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bose
12-17-2007, 10:21 AM
Hi Everyone.
Can any one help Please, with an easy way of sorting my ROZ TRAVEL BOX with 64 SOFT Pastels into VALUES, RATHER THAN COLOURS, without getting to technical.

Just need a nice simple method, now I know 64 PASTELS, is absolute chicken feed, LOL, compared to the number, some of you have out there, but it's driving me bonkers, trying to come up with a simple solution that's easy to follow and that works.

Hope some one can help please, before I crack up and go bonkers. LOL.

May I also take this opportunity, to, WISH EVERY BODY A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Cheers.
tony. ALIASE, BOSE.

Colorix
12-17-2007, 01:04 PM
Hi Tony, hey, you don't actually *need* every colour in the universe, did you see some of the posts where people used only 12 colours? But it is nice to have many, it is.

I'm sorting mine by value, sometimes. Other times, I go by colour temperature. Eventually, I'll settle on one system.... I've gone by simply eyeballing the pastels, squinting to see value, and then arranging them. Doublechecking by drawing strokes on paper, rearranging. I've not tried the following, but I thought I'd photograph the pastels, grayscale the pic of the crayons, and sort them. Thing is, after three colours put down on a painting, I've already messed up any system I arrange... anyways, just looking at them and comparing values is easy, but tedious.

A merry Christmas and a happy New Year to yo too.

Deborah Secor
12-17-2007, 01:07 PM
Tony, try it this way. Lay out some paper towels and all your pastels in good, strong light (sunlight if you can manage it.) Begin by choosing the lightest light, obviously white to start if you have it, putting the first four or five on the left-had side of the paper towels. Now do the same for the darkest darks, putting them on the right-had side of the towels.

Now go back to your palette and select the lightest lights from it. Place them just to the right of your original light colors on the paper towels. Do the same with the darks, placing them inboard of the darkest darks.

Do the same again and again, until you have a few colors that don't seem to be dark or light. These will reside at the center of the palette of colors.

You can then sort into rainbow order, if you like, so that you have rows of colors from light to dark in color families (a row of yellow, a row of blue, a row of purple, a row of red, etc...) but with so few pastels you won't have much selection to do this with. Instead you might just think of it as a means of seeing groupings of values. Find at least five: dark, light, medium-dark, medium-light, and medium, and keep these groupings with one another.

You can also put down a stroke of color on clean white paper, then place a stroke of another color so that it touches the first. If there is no visual line between the two when you squint, they're very close in value. Use that to help you place the colors in order.

I keep the order rather loose, not stressing over exact placement of values. You can then organize them in your box from light to dark. Having a palette that's organized is like having the notes on the piano--you can go right to the note you want.

Hope that helps, and Merry Christmas to you, too. :D
Deborah

PeggyB
12-17-2007, 01:23 PM
Deborah's method is a good one, but it can be helped along and a bit faster if you use some red lensed glasses if you are unfamiliar with "seeing" value. They turn everything to "gray". Eventually you won't need the glasses because you'll have trained your eyes to see value. They are also handy when painting either plein air or from a photo so you can see the values in your subject. I got mine at www.maximumeyewear.com (http://www.maximumeyewear.com) Look under the heading "red lenses". The pair I have and recommend to my students cost all of $7.95 (US) plus shipping - under $10 per pair! The students find them very helpful. Depending upon how often they paint, some of them find they don't need them within a year or even less.

Peggy

Deborah Secor
12-17-2007, 01:53 PM
Peggy, so sorry--I really respect your opinion so let me respectfully mention that the red filter idea really doesn't work for any color that contains red. It's a great tool on location in green country, or when working from greener photos, but in red-rock country it fails... The reason is, I think, because colors containing red tend to look bleached out. If you use the red filter to select values everything gets thrown off.

I had a student who did this and brought her palette to me, practically in tears because it looked all wrong to her. Sure enough, when we analyzed how she'd chosen the colors we discovered the red filter had deceived her eye in many instances. So... maybe try it and see what happens. I'd love to know if this proves true to others! A lot may depend on the color and intensity of the red lenses, of course.

