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View Full Version : Better painting through color choice splitoff


sidbledsoe
11-03-2008, 01:43 PM
What began as a flippant comment on the other thread by myself has now really piqued my interest. Can simply choosing a color improve your painting ability, or "make you a better painter". Well I never gave it much thought til I was mildly chastised for suggesting it. Now I am pretty convinced that in a small but possibly significant way that the answer is yes. My definition of a better painter is anything that facilitates my ability to put on canvas what it is I want to put on canvas. That can encompass knowledge, materials, etc. etc. This is like David taking on Goliath but I do like a challenge. Don't be offended guys, I hold the utmost respect for your work and opinions.
Bill, in responding to this you said no, that it will not help me at all. I respectfully submit that you do not believe this. Here is why, in the thread about choosing greens, you said you learned how to mix greens from a wildlife artist and that you could kiss his feet for it. Doesn't that imply that it resulted in improving your painting ability? Isn't that simple a color choice?
Larry, don't you often extol the virtues of your limited palette and how it forces you to do things that have improved your painting ability? Isn't that also simply a choice of colors. You are adamant about the brand of blue (utrecht) that allows you to do what it is that you want to do to achieve a "better" product.
Doug says he needs real alizarin crimson. Gunz needs every color known to man. Bill needs green omitted from his palette. Bruce is a local artist I know and for him it is prussian blue, ad nauseum.
Straighten me out guys.:confused:

gunzorro
11-03-2008, 02:11 PM
Aw! Opinion time!
I don't think choosing to include or exclude a particular color can make you a better painter.
But, there are "best quality" examples of any color available, and that has more or less been my quest, to find those quintessential examples.
I know that amazing painters can make do with not only a limited palette, but essentialy a monochrome palette. But that is not the ordinary or commonplace approach.
Although I don't think the addition or subtraction of a specific pigment or hue will affect the talent of a painter, I do think one is more capable of better painting with better paints (and blushes, solvents, mediums, linen, etc. etc.). Buying the best paints you can afford will be the best course to take, even if that means buying fewer tubes to start out. If that means Rembrandt for one person and Vasari for another, that's fine. I simply advise to stay away from student paints or the cheapest artist varieties if you want the most trouble-free painting.

sidbledsoe
11-03-2008, 06:36 PM
"I do think one is more capable of better painting with better paints"

Right, I agree, not talking about talent here.
But Doug can't get just the right gorgeous broken colored passages without pr83. Larry needs his palette to accomplish what he wants to do. Bruce without prussian blue,.. just forget about it.
Without artist quality paints I don't think Gunz would be a happy camper.
When Doug first stated his need for the real Aliz Crimson, I thought that was kinda out there. In time I had a sort of epiphany. Now I think he got the key, for him. Everyone is always giving advice on color choices, everyone,... always. And it is because they believe it will facilitate what they think is important and thus improve ones painting and make them ultimately a better painter. The thing is that people are so diverse that what is right for one may be wrong for another. There are very good artists that prefer to use cheap student paints because it suits their needs better. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=511425
see post 12.

nit-wit
11-03-2008, 06:51 PM
A better painter, gets better, when he uses better paints. :lol:

Andrew

WFMartin
11-03-2008, 10:58 PM
Sid,

You are correct; that definitely IS a color choice of mine, which I felt actually led to the creating of "better work".

However, even THIS example is more about convenience, and ease of operation, than it is of the production of better quality results. My avoidance of tubed greens for the purpose of creating green mixes, is a choice based upon my desire to produce a degree of interest in my work.

But, it is also based upon improving my ease of operation. To me it is not only better, in terms of quality, to do this, but also I find it much easier to mix my greens from scratch, than to use an existing, tubed green, and have to "dope" it with other colors to achieve this identical variance of green colors in my work.

Those of us who seem overly enthused regarding the use of specific colors, are simply excited regarding what we consider to be a small "secret", to be shared with like-minded artists on sites such as this. You have to excuse the exuberance of a teacher-person such as I, for seemingly "pushing" a particular application too strongly, at times. All this promoting of a color or of a technique is nothing more than our unselfish desire to persuade others to experience the same degree of ease of application, or of satisfaction with their finished work as we have.

Hopefully, what these recommendations accomplish is to persuade others to give it a try, if only for once. Some may adopt the techniques or color choices for their own use, or they may simply lay it aside as something not worth using. But, it is this sharing of information that is such a desirable characteristic of a site such as this. I once ran right out a bought a tube of Dioxazine Purple, simply because someone explained how important it was to their work. I tried it a few times, and it is now a paperweight in my paint box. LOL But, someone used it to good advantage, and that was really interesting to note, although I found it to be quite unnecessary to my operation.

I truly feel sorry for those who enter sites such as this with the goal of only gaining information, or creating stress, without sharing their little "secrets", no matter how insignificant they may seem. Sites such as this are meant for trading information and knowledge, for the good of everyone on the site, and not for the keeping of "secrets".

At times, we are apt to put our foot in our mouth in the explanations of our techniques and reasons for them, but those of us who are truly interested in dispensing proper information are usually quite eager to correct our errors, when they truly are errors.

So, yes, you are certainly correct in your assessment of my use of greens as being a color choice. However, if someone told me that tomorrow I'd have to use tubed greens, I can almost guarantee you'd not see a difference in my work. And, that is what a sound knowledge of color behavior can offer an artist, rather than working from a recipe.

Bill

sidbledsoe
11-04-2008, 07:48 AM
Very well said Bill, thanks. Maybe the, "it makes me a better painter part" is just in the head of the proponent of a particular thing but that in itself is a good and valid reason to do it.

delicious
11-10-2008, 05:32 PM
Being a better painter is a result of learning to see. Seeing your subjects in new ways, seeing compositional potential in various ways, seeing color in more variation and relationship, etc.

Also, seeing your own work as it progresses--those millions of decisions made along the way and seeing as you go which ones would work and what the results will be. Knowing what's working, what isn't, catching the serendipitous moments when something special happens and making the best of them, knowing when to stop...

The paint colors you use can be part of learning to see the process. The palette is part of the process, seeing those colors, seeing them work together, learning how to play them against each other and balance them with one another...

Small changes in colors will not change your painting much. But a poor palette can be a huge roadblock to progress.

I guess I would say that if you have your colors functioning so that they don't actually get in your way and inhibit your other abilities, that's enough to be a great artist. If you've got that in you, of course.

sidbledsoe
11-11-2008, 12:41 PM
After after leaving Holland for France, I think Van Gogh would have agreed that a poor palette would have inhibited the expression of his art. At the National Gallery of Art in DC I am always amazed at the difference when you leave the old masters works and enter the modern impressionist section. Though I really like both, it is like walking out of a dungeon into a sunny colorful world, like when Dorothy opens the door to Oz.

Doug Nykoe
11-11-2008, 04:44 PM
After after leaving Holland for France, I think Van Gogh would have agreed that a poor palette would have inhibited the expression of his art. At the National Gallery of Art in DC I am always amazed at the difference when you leave the old masters works and enter the modern impressionist section. Though I really like both, it is like walking out of a dungeon into a sunny colorful world, like when Dorothy opens the door to Oz.

Beautifully said Sid…

One thing to keep in mind here is that black will sully the colour. This is a reason some might have problems reading a colour the lower it gets towards gray and probably why Munsell is needed as a rudder.

Complements are easier to read the lower the chroma plus you don’t sully the colour so you are left with a more vibrant painting as the Impressionists proved. This is why what you said above is the main reason not to go any where near Munsell and its BLACK application if you seek more vibrant paintings like the Impressionists.

But if you relate to quieter colours or sullied colours, then Munsell is the way to go. It’s about choices and why we got into those arguments about Munsell in the first place. Some were saying,” it’s the holy grail of colour” and that was flat out false. But I do understand the enthusiasm when you get some good results and think you have found Nirvana.

sidbledsoe
11-12-2008, 11:12 PM
Thanks a lot for that input Doug,

Recall from the first post: My definition of a better painter is anything that facilitates my ability to put on canvas what it is I want to put on canvas.

From Larry's Bluebill thread it was commented that he had "answered the question that I had proposed in this thread and the answer was no." then said at the end, "the limited palette really enhances the scene." This is what I am talking about. The simple choice of a limited palette has the effect of enhancing a painting? Why do people extol the virtues of a palette of colors? Many artists teach the virtues and the value of a certain palette. http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=363803
Why does one search for the holy grail of Vermilion just like the one that Raphael used? Could they all be under some crazy notion that it will somehow "enhance their work"?

gunzorro
11-13-2008, 06:33 PM
The term "The Impressionists" covers an awful lot of ground!

While some Impressionist painters publicly eschewed the use of black (certainly not all!), if you look carefully at the paintings of this genre, you will find the colors are actually more subdued than you might have remembered.

Several "tricks" were used cleverly to imply greater chromatic range than is actually present in many of the works. Notably, combinations of complementary colors in close proximity adds the appearance of greater chroma -- seldom were the most brilliant colors used straight from the tube at full intensity like a Mexican fiesta! (Van Gogh, and a few others, are the exception in some of their paintings -- but Van Gogh also made liberal use of black.)

Another point regarding blacks: many impressionist paintings were made in a "higher key" -- an elevated value scale that placed more emphasis on whites, or lightened colors. This created atmosphere, and not surprisingly, is an exaggeration of aerial perspective.

Careful study of the Impressionists will reveal a strong case for the use of Munsell notation (developed around the same time period) for identifying and isolating specific combinations of Hue-Value-Chroma, not the reverse. The Impressionists did not use any color, including undiluted from the tube, that cannont be identified in the Munsell color space for pigments.

sidbledsoe
11-14-2008, 02:28 PM
Here are two paintings I did. The first is with a limiting palette (limited also) of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. It doesn't matter what the people say, I like it.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Nov-2008/112587-112587-snow1.jpeg
Now here is another one I did that I like also, but it is done using a much less limiting palette, about six colors.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Nov-2008/112587-112587-rsz_1rsz_Oil0011.jpeg
I could never paint the geese scene with the limiting palette that I used for the snow scene. I would never get the sky done the way I wanted it to be. I could paint a scene that was as good maybe but not the one I wanted to paint. That means I can paint better with a choice of colors that allow me to reach the hues, values, and intensities that I want to put on canvas. That allows me to be, in my mind, a better painter. Not a more technically proficient painter. A better painter by the criterion I stated above, getting down on canvas what it is I want to get down. After trying for a year to get the right blues with just ultramarine, I took one look at Gunzorro's luscious Harding phthalo and said forget this limiting palette stuff!

Doug Nykoe
11-16-2008, 06:29 PM
The term "The Impressionists" covers an awful lot of ground!

Careful study of the Impressionists will reveal a strong case for the use of Munsell notation (developed around the same time period) for identifying and isolating specific combinations of Hue-Value-Chroma, not the reverse. The Impressionists did not use any color, including undiluted from the tube, that cannont be identified in the Munsell color space for pigments.

(edited...by Larry Seiler). Munsell can identify the colour on Impressionist paintings; do you even hear what you are saying? Yes Munsell can now plot the colours on an Impressionist painting so can modern technology like a computer but this is nothing more than a Monday morning quarterback telling you what went right or wrong after the game. An Impressionist would identify the colour directly related to his senses. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH munsell. NOTHING!

After almost thirty years of studying the Impressionist to Cezanne there was not one word of any system because it is counter intuitive….hello,,, to the modern era which continues today. They used their minds eye connected to an inner human palette to identify the colour directly rooted in the mind. The colour paradox allows for this human colour activity because colour is airborne and not attached to any object till it reaches the mind for interpretation. Now here is where the fun starts for any or would be Impressionists.

Same goes for plotting brushstrokes to copying the Impressionists painting, there is very little to be learned here and for instance the closer you get to looking like Monet the farther away you are getting from understanding what they were all about. But Munsell…pleeeease. I have no idea why some are always looking for an easy way out. You need to make a lot of mistakes to understand your inner palette.

BUT, maybe I might be wrong… is there a chip for laying down one colour then another inside the stroke to yet a third action of a bit of a glaze yet still inside that one stroke. Is there a chip to identify a broken colour to a glaze over top of that…is there a chip for maybe 5 glazes to achieve that so so so so so right color because if there was a chip for this then we would need to learn 5 million chips and more and I am being conservative about that. There are so many possibilities that Munsell would only dislodge you from learning all of these possibilities.

Just to be clear I am not talking about one artist needing to learn 5 million mixes but more the diversity that happens with so many artists giving us their impression of all things possible.

Why does one search for the holy grail of Vermilion just like the one that Raphael used? Could they all be under some crazy notion that it will somehow "enhance their work"?

This is sids thread and I think we are on track but to answer your question and just my opinion is they relate to Vermillion and would do many nice paintings with it as their theme colour but yes we have all heard of younger painters wanting to be like Raphael for instance and would want the history of that particular colour too.

I like alizarin Crimson for instance, not because of any history or anything like that but I relate strongly to this colour therefore you would need to cut my head off before I would stop using it…nothing in this world can compare nor do they have its working possibilities. So theres no holy grail here just a relationship that is very personal that allows me to be a stronger painter.

sidbledsoe
11-16-2008, 07:46 PM
No problemo Doug, excellent points indeed. Your affinity for pr83 is what started me thinking about this. You have in fact nailed the reason I wanted to talk about it, as a bait if you will to pick the brains of some far more experienced and knowledgable artist/thinkers than myself like you, Bill, Larry, and gunz, (now all we need is daniel_ob). You get a plethora of advice here on WC and a lot of it is conflicting. Very interesting info, thanks.

gunzorro
11-17-2008, 11:02 AM
Doug -- Perhaps you can tell us which Munsell books or publications you are using for your references. I've nearly finished The New Munsell Student Color Set (commonly call the Munsell Student Book), and I have not come across any of the assertions you cite.

I haven't said you would use Munsell notation at ever point in a painting's process. I don't know how you are capable of jumping to such divergent conclusions.

I am not suggesting Munsell notation and comparison to copy at masterwork or to create your own masterwork (although that could be done), only to identify colors for whatever reason. Are you saying color identification is passe?

If a person wants to paint an orange blue, that is fine with me, but I would prefer to see it rendered more orange-like and have some standard to determine what is more "orange-like".

I am sure much of your combative attitude comes from not having read and understood the simple Munsell theory and associated color theories presented in the Student Book or any other officially published Munsell books or color sets.

sidbledsoe
11-17-2008, 12:09 PM
Thanks Gunz, any other aspects such as color identification systems, munsell, carder or whatever are very welcome to be discussed here also.
I value all your opinions and information and that is what I want out of it. I know these exchanges can get inflammatory sometimes so I hope that will not be the case here because this is very interesting to me. Question, Munsell did develop the system specifically for artists' usage, I mean his goal was to "make them better painters", correct?
I ask that because I think it is the heart of the matter, how you define painting better. That is what I think is at the source of the passion about the concept and also the misunderstandings between individuals within the discussions. Communicating well in this manner first requires a mutual understanding of the premise, sometimes people can disagree, yet at the core of the matter may well be on the same page. thanks again, sid

gunzorro
11-17-2008, 01:43 PM
"Question, Munsell did develop the system specifically for artists' usage, I mean his goal was to "make them better painters", correct?"

In a word, no.

This is a common misconception that the goal of Munsell was to make better painters. There is no "Munsell Method of Painting". Many artists have expanded on the Munsell System of Notation to provide approaches to painting and palette preparation and color selection, but the Munsell System is one of color identification and notation.

Which isn't to say the Munsell System can't or won't make better painters. ;)

I think these excerpts from the prefaces to "The New Munsell Student Color Set, Second Edition" 2001, by Jim Long and Joy Turner Luke, will clarify most of the misunderstandings we see continually cropping up regarding Munsell and its intent.

I've copied the first few paragraphs of each of the two prefaces in the above mentioned book:

Preface to the First Edition
Most people have to deal with color and color problems occasionally, and people who work professionally with color must deal with them every day. There are many strange things about color and color vision that most people do not notice. Even though color seems intuitive and simple, it is not. It involves some of the most complicated things on the earth — light and the human eye and brain.
The Munsell Color System: A Language for Color stresses understanding what color really is and how human beings perceive it. This text includes a large amount of information, some of it fairly technical, that is necessary to work successfully with color in a world where artists and designers must deal with aspects of color that were handled by technicians in the past. This information should be absorbed and used, but retain also a spontaneous response to color. Working successfully with color requires both emotion and knowledge, and one is not more important than the other. Knowledge should increase rather than lessen your appreciation of color. People "see" more when they know what to look for.
The Munsell color system is an aid in understanding the complications inherent in working with color, and it can also aid you in everything from mixing paints to finding interesting color combinations. It is both a language for color and a ruler for color. Nevertheless, the importance of emotion, intuition, and talent should never be forgotten. The value of the final work depends on those personal qualities of the artist. Information, such as is included here, just provides the tools for creative expression.

Preface to the Second Edition
The goal of the second edition of The New Munsell Student Color Set has been to transform the components of the first edition into an easy-to-use studio guide that provides current information about color perception and the opportunity to apply it Achieving this goal involved revising, updating, and supplementing the content of the first edition of the text and reconfiguring the student set.
The text has been amended to include new material, with emphasis on the computer and on color application in professional practice. Instructions are provided for demonstrating many color effects on a computer. This not only eliminates the need for paint and colored paper, but allows instantaneous experimentation. Also included are instructions for using the custom palette in a word processing or graphics program to create an electronic version of the Munsell color palette and for adjusting this palette to print hard copy that will approximate the colors in the Munsell system.

Hopefully this can be read and understood by anyone interested in the subject and clarifies some of these misunderstandings we have had.

I highly recommend obtaining this book, reading it and doing the suggested exercises to have a comprehensive overview of the Munsell System of Notation and various methods it provides for making painters into better painters.

sidbledsoe
11-17-2008, 11:45 PM
Thanks Jim, that does elucidate it for me. I think any tool one can use is ok if that is what they deem worthy of employing. Vincent raved to Theo about his perspective frame and how it enabled him to draw with lightning speed. Reminded me of some Carder Method tool. I think he later abandoned it and now you can't even find one at Dick Blick. The value and worthiness of the "thing" whatever it may be, and differing opinions about it is where the rub comes in. I can easily see why you use Munsell. Leonardo was quite the scientist, wonder if he would have.

LarrySeiler
11-18-2008, 08:06 AM
I could never paint the geese scene with the limiting palette that I used for the snow scene. I would never get the sky done the way I wanted it to be.

Sid..

I was Wisconsin's Wildlife Artist of the Year in 1984...winning many awards in competition, and the last I entered 1998 the Inland Wisconsin Trout Stamp...and I say that to premise I know something about painting geese, ducks, deer...and wanting to paint mood of nature. Also to say those reputation competitive years were with a broader color palette...but I was evolving.

Since...I have converted to a limited palette myself for its efficiency in painting outdoors, but I have not exhausted the unlimited potential finding much of the limitation alleged.

I paint ONLY with French Ultramarine Blue, W&N Bright Red, Cadmium Lemon Yellow..sometimes Naples Yellow, sometimes viridian...white, and instudio sometimes black. If I play with a Zorn'ish palette I'll revert to yellow ocre, black, white and red...

But...check out my work and you'll see I think that a lot more color can be suggested than you might think. The power you learn is the ground that is there to take advantage of that most artists do not discover because they are no where near exhausting its possibilities.

I just added my fourth blog...and check out the up close images when you click on them...
http://sportingportraits.blogspot.com/
http://simplystated-larryseiler.blogspot.com/
http://larryseiler.blogspot.com/
http://larryseiler.com

My last site there is my larger artist site...check out my plein air work.

If you spend more than say 15 minutes or so on my sites...I'd like you then to come back and say something about what can or cannot be done with a limited palette...because I'd be all ears.

I limited my palette BECAUSE of the advantages it would give me, not because of disadvantages it would present to me...

Here is one I recently finished of a friend of mine...called, "Take 'Em Boys!"

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2008/532-takeemboys_finishedwc.jpg

and a closeup of earlier coat work, pocket area...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Nov-2008/532-takeemboys_session3_closeup1.jpg


Note in the blow up...that I have painted fairly bold strokes of color...and with a limited palette I'm learning to allow colors to sit and mix in the viewer's eye, and such strokes left alone suggest many more colors at work. The color you place one color NEXT to...changes the character of that color and suggests further color.

One I did of my son in Ireland...

12"x 24"

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Oct-2008/532-jasonireland_done2.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Oct-2008/532-jasonface_closeupdone2.jpg


Now...both these days were overcast diffused days, so to see other moods of nature you'd have to visit my site...I might post one other...but, in the closeup again...see how I have learned to use the "limited palette" to create more unlimiting possibilities.

The green dabs of color in the face, the bright red spots in the ears...things I'm learning using a limit of the number of pigments on my palette...but, how limited am I then?

Understand that out of doors...painters face most often a very short window of opportunity. Light can at any given moment change with a weather front, time...you name it, and you are left standing there with a palette full of paint going.."huh? ....er, um...now what?"

By having fewer colors on a palette and tuning into the mood of nature, with practice...perhaps about 120 bad paintings out of the way...you get into a groove flying with your gut hunch, and questions about pigments and directions just arent' there. You are 110% in touch with the moment. You paint like a madman...!!

In fact...for my paint students this past week...just starting out...(high school kids)...they were like paralyzed to begin. We watched the Impressionists by BBC...excellent, and I shared a lot of stuff...blocking in.

They needed to see a demonstration...but they are high school kids.

I grabbed an old canvas a past student left, without priming turned it around...and in about 12 minutes using a photo reference painted this-

I taped a ref photo on a standing easel next to my canvas...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Nov-2008/532-fifteenminutedemo_ref.jpg


18"x 24" (acrylics)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Nov-2008/532-fifteenmindemo.jpg

and the reason I share this demo I did for my students is to suggest that the limited pigments I have resigned to have resulted in huge confidence. Ever try to demo to teenagers? Well...painting 14 years outdoors on location is good preparation, because Nature's light can be like a teenager that finds it funny to pull the plug on your intent to paint. You can see....that if I can get this much done in 15 minutes, how I might jump on a mood in nature.

I am suggesting what I know can be done with a limited palette allows for this speed, efficiency, and confidence...

Nature will chew you up outdoors if you stand there lacking confidence. Nature likes to throw a lot of lumber at you...

