautiful painting...it has and Old Masters quality to it.

Patrick1
05-21-2002, 07:39 PM
Just remembered; a nice thing about cobalt blue is that it's a gentler mixer than ultra. or phthalo blues. I did one painting where I was surprised how much it took in order to get the background covered in blue. It's a good blue for lively, high-key paintings. A good middle sky blue too.

Some people find cobalt blue essential, others don't have much use for it. I still need to experiemnt to see where I stand with it.

impressionist2
05-22-2002, 08:33 AM
Patrick, Thank you. I am painting plein air this summer and Love it.

On my palette is ultra blue, cerulean and cobalt. Thalo blue scares me. Perhaps I should give it another chance.

When I am mixing, the brush is flying. The white is going into the mix and sometimes the blues get thrown in together. I mix what I see.

I love ultramarine- it makes the most beautiful blue mixed with titanium white. Cerulean is always good in the water, esp. on the northshore of Long Island, where there's a lot of trees and green in the water and it's reflections.

When I want a "punch" to the blue, out comes the cobalt. Btw, cobalt mixed with thalo rose and titanium makes the most beautiful and softest red violet ever.

Renee

Patrick1
05-23-2002, 04:44 AM
Originally posted by impressionist2


Thalo blue scares me.



:D :D Yeah, it's very strong stuff (I read that prussian is even stronger...don't know if that's true). But you can tame it just by adding white...this can be a good substitute for cerulean blue.

walden
05-25-2002, 06:27 PM
Renee, I use cobalt blue to get wonderful fresh greens with cadmium lemon, & more muted greens with cadmium yellow light. I also use it in skies-- it's good for the cooler part of our skies around here (ultramarine is usually too cold). I also just added thalo blue-- I used to use it in watercolors, but hadn't tried it in oils-- and I'm finally able to get the warmer, lower blues in our skies mixed well, and it's also good in mixes for our water. But, I have to be VERY careful with it-- not use too much, and don't let it get close to anything else on the palette. :)

I also think cobalt blue works wonderfully for a lot of skies out west-- particularly in the mountains. And, I love it for all sorts of purples & violets.

In fact, cobalt is better for me than ultramarine for so many things, but I just can't part with ultramarine because I need it for really dark darks, so I keep both.

blondheim12
05-26-2002, 08:55 AM
Originally posted by Domer
Originally posted by impressionist2



:D :D Yeah, it's very strong stuff (I read that prussian is even stronger...don't know if that's true). But you can tame it just by adding white...this can be a good substitute for cerulean blue.

In my opinion there is no substitute for a really good cerulean blue. I use OH and it is wonderful. I use thalo blue to mix greens as it is way too intense for sky . Just my opinion.
Love,
Linda
http://pleinairflorida.org

Scott Methvin
05-26-2002, 09:51 PM
I use pthalocyanine for my one and only blue. It takes practice and experience to learn how to tame it. it is extremely strong, but makes an excellent cyan sky color. Mixed with white, of course. This is an excellent glazing color, being transparent.

Cerulean IS made with cobalt. I don't know if that's the only way it can be made, but it is expensive because cobalt is one of the most expensive colors. Cobalt is also a fast drier. Like manganese (Raw umber) and lead white. You can buy liquid cobalt drier and add it by the drop to any oil paint to speed things up.

I never use cobalt blue or cerulean because a) it is a color that can not be reproduced well in the CMYB printing process. Or iris/giclee. Also why pay so much for blue when pthalo is dirt cheap and gets you where you want to go.

You can't tell the difference between cerulean and pthalo and lead white mixed. (Tiny bit of red if needed, makes it F. ultramarine.)

I also like the tiny particle size and lightfastness of pthalo. If you don't make your own, I reccomend Grumbacher pre-tested. It IS primary/cyan blue on any color wheel that is correct.

walden
05-27-2002, 01:21 AM
I have, from time to time, used phtalo blue like that, Scott-- it makes a great, pretty close to pure primary palette with cadmium lemon and permanent rose (quinacridone).

I didn't know that stuff about the printing process, though-- interesting.

Scott Methvin
05-27-2002, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by walden
I have, from time to time, used phtalo blue like that, Scott-- it makes a great, pretty close to pure primary palette with cadmium lemon and permanent rose (quinacridone).

I didn't know that stuff about the printing process, though-- interesting.

Hi Walden,

Yes, pthalo is the same pigment in the printer's blue/cyan ink. They have a few iris printers that use a "Royal blue" process. This may be an attempt to print cobalt.