Deborah

Snowbound
12-17-2007, 08:21 PM
This is also why greyscale isn't necessarily a good indication of value-- it depends on how the greyscale is generated. My basic design teacher taught us this (long, long ago) with different color overlays. And in photography, different color filters produces radically different results shooting black and white film (or in producing a print from a negative). Same thing in graphics program greyscale conversions. As Deborah pointed out, the most sure way of assessing value is to put the two together and eyeball it (squinting helps), which also has the advantage of training your brain to see.

Dayle Ann, still digging out from the snow...

RooGal
12-18-2007, 08:24 AM
Tony thanks for starting this thread. Although I may have a few more sticks than your 64, I certainly do not have nearly the variety that many of the art legends here have. I have been trying to organize my palette by value and colour, thinking that may be easier for me.

Deborah your suggestion makes a lot of sense and I will give it a go once the sun comes up again tomorrow (although they're forecasting thunderstorms). I'll admit I'm a bit confused when it comes to neutrals. What are my neutrals? Does this tie directly in with colour temperature? Am I just asking a dumb question?

ElsieH
12-18-2007, 12:23 PM
Deborah,
Thanks so much for your detailed "lesson". The paper towel idea is terrific.
I sorted out my trays by value going bottom as darkest to lighted on top.
Then I sorted my left half trays as warm and my right half trays as cool.
It was a demo by Richard McKinley, I think, about this.
Also, haven't you done a demo like this, too, Deborah? :heart: :heart:
When I was first working with pastels, I used to have difficulty selecting
which one I wanted and remembering what I had used etc. Now, I don't have to think much about what the name of the stick is etc. My eyes and brain just sort of take over.
I did have difficulty if I tried to replace every stick after I used it! Now I keep a little plastic rubbermaid tray with cornmeal in it right on my easel. As I use a pastel, I put it in there. It is easy to remember which ones I'm using and only replace them on the tray when I'm finished with the painting.
The cornmeal cleans the pastel for me.
Thanks for all who shared on this thread!:clap: :clap:

Deborah Secor
12-18-2007, 02:39 PM
Neutrals are confusing. Take a look at Richard McKinley's palette and notice that he has the neutral (unsaturated or grayed colors) separated out:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2007/23609-McKinley_palette.jpg
The two trays to the right-hand side are the neutral colors, so he can see and use them effectively. Sometimes it's hard to see the neutrals if they're mixed into the palette. Here's how I do it, though, and not nearly as well organized as Richard! :rolleyes:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2007/23609-DSCN5492.JPG

Hope this helps...
Deborah

PeggyB
12-18-2007, 02:56 PM
Peggy, so sorry--I really respect your opinion so let me respectfully mention that the red filter idea really doesn't work for any color that contains red. It's a great tool on location in green country, or when working from greener photos, but in red-rock country it fails... The reason is, I think, because colors containing red tend to look bleached out. If you use the red filter to select values everything gets thrown off.

I had a student who did this and brought her palette to me, practically in tears because it looked all wrong to her. Sure enough, when we analyzed how she'd chosen the colors we discovered the red filter had deceived her eye in many instances. So... maybe try it and see what happens. I'd love to know if this proves true to others! A lot may depend on the color and intensity of the red lenses, of course.

Deborah

So noted Deborah, and perhaps my explanation was too simplified. True the only color that actually turns "gray" is green when using red tinted glasses - could it be because they are compliments on the primary color wheel? :) I've not had the same result using red acrylic sheets or any product other than glasses that have a UV filter. Once again I looked at my trays of pastels that are sorted by both value and color (under my natural skylight), and then my new box of Sennelier plein air landscape pastels that aren't sorted. Not knowing the colors in that box, it was still easy to determine which were extra dark, dark, med dark, med, med light, light and extra light with the red tinted glasses - 7 values in all. It made me want to do something from that box using only what I see through the glasses - not knowing the color at all - just to see what comes of it - maybe after the holi-DAZE! :lol: I know in the field it is much easier on my eyes to wear the red glasses on a bright sunny day - even in red dirt country. I don't leave them on all the time, but I do most of the time as it saves me from eyestrain and a headache.