Here are some smaller images of past plein airs, showing different moods and remember these are without black...and just the three primaries I mentioned plus Naples Yellow and sometimes viridian-

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2008/532-ctyp_peshtigoriver72.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2008/532-oldctyp.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2008/532-presqueisle_westsidePA105dpi.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2008/532-rowleysbay.jpg

painted on the streets of Chicago at midnight, a nocturne-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2008/532-artinstitute_lion120.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2008/532-deergun_pleinair2.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2008/532-gintycrkfinished06_wc2.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2008/532-fallmcclure08120.jpg

So...I think you can create mood, imitate nature from my own experience discovering the UNLIMITED possibilities using a limited palette.

Reading Edgar Payne's book, "Composition of Outdoor Painting" and Gruppe's books...and many years of my own experimenting has been my route...

sidbledsoe
11-18-2008, 11:46 AM
Larry thanks for joining in and sharing that information, just what I was phishing for. I am very familiar with your work past and present and have seen all your vids on the "tube". Your demonstation of paintings are great and their want for nothing is clearly levels above my ability. I have seen you paint with sticks better than me. But that is the direction I want to go in. For you, the limited palette is a "tool" that, in your opinion, allows you to paint better. For Jim, in his opinion, it is the munsell system of identifying colors and using an arsenal of them (not limited) to get on canvas what it is he wants to get down. Doug and others I know have required pigments to do what they want. It is all good and I think one must do not only what works for them, but what they believe is the best means to achieve it. Sargent, Homer, and Rockwell used a different palette than you use. Rubens, Raphael, Rembrandt, et al. never got their copy of Munsell's system. Leonardo couldn't buy any alizarin crimson or prussian blue. I gotta wade through all this information and ultimately do what I think is best, I really do appreciate the valuable resources available to me here, don't know where else I could get it. Thanks again, Sid

LarrySeiler
11-18-2008, 12:44 PM
Its true...we need each to fall into what is going to work best for us, Sid.

Mine leaned on the knowledge of others doing what I had hoped to do, mainly paint outdoors on location, get a better grasp of what actual light of nature does.

Having painted in studio...with a broader palette...then that experience of taking the paints outdoors, I'm inclined to think many systems other artists speak of would not work so well outdoors. I already imagine their disdain, grunts at the easel...pains of despair.

So...you look for the answer that leads to effectively be the answer for your needs.

For some it may be Munsell...

Sargent used black on his palette...and I dare say he was one of the very few outdoor painters of his peers in his day that used it without killing color, or his paintings NOT feeling as though inadequately representing nature's light.

It is not easy using black and pull that off.

I do believe I am once more learning to use black as it can be without the dire effects it held over me the first 17 years of painting. I still do not use it outdoors, and Sargent remains unmatched in ability in that regard as well as other things IMO...

take care

sidbledsoe
11-18-2008, 03:56 PM
Thanks Larry, after doing some more searches about it (if they are accurate), I think his palette was really not that different from yours except for as you say, his regular usage of black and maybe prussian blue in addition to ultra and cobalt. That brought to mind your need (without another dark umber or black) of a rich deep ultramarine to get those darks in there. I must say that I am totally with you on using a limited palette for plein air vs studio work for the reasons you cite.

LarrySeiler
11-18-2008, 04:41 PM
I am totally with you on using a limited palette for plein air vs studio work for the reasons you cite.

yep...but now, as I paint more sporting portraits indoors...I find my limited palette yet so sufficient to do the job, I'm struggling to see where or the why I would need other pigments to add.

for one...after 14 years painting outdoors, I have grown to be amazed that so much grey and neutrals really exist outdoors. It doesn't take a lot of color screaming to feel natural and strong with my subjects.

take care

Quiteastorm
12-15-2008, 02:02 PM
Can simply choosing a color improve your painting ability, or "make you a better painter".

Larrys' increased confidence in a limited pallette suggests that the answer is a resounding, yes.

IMHO, color selection is like shot selection in tennis or castng the fly in a certain spot to tempt the trout. More salt in that stew? etc.

All are personal decisions, keys to effectiveness.

It is true that form can be described but color must be felt and incidently, no color system will supply that. Peace brothers! :) Dave

sidbledsoe
12-15-2008, 02:30 PM
I have yet to read of, or hear of an artist who said, "oh, I just paint with any old color I can grab, it doesn't matter to me which one I use" whether limited palette or otherwise.

LarrySeiler
12-15-2008, 03:15 PM
I have yet to read of, or hear of an artist who said, "oh, I just paint with any old color I can grab, it doesn't matter to me which one I use" whether limited palette or otherwise.

actually...color choice was very important for my limited palette...but once having made the choice I have I see it as meeting my complete needs.

For example...I couldn't have just any Ultramarine Blue...but needed it to be richly dark in order to create my darks. I tried a number, but JamieWG turned me onto Utrecht's French Ultramarine Blue. Rich and dark it was.

I chose W&N Bright Red because to my eye it appeared a true red. I don't rely on numbers...which to many is my downfall as an instructor and painter. I rely on my eye...what looks good, and how it affects my painting.

To me...and that is what matters, is W&N Bright red appeared true. With a limited palette...I don't need red to act orange. I can add a touch of yellow to make that if I so choose. I don't need red to act like a violet. I can add a bit of blue to get that if I so choose. Thus...for my needs and my eye W&N Bright red fits the bill.

I don't need a warm yellow such as Cadmium yellow med...for a touch of the slightest red to a cool yellow such as Cadmium Lemon yellow will in effect create that for me...so, I went with the cool yellow.

I sometimes use Naples Yellow for convenience...sometimes use viridian for the rare challenging green such as I might find in the waters of Lake Superior certain times of the season...

Having come to a satisfaction what those few limited pigments will do for me, and having about 200 or many more paintings on my blog to demonstrate( like a journal starting back in January of 2006) I believe I don't really require additional colors.

Should I face a weakness or issue, I'm not so strapped into tunnel vision, not so bound by any rule of limitation not to consider adding it. However, I fail to see the deficit of what I've done thus far...and the rule of physics sorta takes over. That is...it works, because it works.

I so often hear people telling me what cannot be done with the palette I use, and yet I've broaden the potential scope with the various palette strategies I've experimented and have made my own...thanks to Edgar Payne and Emile Gruppe's writings. Its amusing to do and have done for any good length of time that which others tell you you cannot.

I fully recognize those wishing to work with a grisalle, and requiring transparent paints to work more classically will have a different set of challenges than I, an alla prima immed'iast...where opaque paints suit my needs fine.

My thinking though is that it wouldn't hurt folks to discover the full potential of what a color may offer by exhausting using it before adding many other pigments to one's repetoire. Of course, that may be more true for the opaque direct painter than the classicist.

I think a deficit of another exists for many artists given too many choices. Its like becoming a jack of all trades, master of none. Mastering the potential of few extends the few to much...and slowly adding perhaps one more pigment over time, then another would become quite powerful in the hands and mind prepared and equipped to understand it.

Adding to your arsenal does not make one an expert of deer over the one with stick and string. The heart that puts the subject over all else, finds a way fitting and proper. You will seek that which shall do it proper justice.

peace

Nosaj
12-15-2008, 04:28 PM
I have yet to read of, or hear of an artist who said, "oh, I just paint with any old color I can grab, it doesn't matter to me which one I use" whether limited palette or otherwise.


Ok, I'll be that. I'll be that guy :), because its true. Sometimes I will paint with any old color(hue), I can grab, it doesnt matter to me which one I use..as long as the value is correct. I actually enjoy doing this, as do many other artists, Harley Brown is one of my Favs who often does this also :thumbsup:

sidbledsoe
12-16-2008, 07:18 AM
that explains those dioxazine purple bananas!

breizhou
12-16-2008, 07:58 AM
I’am a beginner to oil painting and I must own around 40 tubes of various colours that I was so eager to buy when I started . Too many anyway as I never used most of them.
As I progress in the knowledge of colours, I’ve come to limit my palette to the ones I relate strongly to and focus on the mixing of colours and the use of burnt amber with values for underpainting for instance.
I have a friend – a very good painter- who limits himself to 7 colours, 3 brushes, no medium apart from turp, and yet he makes outstanding paintings. So I’ve learnt a lot from him – and of course- from reading wetcanvas, loaded with invaluable information, advice and opinions. There is no other site in the whole world as WC I can tell you.
I’m French, living in France, and it’s a blessing to read it through and look at Larry Seiler’s beautiful paintings from his limited palette.

Nosaj
12-16-2008, 12:34 PM
that explains those dioxazine purple bananas!

Hey a banana could appear purple..under the right circumstances..:thumbsup:

mr.wiggles
12-16-2008, 06:22 PM
I'm going to through a wrench in the works.
For the advocates of a "limited palette" (which I am going to define as less than 6 colors and it seems to be three plus white) I notice that a lot of mixing and work is involved in trying to get a desired effect. That your spending a lot of time trying to get it right with a limited palette. One high chroma Yellow, a Purple Blue and a high chroma Red. All of this is controlled with white only to lower the chroma. You can't lower the chroma of the Blue with the Yellow or the Red for obvious reasons.

Low chroma colors are to be seen almost everywhere in nature. I would think that by this observation that I would pre mix some low chroma colors or at least have a few on the palette. Using white to lower the chroma results in a lot hue shifts. Not that one can't correct these, but if your painting a landscape, time is of the essence.

In most of the paintings posted I count at least six or more hues that could be on a palette a lot of value shifts and so on. If these colors are there, such as Yellow Ocher, Raw Sienna and Cerulean Blue, low chroma greens(not to mention the violet and gray overtone that is needed to create the illusion of depth in a landscape) should you not have a larger palette? Why three? why not 9, 12, or 15?

I would think that having a good range might be an option that one might want to look at.

In dealing with the sky alone from the zenith to the horizon your going to need more than one blue. Ultramarine Blue is good for the zenith, then when you move down towards the horizon you will need a Cobalt or Cerulean to move from a blue/violet to blue to blue/green towards the green/yellow that one sees on the horizon. The intensity of this will vary but the sun is always hitting the earth and thus creating a spectrum of light.

Even on gray days there is some violet and blue gray effect.

LarrySeiler
12-16-2008, 08:09 PM
I'm going to through a wrench in the works.
For the advocates of a "limited palette" (which I am going to define as less than 6 colors and it seems to be three plus white) I notice that a lot of mixing and work is involved in trying to get a desired effect. That your spending a lot of time trying to get it right with a limited palette.

Your thoughts or concerns may perhaps hit target for some limited palette users, but speaking only for myself...first have to say, I sense a tinge of feeling sorry for us here...those that use a limited palette...but, I don't know if that's a wrench you are throwing here...or some kinda cheap metalic flake cast Wallyworld tool , but I am appreciative you are concerned about my potential waste of time and no doubt what would prove to be an apparent inefficiency.

I mean...let's see...I paint most my paintings today in 1-1/2 to 3 hours, and larger works in studio about 4-6 hours...such as this commission I just finished, though admittedly longer since I scaped the face off a couple times to start over. I blame a poor 72dpi pixelated online image that I got started off with...but, it took about 8 hours.

:eek: I know...I know. Long time. All that mixing...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2008/532-timnbuck_framed.jpg

Or...this 36"x 48" canvas I painted this past late spring on location in three hours....

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Dec-2008/532-paintnmillpond.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Dec-2008/532-30x48millpond_120dpi.jpg

I understand what you are saying. If it didn't take me so stink'n long to mix my paint up, I might be able to get a jump on nature's light quicker, er...or, I might be a bit more productive than just the 200 or more paintings I put out per year on the average. Dang...its tough holding down a full time art teaching job and paint significantly on the side.

Heck...time is money!!!

Perhaps...you could show me by comparison some work you put out under the duress of that window of opportunity nature is so often stingy with, and how your broader palette requiring less time to mix going so more efficiently and quickly for you might benefit me. I dunno...but that might help your concern really hit home for me...

thanks for caring... :)

mr.wiggles
12-16-2008, 09:42 PM
That's nice and sarcastic answer, but hey your a moderator.
Your right, Graydon Parrish is wrong, John Angle is wrong, Frank Vincent DuMond is wrong, David Leffel is wrong, Clyde Aspevig is wrong Goerge Inness was wrong. Anyone using more than three color plus white is wrong including myself.

It's not about wasting time it's about learning to paint without rules that do nothing at all in the creation of a good painting. I think all beginners should do two, three color paintings, they should do still lives in a studio so they can control the environment. This however has nothing to do with landscape painting.

What you advocate, the use of three colors plus white seems to cut off a whole level of color vibration in relation to dealing with how light is defused in the atmosphere and then trying to recreate it with paint. Which is a very limited medium for the task at hand. You mention Carlson and his book, he does not use a limited palette, nor does Payne. Christensen does but he adds all those low chroma mixes, 8 to be exact. I don't see that as a limited palette, do you?

You don't address the issue of using white which makes huge shifts in the values and hues when used to lower the chroma of the colors you are using. We already talked about neutrals, I give up with that one.

What is also interesting is how Zorn is always mentioned but for some reason people conveniently forget that he had over 20 tubes of Cobalt blue in his studio at the time of his death and Ultramarine Blue as well.
He had over 200 tubes of paint in his studio, two types of Vermilion, Cadmium yellows, Manganese Blue and host of others. Why would he have all this paint in his studio if was not going to use it?

There is no real proof that he used this so called Zorn palette in the creation of his landscape paintings. The curator of the Zorn museum has debunked this limited palette thing about him. He did use a small palette for some his studio paintings, but this was not the rule. I would be surprised if he had many rules in this regard. a painter if his talent would not need them. He was a watercolorists first and those paintings are filled with a more than three colors.

I would advocate anyone wanting to paint landscape to have three blues on the palette. Ultramarine, Cerulean or Manganese (which is hard to get), and Cobalt. It's very hard, very very hard to mix the subtle blue/green tint of a good Cerulean and that color is some sky's.

Your right about one thing in regards to a limited palette, it's limitations are limiting.

LarrySeiler
12-16-2008, 11:40 PM
I want to speak things here without attacking, without a debate that would go on and on...but with the right to give defense for the hope within me.

That's nice and sarcastic answer, but hey your a moderator.

I am a moderator...but I am a member and an artist, and sarcasm is not against the user agreement.



Your right, Graydon Parrish is wrong, John Angle is wrong, Frank Vincent DuMond is wrong, David Leffel is wrong, Clyde Aspevig is wrong Goerge Inness was wrong. Anyone using more than three color plus white is wrong including myself.

Listen...does the view that might makes right choose then what must be RIGHT for my paintings? Does might make right for YOUR paintings?

Your straight out of the shoot challenge was what(?) to save us poor limited palette users because we must struggle to mix paint? I love mixing paint. I practically eat paint...breathe it. You needn't feel sorry that I had to learn to mix paint in ways you do not approve.

I don't need Parrish, Angle, DuMond, Leffel...or Aspevig to paint my paintings for me. That is my task.

You call in big hitters to what..? Somehow give validation to such coy insinuation of ineptness for those of us that paint with limited palette because YOU are their spokesperson? I am my own spokesperson of my own work.

Look we are having an argument here, but let's be civil...for one, it wasn't Aspevig, whom I know to be a gentleman...nor Leffel here, DuMond, no not even Parrish that directed the wrench of pity for misguidedness mixing color the way of the limited palette user. It was YOU. It is to YOU I am speaking.

I've seen Parrish's work online. Nice stuff...but you know what, it doesn't interest me in the least other than my respect for his obvious talent and understanding of history. I feel no need to jump were he to say so, but I get the feeling there might be some here that would suggest I and many should. Get over it. If you are to make an argument about some lack I should feel as a painter, well...you just haven't cut the mustard yet.

See...I already know the beat of the drum I'm marching to...and am quite comfortable with it. You can write me off if you want, that's fine...but you can't intimidate me to feeling somehow inferior for how I've chosen to paint.

I have worked hard thru my 30 years painting carrying the burden of being me. Leffel can't be me for me, I doubt that Parrish could be me for me. I'm me...and best qualified to fulfill that job description.

The "wrench of pity" infers I or others have not spent countless hours and energy thinking about every thing as a painter I or we do. The burden of proof does not lay with Leffel...whose work I don't care for. Not with Parrish who has my respect, but he's doing a pretty good job painting as Parrish already so I needn't try to be him. The burden that my work has entered into an extreme deficit and seriously undermines my potential seems to have taken your interest.

Since you are so interested, I put the challenge at hand that I said would have my full attention. You go out and paint from life outdoors as do I with your many tubes of pigment under similar time constraints and duress that Canadian and Great Lake weather fronts force on me. Produce work that causes my jaw to drop under THOSE constraints. Therein is where you would rightfully earn my attention, all eyes, all ears. If you will not because such is NOT your work or life's mission, then your new burden is to convince me why I need to adjust my life's mission to yours, and so far you now know you'll need something more than some artist names.

I admit, I am influenced by Payne...by Gruppe...which began first by seeing something in their work that resonated with directions I was going in mine. I haven't followed all their advice nor claim to be their disciple. Nor would they want me to. Not if my intent is to be an artist. Nor do I suggest all should embrace Payne.

Its good if someone sees something in my work they like that they know credit in part is due to recent influences. It helps put two and two together, and perhaps if something of my work resonates with them...they'll see something of value to consider Payne's ideas or Gruppes, John F. Carlson's etc., But please...I wouldn't want anyone's knees trembling at the mention of their names.


Your right about one thing in regards to a limited palette, it's limitations are limiting.

You are either misquoting me intentionally here, or have not read much of anything I've written on the subject.

If there is one thing my original one month experiment with a limited palette three years ago found out, was that my own nearsighted thinking that there wouldn't be much to this thing was grossly underestimated. I have spent three years now in this experiment not having YET exhausted the possibilities.

I have found as yet no end to what is possible, and that has freed me up more than anything. So much so sir...that the brush is a capable tool at the ready in my hand and I have no fear. It is I that has labored to see what is possible with a limited palette being judged and found wanting supposedly by someone saying all kinds of things about that which a limited palette cannot do, but what I want to know is...when did you take any number of years and paint hard to exhaust what was possible with a limited palette such that out of YOUR experience you then speak?

I am extremely happy for you that you enjoy the journey you embark on with your many pigments. You well should be happy with your journey, and it defines something then about who you are. Should be sad for Mr. Wiggles to try and be Larry Seiler for Larry Seiler.

Its so funny...is this now not the second time in just a couple weeks you have more or less informed me what cannot be done with a limited palette? Can't make neutrals without black...and oh, so sad...can't enjoy efficiency within reasonable time mixing color. And what...I should just politely smile and curtsy?

Sarcastic? You bet it was...and for most reasonable people I believe that would read the last couple posts, I have a feeling they would see good reason why I reacted as I did. Your supposed "wrench" insinuates and insults we who use a limited palette cannot possibly be professional enough to make decisions for ourselves that lead to what will best and most efficiently work for ourselves.

Then when I demonstrate what I can do...you resort to name dropping as though somehow that now discounts my work and life and I should tremble at the knees, and do pennance. Those people did not get their names being followers...or seeking to appease status quo. They kept their eyes on a high standard they themselves could uniquely see and were true to it. But your insinuation is that I have failed to do the same. No...I have been VERY true to that inner drive and vision that is VERY personal and mine.

My post was as a member, and one that was following community user agreement rules, and I defended my passion as a painter.

I have gone on record supporting the aims of artists here wanting to paint more like the classicists, who admire Parrish. More power to you and them. I hope you far exceed your goals and aspirations. If I see accolades, representation in American Art Review or some other big magazine that have come your way...I'll be proud to say, "hey...he's an artist on Wetcanvas, and yep...he's good!"

I support all artists whose passion in waking up...who struggle falling to sleep lay with that never ending hunger to create. I don't see the world threatened if there are those choosing to paint differently than I...in fact, the world will be better off if they let me paint like myself and spend greater energy seeing what they might be able to do.

This one 'upmanship is ridiculous. Doesn't contribute to community well at all. It is enough, don't you think...to state what works for the work you do, without your saying what cannot work for me?

Now...please...paint a great painting, let me know where you post it so that I might do honor to you sir...see the work, and give you my regards and respect. I've heard you are very good, and I look forward to enjoying that which comes from your heart and hands, as I have shared what comes from my own.

peace

Richard Saylor
12-17-2008, 02:35 AM
.....Christensen does but he adds all those low chroma mixes, 8 to be exact. I don't see that as a limited palette, do you?.....As a matter of fact, I do. Christensen's additional low chroma colors are within the gamut of his 'primaries.' They are added to his palette for convenience/speed, not chromatic enhancement. The landscape painter on location is in a race with the sun, so to speak.

Einion
12-17-2008, 07:32 AM
That's nice and sarcastic answer, but hey your a moderator.
It has nothing to do with being a moderator and I'll thank you not to cast aspersions on mods, either directly or indirectly, in your posts.

Einion

Einion
12-17-2008, 07:35 AM
What began as a flippant comment on the other thread by myself has now really piqued my interest. Can simply choosing a color improve your painting ability, or "make you a better painter".
One colour? No, I'm very doubtful. The whole palette on the other hand? Yes, I do think so.


It's not about wasting time it's about learning to paint without rules that do nothing at all in the creation of a good painting.
What makes a good painting is, of course, up to each artist to decide for themselves.

What is also interesting is how Zorn is always mentioned but for some reason people conveniently forget that he had over 20 tubes of Cobalt blue in his studio at the time of his death and Ultramarine Blue as well.
He had over 200 tubes of paint in his studio, two types of Vermilion, Cadmium yellows, Manganese Blue and host of others. Why would he have all this paint in his studio if was not going to use it?

There is no real proof that he used this so called Zorn palette in the creation of his landscape paintings. The curator of the Zorn museum has debunked this limited palette thing about him.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif

I would advocate anyone wanting to paint landscape to have three blues on the palette. Ultramarine, Cerulean or Manganese (which is hard to get), and Cobalt.
See, here's a good illustration of differences of viewpoint that you're not giving enough room for - Ultramarine is a must-have IMO too (not completely unsubstitutable but I'd prefer not to have to try), but Cerulean Blue, Manganese Blue and Cobalt Blue are not essential.

It's very hard, very very hard to mix the subtle blue/green tint of a good Cerulean and that color is some sky's.
Child's play. There are a number of prior threads that touch on this.

Your right about one thing in regards to a limited palette, it's limitations are limiting.
I agree that a limited palette is, at heart limiting. Gamut is gamut, no getting around it; but, with certain types of subject a large gamut isn't necessary. Not to mention that an artist might deliberately choose to paint in a low-key way, just like colourists do some variation of the opposite.