Process blue is pthalocyanine.

impressionist2
05-30-2002, 08:00 AM
Scott, When Pthalo blue and I arm wrestle, pthalo usually wins. However, I will bring my small tube along in the field next time, mix the white and give him another chance.

Lisa, I too dislike ultra in the sky. Mixed with white, it kind of disappears. Later, in photos it appears white-annoying. I use it mixed with purples to push the distant trees back. It also makes a good mix for the reflecting shadow side of boats.

So, I rely on cerulean and cobalt for my sky and sea combos. I think I will start a thread just on the sky soon, in oil forum. I could use some new advice.

Renee

Einion
05-31-2002, 02:50 AM
Like Cerulean Blue, the thing I probably value most about Cobalt Blue is not its hue but rather its opacity. Considering I mostly use it neutralised with red earths for opaque cool neutrals though, I don't think I will replace it when it is finally finished as, like Cerulean, its hue can be matched closely enough using Phthalocyanine Blue GS, Ultramarine and Titanium White, at a significantly lower cost.

Einion

impressionist2
05-31-2002, 07:56 AM
Scott wrote: "I use pthalocyanine for my one and only blue. It takes practice and experience to learn how to tame it. it is extremely strong, but makes an excellent cyan sky color. Mixed with white, of course. This is an excellent glazing color, being transparent.


and: pthalo is the same pigment in the printer's blue/cyan ink. They have a few iris printers that use a "Royal blue" process. This may be an attempt to print cobalt. "

Scott, the following is from my IPAP list from a fellow who lives in a kibbutz in Israel. He mixes everything from the following printers colors:

" The three colours: Blue-Cyan-(Phtalocyanine) Yellow-Arylide (lemon) ( make sure there is no white added by the paint manufacturer-Talens adds white, but Rowney and WN are okay) Red-Quinacridone ( magenta,madder lake). Again, make sure that the labels indicate pure pigment, not a blend of a few. The cyan is very strong as far as tinting strength goes, so should be added delicately as time goes on.


he uses lead white along with these three to make every color he uses.

Has anyone tried this? Is it difficult? Seems that it would be till you get the hang of it.

I had a problem with my sky in this, in progress, plein air knife painting being too grey. So, with Scott's advice I got out a touch of thalo blue yesterday on location, and mixed with titanium white and spread it across the sky in chosen spots. I liked it and it didn't scare me this time, 'cause I only used it sparingly. :D


Say, Scott, did you finish the portrait of the boys on the Beach? I pick up my final payment for mine tonight.


Renee

walden
05-31-2002, 09:18 AM
Your painting is looking wonderful, Renee!

I used that same three-color primary on this one, in oils:

walden
05-31-2002, 09:25 AM
Oops-- I forgot-- I think I also used pthalo green on that one, in addition to the three primaries.

But, in watercolors years ago, I KNOW I used it for this one (although the yellow I used was W&N New Gamboge, which isn't pure arylamide, but also includes nickel dioxine):

Scott Methvin
05-31-2002, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by impressionist2
Scott wrote: "I use pthalocyanine for my one and only blue. It takes practice and experience to learn how to tame it. it is extremely strong, but makes an excellent cyan sky color. Mixed with white, of course. This is an excellent glazing color, being transparent.


and: pthalo is the same pigment in the printer's blue/cyan ink. They have a few iris printers that use a "Royal blue" process. This may be an attempt to print cobalt. "

Scott, the following is from my IPAP list from a fellow who lives in a kibbutz in Israel. He mixes everything from the following printers colors:

" The three colours: Blue-Cyan-(Phtalocyanine) Yellow-Arylide (lemon) ( make sure there is no white added by the paint manufacturer-Talens adds white, but Rowney and WN are okay) Red-Quinacridone ( magenta,madder lake). Again, make sure that the labels indicate pure pigment, not a blend of a few. The cyan is very strong as far as tinting strength goes, so should be added delicately as time goes on.


he uses lead white along with these three to make every color he uses.

Has anyone tried this? Is it difficult? Seems that it would be till you get the hang of it.

I had a problem with my sky in this, in progress, plein air knife painting being too grey. So, with Scott's advice I got out a touch of thalo blue yesterday on location, and mixed with titanium white and spread it across the sky in chosen spots. I liked it and it didn't scare me this time, 'cause I only used it sparingly. :D


Say, Scott, did you finish the portrait of the boys on the Beach? I pick up my final payment for mine tonight.