I suppose if one has money to waste one could get blue, and yellow tinted glasses as well as the red so you'd be getting near gray for the entire colorwheel as you sort your pastels. That still doesn't train your eyes to "see" values, but it is quicker to sort the pastels. (Just kidding with this idea folks.) It is fact that no two people see color - or values - in exactly the same way, and some people see colors drastically different from one another. It all has to do with the construction of our eyes - technical stuff that I'm not about to get into! :eek: We do the best we can with what we are given, and hope for a happy outcome. For some people, having a tool to help in this way is a blessing.

Peggy

Deborah Secor
12-18-2007, 03:55 PM
:lol: @ Peggy
It made me want to do something from that box using only what I see through the glasses - not knowing the color at all - just to see what comes of it
What a GREAT idea! Ooooo, another class coming up...

Deborah

RooGal
12-18-2007, 05:49 PM
Thanks heaps for that Deborah. I did see a video clip from the PJ website and remembered that Richard McKinley used two rows of neutrals in his palette. The photo helped. I will continue sorting.

Peggy, I have a friend in the states sending me some red cellophane, hoping I could use it to look at landscapes in my viewfinder. A few people recommended it in the D&S forum and I thought I could use it in tandem. Since they don't really deal directly with colour in D&S I may have to rethink this idea. Thanks for your post.

Thank you also (still shoveling) Dayle Anne. I was in the printing industry for a number of years and I still remember the term that red shoots black. Of course that term escaped me when I made photos of my pastels and then changed them to greyscale. Oi!

EdK
12-18-2007, 10:00 PM
This is how Albert Handell suggested this task be performed. Basically marking two colors you think are close in value until they touch. If you squint and cannot see a separation, then they are close in the same value. He cautioned about just looking at the stick itself as sometimes they appear darker or lighter when you apply them to paper. I struggled with the fact that the value gradiations from the manufacturer do not match with, let's say six evenly distributed values. So, I just got mine close.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2007/42139-RI-0005.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Dec-2007/42139-RI-0006.jpg

Deborah Secor
12-18-2007, 11:06 PM
Oooh, good way to show it, Ed! Glad you have these shots. Yes, that's what I did to sort mine originally. As I mentioned, if you lay colors down so the sides of the strokes touch you can see if they are or aren't the same value. It's nice when they all coalesce into one mass like this! Handell was the one who taught me this method back when I worked with him.

Pam, look into photo filters. I had an acquaintance who was into photography who showed me a raft of different color filters... Or see if you can find any red plastic or acrylic to use. I have one that people use to make quilts, to find the like values of the color blocks.

Deborah

Scottyarthur
12-18-2007, 11:11 PM
I don't know alot but I once I sorted my colors by value by taking a white sheet of paper then making a mark on it with each pastel starting with what I thought was the lightest to the darkest about an inch long then took that paper to my copier and printed it out on a gray scale i was shocked by what I found.

PeggyB
12-19-2007, 12:32 AM
I don't know alot but I once I sorted my colors by value by taking a white sheet of paper then making a mark on it with each pastel starting with what I thought was the lightest to the darkest about an inch long then took that paper to my copier and printed it out on a gray scale i was shocked by what I found.

Now there's a novel idea! :) I just might have to try that sometime. After seeing values for so many years it is easy to think I have it just right, but in all honesty I wouldn't be surprised to see that maybe - just maybe - I have a thing or two - or three - or more - to learn! :lol:

Peggy

alaskan rose
12-21-2007, 01:43 AM
Here is website of Pastel Journal's video clip where Albert Handell explains the lack of hard edges in determining colors of similar values:

http://www.artistsmagazine.com/video/tam_tv.asp?showid=306942

This helped me alot, I just organized my plein air box of pastels into 5 values, then I took and divided each set of values into warm and cool colors. This has been very helpful in the few paintings I have attempted since doing this.