Related discussion: Limited Palette Mixing Strategies (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=208340)


.....Christensen does but he adds all those low chroma mixes, 8 to be exact. I don't see that as a limited palette, do you?.....
As a matter of fact, I do. Christensen's additional low chroma colors are within the gamut of his 'primaries.' They are added to his palette for convenience/speed, not chromatic enhancement. The landscape painter on location is in a race with the sun, so to speak.
Do we know they're all made from the same core palette? If so http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif

Einion

sidbledsoe
12-17-2008, 08:32 AM
I was working with a "limited" palette for a good while which only included ultra blue and then I visited Hawaii. I didn't pleinair paint there but took lots of pics and registered those colors in my memory. When I began painting some of the scenes I tried to mix ultra with my limited colors and decided this is just not going to give me the deep cobalts and clear sparkling turquoises that I want. I had to go with pthalos to be satisfied. Similar to getting the right sky colors Mr. W is talking about. If I need another color here or there, I will use whatever I need from a range of more than 10 colors at least. For pleinair, I have some small tubes like reeves and winton, and if I want a pthalo blue it is there.

Richard Saylor
12-17-2008, 09:13 AM
.....Do we know they're all made from the same core palette? If so http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif

EinionSpeaking of Christensen's limited palette days... At one time he merely added 9 neutral greys. If I'm not mistaken, another time he added some earth colors (some of which were hues which he mixed) which he claimed that he could satisfactorily mix from his basic limited palette if necessary.

His palette evolved further as he began to add various brighter colors in order to match more closely the colors of nature. Of course, nowadays the issue is moot, as he has totally abandoned the limited palette. I think his paintings are much more beautiful as a result. I'm no fan of the usual limited palettes favored by many outdoor painters.

Richard

LarrySeiler
12-17-2008, 09:34 AM
I was working with a "limited" palette for a good while which only included ultra blue and then I visited Hawaii. I didn't pleinair paint there but took lots of pics and registered those colors in my memory. When I began painting some of the scenes I tried to mix ultra with my limited colors and decided this is just not going to give me the deep cobalts and clear sparkling turquoises that I want. I had to go with pthalos to be satisfied. Similar to getting the right sky colors Mr. W is talking about. If I need another color here or there, I will use whatever I need from a range of more than 10 colors at least. For pleinair, I have some small tubes like reeves and winton, and if I want a pthalo blue it is there.

It is true efficiency relates to that which the artist works day in and day out. If you travel much...(and I've taught a workshop for several weeks in Alaska, and looks like I'll be possibly teaching one in southern England) you may have to adjust a color or two...and painting for a day or two prior to a workshop helps determine the light and best strategies. The concepts and ideas, the palette strategies remain much the same...

This happened to me once where the green of Lake Superior was of a unique quality...and it was frustrating. I can see where constant frustration by the classicist painter for whatever reasons they keep being confronted by impossible colors feels they must keep adding. It happened perhaps twice in the three years I've worked exclusively with a limited palette. This incident at Lake Superior was one of those...but, I resolved it by discovering viridian...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Dec-2008/532-pictrd_rocks_9by11.jpg

So...I do often share when I give out my palette that besides my three primaries...I often use Naples Yellow (for convenience) and sometimes include viridian.

I know the sun is higher, the air different in Hawaii...and imagine that spending any length of time there might require an adjustment. That place for that given time would be my "day in and day out" painting experience, meaning I can use the same concepts and strategies of the limited palette, but I may have to replace or add one other color.

There is a very fine plein air painter I've come to know, and we enjoy his presence in the plein air forum which comes too rarely these days IMO, but his name is Pierre Bouret. Goes by "surfer" and Pierre uses a consistent limited palette. He has a lot of work to look over on his website-

http://www.artkauai.com/

go to his Wetpaint link...

I immediately relate to what he is doing in these works...and I can see without even yet traveling to Hawaii myself, that an efficiency can be had with the right limited palette.

peace

LarrySeiler
12-17-2008, 09:51 AM
Speaking of Christensen's limited palette days... At one time he merely added 9 neutral greys. If I'm not mistaken, another time he added some earth colors (some of which were hues which he mixed) which he claimed that he could satisfactorily mix from his basic limited palette if necessary.


In his painting dvd...a friend of his uses Scott's bathroom, and they were having a discussion on yellow ocre. Scott put out some of yellow ocre, and then using the limited palette mixed up the same. When his friend came back to the studio space, he could not tell which was yellow ocre and which was mixed.


His palette evolved further as he began to add various brighter colors in order to match more closely the colors of nature. Of course, nowadays the issue is moot, as he has totally abandoned the limited palette. I think his paintings are much more beautiful as a result. I'm no fan of the usual limited palettes favored by many outdoor painters.

Richard

Interesting...and I think we do all grow. For one I've been playing a bit with black citing some credit to Zorn which as has come out here pehaps is not his at all...though its been let out that the black of his day had more blue content than black does today.

I do believe that one has to operate at their level of efficiency. For example, martial arts. After you have learned a good number of moves, katas and forms you find what works in actual combat situations. You then begin as you mature to find modifications. Getting moves down to an intuitive level means you have more then grasped the need and the response, and at that point...you are more than efficient. You can handle the responsibility to explore further without detriment to intent.

As I have often suggested with the limited palette...it allows you the convenience to push to exhaust what is possible. Should that day come, and I have no doubt it came for Scott...you do not lose your sense of what you have learned from the limited palette I'm sure. Adding other colors with all else remaining at an intuitive efficiency, you can take greater advantage.

Predictable I'm sure for Scott...

I also wonder, and if you know would be interested in hearing...if these additional colors are that which he is using in studio...and how it may have adjusted (if it has at all) how he works outdoors. He may be at the place where he no longer sees any need to work outdoors. Clyde Aspevig has so mastered the idea of how nature and light works that he can create ficticious non-existing mountain scenes (according to one interview I read of him) that the viewer believes must actually exist. Aspevig spent many years painting outdoor sketches...and unless something has change, has chosen never to really publically put those out for people to see.

Since I abandoned one career and genre and the potential at the ready financial rewards it promised, and never saw the day coming that I would so abandon it prior...I can't say I will not myself ever move or grow. But two things...I think it will always be about the integrity of pursuing excellence and efficiency, and secondly...moving on does not mean we now need to sit in judgment of others that continue to have a passion for that which we had. Not saying this about you at all, Richard...

We can prepare to give ideas, even a defense for why we have gone different directions...why we ourselves may no longer even like that which we had been so connected, but such does not need to imply we do not respect others working hard at that very thing.

As I said...I have yet to exhaust the possibilities.

One person/artist I greatly respect is Marc Hanson...and he worked with the limited palette for quite sometime. Not being a spokesperson for him, I only surmise...but it seems he then ventured to experiment with a number of reds and violets. His palette has grown more again. I like his work certainly...but have not yet felt such compelling. Perhaps I will one day, but it won't come certainly by those presuming to tell me what I'm not capable of doing with a palette I am using, especially if and when I'm executing routinely that which they say for me is not possible.

Its been an interesting discussion...

thanks to everyone...

peace

sidbledsoe
12-17-2008, 11:00 AM
Pierre Bouret's site is a wealth of reference material for me as I intend on painting numerous scenes from my pics, thanks a lot. I was looking at his threads and he does list his palette which is remarkably similar to the colors I choose to cover these Hawaiian scenes, it is, aliz crimson, cad red light, cad yellow light, cad yellow medium, ultramarine, thalo, and severs blues(a convenience blue, thalo plus white), and thalo green. I add ochre and sienna for convenience so I don't need to mix them.

mr.wiggles
12-17-2008, 11:12 AM
Originally Posted by LarrySeiler
Sarcastic? You bet it was...and for most reasonable people I believe that would read the last couple posts, I have a feeling they would see good reason why I reacted as I did. Your supposed "wrench" insinuates and insults we who use a limited palette cannot possibly be professional enough to make decisions for ourselves that lead to what will best and most efficiently work for ourselves. I guess I touched a nerve.

I never insinuated anything nor was I insulting you or saying what you do is wrong. For some reason you think the word wrench is a personal attack. There is more going no here; I think you have an agenda. Now that was personal. I don't think that's right myself your work and my work have nothing to do with the ideas being put forth by you. However you are opening it up as you keep posting HUGE images. You do a lot advocating for one kind of thing and you post a lot of your own work, a lot. This starts to look like an advertisement for your DVD's.

I don't speak for the painters on my list, never said I did. That's a juvenile assumption to think because I am using the names of well-known painters I'm hiding behind them. If you care to think about it I was using these painters in context to my argument; they were used as an example. You also dropped names, Zorn, Gruppe, Carlson, Payne. I then proved, and anyone who has Paynes, and Carlson’s books will know this, that they do not use limited palettes. In fact Payne goes to great lengths to encourage the student to explore and study the color wheel, and the wheel is uses is almost identical to the Munsell wheel. Go figure. Carlson also uses a lot of paint. Then you back track and start in with all this stuff trying to distance yourself form what you have said before.

You seem to think your methodologies are the way at least I keep getting the feeling that this is your agenda. I get the feeling your responses are starting to sound like you’re threatened by what I am saying. I hope not, what am I saying that’s so threatening if you’re right? Which is not my intention. I think all ideas about palettes are limiting to some extent including mine. After a while they are not healthy that is becoming so dependant on methodology that they dictate how you work. It’s good for learning technique. However there is a point I feel that one should start to paint and not let three tubes of paint dictate how your going to paint. Nor should they let a full spectrum palette dictate. The painter should control the paint. I am only saying that having 9 colors is better than 3 as it gives you more choices and you can hit things faster. To me it’s all about hue, value and chroma, not Red, Yellow, Blue and White.

You can 99% of all the chroma in the Munsell color wheel with 20 colors. The odds of having to use all of those 20 colors for most paintings are probably slim. But it's only 20 colors. Not to many.

Your post is kind of disturbing as it progresses or regresses.
You then challenge me to paint in Wisconsin. Kind of silly don’t you think?
I live on the east coast and I have painted in the winter and in all kinds of weather in Vermont. This is juvenile and it's really not the kind attitude a good teacher should have, is it? I have my work up on my blog; if you don't like it so be it as life to short for me to worry about it. People can make their own judgment about the work. I have nothing to prove, I paint to the level I can at this moment and I keep trying to grow.

I use a pretty large palette of premixed strings this is true. It's all self contained in a small box with shelves. I don't have more than 9 to 12 tubes in the field.
For some reason, and I think this shows your lack of understanding of how to paint to me, for some reason you seem to think using premixed strings means one does not mix paint. You do, but it's more efficient as you have a lot of the values already done.

Eninon I will politely disagree with you, I think if you want to paint landscapes you should have at least two blues, Ultramarine and Cerulean.
You can mix pretty good Cobalt from these two.

The study of color is what I am advocating and this has nothing to do with what you paint. Showing landscapes painted with three or twenty three colors is not proving anything one way or another to me in relation to the study of color. What you paint is however affected by how well you know how to control color or hue, value and chroma.

Einion
12-17-2008, 01:22 PM
Speaking of Christensen's limited palette days... At one time he merely added 9 neutral greys. If I'm not mistaken, another time he added some earth colors (some of which were hues which he mixed) which he claimed that he could satisfactorily mix from his basic limited palette if necessary.

His palette evolved further as he began to add various brighter colors in order to match more closely the colors of nature. Of course, nowadays the issue is moot, as he has totally abandoned the limited palette. I think his paintings are much more beautiful as a result.
Thanks for that, good to know.

I'm no fan of the usual limited palettes favored by many outdoor painters.
Too obviously limited in gamut?


Eninon I will politely disagree with you, I think if you want to paint landscapes you should have at least two blues, Ultramarine and Cerulean.
You can mix pretty good Cobalt from these two.
Pardon, I didn't make it clear - I wasn't suggesting that one should paint landscapes with only Ultramarine (although you can make a pretty decent stab with it and PG7), just that the colour that the other three blues provide can be achieved using mixes. My personal preference is for a green-shade phthalo and French Ultramarine; those are the two essential blues IMO.

Einion

dcorc
12-17-2008, 01:23 PM
In his painting dvd...a friend of his uses Scott's bathroom, and they were having a discussion on yellow ocre. Scott put out some of yellow ocre, and then using the limited palette mixed up the same. When his friend came back to the studio space, he could not tell which was yellow ocre and which was mixed.

If the colour lies within the gamut of the palette colours, then of course it is possible to match it visually, precisely. However, there are some differences. The colour mixed from high-chroma starting pigments may not ultimately in the long-term be quite so light-fast as the earth colour (or synthetic iron-oxide equivalent). Secondly, it may show metamerism, (in practice only relevant if different mixes are used side-by-side, and viewed under non-incandescent lighting). Thirdly, it is likely to be considerably more expensive than the earth colour.

mr.wiggles
12-17-2008, 01:43 PM
I've done this myself. I tried to use a three color palette with white.
I worked on it for a week. I mixed a very convincing yellow ocher I was able to mix a fair amount of what I normally use. It took longer that's for sure.
Also it was harder to control the shifts. Without the neutrals I found it I spent more time mixing to get control of the palette. I figured that was due to the nature of not being used to working like this.

However I still found myself needing more colors for outdoor work and I also came to conclusion that not using Black was just plain silly for the kind of tonal painting I do. Not that I could not paint without it, it just seemed silly to limit it's use. There was no rational reason that I could come up with to ban it from the palette.
For those who are into the limited palette I think if it works for you that's what counts. I just hope that this was the result of good sound rational color study.

Eninon I find phthalo's can be a hard paint to control, but they do have the most bang for the buck. Carlson used Prussian Blue, another intense blue.

Richard Saylor
12-18-2008, 12:39 AM
.....Too obviously limited in gamut?....;Precisely. The addition of green to a red, yellow, blue palette obviously helps a little, but other hue segments, notably cool reds and purples, may need a little extra chroma punch also. Of course, the addition of colors to a gamut-deficient palette may snowball, as apparently Christensen discovered.

With a decent limited palette, hue and value generally pose no problems, but there may be serious chroma limitations. In this regard, CMY is better than RYB, but CMY can be the very devil to use in practical painting, particularly when one is 'racing the sun.'

Richard

Richard Saylor
12-18-2008, 04:41 AM
Now I'm thinking that what I said about Christensen abandoning the limited palette is probably BS. Apparently I read something that led me to that conclusion, but I can't find the reference now. He is indeed using colors other than his basic RYB, but they are made up for him by some paint company according to his instructions, and apparently are within the gamut of his original three colors. My profound apologies to this forum and to Scott. This appears to be a trustworthy reference - http://underpaintings.blogspot.com/2008/08/colors-of-scott-christensen.html

His paintings have improved significantly in the use of color, but I suppose I can't blame this on an improved palette, dang it!

LarrySeiler
12-18-2008, 12:03 PM
thanks Richard...
I wonder sometimes if Scott's palette isn't ideally suited for Idaho, Montana, Wyoming scenes where much of his work is done? I wonder because you speak of his color improving ...but if an arid western high desert has a lot of grays, browns, and so forth in general, a particular lighting...then we shouldn't expect I'd surmise, the greens say of someone living and painting in North Carolina etc.,

Improving color might thereby be defined as that palette which ideally empowers the artist to imitate the color and mood of the light and locale of where they live. In what ways...perhaps, might you describe Scott's color has improved?

mr.wiggles
12-18-2008, 02:34 PM
thanks Richard...
I wonder sometimes if Scott's palette isn't ideally suited for Idaho, Montana, Wyoming scenes where much of his work is done? I wonder because you speak of his color improving ...but if an arid western high desert has a lot of grays, browns, and so forth in general, a particular lighting...then we shouldn't expect I'd surmise, the greens say of someone living and painting in North Carolina etc.,

Improving color might thereby be defined as that palette which ideally empowers the artist to imitate the color and mood of the light and locale of where they live. In what ways...perhaps, might you describe Scott's color has improved?
This makes sense and is very logical.
It seems to me that this is a good idea; pre-mixing a string of controlled hues that hit a lot of the averages that you observe in your area.

I pre-mix a string of greens that would not work very well in Idaho or Wyoming. They are mixed to the greens of New England.
I use the top of Maple leaf as an average for the middle values.
The bottom is a different value and that is also used in the lighter values.

sidbledsoe
12-18-2008, 03:39 PM
This describes the colors Vasari makes per SC:
Vasari Classic Artists' Oil Colors, in collaboration with one of America's premier plein air painters, Scott L. Christensen, presents a collection of delicately nuanced grays inspired by the colors of the American West
That I would assume is the rocks, earth, mountains, etc. that dominate the scenery there. In looking at them I would think they are all mixes similar to paynes gray, siennas, ochres, umbers, or in general, the earth colors.
Interesting revived thread, thanks

gunzorro
12-18-2008, 05:18 PM
Here are the Vasari/Christensen colors. As you can see, they aren't all "grey", nor are they all earth colors.

I posted these images recently on another thread, so I hope no one minds seeing duplicative postings of images. ;)

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c80/gunzorro/IMG_0349web.jpg

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c80/gunzorro/IMG_9928_edited-1web.jpg

Richard Saylor
12-18-2008, 09:03 PM
.....In what ways...perhaps, might you describe Scott's color has improved?Less drab, more vivid.

Einion
12-19-2008, 09:26 AM
Here are the Vasari/Christensen colors. As you can see, they aren't all "grey", nor are they all earth colors.

I posted these images recently on another thread, so I hope no one minds seeing duplicative postings of images. ;)
No, they're yummy! Thanks again for taking the time.

Einion

LarrySeiler
12-19-2008, 09:56 AM
Less drab, more vivid.

perhaps he's painting less the arid high desert lately...?

I'll have to see what newer works he has posted online...

Larry

sidbledsoe
12-19-2008, 09:59 AM
Jim, the makers should get their sample pictures from you instead of the lousy chips they use. Vasari does decribe them all as either yellowish, greenish, stonelike, etc. "grays". They all have cad yellow in them, like a mother color? Bice? what is that blue ice? I always like seeing your colors.

gunzorro
12-19-2008, 11:16 AM
Sid -- While I don't care to endorse the "mother color" theory/approach, the Vasari colors made in collaboration with Christensen are said to have a common pigment of cadmium yellow. The effect of the cad yellow is more pronounced in some colors than others.

I think Vasari did a good job of describing the colors and their effects in the text, but the photos on the website are not as informative as they could be -- not "wrong" but somewhat skewed.

Def: bice blue -- A moderate blue. (from Middle English bis, blue-gray) American Heritage Dictionary.

I'm glad the photos help in showing the colors and effects. The tubes are also pretty accuate regarding the colors. Some colors are hard to capture, as my Shale and Jasper don't really allow the purplish and green nuances to come through with the other colors. The other, non-Christensen colors, are some I recieved with the same order and are shown as my first checks of these colors -- hopefully not adding too much confusion, since they are not all Christensen colors. ;)

mr.wiggles
12-19-2008, 12:17 PM
From looking at these samples, (thanks Jim!) my conclusion is that Christensen is adding low chroma colors to augment the high chroma colors.
To balance his palette out. They are also clearly locals to the type of greens and yellows that are in the area Christensen works.

LarrySeiler
12-19-2008, 12:44 PM
They are also clearly locals to the type of greens and yellows that are in the area Christensen works.


this too however is the underlying current that drives whether or not a limited palette proves its intended efficiency or not...

If my intent is to represent the northern upper Midwest...a palette suitable to paint in Maui, Hawaii will not be efficient filled with colors suited for the light and fauna of the northern Midwest. It is easy I think for anyone to be absorbed with one's own needs in judging color to represent that which is, and believe such ought to define efficiency then for others.

One reason I enjoy looking at the works of many of my peers in painting on location is that I get a tour thru their eyes...what color, what light I might anticipate were I to visit their locale...and painting outdoors as frequently as I do, I give them the benefit of the doubt that they have adjusted their ideal palette thru experience, trial and error...that equips them to the task.

If I worked for a court where aristocrats wear velvet veloor garments and silk sash...I would have to adjust my palette to be best equipped, and if they were outdoors rather than indoors, that would change with the nature of the light.

Its all about the light of that which we encounter and experience, that we see...

sashntash
12-19-2008, 01:20 PM
Thanks to all for an interesting and informative discussion. As a relative beginner (Feb 2008) at painting, I have read and read and read... here on WC and in dozens of books.... about color and pigments and preferred palettes and values and composition and painting techniques, etc. I am soaking it all in.

Although, who would have guessed that discussions on colors could get so "intense" :eek:

To answer the original question, I do think that having the "right" colors for what one is attempting to do makes it easier to "get what you are attempting to portray" on the canvas. And to me.. that is the crux of the adventure.

I love color.... and... as I'm sure most beginners have..... I at first bought tubes of everything :lol: But I quickly learned that ALL those colors weren't necessary... for me.

I paint landscapes... sometimes outdoors... sometimes in the house from photos... although my preference is plein air.

After much reading and studying and pouring over the technical data at the Golden website (I use acrylics) and learning about pigments, memorizing their numbers and understanding the nuances of various pigments, I have come up with a palette that works for me.

I'm sure I'll adjust as I go along... but for now.... I do love "pure" pigments and luckily Golden has primarily single pigment paints. I do use 2 hues because I particularly love them but.... for the most part... I only buy single pigment paints.

Here's my chosen palette:

Cad yellow primrose - PY 35

Cad yellow dark - PY 35

Indian Yellow Hue (just because I love it !! Mix of Nickel Azo Yellow, Hansa Yellow and Quin Burnt Orange)

Quin Burnt Orange - PR 206 - which I use instead of Burnt Sienna

Pyrrole Red - PR 254

Cad Red Dark - PR 108 - I love the deep richness of this color

Quin Crimson - PR 206 & PR 202

Quin Violet - PV 19

Quin Magenta - PR 122 - I hate this color, but it is useful in mixes

Ultramarine Blue - PB 29

Cobalt Blue - PB 28 - I don't think I really need Cobalt but it sure is pretty

Phthalo Blue - PB 15:1

Cerulean Blue Deep - PB 36 (another one that I love)

Turquoise Phthalo - PB 15:4 and PG 7 (another one that I love)

Phthalo Green (yellow shade) - PG 36 and PW 6

Hookers Green Hue - mix of Anthraquinone Blue, Nickel Azo Yellow and Quin Magenta

Titanium White

It has made my painting attempts easier to have learned so much about color and pigments over the last year and to have temporarily settled on a palette that I understand how to use. Before... I was floundering. So.. for me.. having the "right" colors has made a huge difference.

Comments are welcome !!!

I do think that I could get rid of Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue Deep and Quin Violet without much damage, but I do love them all.

Also, I prefer opaques.... so my palette favors the opaques. And... I'm not crazy about the earth colors and prefer to mix my own greys and browns...

Anyway... thanks again for the interesting discussion.