Renee

Hi Impy,

Your Israeli friend and I are very much of the same mind with colors. I started out oil painting with an expertise in drawing, composition and value understanding. Color was a great unknown. I was baffled and confused about all the choices. As I had a graphics back ground and wanted to paint in oils, I made the decision to basically try and emulate the 4 color printing process. Except I used white instead of black.

I use a nickle based azo yellow (OH Gambooge lake extra), instead of his aryleride. The others are identical. All are transparent except the lead white.

The limitations of trying to use color like a printer are several. You can't place particles of pigment precisely, like a color sepatation. Printers use black because it would take several saturated runs to get the transparent inks dark enough. In other words, if you want solid color, it takes many layers and stretching the envelope.

After about 50 paintings using this strict pallette, I have since opened up to some other pigments. Once I got comfortable with making secondaries, etc, I had a much easier time using non primaries. The whole program taught me alot about color and pigments.

To me, the biggest spike on the color learning graph was understanding complements. The 3 basic combinations and how to use them effectively. That opened many a door. I also use lots of optical greys, which are related.

Now color isn't nearly as scary as it once was.

I was in the art store yesterday and looked at Old Holland oil tubes. I saw about 8 different tubes of blue that had pthalocyanine as the only pigment. Also about the same number of reds with quinacridone listed as the only pigment, including the alizerine crimson. Love the brand, but jeeze, I can make all that at home.

Genuine vermillion, genuine naples yellow, ivory black, raw umber and terre verde are my new pigment additions. I paint lots of flesh and need them mostly for that reason. They are all just great pigments for anything.

Same blue. The one and only Pthalo. I seldom mix my pigments with white, like most ala prima painters. I do lots of glazing and scumbling. vermillion is very opaque and so is naples. terre verde is a pain to use, like painting with crumbly dirt. I sort of "stain" with it.

Love the painting you posted. The touch of cyan is the perfect color of the sky. Pthalo.

Her's how I build a pthalo sky. First I put down a solid even coat of lead white with a little amber for smoothness. Sometimes I undercoat with an orang-ish under paint, but not always. When this white coat is dry, I sand it smooth. No texture is wanted, takes away the illusion. I mix a tiny bit of pthalo with a thinned lead white and apply it as evenly as I can. This is the middle tone. After that is dry I glaze with pure pthalo to get the color graduation. Very subtle and controlled. It looks almost airbrushed. Finish with white again and touches of pinks and orange. Thats a cloudless sky, which we have lots of here. Clouds are another story.

I am almost finished with MY beach painting. I had to erase one face entirely, try to accomidate a new photo from the client and make it work on the old body. The new face looks much better than the old. I need to give him a little sunburn and natural ighting, then I'll send a photo when complete.

Congrats on getting a check. It's my favorite pat on the back! I'm looking forward to the other half of mine soon. While I've been waiting for photos, approval, etc, I have done or started about 8 new paintings. My festival season starts in July and I am getting ready for that.

Sorry for the long rambling post.

impressionist2
06-01-2002, 09:25 AM
Scott, I enjoyed reading your post, didn't find it long and rambling at all.

Last night I dropped off the painting and picked up the check. I told them about our funny e-mails re: both of our portrait commissions, and they enjoyed hearing that.

It is just the best showing the client work in progress over the internet. By the time they saw it in person, there were no surpises. All adjustments had been discussed and things changed to suit them. The only thing I needed to do for them was open up the boys eyes a little more. They had the feeling they participated in the entire process ( which they did to a small degree) so they were very happy at the end.

I am looking forward to seeing your finished work. Sure looked great last time I saw it.

Well, the glazing process sounds wonderful, but this summer it's plein air all the way for me ( except for the portraits, ofcourse). I think it might be a bit difficult to glaze in the open air!:D I have a hard enough time keeping the palette from blowing away!

Renee

cobalt fingers
06-07-2002, 03:30 PM
I use cobalt little also-finding the tons of other blues work to get me where I want to go. It is a very true blue vs vs ultramarine which is coolish and runs toward purple. most of the other have certain shades of green to them.

Patrick1
06-09-2002, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by cobalt fingers
I use cobalt little also-finding the tons of other blues work to get me where I want to go.

This coming from Mr. Cobalt Fingers!!?? :rolleyes:

Can I assume that you chose that user name because you use a lot of cerulean blue, cobalt green, or used to use cobalt blue? Even though I don't know if I'll ever buy any more cobalt blue, you gotta admit it's a beautiful color...you can't match it exactly by mixing.