ETA: One thing I really like about the Golden website is that they indicate the C*I*E* designation for each color. I made a 2-dimensional chart from the CIE "a" and "b" coordinates which made it much easier for me to see where each color was positioned in relation to all the other Golden colors. There is a lot of good information on the Golden website about pigments.

gunzorro
12-19-2008, 02:10 PM
I don't really agree with Larry's assessment of the need for different palette choices for different geographic locales or most variations of subject matter, if you wish to work with a limited palette.

The advice provided in the Munsell Student Book, and from many other sources, indicates that a split primary palette of six colors ("cool & warm" for RYB) plus black and white will cover almost all colors if mixed properly.

Here is the section (somewhat edited by me), Painter's Palettes, from "Chapter 7, Subtractive Color Mixture: Mixing Paints":

Painters often use a basic selection of paints which they mix to create all colors. This selection is commonly called a painter's color palette. Opinion about which paints constitute the best basic palette varies somewhat; however, a palette of two sets of carefully selected red, blue and yellow -- a cool set and a warm set -- plus black and white works well. . . . the addition of a purple and a green paint. . . making it possible to mix purples, violets and greens with a stronger chroma.

This basic palette consists of cadmium red light, ultramarine blue (a purple blue) and cadmium yellow medium, which are all warm colors. Added are the cool primaries: either alizarin crimson or quinacridone violet (a red-purple), either cadmium yellow pale or lemon yellow (a green-yellow), and either phthalo or cerulean blue (a blue-green). This basic palette of six colors yields vibrant secondary colors. The mixture of all these produces neutral or gray. Table 3 list paints that can be substituted for any of the preceding. Many painters add viridian (green) and ultramarine violet to the this palette. While white paint is always part of a palette, many painters do not use black to darken colors because its strength quickly reduces chroma.

The above is sometimes called a modern palette. In a natural palette, a selection of the paint colors of yellow ochre, burnt umber, burnt sienna and [light, English or Mars] red is added.

This would be the minimum palette I would recommend, and is still easy to use and easy to transport.

Naturally, in specific situations, you might find the need of only a very few paints, such as earth colors or monotones, in which case most of even this small palette could be set aside by chosing one or two specific appropriate colors.

The only real reason I can see for a limited palette is portability. It is far more time consuming to mix multiple colors than it is to grab an approximately correct color and make minor adjustments. For studio painting, the limited palette is more of a self-imposed limitation, not one made on optimizing one's painting time.

The Christensen palette of "Western Greys" offers a sensible starting point for such things as rocks, bark (light and shadows), earth, foliage and sky. The muted colors can be quickly adjusted for greater or lesser chroma, as well as shifts in hue by added from the primaries mentioned above. These paints are sold by Vasari individually, so the artist can pick and chose a few that most often suit their needs.

Larry's style of posterized scenics of broken color lends itself to his color choices. But his style is atypical of most painters, who do more color blending, realistic duplication and attention to fine detail -- all points where an expanded palette (even if limited to the above 6+2) will give more satisfying results or use of available time.

mr.wiggles
12-19-2008, 02:28 PM
Seems Jim has just posted the same thing I did... from the standpoint of Munsell.

I'm not sure I understand your point Larry.

A personal preference for certain colors is not the same as having a well tuned palette. Very much like a pianist having a well tuned piano.

The idea of a palette should be to be able to cover a good gambit of the color wheel. If your going to be using an open palette then it makes more sense to have more than three colors plus white to hit them.

Anything less then seven seems to be creating more problems then solving them. Faber Birren suggest these seven colors red-orange(cad red) red-violet (alizarin crimson) a clear yellow(cad yellow light), a turquoise blue(such as cobalt teal) a blue-violet(such as ultramarine blue), and black and white.

If you take these high chroma colors and add earth colors you get a good balance of low and high chroma colors. This is also from Faber Birren.
Studying color is and should be a separate thing to what and how you paint, at least I think it should be. It should be just how it is stated, a study of color so one can gain knowledge of how it works in relation to the color wheel and color space. How paint and mixes work and so on.

I have a controlled palette that works for my area but it's based on values.
I could very easily shift the mixes it to work anywhere.

gunzorro
12-19-2008, 02:40 PM
I agree with wiggles here. Especially about the Faber Birren choices. I'm a fan of Birren's pioneering work in color studies, which means color results and observable phenomena.

To extend the wiggles music analogy: A musician can detune a guitar or use a bridge to shift the range or chords to something new and different. Jimi Hendrix was a master of detuning as he played.

There are really no creative limits but physical limits, and most artists are going to move from the center of the road once they have established those physical (pigment/color) limits, not jumping off into the specialized de-tuned uses without some color foundation. At least one hopes people will learn the basics of color selection, mixing and duplication before trying to develop style. ;)

sidbledsoe
12-19-2008, 03:50 PM
I agree Jeff&Jim, btw will someone tell me exactly what a "string" is that you refer to earlier, I am not sure and want to know, thanks

mr.wiggles
12-19-2008, 05:03 PM
I agree Jeff&Jim, btw will someone tell me exactly what a "string" is that you refer to earlier, I am not sure and want to know, thanks String of values and chroma= It is a mixture of hues moving from light to dark in values and in and out of chroma.

In the case of gray scales it's only values.
A simple thing to do is take a color such as Cadmium Orange and move up with white one whole step for each value.
Then using black move down.This will make a string of values.
You could also do this with Burnt Umbra, Burnt Sienna as they are in this family of Yellow/Red.

This can also be done with a neutral of the same value as Cadmium Orange
and try to keep the hue from shifting.

It's good to do this to your whole palette to see how each color is effected by white and black. This is interesting as you can see how colors will mix with black. Cad Yellow will make green when mixed with Ivory Black and contrary to the statements that it deadens color it does make a very nice middle value green. White is more predictable than black if you have not done this before.

You can hours of fun with this.

The Munsell model is a little different it moves up in value and out in chroma.
I coped this from the Munsell thread, it was posted by another member.
In the diagram below you can see the numbers 0 through 9 this is a string of values. It is also as noted below moving towards more of the chroma of the color. So you can make strings that move on both directions if you want to. I have the neutral gray scales on my palette and I also mix chroma strings when I need them.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Dec-2008/99881-munsell.jpg

sidbledsoe
12-20-2008, 12:27 AM
Thanks a lot for that. I think I got it but to make sure, a string in a munsell chart like that would be either a horizontal chroma row or vertical value row?

gunzorro
12-20-2008, 02:31 AM
Really, what is usually considered a "string" is a vertical value series of any length within a given chroma, for any given hue. According to the graph, choose any one of the chroma numbers across the bottom of the chart, and go up into the value scale directly above it.

mr.wiggles
12-20-2008, 09:47 AM
Jim is right, sorry if I made it seem more complicated then it is.
I get carried away sometimes.

LarrySeiler
12-20-2008, 09:56 AM
Seems Jim has just posted the same thing I did... from the standpoint of Munsell.

I'm not sure I understand your point Larry.

A personal preference for certain colors is not the same as having a well tuned palette. Very much like a pianist having a well tuned piano.

I'm not sure that's the right metaphor. Because piano's produce a note that has a particular character to it...yet the instrument does not touch the heart of say Africa where notes are produced by instruments much different than say Western norms. It works if you premise that notes played on a piano MUST be the standard to judge the character of all notes heard, that Western ideals alone stand.

Looking at the Munsell system, each color must have a degree of white to black added to the color. You are saying that the character of all color "notes" possess this shift from white to black. What of the character of color notes by painters that do not have black on their palette?

Not to revive old arguments, but perhaps your metaphor works if all artists must necessarily be Munsell chart users. But...some eyes, hearts and minds respond to notes of a different character to them. I see the what of what you are saying, and it is a nicely packaged system for those that think as you say they must. I also appreciate the further clarification. It is a very linear convergent way of working with paint with its near ideal guarantees of producing predictable outcomes...that is, for those who adapt that color notes have particular character traits about them. I also must say that for the first 17 years of my painting I was in essence following this way of mixing, using white...black, plus color. Concerned about a color's chroma strength, etc.,

But...if you're not quite catching what I'm saying...I am not put off by that, I hope you are not. Nor should I expect you to understand my way of trying to explain things necessarily. Not saying I'm brighter, or you're brighter, or others...no, not at all. Just that perhaps there are other ways to think about color and employ their use to one's own particular needs, producing an efficiency that satisfies an artist's intent.



The idea of a palette should be to be able to cover a good gambit of the color wheel. If your going to be using an open palette then it makes more sense to have more than three colors plus white to hit them.

This is perhaps the problem...and that is who gets to judge that which should be the should be? What ought ought to be?

But the end of your statement "If you're going to be using an open palette...." is key to anyone in this subject to find a way to restrain from this having to be an argument. It is a place we can have mutual respect.

I will have to heartily agree with you...that if one is going to be doing as you say, "using an open palette"....then indeed a limited palette is not going to "hit" what it is...(those piano notes) that you want to hit.

Let's look at a community of artists like Munsell looked at color, and think of a community possibly in terms as an "open palette"...and the only way a community is to exist as it is intended in this WC community, is that you need the full gamut of what is possible. Call it the Munsell Way to Broader Possibilities in Community!"

My only contention, is what defines "painting"..."efficiency"...and "excellence"...

I have my preferences certainly of what would define these things for me, and they are more Western art histories...but there are other histories, and as an international outreaching artist's community which WC is...we must be careful of what develops to an "us four, no more...might makes right" thinking. A Munsell Way to Broader Possibilities in an open community palette insists on it.

I would probably be more in agreement with you than not and what makes for good paintings, and excellence...but my eyes and ears hear different qualities in the notes than adherents to Munsell.

When you insist on what must be...it is the burden of adherents to Munsell that would necessarily feel the weight of that. I don't feel such a burden.

But...I respect the chart...the three dimensional model. It is easy to follow along and understand better the thinking of artists that would work this way, and thereby have some key to the predictability also of the results. I would say it is more traditional. If nothing else, the Munsell charts add to one's art appreciation. It has added to mine, so thank you...and to others as well.

At this point though...I have no further contribution I could give to this discussion here that wouldn't end up bringing us back again and again to this difference. We should be open enough to see value in the Broader Munsell Way to an Open Palette Community, see the potential character traits that notes can vary in being heard. And the "should" in this case, the ought that makes the ought...can be found in the aims of the owners of this community, the user agreement...that calls upon us to respect differences, encourage artists to hammer out their creative path.

The work will stand on its own. Those that appreciate and are drawn to the work enough to inquire and understand its making will discover the ideas, the tenets, the concepts and theories. Wanting to see their own work reflect some changes and growth in line with that which they've been drawn by excellent examples, they will find cause to embrace the ideas and run with them.

While work will stand on its own, a community does not stand on its own. It has to be nurtured, guarded, desired, defended. I will use your Munsell chart of pigments to suggest by metaphor, that the three essentials to paint an ideal community are patience, benevolence and respect. Mix them well to get the fuller possibilities.

peace

sidbledsoe
12-20-2008, 11:00 AM
Thanks J&J for the string explanations.
I have been doing a lot of test mixing and I decided to try mixing some of my colors based on the CYM triad then with the old RYB triad. Now when a member or fellow artist says "use these" I take it with a grain of salt. When a company of the stature of Winsor Newton says "use these" it takes on a higher level of confidence for me. They have their business at stake, they have had the resources available to them for proper research. They say use CYM for a three color primary palette. Nevertheless, I do like to try things on my own and see them for myself. Here is a basic wheel made with the CYM triad along with some test mixing swatches.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Dec-2008/112587-cyan_2.jpg
(next to cyan and magenta you will see mixes that are red and blue)
The primaries are py35 cad yellow pale, pb15 thalo blue, and pr122 rose madder and are higher chroma than I will ever need. The orange and green secondaries are also high chroma but the purple or violet range is not up to scratch in the chroma department. Not if you want a certain light bright violet for a floral lets say.
Now I did the same with a RYB triad:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Dec-2008/112587-red_green_blue.jpg
These primaries are py35 cad yellow pale, pb29 french Ultra blue, and pr254 bright red.
With these I got a high chroma orange, an ok but a lower than before chroma green, and a not acceptable to me low chroma violet or purple. Each one can mix to a dark chromatic black that I can get to tint to a gray but the caveat here is that it is quite hard to do and not reproducible as we noted earlier.
Based on my experience so far in the art world along with my limited testing here plus the advice of winsor newton, I dedided my starting palette of colors will begin with Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. To that basic triad I will add ultramarine blue and a red like winsor, cad, or bright red. You can see the added colors plus mixes added below the RYB wheel. That gives me the full range of chroma needed. For convenience and because no one will ever take these colors away from me plus I don't want to spend the rest of my life mixing them I will add a green (I like permanent), yellow ochre, burnt sienna, burnt umber, and black. Though I may choose to paint a picture with only one or two colors plus white, as I have before, here is the minimum colors I that I will ever own:
Red
Magenta
yellow
violet blue
cyan blue
yellow ochre-convenience
green-convenience
burnt sienna-convenience
burnt umber-convenience
black-convenience
white
This is the exact palette that was recommended by George Cherepov in the Oil Painting Book I read 25 years ago and is sort of my bible for basic oil painting instruction.
I reality I have a bunch more but they are not absolutely essential just lots of fun to have and use. I think a palette should be the essential colors you own, what you decide to use and need to paint a picture with will vary. You are the boss, you control the horizontal and the vertical, you use whatever tool you need.

LarrySeiler
12-20-2008, 11:09 AM
I have been doing a lot of test mixing and I decided to try mixing some of my colors based on the CYM triad then with the old RGB triad.

Hey Sid...nice to see this laid out...but to my thinking, RYB is simply a concept model, an idea...and your image uploaded of the CYM strikes me still as the RYB colorwheel...

Not to argue, but maybe clarify especially for those newer to painting that might find this confusing...

The basic concept is that red and yellow makes orange, red and blue makes violet, blue and yellow makes green. The three basic primaries, the secondaries. So in concept I see nothing different except between the two images you offer calling the other RYB...different pigments were used. The "idea" of the colorwheel (3 primaries, 3 secondaries, etc., ) and how it can be used as a model to learn and build off of strikes me as one and the same.

Larry

sidbledsoe
12-20-2008, 11:21 AM
Oops, I wrote RGB first and that is in your quote which I can't edit, I meant to write RYB, and if the colors are off a little like the magenta sort of looks orange, it is due to my camera or something. Thanks Larry, yes I believe what you are saying is absolutely correct. I have lately been researching the CYM versus RYB primary palette as pertaining to real world tube colors, not the theory that is behind them, what I did wasn't meant to be a wheel model, just doing test mixing and placing them on the familiar wheel positions for viewing, bottom line for the colors I have in these positions in my opinion only:
CYM gives high chroma greens, oranges, medium chroma violets
RYB gives high chroma oranges, mid chroma greens, and low chroma violets.
Let me add this important point of clarification
All mixes may be acceptable for an artists usage in practice.
these are with only my colors and are also only my opinions. I know that one can paint with two colors (say black and white) and produce great art but I am only looking at ranges of hue chroma and value that I want for my own crummy paintings!
I know this kinda veers off but all this discussion has got me wanting to test things out, just regarding color mixing etc. To me it sort of verifies the idea that pigments are not perfect and if you want a full arsenal of weaponry, you may want two reds and two blues, I still don't think you need two yellows however. Let me say once more, you can get by with one of each and many better artists than me do it and have done it. You are one, John Stobart is another, probably many more than I know of. BTW I know what the CYM theory is all about but I grew up and have used the RYB triad in practice successfully for over 50 years later, Sid

sidbledsoe
12-20-2008, 12:33 PM
I want to edit but ran out of time,
Another way of saying this, is I wanted to pit CYM colors against RYB colors as they are usually recommended by artist here and in books. ( sometimes it is magenta, yellow, and blue instead of cyan such as in Mcpherson?s book) I had to use colors that I own so I choose the commonly recommended ones. The results for me said, the CYM colors cover a broader range and only lack very slightly in the violet department. The RYB colors cover a narrower range and lack very slightly in the green and more so in the violet range. Once again, either could be acceptable. CYM was PB15 thalo blue, PY35 cad yellow, PR122 rose madder. RYB was PR254 bright red, PY35 cad yellow, PB29 ultramarine blue. These were colors I own, others could get different results with other colors. say by using cobalt blue or alizarin crimson. I do this kind of thing all the time, I just thought it would be interesting to show and discuss.
So here is my question for the colormen here:
My next project is to lay out my essential list of colors with my pigments,
red
magenta
yellow
violet blue
cyan blue
in a color wheel that I will try to arrange so that they are as close to being opposite by complementaries as I can. That means I will place yellow at the top and mix whatever I need to make a dead on neutral complement, noting the relative proportions of violet blue and magenta needed. Then magenta and violet blue will be placed in as close to relative positions as I can but subject to moving as my wheel progresses. Next I will do the same complement mixing for the magenta and place those colors. I believe I will wind up ultimately with a wheel that will be a reference for me with my colors.
Now I think I will be doing what the munsell system could do if I had it but right now I don't have it. Does this make sense to you guys?

LarrySeiler
12-20-2008, 12:58 PM
thanks for the clarification Sid...!!!! I think that will help folks.

A basic three primary concept of red (any red) blue (any blue) and yellow (any yellow) plus their mixtures leading to secondaries is the RYB colorwheel model. A concept designed to play with and refer to on which to build from. The argument is over which red, blue or yellow(?) and the presumption we might have an ideal.

How you've made this personal for your own experimenting comes across loud and clear. Appreciated... :wave:

mr.wiggles
12-20-2008, 01:19 PM
The Munsell color models are not designed for oil paint alone.
They are also used by designers,industrial and interior.
Graphic designers use Pantone which is very similar to Munsell.

I don't know what to say here, my point was tuning the palette is like tuning a piano, to make sure the scales, how the notes of color you use are in tune with each other. It's about palette organization NOT a particular type of music or culture. Now we are into African music and international communities, what does that have to do with this? What does studying color have to do with where you live. Absolutely nothing in my opinion. It's a convenient way of changing the subject I'll give you that. The community thing is all fine and well, but this is a distraction from the subject.

I have repeatedly said there is nothing wrong with a three color palette, I think it has a lot of limitations and you can't hit all the colors on the color wheel, this is not my conclusion it's Birren's. I happen to agree with this however.

As far as Munsell is concerned I never said it was something that people must do. I never said it was the only way to become a painter. It happens to be one of the best color models for explaining how color works it's a tool to help the artist. I also said that if you wanted to do neutrals you needed something to match them to. Why this is a problem I don't know.
This was the only area that I said that Munsell was an absolute.
This is for the study of color, not for making any particular type of painting.
There seems to be a some kind of disconnect with this idea.

I also mentioned Faber Birren , and it seems to me all of the books mentioned, Payne, and Carlson used a lot of Birren's ideas and some of Munsell's as well it seems. I don't have Gruppe's book so I can't comment on that.

As far as using Western ideas, well my family is from Europe and I live in New England. My culture and up bringing are Western European and some Eastern (grandparents came from Poland). My artistic training is Western not African nor Balinese. This is the visual language I use. It also happens to be the visual language that 95.9% of the people on this site use, or so it seems. I am also into Ukiyo-e prints and Chinese art. As well as comic book art. My wife is Japanese and an ceramic artist who uses both eastern and western influences to make her work. I am well aware of different cultures, I'm living with it. I often have miso soup for breakfast and so on. This has nothing to do with how I look at color or how I study it. I like miso soup and I like Ali Farka Toure, Schubert, Bach, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, all of this is great music. It has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

Sid, don't trust what paint companies say, trust your eyes and study.
Gamblin has Munsell notions on their web site but they are wrong when compared to the book. Also Ultramarine is a Purple/Blue.

I'll post this again, this makes sense to me: Faber Birren suggest these seven colors:
red-orange(cad red)
red-violet (alizarin crimson)
a clear yellow(cad yellow light),
a turquoise blue(such as cobalt teal)
a blue-violet(such as ultramarine blue),
and black and white.

You can also add some earth colors to augment the high chroma colors.
This list is a suggestion it's one that has been around for over a hundred years or more, so it has stood the test of time.

gunzorro
12-20-2008, 03:02 PM
Mr. W -- That explains a lot -- I always suspected the surname "Wiggles" was of European derivation. ;)

I'm sort of unhappy to see the musical metaphor, in that now Larry is running with it. ;) Seriously, too much comparison to music falls apart, and we can't consider colors as notes in practical color theory and use.

Larry -- I respectfully disagree -- the "Munsell adherents" are not a cult of colorists -- there really is no belief involved. I hate to say that "color is black and white" (everyone, please quote me as coining the phrase if it hasn't been used before), but the Munsell system of color notation, including the illustration of the Munsell pigment/color sphere is not open to belief or interpretation any more than arguing about the world being round-ish.

Of course anyone is welcome to argue the world is flat, using complex reasoning and an appeal to innovative thought, but the final result will still be unsupported conclusions. Adherents on both sides of the Great Munsell Debate are usually both trying to say Munsell System of Notation is something it is not, hence the debate rages on based on misinformation and self-interest.

My point is that color is color and can be positively identified. The identification can be fit into a pattern and that information used in a variety of ways. The ways are open to interpretation and creativity, but the color identification is about as absolute as possible.

Sid -- your illustrations are getting a lot better -- nice job. :thumbsup:

As you said, the results you've posted are for only certain pigments. In this case you have used the same cad yellow in both examples, when it might have been something different. And just for the record, the "Madder Rose" should also be listed as "Hue" as it is a Quinacridone PV19 pigment, usually called magenta or something like that, not related to the historic madder rose pigment.

The abbreviated palette you are describing almost exactly matches what I posted above as the Munsell recommendation. And I see it is close to the Birren recommendation posted by Mr. W. You may want to consider getting a yellow-green (take a look at OH's Cinnabar Green Light which is PY35 and PG7) and using cad yellow medium.

Regardless of any additions or improvements in the color range, you have an adequate palette to do almost anything you want, depending on how much you like to mix colors.

sidbledsoe
12-20-2008, 03:12 PM
Thanks a lot for your advice. I have painted off and on for my whole life but only recently have begun really learning and studying these aspects, before I just up and painted.
Right now I am self teaching myself. I hear what you guys are saying and appreciate it very much.
There are two flaws in my first excercise, first I was really dumb, the red is not absolutely needed because I can make a high chroma red with magenta and yellow. (So I change the red to convenience) Second, the thalo blue I was using is a very green shade. I have another (old holland blue lake) that is much closer to a "true blue" than the one I used first (grumbacher thalo). With that Old Holland blue and magenta I can get a good chroma violet, high enough for me, and of course a bright green. So here is my new absolutely essential core RYB or CYM whatever you want to call them, primary colors.
PR122 rose madder
PY35 cad yellow
PB15 Blue lake (pthalo)
(PR122 is very close to PV19 rose, I can't tell the difference)
So after all my mixing and testing, here I am right where good old Winsor Newton said I should be.
I think you can (and people do) substitute colors here like the bright, perm, or cad red for the magenta or if the pthalo is too strong for you, an ultra blue for a blue and you will do just fine and dandy. But I now believe the widest range of colors with the highest chroma can be achieved with the colors I have listed. They are what I would use if I could only use three colors plus white, which I don't ever foresee happening.
This then is what I choose as my starting point only, I will and do add as I said before, any color I need to get what I want, I do have plenty to choose from. (end result- same as the Birren and gunz palette)
Thanks Gunz, I just read your post, I have thalo red rose pv19 and rose madder pr122, just the names which are useless. That is what motivated munsell I believe, to get a standard instead of the useless names which can vary widely.

gunzorro
12-20-2008, 03:27 PM
Sid -- Sorry for the error in the pigment #! :eek: :p

Of course, I meant to say it PR122 is a Quin and should be considered a Madder Hue, and along the lines of PV19, another Quin pigment (often called Magenta in this regard, which you might find more vibrant and clean in the triad of colors).

Whew! That's a damned deep hole! :)

mr.wiggles
12-20-2008, 03:35 PM
Sid do you live near a museum that has a good collection of paintings from different periods? If so I would make a trip take a note book and take notes on what colors your seeing. Can you then go home a mix these from the notes. Draw little composition studies from the paintings. Most artist I know are self taught even though they have studied in a school. One still has to do it make mistakes and learn.

When looking at a Chardin still life notice how he uses subtle grays to turn the forms away from the front of the picture plain. Study the design patterns and so on.

If you want to paint landscape I highly recommend finding a copy of Edgar Payne's book Composition of Outdoor Painting, it's one of the best and the he takes apart composition really gives you a good solid foundation on how to compose a good painting.

The music analogy is one that I was taught, we learned to think about strings and values in triads, whole steps, half steps and so on.
It's the terminology and not the specifics of how music is made that was used in context to painting. I can see how this can become a bit confusing.
Color was not a note like B flat, but within color families you could build triads of values. Cad Red is the tonic and you move up in threes, hence the triad, which if you look at the Munsell scales (another musical reference) they are 9 which relates to the triad idea. This comes from Frank DuMond for those interested.

sidbledsoe
12-20-2008, 03:41 PM
Mr W. thanks a lot again, yes, I go to the Baltimore museum, National Gallery in Washington (awesome), Philadelphia, several others and on Dec. 27 my son and I are going to New York to the Metropolitan and Guggenheim and will see the Van Gogh exhibit on tour called Van Gogh at night or something like that , eat your heart out Jim (out in Cally). Thanks again for your advice, Sid

Doug Nykoe
12-20-2008, 04:52 PM
Finally you guys see Munsell as a colour wheel but a more expanded wheel. Now I guess you finally see that neither one of these makes art. They fill your head with theory but still art has not arrived as yet, just a basic look at where colours fall… no big deal. You’re left to do whatever you want after the science is done with.

The only one here who expanded colour beyond the theory was Larry and this is where the real work of colour comes to challenge you and that’s the way it should be…its art after all and anything goes.

At least as Jim says--- there really is no belief involved. I hate to say that "color is black and white" (everyone, please quote me as coining the phrase if it hasn't been used before), but the Munsell system of color notation, including the illustration of the Munsell pigment/color sphere is not open to belief or interpretation any more than arguing about the world being round-ish.

Finally Jim you see Munsell as pat. It’s simply a larger take on a colour wheel. No art ….just science as you say. Good for you.

Science that two faced animal that can never seem to stop throwing bricks in the soup. On one hand they give us a colour wheel and tell us to go paint then to help us some more they throw in a Munsell notation. Then they have the nerve to tell us that that’s still not enough we need how many millions of chips to augment how humans see. Gee, come on, give us a break already. Oh well, I guess in the end its up to us to interpret colour and use it artistically as we see fit. But thanks science for the brick it was a bit of a help.

sidbledsoe
12-20-2008, 05:33 PM
Doug, I am so with you on the separation between the two, art and science that is (and science was my career). I love Carlson's quote that "art" cannot be taught (just technique). There are a couple of themes going on here right now, I haven't even read all the posts yet. But regarding my second project of constructing a wheel with opposite compliments that produce grays using my colors of choice, forget it! This is proving too tedious and difficult. So I will drop back and punt for now. For now I will make linear shades and tints with compliments like Mr. W suggested earlier. My reason in doing this is to chart my colors for my purposes so that I can get a better handle or control.

LarrySeiler
12-20-2008, 08:52 PM
Sid, don't trust what paint companies say, trust your eyes and study.



now you're talkin' my kinda paintin'! :thumbsup:

LarrySeiler
12-20-2008, 08:58 PM
My point is that color is color and can be positively identified. The identification can be fit into a pattern and that information used in a variety of ways. The ways are open to interpretation and creativity, but the color identification is about as absolute as possible.


point taken...clarify for me then, and I believe I'll understand...

Color using Munsell charts can then be positively identified though the artist uses NO black on their palette in mixing any color to a darker value? I mean...the chart seems to suggest that black must be a component.

To my thinking, (and perhaps this is where I'm stumbling over what may be the obvious here) ...black as a pigment has a certain personality to it. Black as a pigment, (in my experience, and in trusting my eye as Mr. Wiggles advises Sid) does to color in the process bringing to a darker value that which can be avoided in darkening a color using a mix of other color pigments, complements and so forth.

Larry

gunzorro
12-20-2008, 09:18 PM
Larry - to reach the full gamut of colors at the darkest values of the Munsell color space, at some point black will have to be used to provide the cleanest neutrals possible. But for the bulk of painting in the lighter areas, there is no reason the neutralizing can't be done with complements.

Although black isn't required to make neutrals or reduce the chroma of lighter colors, it is expedient to use in many situations to reduce mixing time and save money on paints.

Re-read the above notes I posted from the Munsell Student Book on the palette and using black.

Doug -- I wish you would post something less argumentative -- you are fighting with ghosts here. Munsell theory and notation are no more creative than a box of paints. It might provide inspiration and spark creativity, but the hard creative work must be done by the artist, using the available tools and materials.

Sid -- I agree, creativity can't be taught. But acquiring and learning to use the tools can be, and training one's mind to think can be, then creativity can be released to the best effect.

dcorc
12-20-2008, 09:25 PM
Larry - "black" is simply any pigment, or mix of pigments, which have a near-zero reflectance for all visible wavelengths of light.

Dave

LarrySeiler
12-20-2008, 09:36 PM
Larry - to reach the full gamut of colors at the darkest values of the Munsell color space, at some point black will have to be used to provide the cleanest neutrals possible. But for the bulk of painting in the lighter areas, there is no reason the neutralizing can't be done with complements.

Although black isn't required to make neutrals or reduce the chroma of lighter colors, it is expedient to use in many situations to reduce mixing time and save money on paints.


Okay...perhaps this will help further explain my confusion with that said what must be by Munsell proponents thus far. You say at some point black will have to be used...

Apparently you might say I didn't get to that place yet where I needed dark enough darks(?) so...here are some smaller studies I did, but absolutely NO BLACK was used. Are you saying these darks do not qualify yet to where I would have HAD to use black, and further given that I painted each of these well under an hour's time...what really defines expediency and if I wasted paint and money?

I believe these darks are ideally suited to be dark in value indeed, serve their purpose in making the paintings work as paintings...but to my eye they (the darks) have a sense of character in them that does not feel dead by the use of black I see in many paintings.

Thus...how can Munsell correctly identify the color I used here, not using black?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Dec-2008/532-bluesharpswc.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Dec-2008/532-filmwc.0.jpg

a study looking in a mirror of my eye...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Dec-2008/532-seilereye72.jpg

a closeup...to see the darks...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Dec-2008/532-seilereye_closeupiris.jpg

Lastly image, this painting I did of my service dog tags. Seriously...imagine some artist wants to know what pigments were used to make the color used here within the red circle??? Please explain and demonstrate how the Munsell chart correctly identifies the pigments since once again, I used no black pigment in mixing these darks...(?)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Dec-2008/532-dogtags_identifycolor

Further... I really don't understand this expediency thing, wasted time... and so forth. That I can instantly mix darks at will, bend those darks any direction I want to hint color temperature and contrast. How is that not expedient to my needs? How is such knowledge and ability not a ready tool?

finally...I've been willing to share portions of my work to get my points and questions across. I know we have some good painters here sharing, it might be nice to share some work to demonstrate what folks here are saying...

just a thought...

dcorc
12-20-2008, 10:00 PM
Larry, we cross-posted - I'll say again (you can delete my post above yours, if you wish)..

"black" is simply any pigment, or mix of pigments, which have a near-zero reflectance for all visible wavelengths of light.

please show how Munsell identifies my colors used here within the red circle??? Again, I did not use black...

On my monitor, this looks to be a very dark brown.

In Photoshop, its RGB is 16,11,7; Its HSV is 27,57,6;
and in the www.wallkillcolor.com Munsell Conversion software, it's 2.65R 0.5/1.96

(or in other words, a very dark brown :) )

how can Munsell correctly identify the color I used here, not using black?

Just take the other images into photoshop or similar, and use the "eyedropper" and "color picker" to sample the colours, and it will be seen that they are not quite black - for example, the very darkest "blacks" on the film-cassette are actually very low-value blues and cyans (which then harmonise with the rest of the image).



Dave

LarrySeiler
12-20-2008, 10:03 PM
Larry - "black" is simply any pigment, or mix of pigments, which have a near-zero reflectance for all visible wavelengths of light.

Dave


but wait Dave...we go back to Mr. Wiggles telling me what is not possible for me to do as concerns making neutrals without black, secondly it might be nice to advert confusion to see a nice red asterisk by the value portion of the chart that notes actual black pigment need not be used for the outcomes.

Unfortunately in my experience as a workshop instructor working with painters, those that work with black often do so a bit naively. Some argue here against black killing color and I always find it amusing when someone will mix up yellow with black to produce a green and say..."there...that's a nice green!" Dang...I'm not sure what part of spoiled earth that green might represent, but its a darn pukey green for the most part!

So..we've kinda gone round robin, and I like that you've made this comment Dave. Because we've gone from what CAN'T be done (said by some) from not having black on one's palette to now saying black is any mix of pigments with a near zero reflectance.

I'll agree with your definition...and I'll further argue also many painters might learn to use darks more convincingly if they first learned to make their own dark from any mix of pigments leading to a near zero reflectance! For those of you that use black well...kudos to you, but teach painters for any number of years ESPECIALLY painting from life, and you'll see many of them struggling to get it right.

LarrySeiler
12-20-2008, 10:06 PM
On my monitor, this looks to be a very dark brown.

Dave

yep...we cross posted.. ;)

so...what we have then with the warm golden color existing as indirect light on a shadow side of the one tag, is a dark that harmonizes very nicely with its very "black-like" brownish character ideally tweaked in and suited to harmonize with the painting as a whole; underscoring that paintings work for reasons paintings work.

that...would be make my point... ;)

That your eye might detect it says something perhaps about your educated eye that could be trusted by gut hunch. It still says little about how one could identify my pigments by the Munsell chart, but says even less that would argue its necessity. :)

take care

dcorc
12-20-2008, 10:17 PM
that...would be make my point...

Well, in one way it makes your point, Larry, but with all respect, I think you still seem to be missing some of the points that we make.

First of all, its been railroaded into an impressionist-influenced discussion about whether one "ought" to use black.

Let me try and clarify this once and for all - In the experience of the group using Munsell, the very lowest values that it is possible to achieve in paint are achieved by the use of black pigments.

Now it may well be, as in the examples in your work we are discussing here, that you don't really want to achieve real black - that what you want are very-near-black darks that still have some chroma. That's fine.


Dave

dcorc
12-20-2008, 10:27 PM
We're still cross-posting, and doing edits within the posts. :)

It still says little about how one could identify my pigments by the Munsell chart

The Munsell chart isn't about identifying pigments, Larry. The Munsell chart is about identifying colours.

It doesn't matter which pigments you use to mix a particular colour within gamut (except for the issue of metamerism - that is, it makes sense to keep mixes consistent within a single painting).

Which pigments are used only matters on the outer borders of the colourspace - and then only insofar as they preferably need to extend to, or beyond, the edges of the gamut you wish to paint within (aside from issues of lightfastness, of course).

Dave

Doug Nykoe
12-20-2008, 11:03 PM
The Munsell chart isn't about identifying pigments, Larry. The Munsell chart is about identifying colours.



How many colours does the human eye see? How many chips do you have?

dcorc
12-20-2008, 11:12 PM
Doug - Munsell organises colourspace - its like a ruler, with inchmarks. One can interpolate colours between chips, in just the same way one can interpolate measurements between the inchmarks on a ruler.

Dave

sidbledsoe
12-20-2008, 11:53 PM
Lots of good info coming out here. Me, I took a shopping, dinner, etc. break and have been back at it. No painting for me today, just having fun mixing. I know I am not discovering anything new or that isn't already known but I think it is a good beginning exercise for me, anyway.. after a lot of test mixing:
The CYM triad may be more versatile but in the real world you must do what is best for yourself. The basic triad I would want to use with my pigments is a hybrid one: I call it BYM, Blue-yellow-magenta or ultramarine blue, cad lemon or yellow pale or light, and Rose. Here is one of the many wheels I made today:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Dec-2008/112587-final_triad.jpg
This is PB29, PY35, PR122. I replaced pthalo with ultra because of the mixing difficulty associated with pthalos. Now I have a triad that suits me best to work with in the real world, sorry winsor newton. All hues are chromatic enough for my needs. I can also get a suitable black with them. The drawback, mixing a neutral gray from them proved to be quite tedious, but that was true no matter what triad I explored. So this is what I consider my final core triad. I still have all the other colors to get those nice turquoises etc. and workhorse earths (I run out of yellow ochre faster than any other color, second- ultra blue.) If I ever encounter another hue I need I will quickly buy it and use it too. Thanks for your attention to my playing around, one thing I intend to do with this art stuff is to have lots of fun! If someone want to analyse that center gray with the pixel sampling stuff, please do and let me know how close I got, it looks brown to me.

mr.wiggles
12-21-2008, 01:13 AM
Sid that gray does not look like a neutral. It's off but it could be a combination of the picture and my monitor. You said it looks too brown, it's looking like that to me. I find it interesting that you had trouble making it work.

Originally Posted by Larry Seiler:
but its a darn pukey green for the most part! I'm not partial to mixing greens with blacks, but being that they are low chroma blues the greens mixed from them are fine in the middle ranges from my experience. Not sure what "pukey" green is in this context other than it was not a good green. For me the biggest problem is making sure the greens don't look acidic.

If people want to see examples of paintings that I used Munsell with there is a tomato painting (with two green peppers) that I mixed the reds using it, the averages of the cloth and the peppers as well.

The two plumes and two peaches were both painted using Munsell too identify and mix the strings I needed to make the paintings. It took me about 30 minutes to mix the strings, however I don't care about time when
I'm doing this kind of study. I was more concerned about getting the values and chroma right. I also used it for the egg shell painting.

All of this can be seen at my blog which has the link below.

As far as Munsell goes, Dave's last few posts sum it up and I can't say it any better.

Doug Nykoe
12-21-2008, 01:34 AM
I replaced pthalo with ultra because of the mixing difficulty associated with pthalos.

Sid if you relate to pthalo in some way but you feel it’s to strong to control or it over rides your mixes in a way that’s a bit overwhelming or even a bit outside your temperament, then try a trick I learned from other artists. Make three piles of the stuff and treat it like concentrated orange juice…as you would add water to the juice add different degrees of your preferred white to the pthalo. This will stretch it out and eliminate the sting somewhat and should add a lot more perception control over this powerful {sob} of a colour.

You will probably be adding white to your passages anyways so one pile can effectively address the mid value passage and so on and so on.

Good-luck with your colour studies either way. :thumbsup:

LarrySeiler
12-21-2008, 02:05 AM
Well, in one way it makes your point, Larry, but with all respect, I think you still seem to be missing some of the points that we make.

First of all, its been railroaded into an impressionist-influenced discussion about whether one "ought" to use black.

With all due respect, Dave...I am not attempting to railroad and turn the thread to an Impressionist discussion...just that which concerns one's right to have one's ideas toward painting; however...between this thread and another its been inferred, suggested and so forth what cannot be...what must be, and some subjective suggestions of what is more superior. What is superior relates to what is efficient to empower and satisfy that which the individual artist requires. Some seem to purport to know best what ought to be required for other artists.

There has to be better reasons to argue for use of black or the Munsell system than that which comes down to wastes less time, wastes less paint and thus is efficient. Heck...I can mix paint so stinkin' fast it makes most heads spin, and I know because it comes up as a statement near every workshop I teach. What's to define efficient(?) meeting outside the Gulch Saloon at high noon with one's paints strapped on? Its silly...

The Munsell system will prove itself perhaps most valuable to artists that desire to produce a certain style/kind of painting, perhaps the traditional more classical form. I think its enough to say one uses Munsell and black...whatever, because it best suits their need without inferring artists outside the Munsell camp are just not getting it, are not as efficient, or produce work not as good.

I believe I've proved my efficiency and capability to the point where the only other resolve left is for folks to just come right out and say my work is flawed, and everyone else's that works in a similar vein as I...either that, or recognize there are standards of excellence fitting for each varying movement of art styles, genres, etc., and if there are standards of excellence prescribed for varying forms of art, painting...then there are also varying determinations of that which would prove efficient for the same said forms.

I am not speaking of you as regards my exchanges, here Dave...as you have been level headed IMO, but...having painted as many years as I have, and as involved as one of the original members and staff of Wetcanvas since near ten years ago...as you know, I find it a bit disturbing to sense that one might have to offer proofs and arguments for different ideas about painting because one camp of thought acts as though it holds the corner on defining excellence! As though anything else will be found wanting, to come up short. Inferior color! That's a bunch of !#)%!

The best color is the one I need at the moment, and IMO the most ideal efficiency FOR ME is when I do not have to stop and refer to a chart first. As the artist, I am to know what that color is...and I bear the weight of refining an efficiency such as to acquire it at will.

I believe the Munsell chart is a good one...but I think its flaw and the harm done to it are those that insist it having to be THEE way.

I've argued in another thread...that there is a knowing even of how people know, a learning about learning...and not everyone is wired to organize their thoughts and think in the same manner. A chart may be ideal for a more convergent linear analytical mind...another can visualize an abstract concept and run with it. Test it...study it, and after all the arguments, "trust it" as Mr. Wiggles suggests to Sid.

Bottom line is...what makes paintings work as paintings(?), and know there is more involved to be sure than what many argue is the right color, but again...the right color will be the one the artist needs at the moment. The painting is very often going to dictate that need as an entity in and of itself. The artist can be attuned to that by other aesthetic means than to compare to a chart.

I have not had to use charts to paint in 30 years. I rely on concepts. On experience built upon ideas...even hunches, tested. That does not discount the value of charts for artists, but it does not invalidate automatically the work I produce by not using them. I have other ways of going about the process which may well prove efficient to the need...and it seems the burden has been by some to prove such efficiency is not possible outside of THEE way. That's been my beef, Dave...not that the Munsell system, or the use of black has not and does not prove its worth every day.

I propose folks aim for sensitivity in wording their posts a bit more carefully, to leave room for others to go about the business of painting in various methodologies without insistence of what must be excellent at the exclusion of all others. Its enough to put the information out there, talk about why it works for many artists...and know that one more really fine way of understanding how to go about mixing color has been given to the community to refer to.

I am pretty adament about what works for me, I'll confess...and why perhaps I don't do something else...but such is more to fight for the right to work as I do for its own legitimacy...and yet not to deny a way of what works for others.

appreciate your having piped in Dave...thank you

I think I've clarified my methodology as working for me, explained a number of different times what amounts to concerns or my beef in the exchange of preferences as insistences...and I'm likely at this point to just repeat myself ad nauseum. With that I'm sure I'd overdo my welcome, and like the last thread where it appeared I did just that...I'll unsubscribe to resist the temptation to be annoying any further.

Take care..
Larry

gunzorro
12-21-2008, 02:12 AM
Dave makes some excellent point here on the issue of black and near-blacks.

If an artist is satisfied with a near-black whose color shift is not noticable, for all intents and purposes that is a black, even if made from multiple hues.

The reason I say one needs to use black as the deepest value low-chroma colors are produced is for purity of the color -- just to make sure it doesn't shift if mixed into a lighter color. Really, it is a matter of expediency, not a color theory rule. It is possible achieve the same color without true black in the mix -- just harder to predict and possibly extra time mixing.

Personally, if it came down to it, I prefer a larger palette of colors, compared to the importance of having black available. My least favorite option would be a highly restricted palette. But I'm a color guy! :)

sidbledsoe
12-21-2008, 06:33 AM
Thanks Jeff and Doug,
Jeff, your toms plums and eggshells are great,
Doug, you are right, it is good to tame the wild pthalo beast with generous amounts of white! Sorry that was one lame neutral, I will blame it on trying to do it under a weak blue flourescent light instead of daylight. I added some blue and it tweaked it right into the gray. Now I got to thinking about Scott C. again and those premixed muted colors of his. So I tried duping them using Gunz great picture of them and then I looked on Scott's website, found a seascape and did a quickie sketch with the colors I had premixed- it was fast!
So have a look at my phonies all made with PR122, PY35, and PB29 and white only:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Dec-2008/112587-scott.jpg
Now that was fun and I regained my gray mixing confidence.

mr.wiggles
12-21-2008, 11:34 AM
Sid if your not using a good indoor light source such as a daylight corrected bulb between 4700 and 5000 kelvin your not going to be able to see the minute shifts in hue, value or chroma. From my experience the study and mixing of good neutrals is almost impossible without a decent light sorce.

Also it's better on your eyes.

Larry from now on I'm going to know you as the fastest paint mixer in the West. But... there has to be a but...

While I respect your point of view I think your misunderstanding the ideas on some level. Not sure it's worth us going on and on about it. You have you ideas and concepts which work for you. The only place I would say that I really disagree with 100% is in the mixing of neutrals.

I don't use Munsell for everything I paint. It has opened my eyes up to how I perceive HVC and that was huge moment for me.

I use a palette knife much like you do the color chips and this can work as well. It's like the Carder method minus the black walls.

As far as offering proof, well why not? If your going to make a statement then you should back it up with something.

It's like saying the earth is flat. If I'm standing on the coast looking towards Ireland it does look a little flat. However I know it's not due to the thousands of years of study by scientific methodology.

I feel that there is nothing wrong with proving your hypothesis or being asked to.

sidbledsoe
12-21-2008, 04:48 PM
I forgot to use my chromalux light which I usually use painting after dark.
Do you recommend setting up still lifes inside a cardboard box?

mr.wiggles
12-21-2008, 05:34 PM
It depends on the effect you want.
Why not do it both ways.

sashntash
12-22-2008, 08:11 AM
Several people have mentioned John Carlson's book which I bought several months ago and am now on my second full reading. I went back last night and looked at his color selection once again.

Here's what he uses/recommends:

Light yellow - Cad light or lemon
Medium yellow - Cad medium
Dark yellow - either Yellow Ochre or Trans Gold Ochre or Raw Sienna
Brilliant Red - Cad light
Medium Red - Indian Red
Dark Red - either Rose Madder or Alizarin Crimson
Red-Brown - Burnt Sienna
Green - Viridian
Violet Blue - either Cobalt or Ultramarine or Permanent Blue
Green Blue - Prussian Blue
Black - either Ivory or Lampblack
White - either Titanium, lead or zinc

so.. really..

2 yellows
2 reds
2 blues
1 green
3 earths (Yellow Ochre/Raw Sienna, Indian Red and Burnt Sienna)
Black
White

I thought it was interesting that he calls Prussian blue a "green blue." My Prussian blue seems to be more neutral.....

I find Carlson's book to be the best book on landscape painting that I have seen, but it's difficult to know how his palette works out because all the plates in the book are in black and white.

I need to search around and find some samples of Carlson's painting on the Internet to see his use of colors.

Anyway.... I thought that Carlson's choice of colors was interesting in that it is somewhat limited, but more along the lines of what I would call a "split primary" palette with Viridian and earth colors added... plus black...

mr.wiggles
12-22-2008, 12:24 PM
Carlson has ten colors plus black and white. Can we really call this a limited palette in context to the three color palette mentioned? I find it fascinating how people interpret the word limited.

Also blues are not neutral really, they are, well blue. They move from purple/blue towards blue/green towards green.

Prussian can have a green aspect depending on the brand.
I have some WB Prussian and it is moving more towards green than my Ultramarine Blue but that's to be expected.

I look at this palette and it seems to me that Carlson is looking for a balance of high and low chroma paints. He has a high chroma red and an earth red and so on. I also see this as a kind of full spectrum palette in that he is trying to hit as many of the colors with paint that are on the color wheel.

sidbledsoe
12-22-2008, 01:12 PM
This is an excellent range and really the same as we have noted several times earlier, not limited at all once you cover both sides of middle red, yellow, and blue. A limited palette in my mind has only one of each, boom, that's it.

sashntash
12-22-2008, 02:12 PM
Yes, of course, a "limited palette" as defined --- by some --- is 3 colors plus white. Others define a limited palette as 2 yellows, 2 reds and 2 blues.

I, however, use 16 colors plus white.... so Carlson's 10 color palette is smaller than mine... hence my use of the words "somewhat limited." It's all relative.

Stephen Quiller uses 27 colors on his palette......

and... when I referred to my Prussian Blue as "neutral", I meant neutral blue in that it shows no clear bias towards either purple or green. It all depends on the brand of paint, obviously, but clearly, most Ultramarines have a purple bias and Ceruleans have a green bias.

Anyway.... carry on.... From now on, I'll leave the discussion to the "inner circle" of this thread and won't trouble you any further....... Participation by beginners is clearly not encouraged or welcome.....

Einion
12-22-2008, 03:09 PM
Anyway.... carry on.... From now on, I'll leave the discussion to the "inner circle" of this thread and won't trouble you any further....... Participation by beginners is clearly not encouraged or welcome.....
Nothing could be further from the truth as far as Larry and I are concerned.

If you don't wish to participate further then it's no biggie, just retire from posting (please see second-last point in the posting guidelines thread, here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=477605)).

Einion

sidbledsoe
12-22-2008, 03:29 PM
Susan, I agree with and welcome your observations and participation, I'm a lowly beginner also. My reply was very brief (was in a hurry) and I think it may have come off as curt and rude to you. My bad, I'm sorry and I will let that be a lesson to me. This thread has been pretty heated at times and the dudes involved are thick skinned. They are at a higher level than I am regarding experience and training coupled with their passion for this work. No excuses though, no matter what, I am sorry. Sid

mr.wiggles
12-22-2008, 03:36 PM
Geez, I never said your not welcome. You made a statement, I made a counter statement, I was disagreeing with you. There is no inner circle, no secrete handshakes. Anyway I did some research and I came up with a list of Prussian blues, it seems it is a purple/blue. I was wrong about mine as well it's not leaning towards green as I thought. However when I put it next to the Ultramarine Blue it does look lean towards the green aspects of blue, interesting how our eyes work.

Blue is not a neutral by the definition of what a neutral is, I think you meant pure. This really harks to the problem when there is no common language being used when talking about color. Which is why I like Munsell which uses HVC to describe the color space a hue is in. This is why palettes are not a good guide in context to learning about color space and the color wheel. The fact that one person uses 16 colors and another uses 27 or more is inconsequential to color study in my view.

Some Prussians... all in a line like solders, how Prussian of them...

Winsor&Newton Prussian Blue:PB27, Munsell: 5.0PB 1.0/6.0

M.Harding Prussian Blue:PB27, Munsell: 5.0PB 1.0/8.0

D.Smith Autogr.:Prussian Blue:PB27, Munsell: 5.0PB 1.0/8.0

Holbein Prussian Blue:PB27, Munsell: 1.2PB 2.2/0.6

Gamblin Prussian Blue: PB27, Munsell: 2.5 PB 2/4 ( this is from the Gamblin web site) interesting how the value of this 1.5 steps higher than all the others.

I have Old Holland Prussian Blue and it's the in 5.0PB 1.0/8.0
range. This is also a Pthalo blue pigment. OH does not provide the PB #.

gunzorro
12-22-2008, 05:48 PM
Susan -- Of course you are welcome, especially when you are learning things and making your own observations.

But. . .

When any of us make statements of fact, they are expected to be backed up with reference or example, if the fact isn't widely regarded as well known or self-evident.

I read your statement on Prussian, but declined to comment or bring in examples of color variations, figuring it would all work itself out in the discussion. As it has, more or less.

Sorry for your discomfort.

In future, when you encounter a paint at variance with the "norm" it might be best to show your example and ask a question about it. Othewise, as you are finding, paint color varies by brand, so there is no set-in-stone example to refer to (and why many readers study the Munsell color notation). It is very difficult to generalize color qualities, except in broad terms, or by showing the color in relation to various brands offering of the same pigment.

************
I suppose for convenience, I would consider the split primary (6), plus B&W, as the largest "minimal" or limited palette.

Those who know me, know that I might consider 27 paints as a limited palette. ;)

sidbledsoe
12-22-2008, 06:06 PM
It is just coincidence that you consider 27 right? you didn't get it from here:
http://realcolorwheel.com/myoilpalettemap.htm
While I think using limited palettes instructive in a lot of ways and capable of very fine art, you know better than I that pigments have their own unique qualities and vary so much.
You just can't mix the prussians, thalos, quins, alizarin, etc, etc with just any old red yellow and blue and get that same unique tint. I know you can get one that is usable and will work in a painting but not the same thing, I have tried and failed too many times.
I thought prussians were all green biased, still learning here.

mr.wiggles
12-22-2008, 07:49 PM
So did I Sid, but they are a purple/blue. I think that the Prussian we use today is not the Prussian of the past. I have two tubes from different companies (W&N and OH) and they are both Pthalo blue based pigments.

Which is why I guess you can use Pthalo blue instead of Prussian.

In Constable's period and in the 19 century Prussian was prone to turning darker over time, and some poorer makes turned almost black.

sashntash
12-23-2008, 08:31 AM
Okay... I'll try again with facts this time !!

My Prussian Blue (Golden Acrylics Prussian Blue Hue) is
8.0B 2.45/1.5

http://www.goldenpaints.com/products/color/heavybody/colors/1460infopg.php

The Golden website has wonderful pigment info on all their paints. I have found it invaluable....

(it is a mix of Phthalo Blue/red shade, Dioxazine Purple and Bone Black)

Having done a quick study of the Munsell notation system, I do now know what 8.0B 2.45/1.5 means.

However, at my stage of learning, I find dealing with 3 dimensions in general and the Munsell sytem in particular to be confusing. So I have been using the CIE L*a*b* system but eliminating the L scale.

For those not familiar with the CIE L*a*b* system, L is the value scale and a* and b* are ----- what I would call - not being conversant in all the terminology ---- the hue/chroma scales.

To look at it in a way to serve my immediate purposes, I have eliminated the L scale and just look at a* and b*.

If you look at it this way, a* is the horizontal scale with 0 in the middle and positive a* numbers going off to the right as the "reds" and b* being the negative numbers that go to the left as the "greens".

b* is the vertical scale (again - I am only looking at this in 2 dimensions - not the three of the actual CIE L*a*b* system --- bear with me here please) with 0 in the middle and the positive b* numbers going up as the "yellows" and the negative b* numbers going down as the blues.

soooooooo.... long story short..

My Prussian Blue Hue is a* = 2.16 and b*= -3.39

which means that the a* is slightly to the red side on the a* axis of green (negative) and red (positive.)

but very slightly.... hence my statement that it was fairly "neutral"... knowing now that "neutral" is not the correct term.

For comparison ... in the Golden Acrylic line:

Ultramarine Blue = a* 12.3 b* -25.7
Cobalt Blue = a* 9.5 b* -46.7
Phthalo Turquoise = a* -1.6 b* -8.1
Cerulean Blue Chromium = a* -12.0 b* -32.3
Cobalt Turquoise = a* -28.9 b* -9.5

By looking at just the a* and b* scales, it allows me to immediately see which blues are biased towards red and which are biased towards green and by how much.

Similarly, when I graphed the yellows, it was easy to see which were slightly green biased and which were red biased and by how much and could then compare the various paints in the Golden line to come up with a good range of colors for MY palette.

And I did.... because I'm just like that :) - graph every color in the Golden line of paints on a 20" x 30" piece of illustration board with the a* axis on the horizontal and the b* on the vertical. Took me hours and hours....:rolleyes:

sooo.. in short.... 2 things:

My Prussian Blue Hue seems to be very very very slightly biased towards red.
and
I find the CIE L*a*b* system easier to work with than Munsell for MY purposes at this stage of my learning curve.

I say all this because it might help other beginners as it has helped me.

I do however now understand the Munsell notation system.....

Einion
12-23-2008, 08:38 AM
To go back to this:
I thought it was interesting that he calls Prussian blue a "green blue." My Prussian blue seems to be more neutral.....
...
and... when I referred to my Prussian Blue as "neutral", I meant neutral blue in that it shows no clear bias towards either purple or green.
You'll be pleased to know that the Handprint site agrees with you (http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/waterb.html#PB27).


Anyway I did some research and I came up with a list of Prussian blues, it seems it is a purple/blue.
I think this is a good example of where the Munsell hue designations can get in the way, as they sometimes run counter to common understandings of hue positions (my only major reservation with the notation).

Gamblin Prussian Blue: PB27, Munsell: 2.5 PB 2/4 ( this is from the Gamblin web site) interesting how the value of this 1.5 steps higher than all the others.
Er, the difference between 2 and 1 is 1.5? ;)

I have Old Holland Prussian Blue and it's the in 5.0PB 1.0/8.0
range. This is also a Pthalo blue pigment. OH does not provide the PB #.
I thought they listed pigments on their tube labels now?

I think that the Prussian we use today is not the Prussian of the past. I have two tubes from different companies (W&N and OH) and they are both Pthalo blue based pigments.
According to OH's site their Parisian (Prussian) Blue Extra is a mix of PB27 and PB15, on the Dick Blick page for this colour (in oils) it's listed as just PB27.

W&N's Prussian Blue in their artists' range is PB27 according to their leaflet and the website. Same with the Winton colour (hardly surprising since it's not an expensive pigment).


While I think using limited palettes instructive in a lot of ways and capable of very fine art, you know better than I that pigments have their own unique qualities and vary so much.
Obviously there are limited palettes and 'limited' palettes (not limited by the standard of the average painter).

But apart from there being a number of sound arguments in favour of restricting the palette when learning, not having too many paints has a lot to recommend it for the working painter; relating to this it's interesting that the majority of painters whose palettes are known don't use very large palettes. Clearly in practice it becomes obvious to a lot of hands-on users that there's a sweet spot - for mixing as well as other attributes like varied opacity - between too few paints and too many. Around 12-15 seems to be a common upper limit.

I thought prussians were all green biased, still learning here.
Commonly it's thought of one, yes. Although there are versions much more violet than others; I've seen a swatch of one in an old colour manual.

There is a problem here, something we easily fall into: that paints have a colour. As you might know Phthalo Blue GS is commonly used as a suitable primary for CMY palettes in painting. This can be confusing because it's clearly blue when you squeeze it out of the tube, not even remotely cyan-coloured. However it shifts a lot toward green in undercolour and in tint.

Similar thing with Prussian Blue, PB27, although not as pronounced.

Einion

sidbledsoe
12-23-2008, 08:54 AM
Thanks Susan and Einion, I wasn't thinking of the color shift from masstone, so these prussians can be a purple blue in masstone (very low value, close to black!) but when tinted out shift all the way to a green blue? I think I just answered myself, looking at my lone tube of prussian blue, grumbacher pb27, I think it does look purple blue in the tube but it is either a greenish blue in tint or I give up on this color stuff. I did drawdowns with it next to ultramarine and diluted out with just oil/oms medium to eliminate the white, I think it does look purple blue until you get very dilute which is what you must do with it to use it at all.

sashntash
12-23-2008, 08:58 AM
It is just coincidence that you consider 27 right? you didn't get it from here:
http://realcolorwheel.com/myoilpalettemap.htm
While I think using limited palettes instructive in a lot of ways and capable of very fine art, you know better than I that pigments have their own unique qualities and vary so much.
You just can't mix the prussians, thalos, quins, alizarin, etc, etc with just any old red yellow and blue and get that same unique tint. I know you can get one that is usable and will work in a painting but not the same thing, I have tried and failed too many times.
I thought prussians were all green biased, still learning here.
I originally threw in the 27 color palette as the one that Stephen Quiller uses. His color wheel and recommended colors is a fascinating read.... or... at least it was for me..... but that's a discussion for another day... it's too long for me to post this morning ..... but I'll just say that his colors, placed around the wheel in "half-hour clock positions" with the premise being that the opposing colors on the wheel are true complimentaries that will produce a true neutral gray when mixed...... really helped me understand more about colors than almost anything I read.

In addition to the 24 complimentaries in the "clock positions" on Quiller's wheel, he also includes 46 additional colors in their appropriate positions (for HIS paints - watercolor - mostly W&N) But it's an excellent starting point for beginners like me.

http://www.quillergallery.com/art_supplies/sq_wheel.htm

However..... I did know enough at this point in my quest, that his method is nonreproducible unless you are using his exact brand and paint choices. And he does point that out.

However.... he gives enough information and choices that you can work out your own system with your own paints.... as long as you do the necessary research. And this is where I could see the Munsell system being invaluable.

And Sid... I'm with you.... each pigment has its own unique properties and I can't imagine limiting myself to only a few. My 16 chosen colors give me a wonderful range and make me happy :)

gunzorro
12-23-2008, 10:08 AM
I see part of the confusion on the Prussian Blue hue info seems to be based on 1) Susan is describing acrylics, when a lot of the painters posting here are using oils, 2) As far as I know genuine Prussian PB27 isnt' made in acrylic paints, 3) Susan's paint is not genuine, being acrylic, and so the hue is not going to be dead on (maybe far off!) the one for genuine Prussian Blue in oils.

I've been using genuine Prussian from various oil paint makers, an it has a consistent hue which is not red, but if anything, a blue-green.f

OH posts its pigments on the labels, yes, but not the pigment #s, making it hard to determine sometimes which phthalo, for example. But, at least they have the pigment names!

When OH says "Extra" in the paint name, it means this is an older type color to which "extra" has been added to update -- usually modern pigments to replace or suppliment the original pigment. For example, OH Alizarin Crimson Extra has genuine alizarin plus quinacridone. So, the Prussian Extra is likely PB27 plus phthalo, even though a site shows it as a single pigment -- otherwise, it wouldn't be "extra".

Susan -- I'm glad you got some understanding of the Munsell notation. It is sort of the lingua franca of painting colors.

mr.wiggles
12-23-2008, 10:34 AM
Er, the difference between 2 and 1 is 1.5?
If you look, it was 2.5 not 2. Hence 1.5 value difference.

From my testing with my Munsell book both Prussian's are Purple/Blues, they also move into the Blue family when mixed with white and it sits in 5B. The paint I own are not in the Blue Green family.

sashntash
12-23-2008, 10:46 AM
gunzorro - yes... it appears that genuine Prussian blue is not made in acrylics. From what I'm reading at the Golden website, it sounds like PB27 is finicky in an acrylic emulsion.

Prussian Blue Hue is one of Golden's Historical Hues - they have about a dozen - including Indian Yellow Hue, Alizarin Crimson Hue, Sap Green Hue, etc.

One thing I do like about the Golden line of acrylics, however, is that most of their paints are single pigment. They do, of course, have some mixes in the regular line of acrylics but they have far more single pigments than not.

Golden's Prussian Blue Hue is a mix of Phthalo Blue/red shade (PB 15:1), Dioxazine Purple (PV23/PW6/PR122) and Bone Black.

Which is why my Prussian Blue Hue is 8.0B in the Munsell system, whereas all the Prussian Blues that mr. wiggles listed are in the PB section of Munsell.

mr.wiggles
12-23-2008, 10:51 AM
Susan, the PB# is from the paint companies not Munsell.
I have yet to find any oil paint with the mixture your posting.
This is acrylic paint and it's a different type of paint, we can't compare the two and I would also not compare watercolor or tempera.
One problem is how the value shifts after acrylic dries.

On the Williamsburg web site all the blues are PB#.

sashntash
12-23-2008, 11:02 AM
Susan, the PB# is from the paint companies not Munsell.

okay.... I guess I need to study some more about Munsell then...

This is where I got my "quick" education.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munsell_color_system

i.e. I'm confused then in how the hue is designated in the Munsell system.

I know that the last two numbers are value and chroma...

okay... I see the confusion...

in this example from one of your previous posts:

D.Smith Autogr.:Prussian Blue:PB27, Munsell: 5.0PB 1.0/8.0

I do realize that the PB27 is a pigment number designated by the paint companies...

I was talking about the 5.0PB being a 5.0 in the Purple Blue hue in the Munsell system, as opposed to my Prussian Blue Hue which is an 8.0B in it's Munsell designation.

sorry... I'm new at all this and clearly I need to do some more reading... but I'm getting there.... thanks for your patience..

Also... I'm sure you won't find a Prussian Blue with my mix in oils because they do still make Prussian Blue in oils with PB27, whereas in acrylics they don't seem to be able to use PB27 reliably.

It would be far easier to compare a single pigment that exists in both acrylics and oils....

for instance...

I use Golden's Cad Red Dark

PR 108
Munsell 6.0R 4.00/14.0
CIE L*a*b* L 38.20 a* 42.27 b* 19.41

and, yes, colors do shift slightly darker in acrylics... so direct comparisons are impossible....

but I'm trying to learn the gist of colors so I can deal with a slight shift in the acrylics for now...:)

mr.wiggles
12-23-2008, 11:21 AM
The first number is the hue or family of color. So if you have 5PB, 3/10 it means that you have purple/blue that is a 5PB on Munsell's color wheel which is in 10ths not 12ths.

5 is in the middle of the color family as it moves from Purple towards Blue.
3 is the value and 10 is the chroma.

It's good idea to check out this web site run by David Briggs, it is an excellent site for the study of color.

http://www.huevaluechroma.com/index.php

sashntash
12-23-2008, 11:43 AM
The first number is the hue or family of color. So if you have 5PB, 3/10 it means that you have purple/blue that is a 5PB on Munsell's color wheel which is in 10ths not 12ths.

5 is in the middle of the color family as it moves from Purple towards Blue.
3 is the value and 10 is the chroma.

It's good idea to check out this web site run by David Briggs, it is an excellent site for the study of color.

http://www.huevaluechroma.com/index.php
mr.wiggles - thank you for the link. I will read every word. It looks like an excellent site.

In doing a quick skim, I noticed this page which mentions Stephen Quiller's color wheel. It explains the Quiller wheel far better than I could.

http://www.huevaluechroma.com/075.php

As I mentioned before, I found Quiller's book "Color Choices" to be more helpful than anything else I've read in the past year in educating me about the basics of colors and pigments and mixing strategies. That and studying the Golden website and the CIE L*a*b* system.

Einion
12-23-2008, 03:56 PM
I see part of the confusion on the Prussian Blue hue info seems to be based on 1) Susan is describing acrylics, when a lot of the painters posting here are using oils, 2) As far as I know genuine Prussian PB27 isnt' made in acrylic paints, 3) Susan's paint is not genuine, being acrylic, and so the hue is not going to be dead on (maybe far off!) the one for genuine Prussian Blue in oils.
Thanks for that, I'd missed the acrylic/oil thing.

When OH says "Extra" in the paint name, it means this is an older type color to which "extra" has been added to update -- usually modern pigments to replace or suppliment the original pigment. For example, OH Alizarin Crimson Extra has genuine alizarin plus quinacridone. So, the Prussian Extra is likely PB27 plus phthalo, even though a site shows it as a single pigment -- otherwise, it wouldn't be "extra".
I thought it was just their term for a hue; obviously as we can see some are 'pumped up' versions of the expected pigment as you say, but others are merely hues.


If you look, it was 2.5 not 2. Hence 1.5 value difference.
Are we reading different parts of the notation?
Winsor&Newton Prussian Blue:PB27, Munsell: 5.0PB 1.0/6.0

M.Harding Prussian Blue:PB27, Munsell: 5.0PB 1.0/8.0

D.Smith Autogr.:Prussian Blue:PB27, Munsell: 5.0PB 1.0/8.0

Holbein Prussian Blue:PB27, Munsell: 1.2PB 2.2/0.6

Gamblin Prussian Blue: PB27, Munsell: 2.5 PB 2/4

Now, minutia aside I'd like it if we don't bypass the important thing I referred to above: the Munsell hue designations and how they sometimes don't fit with common parlance. This diagram from Handprint may be the best way for us to look at this:
http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/IMG/munzmap.gif

This is acrylic paint and it's a different type of paint, we can't compare the two and I would also not compare watercolor or tempera.
One problem is how the value shifts after acrylic dries.
and, yes, colors do shift slightly darker in acrylics... so direct comparisons are impossible....
Not quite. The thing is that they're lighter when wet, so it's the colour once dry that's really what we need to look at.

Gloss affects apparent colour and in order to directly compare the 'true colour' of two paints they should be at the same gloss level. But since different brands of oil paint itself can dry with slightly differing shine - due to varying pigmentation, additives etc. - acrylic and oil are close enough to make direct comparisons worthwhile; this is why mixing guidelines for oils can so easily be adopted by acrylic users.

Einion

RedTerra
12-23-2008, 04:35 PM
Sidbledsoe
As a new member to WC!, I can't believe I'm wading into this, but I have decades of experience working (as a senior color matcher)professionally with Pantone's Matching System and Munsell's System, and they are the last thing I want to think about while painting! <G>Takes all the joy out of painting for me. Pantone is a waste of time for fine art, and Munsell is just a color identification system. Good to learn, but not to live by, IMHO. To me, understanding the properties of the various pigments is much more essential. Pigments are much more than hue; the transparency, opacity, temperature, tinting strength, etc all play a part in how they will work in conjunction with other pigments to create a desired color. For example there are greens one can only create by using a green-shade yellow (or the purest cleanest yellow) and a green shade blue (or the most "cyan" blue). One will never acquire that particular green with even a slightly warm yellow; definitely not with a red shade blue. Now, if one doesn't ever need to paint that type of green, no problem! Same problem can occur with Pantone's matching system; if one doesn't have pigments that match the properties of Pantone's mixing pigments, the color is not going to match up, and one gets a metameric color. Another point: pigments with the same name, but by different manufacturers, may not BE the same (differing ingredients, quality, fillers, oil binders vary in color, etc.) To whit, Knowledge is Power and Seeing is Believing- so doing research and actually testing out various paints are a great way to really learn pigment properties and how they can work for you.
The palette of pigments I started with thirty years ago was much different than what I use today. After much study of pigments I found those that will perform as I desire. In the future this may change again, as my goals in painting may also evolve.
Currently I own the following:
WN Permanent Rose (PV19) transparent cool red
WN Cad Red Medium(PR108) opaque warm red
WN Lemon (Arylide) Yellow (PY3) semitransparent cool yellow
WN Cad Yellow Light (PY35) opaque cool yellow w/greater tinting strength
WN Cad Yellow Medium (PY35,PO) opaque warm yellow
WN Cerulean Blue (PB35) opaque cool blue
WN Cobalt blue (PB28) transparent warm blue
WN French Ultramarine (PB29) transparent warm blue w/high tinting strngth
WN Dioxazine Purple (PV23) transparent warm violet w/a high tinting strength
WN Yellow Ochre (PY42) opaque warm earth yellow
WN Raw Sienna (PBr7) transparent warmer earth yellow
WN Burnt Sienna (PBr7,PR101) transparent warm earth orange
WN Raw Umber (PBr7) transparent cool brown
WN Burnt Umber (PBr7) semitransparent warm brown
WN Zinc White (PW4,PW6) opaque w/ low tint strength
WN Titanium white (PW6,PW4) very opaque w/a high tint strength
WN Ivory Black (PBk9) opaque warm black
WN Pthalo Blue red shade (PB15) transparent warm blue w/very high tint strength
WN Pthalo Green blue shade (PG7) transparent cool green w/very high tint strength
Sorry, the list is longer than I thought! They are all Winsor-Newton because I am using water-soluble oils. One of my criteria is that the paint MUST have a lightfastness/permanence rating of A or AA. This is just my "toolbox" of pigments. In spite of "owning" this many pigments, I consider myself a limited-palette painter. I usually use no more than 3-6 pigments in a given painting; sometimes less.
Of this array, the most common pigments I actually use are Permanent Rose, Lemon Yellow, Cobalt blue, Cerulean Blue, and Burnt Sienna. My tube of black is ten years old and I've used it twice. Same with the Pthalo Blue and Pthalo Green; I can't remember when I last used them!
As for all the earth colors, I like to have them on hand even though I don't use them often. They have their uses. You may notice that most of them are PBr7 but the processing of each gives them different properties.
Dioxazine Purple I picked up only recently in order to do achieve a particular sky color for a starscape.
I ended up with Cobalt Blue because for a few years my paint supplier was out-of stock on French Ultramarine (amazing but true). I picked up Pthalo Blue and Cobalt in its place; hated the Pthalo and loved the Cobalt so much I use it almost exclusively as my warm blue now. I finally did get French Ultramarine again, but now I'm so used to Cobalt that I only occasionally use the Ultramarine. I also rarely use a colored ground, so I use the white of the gessoed surface much as a watercolorist would, and use white pigment only when absolutelly necessary. This is my personal preference and painting style, by no means applicable to others who work their paint in a different way.
Once one is familiar with their pigments, it doesn't ,shouldn't take long to mix up any color needed from a limited palette. Experience gives one the knowledge to choose which pigments are needed to make a color and speedily.
It is not my intention to offend anyone or degrade anyone else's methods, I'm just presenting my experience for the sake of sidbledsoe's research into palettes and color.
RedTerra

RedTerra
12-23-2008, 04:36 PM
OMG that was REALLY LONG! I'm sorry!!!
RedTerra

sashntash
12-23-2008, 05:41 PM
No apology needed.

I'm always interested to read what colors other painters are using and why...

Thank you !!!

mr.wiggles
12-23-2008, 07:06 PM
Yes sorry Eninon your right it was reading the 2.5 and the 5.
Silly me. The value is 1 step.

Red I don't remember anyone suggesting using the Pantone color system.
While your experience as a color correcter is great it has nothing to do with painting.
Red I disagree with you about Munsell, your entitled to your opinion in regards to your own work but how do you know what we are discussing here if your just coming on to the thread. Making such blanket statements is not good. I think every painter who wants to paint tonally should own a Munsell neutral gray scale booklet. It's a great tool for value study.

However Munsell has been used by a lot of painters, Reilly being one very well known practitioner. Although his system was and is limited in regards to how much you can do with Munsell. I use it and it's not taking any of the joy of painting from me, that's an opinion.

My I suggest anyone who is interested in the study of color should read David Brigg's site on the subject. He also posts on Conceptart.org
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/075.php

sidbledsoe
12-23-2008, 07:52 PM
Welcome redterra, the thread has long sinced morphed and covered a wide range of topics and that I think is great because I have gotten a lot of good info out of it. I understand what you are saying and Doug and others share it too but there is no denying the fact that good artists have and will continue to use widely different tools and approaches like munsell. That is good too, we have to live by the rules and regs every day but when I get to painting I say "its your thing, do what you wanna do" even if you do it wrong, no one gets hurt. Our eyes and brains are color identification systems also and can be flawed, speaking for myself at least. Some people cook with measuring cups and others just wing it and toss it in and both work.
To me using munsell in painting is like using a mahl stick.
Had to look up the pantone system, was relieved to see it was for printing etc. , was thinking, now how did I miss this one. Aways like reading other artists color choices.
Nice link Jeff.

RedTerra
12-23-2008, 08:28 PM
Mr wiggles
I didn't intend to make any blanket statements about using Munsell; the only reason I mentioned my experience was because I have to use these systems at work all day, and don't like to think in numeric terms about color when I'm creating my own artwork. I simply stated that not wanting to think in Munsell terms was MY opinion, not a blanket statement. And a "tool" is simply describing what Munsell's system is-a tool. I AGREED that it is a good thing to learn. I just don't think it is the be-all and end-all of color as pertains to fine art.
Actually YOU mentioned Pantone back on page 5 of this thread. I actually did read all 9 pages of this thread before posting, which I now thoroughly regret.
RedTerra

gunzorro
12-23-2008, 08:44 PM
Hi RedTerra! thanks for joining in.

As Wiggles said, Munsell is used a bit differently here in oils mixing. Besides acting as a system of notation for the colors of pigments, it is also used to target and predict colors in progressions or shadings, as well as many color matching/mixing exercises, which help refine the palette and brand of colors to those which most precisely hit the Munsell color notations. There is additional discussion, much of it based in the information presented on color theory and paint mixing from the Munsell Student Book -- most of the theory is not by Munsell, but other scientists like Maxell. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. Here's an awesome price for it, with its limited color chip selection:
http://www.rhodec.edu/us/booksetc$.php

I'm hoping to get the "Big Book" soon with all the chips, giving me the ability to put paint right on the chip for color matching.

Doug Nykoe
12-24-2008, 01:34 AM
They…the Munsell proponents, always say they put paint right on the chip for color matching. What is that all about? Are you copying a photo like this… just wondering???

The cursor is on the sky of the photo and Munsell plots and gives you the colour. Is this what you guys are doing?

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Dec-2008/2442-mun0001.jpg

dcorc
12-24-2008, 04:52 AM
They…the Munsell proponents, always say they put paint right on the chip for color matching. What is that all about?

Accuracy.

Let me suggest a little experiment to all those reading along. Please try this. Take some leftover paint from your palette, mix it up into "mud" - some sort of vaguely earth-colour type appearance will do - and paint a swatch of it onto something, thickly enough to be opaque. Clean your palette, and let the paint-swatch dry.

Now, select whatever paints you like, to try to mix a precisely matching colour to your swatch, using whatever colours and strategy you prefer. Mix the paint to try to achieve the closest match you can to the paint on the swatch you prepared. Dab the paint on the swatch, and see how close or far away you really are from exactly matching the paint-colour on the swatch.

Besides acting as a system of notation for the colors of pigments, it is also used to target and predict colors in progressions or shadings

Doug, as has already been discussed earlier on the thread, one of the approaches used is to create paint "strings", which, for example, vary only in value, while holding hue and chroma precisely.(Or to vary in specific, defined fashions). The chips are used to provide a calibration set, in order to achieve this. (You will understand why, once you have tried the paint-swatch matching exercise I have described, above)

Reilly value strings do not hold either hue or chroma precisely. The Reilly approach - using, for example a red, yellow, and grey value string for fleshtones, and mixing the grey, yellow and red across a single value - holds value, but tries to hit chroma and hue "on the fly".

Are you copying a photo like this… just wondering???

The cursor is on the sky of the photo and Munsell plots and gives you the colour. Is this what you guys are doing?

Most of the people interested in the Munsell/Parrish approach are Classical Realists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_Realism Classical Realists draw and paint from life. (If you want to see the sort of response that Christopher Lee used to make to being shown crucifixes or garlic in those old Hammer Horror Dracula movies, just pick out a Classical Realist and suggest he paints from photographs :lol: ).

Photorealists http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photorealism match paint precisely to areas of photos. One way in which they do this is to have a print, and use cards with holes punched in them to isolate areas of the photo. They then dab paint onto the card at the edge of the hole until it precisely matches the colour in the photo, and then use that on the painting.

Digital painters will sometimes spot-sample from their ref-photo to get their colour-palette.

Certainly, the Munsell approach could be used in a photorealist/digital manner, as you have suggested.

In terms of how the chips are used in painting from life, various approaches are being explored, for example (these are only some possible uses):
- identifying the local colour of an object and then using a string to determine modelling factors.
- using chips to do a colour-equivalent to "sight-size" - akin to the Carder method, and to recommended approaches for paint-matching on the tip of a palette-knife held up to the scene from your viewpoint, as recommended by victorian/edwardian era painting books such as John Collier's and Harold Speed's - except with the additional advantage of knowing where you are in colourspace.
- using chips to determine colour-relationships, as well as value - similar to the greyscale Larry posted in one of the threads here. Once relationships are plotted out, they can be used as is, or adjusted in a systematic fashion - for example to enable value compression, or coordinated shifts of relationships in colourspace (doing similar sorts of transformations when painting from life, as the sorts of image-manipulation done digitally in programs such as photoshop).
- achieving colour-accuracy at the block-in stage (many artists who paint in a layered approach iterate their colours by refinement in layers - precise colour-matching approaches can speed this along, allowing more refined results in a single pass.).

One of the reasons I am interested in these approaches, is because they render many aspects of colour which are generally asserted to be "intuitive" and gained by "practical experience", to be explicitly teachable.

Dave

Einion
12-24-2008, 07:38 AM
Yes sorry Eninon your right it was reading the 2.5 and the 5.
Silly me. The value is 1 step.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif

BTW, two Ns in my name, not three, and two Is :)

However Munsell has been used by a lot of painters, Reilly being one very well known practitioner. Although his system was and is limited in regards to how much you can do with Munsell. I use it and it's not taking any of the joy of painting from me...
I think that's the bottom line for this particular part of the debate - if it works for someone it works for them.

...

If, for whatever reason, it doesn't work for you that's fine, go your own way. But I think it should be asked, when the subject comes up why the opposition? Why the doggedness of your objection? One of the things that's been noted a couple of times is the vehemence of objections, which is surprising when you step back and look at it.

With the pro-Munsell position tending to be based on some sound thinking, with reasonable examples of utility and what seems to me to be a realistic understanding of how it can be useful developmentally, there's a lot to sway someone with an open mind. And in case it has escaped notice this is coming from someone who doesn't use Munsell!

As the discussion in a couple of threads recently on WC! have highlighted there are some very sound arguments in favour of using Munsell in some way. Not least is as a framework to help more accurately 'landmark' colour mentally (and, very importantly, relative colour) for training and as a later reference tool if required; I'm not sure that I've ever read a reasonable argument for why this is a bad thing. What's more, often there's nothing provided as an alternative suggestion, other than spending years and years - decades even - acquiring colour ability through practice and trial-and-error work. Don't know about you but I'm always in favour of reducing the error when it comes to learning something :)

Sometimes we even see the need to have the kind of colour 'map' this helps provide dismissed, as an unobtainable goal, or because colour should be somehow more ethereal or a seat-of-the-pants kind of thing (because it's more 'artistic'?) which is fine if you want to paint that way.


Let me suggest a little experiment to all those reading along. Please try this. Take some leftover paint from your palette, mix it up into "mud" - some sort of vaguely earth-colour type appearance will do - and paint a swatch of it onto something, thickly enough to be opaque. Clean your palette, and let the paint-swatch dry.

Now, select whatever paints you like, to try to mix a precisely matching colour to your swatch, using whatever colours and strategy you prefer. Mix the paint to try to achieve the closest match you can to the paint on the swatch you prepared. Dab the paint on the swatch, and see how close or far away you really are from exactly matching the paint-colour on the swatch.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif

I think something like this should be done by everyone who has never attempted it.

One of the reasons I am interested in these approaches, is because they render many aspects of colour which are generally asserted to be "intuitive" and gained by "practical experience", to be explicitly teachable.
Right on.

I've greatly enjoyed this thread and how it has developed and jinked around on related subjects, thanks everyone.

Einion

gunzorro
12-24-2008, 12:42 PM
Einion & Dave -- I wish I could take your two last posts and put them on a sticky and immortalize them with the caption, "Wise". :) Really good at boiling down the concepts and providing a sound reasoning for an informed color approach to painting.

Dave -- Your last point was so telling: "to be explicitly teachable" seems to be completely overlooked by opponents to a reasoned approach to color knowledge. Not everyone will be a painting genius, but everyone could learn how to paint properly to have the opportunity to express their talent. It's fine to be intuitive and talented, but how to teach someone else? That's the difference between a singular "egoist" approach and one meant to develop a larger group through education. Either approach is fine, but here on a learning forum, the latter seems more appropiate.

And I'm all for iconoclastic bravura painting -- Jackson Pollock is still one of my top five great painters, as is Salvador Dali -- my favorite, both self taught academic dropouts with no use of Munsell of any other "-ism"!

Einion -- That is practically a Thomas Aquinas approach to painting knowledge. A brilliant and logical defense of an approach you don't even use in a day to day sense. Even if I didn't want to agree with you, I'm afraid you've left little wiggle room for dissent. ;)

Five stars to you both!

Doug Nykoe
12-24-2008, 02:12 PM
I guess that’s where the rub is coming from on my side; I am not a classical realist so this would not work for me. But I can see where it would be a help for those to speed up there colour choices for realists. I guess if you were to do a large painting like Graydon did a few years back you would need the exact colour as the months moved by while working but one would think you could go back on worked areas and match but if you had the chip marked for that area it would be like a file folder for that colour area.
Well okay, I am getting a better idea what you guys are up to. Nice explanation Dave …thanks.

I wish I could stop my imagination long enough to plot it but well you know its fleeting. Probably why something like the Impressionists could never do this either they were not sure where the painting was heading, it was intuitive and impossible to plot. It’s nice though to have so many alternatives, makes us all stronger for it in the end.

I would like to have the Munsell colour space beside me though, it might prove useful to look at once in a while to generate an idea in colour space and then go forth intuitively after that. I think it would be good because I have looked at my mixing guide once in a while for an idea.

Just a side note …do you guys think the photo realists are dead or hemorrhaging badly? I mean if you look at the Munsell plotting software I posted above and the painting machines are getting so much better now, I am wondering if it’s just a matter of time before they are finished. Ha ha reminds me a bit of Paul Bunyan and his race against the machine.

I think the photographer and the Photoshop user is going to be big in the future with all these new innovations coming with the living frame and all. Like maybe a Gunzorro package of photos (I believe you are a photographer by trade) they could buy for a huge frame that loops nice photos in there house. Of course there would still be a future for the classical realists because it still takes the hand of an artist. As well I think there is a bright future for the ideas passed down from Cezanne and others like Picasso type painters, no machine can touch that stuff it’s locked in the artists Mind, Body and soul. You just can’t take or copy photos of that stuff, so the machine can’t either. Oh well just a thought.

Anyways, thanks Dave for that explanation, it helped a lot towards my understanding of all this.

sashntash
12-24-2008, 02:25 PM
I also appreciate the explanation Dave. It does help to understand what "you" are up to...

For me.... and ONLY for me.... I want to learn as much as I can about pigments - the hue, transparency/opacity, chroma, the history of the pigment, who used it and why, who uses it now and why, and comparison to other pigments - in order to have a better overall understanding of the materials that I'm working with.

But I'm a practical and pragmatic sort, who then wants to use that information "intuitively" to help me to learn to mix paints and use them on my canvas to ... as Sid said in the opening of this thread.... "put down on canvas what I am trying to convey."

I am of the firm belief that we each will arrive at a way of working that works for each of us. I am also a firm believer in the fact that there is no one right way to paint or approach painting.

So if using Munsell works for you... that's great !!! and I enjoy learning about how you use it in your art.

As I said before, for my purposes, I find the CIE L*a*b* system more helpful.

To each his/her own... We're all different, we all take different approaches... all with the goal of getting what is in our heads and hearts on canvas.

Doing what you are doing does not appeal to me - but that's just me.
Larry's limited palette does not appeal to me.

But I'm more than ready to listen and learn, even if it is not MY approach to painting.

I just hope there is room in this thread for all approaches to be discussed without rancor.

If this thread is designed for a discussion of using the Munsell system, then perhaps we need another thread for a non-Munsell approach to choosing, using and mixing pigments and learning about them...

Just a thought.....

sidbledsoe
12-24-2008, 04:25 PM
Susan, the original topic ran it's course and has morphed several times, all interesting and informative, I say let it go any direction, musnell, carder, sidB method, whatever, it's still about better painting. But if you wanted a non-munsell thread that would be up to you. The topic has engendered some controversy that I didn't even think about in my life before WC! Maybe it could be a sticky called "color tools for better painting" or maybe it will just fade away ?? doesn't matter to me.
Great ideas there Douglas, I like that kind of thinking.

LarrySeiler
12-24-2008, 06:03 PM
Carlson has ten colors plus black and white. Can we really call this a limited palette in context to the three color palette mentioned? I find it fascinating how people interpret the word limited.



Merry Christmas everyone...

just one quick comment to say I finally agree with you on something! Limited palette is very personal.

When I painted with the split-primary palette...I had a warm and cool variant that represented each primary, plus Naples Yellow and white. Let's see that would be...um, eight pigments.

But you are right, I too find it fascinating how people interpret the word limited. For one...when they consider it limiting!

Limiting I would describe as what fails to help empower you to attain your objectives.

IF something is found to far exceed one's expectations, certainly one has not yet exhausted that potential empowerment.

There are some I believe...that have never EVER worked with a few pigments such as eight or less...a half-dozen, maybe fewer...and yet have the expertise apparently to judge what the limits are. I, like you Mr. Wiggles...find that absolutely fascinating!!! :thumbsup:

take care...again, happy holidays everyone!!! :wave:

sidbledsoe
12-26-2008, 01:45 PM
The reason I was testing my colors and trying to plot them on a chart was first to evaluate the core essentials. This let me know what the absolute minimum core palette colors I would probably ever go with including palm box plein air. I went back to my old perm aliz also because it is the closest to my fave the real deal. Five colors due to the limits of pigments to my liking are Cad yellow, cad red, crimson, ultra blue, thalo blue. Then the other main reason was to plot my course or get my bearings so to speak as they related to each other primarily for mixing complements that will give me a neutral black/grey for each. I began with a more elaborate plan and quickly said this was too hard, that is to place them around a wheel in their respective precise spots. I deferred to a simpler chart that was borne out by individualy mixing each color to a neutral. Then I charted the colors in a wheel not caring about precise placement and this is it written instead of painted like I did before:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Dec-2008/112587-IMGP1458.JPG
Now I can look at my chart and when I want to gray down a color I have some landmarks to refer to. If I want to gray some light yellow green foliage then I need to add some crimson and a touch of ultra blue, etc. These are specific for my colors I have right now but if I change to another color or brand or add colors to this, I can do some test mixing and I can look at it and see where should reside. I suppose even chart in the earth colors I use. What do you think? dopey or should I quit being lazy and cheapskate and buy the munsell system. Just kidding either way I am glad I did it because I think as I said, it has helped me get my bearings straight.

sashntash
12-27-2008, 10:05 AM
Sid - it sounds like you and I are on the same quest !!!

I was looking for "pure" colors (I know that's not the right word - perhaps "single pigment colors" ??) that were compliments to design a palette to use.

The Stephen Quiller wheel/palette really helped me with this because his color wheel is designed on that premise. I mistakenly said before that it was his book Color Choices that really helped me.... but I should have said it was his 2nd book.... "Painters Guide to Color." Sorry for the mistake.

Anyway.... his color wheel has 70 colors arranged around the wheel in their appropriate places for finding compliments across the wheel from each other. His basic palette is 12 colors around the "clock" at the hourly positions.

http://www.quillergallery.com/art_supplies/sq_wheel.htm

Now... of course.... the exact compliments - as you know from doing your experiments - will depend on the brand/pigments in the paints that you are using.

And... on his wheel he gives alternatives at each position.... as well as many other pigments located between the 12 "clock positions".

So it's far from being a foolproof wheel as is... however, it was a great starting point for me to be able to play/test my own paints.

Here's what he has as his basic 12-color palette:

1:00 o'clock position - Permanent Green Light
2:00 - Viridian Green or Permanent Green Deep
3:00 - Phthalo Turquoise, Turquoise, Green-Blue, or Cobalt Turquoise
4:00 - Phthalo Blue
5:00 - Ultramarine Blue
6:00 - Ultramarine Violet
7:00 - Magenta or Thio Violet
8:00 - Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Quin Crimson or Quin Rose
9:00 - Permanet Red Medium or Cad Red Medium
10:00 - Perinone Orange, Cadmium Red-Orange or Cadmium Scarlet
11:00 - Cadmium Orange
12:00 - Cad Yellow Light, Cad Yellow Pale, Hansa Yellow Light or Azo Yellow

As I said, he has 70 colors arranged around the wheel with the "un-neutralized colors" on the perimeter and the "neutralized" colors inside the circle.

Now... he doesn't discuss pigment numbers except in his list of what colors he uses on his palette and possible alternatives for other brands and media. But it's a good starting point for further research/testing.

In the book, he talks a lot about mixing and using semi-neutrals and neutrals through mixing complements.

I found it very helpful and it's what spurred me on to learn more about pigments and colors...

There is one chapter in the book... on the emotional responses
to color ..... that I found worthless, but the wheel itself and the discussion of compliments and using them to mix semi-neutrals and neutrals was... for me... very helpful...

Chocolatelife
01-05-2009, 01:46 AM
One thing I like about Graydon's work, is that he and the others on his site, have put together the brands and colors that create a particular color, i.e., what is used to create a 5R v4 c 7 or whatever. I have had a time, since I am new to this, of finding out what colors could be mixed together to create a particular color. I have downloaded his chart and most of the things that I have found interesting, how chroma changes in shadows, just lots of stuff to think about, and it has been wonderfully interesting.

Not to disappoint Mr Parrish, or the rest of you, but, I can't work in oils, so, I hope that some of the information is useful to those who work in acrylics. LOL! At least I have a better understanding of color. I am not into the very fine painting that realism calls for...but, this has helped me immensely in many other art projects.

As far as what Sashntash has to say, I agree. Having the orderly positioning of paints on the Quiller Wheel was exciting to me, as well. It puts them in a logical order for me to understand them. Both of these people have greatly influenced me.

Sage Omnia
01-24-2009, 09:59 PM
I originally threw in the 27 color palette as the one that Stephen Quiller uses.

stoney
01-25-2009, 02:06 PM
If someone want to analyse that center gray with the pixel sampling stuff, please do and let me know how close I got, it looks brown to me.


Free Colour Picker Programme:
http://www.annystudio.com/

stoney
01-25-2009, 02:25 PM
Sid if your not using a good indoor light source such as a daylight corrected bulb between 4700 and 5000 kelvin your not going to be able to see the minute shifts in hue, value or chroma. From my experience the study and mixing of good neutrals is almost impossible without a decent light sorce.


Its going to be awhile yet before I can see such minute shifts, but that leads to a question. Its very doubtful a finished work will be displayed in a corrected environment. The work will therefore not be seen as the artist has painted. So, why paint under a condition viewers will never see?

stoney
01-25-2009, 02:31 PM
I need to search around and find some samples of Carlson's painting on the Internet to see his use of colors.

Anyway.... I thought that Carlson's choice of colors was interesting in that it is somewhat limited, but more along the lines of what I would call a "split primary" palette with Viridian and earth colors added... plus black...

Different sites will present each work in a different way. Don't know how you'd determine which site, if any of them, allows you to see the work as it actually is. If one could eyeball the actual work then such a determination could be made (if there remained a reason to do so).

stoney
01-25-2009, 02:42 PM
Okay... I'll try again with facts this time !!

My Prussian Blue (Golden Acrylics Prussian Blue Hue) is
8.0B 2.45/1.5

http://www.goldenpaints.com/products/color/heavybody/colors/1460infopg.php

The Golden website has wonderful pigment info on all their paints. I have found it invaluable....

(it is a mix of Phthalo Blue/red shade, Dioxazine Purple and Bone Black)

Having done a quick study of the Munsell notation system, I do now know what 8.0B 2.45/1.5 means.

However, at my stage of learning, I find dealing with 3 dimensions in general and the Munsell sytem in particular to be confusing. So I have been using the CIE L*a*b* system but eliminating the L scale.


This might be of use to you;
http://www.gamblincolors.com/navigating.color.space/index.html

dcorc
01-25-2009, 03:08 PM
Sid if your not using a good indoor light source such as a daylight corrected bulb between 4700 and 5000 kelvin your not going to be able to see the minute shifts in hue, value or chroma. From my experience the study and mixing of good neutrals is almost impossible without a decent light sorce.
Its going to be awhile yet before I can see such minute shifts, but that leads to a question. Its very doubtful a finished work will be displayed in a corrected environment. The work will therefore not be seen as the artist has painted. So, why paint under a condition viewers will never see?

Because they are changes that viewers CAN see - the issue is not whether they can be seen, but whether the lighting conditions are such as to allow them to be reliably and reproducibly mixed. If you look at modelling of form in 19thC academic work (Bouguereau is the paradigm case), then what we see are low-chroma fleshtones depicted under diffuse lighting conditions, and the transitions to turn form are very subtle.


Dave

stoney
01-25-2009, 03:26 PM
Then the other main reason was to plot my course or get my bearings so to speak as they related to each other primarily for mixing complements that will give me a neutral black/grey for each.


This site has the colours plotted.

http://realcolorwheel.com/colorwheel.htm

lenepveu
01-26-2009, 10:43 PM
The Jusko wheel seems overly complicated. Has anyone tested it?

lenepveu
01-26-2009, 10:44 PM
Be careful of the Gamblin information. The values aren't accurate. There is no Munsell 10, for example, in oil paint.

stoney
01-27-2009, 03:10 AM
Quote:
Sid if your not using a good indoor light source such as a daylight corrected bulb between 4700 and 5000 kelvin your not going to be able to see the minute shifts in hue, value or chroma. From my experience the study and mixing of good neutrals is almost impossible without a decent light sorce

Originally Posted by stoney
Its going to be awhile yet before I can see such minute shifts, but that leads to a question. Its very doubtful a finished work will be displayed in a corrected environment. The work will therefore not be seen as the artist has painted. So, why paint under a condition viewers will never see?

Because they are changes that viewers CAN see - the issue is not whether they can be seen, but whether the lighting conditions are such as to allow them to be reliably and reproducibly mixed. If you look at modelling of form in 19thC academic work (Bouguereau is the paradigm case), then what we see are low-chroma fleshtones depicted under diffuse lighting conditions, and the transitions to turn form are very subtle.

Dave

I went onto ARC and looked at some of Bouguereau's work. You're correct, and I had to turn up the monitor gain to see this better.

I put back in what I was responding to to assist me. I'm still a bit confused.

The other poster indicated the importance of constructing work under colour corrected lights. I'm aware completed work seen under; daylight, fluorescents, and tungsten will appear differently. Thus my question.

It sounds like you're indicating {correct me if I'm misunderstanding}, colour corrected light, metaphorically, is a 'neutral' which is shifted roughly evenly in different directions under the other lights-say +1 under fluorescent and -1 under tungsten. Is this so?

stoney
01-27-2009, 03:14 AM
The Jusko wheel seems overly complicated. Has anyone tested it?

Mr. Jusko utilized prisms and some sort of measuring device, as I recall, to construct the wheel and he specifies what is at each point. Such would be very accurate.

Einion
01-27-2009, 08:49 AM
Be careful of the Gamblin information. The values aren't accurate. There is no Munsell 10, for example, in oil paint.
What value are the whites?

Personally I find going from nice concrete information like Munsell data to 'colour temperature' a major issue!

The Jusko wheel seems overly complicated. Has anyone tested it?
There are a number of problems with it and the philosophy behind it, as many threads here in the past have highlighted.


Mr. Jusko utilized prisms and some sort of measuring device, as I recall, to construct the wheel and he specifies what is at each point. Such would be very accurate.
It's been a while so my memory of this is a touch woolly (it'll be obvious why I wouldn't have made an effort to remember in greater detail) but, he likened the colours of chosen paints to the colours of crystals and that was the way that "nature intended" certain colours (hues) to go as they darkened, even if this actually meant a change in hue.

The measuring device used was his own eyes, with the attendant problems you might expect.

He's a colourist and this should be uppermost in the mind when examining his ideas on colour, for example the total size of the palette is far too large for most people (far larger than most other professional painters) but this is to provide the highest possible chroma for all hues.

Underneath it all the major technical flaw with that wheel is that it implies paints - not these paints, but any paints - in each colour position will mix neutrals with the one opposite because of their colour; the author's writings about it implicitly state this and he was, might still be, adamant that this is the case despite any amount of evidence presented to him to the contrary. In reality he has cherry-picked the paints to mix the way he wants; and because he used his eyes many of the "perfect neutrals" he claims all opposing pairs produce have very evident hue.

Einion

lenepveu
01-27-2009, 10:29 AM
Gamblin whites range from 9 to 9.5. There is no 10 made in oil paint, or any paint, for that matter.

As for warm and cool, these are impressions not absolutes. A lower chroma red will appear cooler than a high chroma red. His warms can be made to appear cool by contrast.

sidbledsoe
01-27-2009, 11:03 AM
I have been using a chromalux light for painting in the evening and it has improved my coloring judgement. It used to be more of a problem with regular tungsten lights. Of course I still highly prefer the light of day. Thanks for the links Stoney.

Einion
01-27-2009, 01:08 PM
Gamblin whites range from 9 to 9.5. There is no 10 made in oil paint, or any paint, for that matter.
Golden's Cadmium Yellow Primrose is listed as value 9. Liquitex's Cad Yellow light is listed as 8.81. Based on those I'd find it hard to imagine a white with a value of 9. Plus there's Golden's two whites:
http://www.goldenpaints.com/products/color/heavybody/colors/1380infopg.php
http://www.goldenpaints.com/products/color/heavybody/colors/1415infopg.php

Munsell's value scale, the entire system, is geared towards colour that can be reproduced in pigment is it not, rather than a theoretical ideal? So on that basis alone a good white should be the highest value available since few real-world things are whiter than Titanium White paint, for example.

Einion

dcorc
01-27-2009, 02:00 PM
http://www.goldenpaints.com/technicaldata/munsell.php

Hmm. I think I'd like to check some of those against the Munsell Book of Color for myself. Some of the high value + high chroma notations there seem surprising, on the basis of my experience in oils (though they are acrylics)

Using the neutral value 9.0; 9.25; and 9.5 chips, I estimate, for the following oilpaints:
W&N Titanium White 9.5
W&N Zinc White 9.5
W&N Cremnitz White 9.3
W&N Foundation White 9.1
MH Cremnitz White 9.2
MH Cremnitz White in walnut 9.4

I've got a fair old collection of light yellows in oils, and the highest value I've got in any of them is 9.0 for MH Lemon Yellow. Around 8.5 is more typical.

sidbledsoe
01-27-2009, 03:03 PM
I am not any kind of authority on munsell but it seems like you would want a standard top value to exceed any real world pigment, thereby eliminating the circumstance of one being discovered that was lighter than the standard highest value.

cjordan08
01-27-2009, 03:54 PM
as far as i know the Munsell's color wheel has the following primary colors:

Red
Yellow
Green
Blue
Purple

and also has tertiary colors:

Yellow-Red
Green-Yellow
Blue-Green
Purple-Blue
Red-Purple

any other information that can be helpful ?
:)

gunzorro
01-27-2009, 05:18 PM
Hi cjordan08!

Yes you are right about he colors, but they aren't actually separated into primaries, secondaries or tertiaries. There are ten Hues as you've indicated.

Munsell is a huge subject!!! :) But there are a number of us that would be happy to fill in the blanks on Munsell.

Perhaps starting another thread with a specific topic or question? Otherwise this thread might get derailed.

We had a recent long thread on the overall subject with quite a bit of pro and con, eventually it got locked. But there is some great information there.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=527396&highlight=Munsell?

sidbledsoe
01-27-2009, 06:58 PM
Hue was defined by Munsell as a circle of hues. He chose to designate red, yellow, green, and purple as primary colors. These colors, together with their complements—yellow-red, green-yellow, blue-green, purple-blue, and red-purple—provide a ten-part division that reminds one of a decimal system. The hues are spaced equally around the hue circuit. By colormetric measurement they represent consistent steps of hue change in equal gradations.

Munsell called the second color dimension value, and it is similar to lightness, though related to pigment, not light. Black and white form the vertical axis of the color model. This axis extends from white, absolutely pure white (the presence of all color) on the top, to ideal black (the absence of all color) on the bottom. Although neither of these ideal poles is attainable in pigment, the steps between them are highly definable as grays. They are numbered from 1 to 10.

lenepveu
01-27-2009, 10:29 PM
There is a handy student guide on Munsell. It depends on the white, but certain lead whites in linseed oil are 9. I would only use Gamblin's information for generalities. No 10 exists in paint. 0 and 10 are theoretical.

When you talk about yellow, chroma is the main reason why it appears so light. At high chromas its hard to separate chroma from value.

sidbledsoe
01-28-2009, 09:27 AM
About the term "primary" color as it is used for the five munsell colors, RYGBP. Some sources qualify the word primary to mean "predominant"
so it is a mistake to equate the term to the customary primary colors we know as either RYB or CYM, as Gunz has pointed out.

Einion
01-28-2009, 09:48 AM
Using the neutral value 9.0; 9.25; and 9.5 chips, I estimate, for the following oilpaints:
W&N Titanium White 9.5
W&N Zinc White 9.5
W&N Cremnitz White 9.3
W&N Foundation White 9.1
MH Cremnitz White 9.2
MH Cremnitz White in walnut 9.4
Thanks for that Dave.

No 10 exists in paint. 0 and 10 are theoretical.
But the system is designed for comparisons of colours to reference chips; what I'm getting at is this would mean there are no reference chips for values 0 and 10. Is that correct?

Einion

gunzorro
01-28-2009, 10:45 AM
Einion -- That is correct there are no chips for the theoretical extremes of 0 and 10.

Some experimentation has been in progress at the Rational Painting forum to determine the limits and extremes of currently available oil paints (note to newer readers: oil paints have a slightly extended range of value and chroma compared to acrylics). This has included pushing to the maximum of chroma in the radial dimension.

So far, the limits have been generaly found to be about 1/2 value away from the extremes of dark and light with paints of today. But the quest goes on. . .

In a way, the point is academic, because paints are almost always going to be "representational" and not "realisitic" in protraying the spectrum of visible light. With value compression effects, the artist can use values considerably darker than "white" to represent white, and values not pure black to show as the darkest black in a painting. So, we never get a truly realistic impression unless the subject has an extremely limited value range to start with.

But it is rewarding to establish the actual boundaries of current pigments and paints.

:)

Einion
01-28-2009, 03:51 PM
Einion -- That is correct there are no chips for the theoretical extremes of 0 and 10.
Okie dokie, good to know.

(note to newer readers: oil paints have a slightly extended range of value and chroma compared to acrylics).
Is this compared carefully, i.e. at the same gloss? :)

Einion

gunzorro
01-28-2009, 06:02 PM
Ha-ha! :) Good point.

But even at the same gloss (or lack of, for unvarnished acrylic), I think oils would have an edge due to pigment load, especially in the high and low range of value and the extreme ends of chroma for opaque paints.

But, I think you are right that, in general, at the same gloss level, I'm being a bit unfair.

Note: when these folks are doing the HVC matching with Munsell, they are using the "Big Book" glossy chips and placing paint right on the chip for exact match, then wiping the chip clean afterward. So it is a direct comparison of gloss finishes (usually, depending on pigment). Since the set is broken down in to 1/4 step measurements, they can come extremely close, but not absolute, so they will estimate (as I think Dave remarked) and provide a number between the two closest Munsell paint chips.

I'll soon have my own copy of this vast collection of chips, so look out world!! :)

mr.wiggles
01-28-2009, 07:14 PM
I own this book, it's an amazing book of colors. I use it to mix strings and to practice developing my eye.

stoney
01-28-2009, 11:43 PM
Originally Posted by stoney
Mr. Jusko utilized prisms and some sort of measuring device, as I recall, to construct the wheel and he specifies what is at each point. Such would be very accurate.




It's been a while so my memory of this is a touch woolly (it'll be obvious why I wouldn't have made an effort to remember in greater detail) but, he likened the colours of chosen paints to the colours of crystals and that was the way that "nature intended" certain colours (hues) to go as they darkened, even if this actually meant a change in hue.

The measuring device used was his own eyes, with the attendant problems you might expect.

Its been awhile for me, too. So, *that's* why I came up with prism-crystals.
Later, it occurred to me that his results would be at least partially based on the light in the area he lives.


He's a colourist and this should be uppermost in the mind when examining his ideas on colour, for example the total size of the palette is far too large for most people (far larger than most other professional painters) but this is to provide the highest possible chroma for all hues.

Underneath it all the major technical flaw with that wheel is that it implies paints - not these paints, but any paints - in each colour position will mix neutrals with the one opposite because of their colour; the author's writings about it implicitly state this and he was, might still be, adamant that this is the case despite any amount of evidence presented to him to the contrary. In reality he has cherry-picked the paints to mix the way he wants; and because he used his eyes many of the "perfect neutrals" he claims all opposing pairs produce have very evident hue.

Einion

Ah, yes, the olde 'cherry picking the data' trick.... There's no short-cutting the experience of colour manipulation. Thank you for the update.

stoney
01-28-2009, 11:51 PM
I have been using a chromalux light for painting in the evening and it has improved my coloring judgement. It used to be more of a problem with regular tungsten lights. Of course I still highly prefer the light of day. Thanks for the links Stoney.

Welcome. :)

I was reading the Munsell book and on page 39 it hit what was bugging me:
"If the [colour] product or artwork will never be seen except in one type of illumination, then that is the light source that should be used when creating it. Otherwise, it is preferable to make colour judgments in natural daylight, but not in direct sunlight. This is one of the reasons why artists have traditionally selected studios with north skylights. But almost everyone must work at least part of the time under artificial illumination, and a good choice among the current types of illumination requires information and some compromises."

So, it would seem colour corrected bulbs emulate preferred lighting.

Einion
01-29-2009, 11:10 AM
Ah, yes, the olde 'cherry picking the data' trick....
Yep, long and illustrious history it has too :)

Thank you for the update.
Welcome. Wouldn't want anyone to look at it and think, because of how professional it appears, that it can be accepted on faith.

Einion

gunzorro
01-29-2009, 07:07 PM
My copy of the Munsell Book of Color ("Big Book") came today!!!

OMG!!!

I am totally blown away looking through it! I'm sure it will come in handy for paint comparisons and color demonstrations.

This must be the greatest debate-ender ever! ;)

It has always seemed like such and extravagance. . . until I got it! :)

ly
01-30-2009, 01:36 AM
Hi Jim
How much did you paid for it ?
Last year price was $500 and now stands for $750 !
http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/product_pages/View_Catalog_Page.asp?mi=2289
ly

Einion
01-30-2009, 08:19 AM
That's some jump! $675 here:
http://www.cspoutdoors.com/muboofcogled.html

About the same price here, less ex-VAT:
http://www.bodoni.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=493

Einion

gunzorro
01-30-2009, 05:03 PM
I got in on the discounted educational price from another forum. Still, around $400 plus the shipping costs.

stoney
01-31-2009, 12:19 AM
My copy of the Munsell Book of Color ("Big Book") came today!!!

OMG!!!

I am totally blown away looking through it! I'm sure it will come in handy for paint comparisons and color demonstrations.

This must be the greatest debate-ender ever! ;)

It has always seemed like such and extravagance. . . until I got it! :)

Funny how that happens from time-to-time.

A calico cat has decided my new book on perspective's a great place to sit. Silly kitty. "The Art of Perspective" by Phil Metzger. Just got the book this afternoon.

stoney
01-31-2009, 12:20 AM
That's some jump! $675 here:
http://www.cspoutdoors.com/muboofcogled.html

About the same price here, less ex-VAT:
http://www.bodoni.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=493

Einion

GASP! YIKES!

missM
01-31-2009, 12:29 AM
I think, that if a person wishes to achieve photo style ultra-realism, choice of colors would be instrumental in their work.

The rest of the time though I don't think it's that simple. I've seen great paintings made with 20+ colors that the artist incorporated through countless hours of work over weeks and weeks. I've also seen great paintings that someone made by choosing their favorite rich color and altering it only with the addition of varying amounts of white that they painted in one sitting. And I've seen horrible paintings in both styles.

I think that a pallette that you feel will make your work better while one that doesn't can make it really mediocre no matter what that pallette may be.

Einion
02-02-2009, 08:15 AM
The rest of the time though I don't think it's that simple. I've seen great paintings made with 20+ colors that the artist incorporated through countless hours of work over weeks and weeks. I've also seen great paintings that someone made by choosing their favorite rich color and altering it only with the addition of varying amounts of white that they painted in one sitting. And I've seen horrible paintings in both styles.
That's the ol' quality thing in a nutshell. Work is either good or it isn't, regardless of the kind of colouring. Although the best (IMO) master paintings from the 1600s for example often don't have what looks like dead-on realistic colour that doesn't stop them being great paintings - the colour works in context, which is, up to a point, all colour in painting has to do.

I think that a pallette that you feel will make your work better while one that doesn't can make it really mediocre no matter what that pallette may be.
The basic idea of the thread - can choice of colour make better paintings? - is obviously open to a wide range of individual interpretation. The bottom line in terms of realism* is that the palette does at least have to provide a wide gamut in some measure, since nearly any reasonable palette gives access to all hues.

*In painting a wide range of subjects.

Einion

oldradagast
02-27-2009, 12:51 PM
Just to chime in here:

If one's pallette is missing a key element, adding it can make a difference. For example, for years I lacked a good, strong opaque yellow (not a conscious choice - I just didn't know any better.) After adding one to my pallette, I found it much easier to add strong yellows to paintings, such highlights on grasses, trees, etc. Did this one color make me a "better artist?" No, but it did open up more possibilities and allow me to do things that I couldn't easily do before. Sometimes that alone is a big step in the right direction.