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griffster
11-13-2009, 10:23 AM
I'm sure this question has been asked several times on this board, but here goes....Which is a "cooler" color: Raw Umber, or Burnt Umber?

Thanks for the help!

sidbledsoe
11-13-2009, 10:27 AM
You will probably get some advice about the nebulous cooler vs warmer temperature perception idea but in my mind it is no contest, burnt is warmer, raw is cooler.

gunzorro
11-13-2009, 11:02 AM
I don't care for the warm/cool designation in this sort of comparison. Raw umber is a dark yellow, Burnt Umber is a dark yellow-red. Both are of very low value and low chroma.

This is where the warm/cool breaks down: which is cooler, yellow or yellow-red, and what is the importance of the distinction?

Einion
11-13-2009, 11:29 AM
I'm sure this question has been asked several times on this board...
Not this one exactly that I can recall.

The problem with the question (not you asking it, just with questions of this type) is that it's often not realised that one is essentially asking for opinions, since there's no impartial standard for 'cool' or 'warm' in colour often people who do think this way will disagree! Which is less than useful. For others there are simply better ways of describing the differences between two colours than some notional idea of 'temperature' and this will tend to be rooted in something less subjective and hence more reliable.

Beyond that general problem, which versions of each? While Burnt Umber is generally a little more consistent Raw Umber can vary quite a bit. I have my personal favourite for the colour of RU but it can be very different from that - lighter and not as dull, basically noticeably more orange than the type I favour.

Einion

griffster
11-13-2009, 11:29 AM
When oil painting, I use the glazing/classical/indirect method. I paint in very thin layers. Generally, with warmer light I prefer to paint "cool" shadows, and vice-versa. I usually use a some kind of mixture of either raw, or burnt sienna.

sidbledsoe
11-13-2009, 12:09 PM
Generally, with warmer light I prefer to paint "cool" shadows, and vice-versa.
I agree and this is a fundamental kind of rule of thumb to follow, very often taught. You must judge and decide the temperature for there is no other guidline available in this case. If you just have colors without any distinction in the temperature component, then which one goes where regarding this principle?

gunzorro
11-13-2009, 12:44 PM
From a pigment standpoint, you may want to revise your thinking about using these umbers for glazing. They are very "active" pigments with relation to the drying of oils and could result in unwanted conditions in thin layers, depending how many are being applied, including dulled "sunken" areas. A Transparent Brown Oxide might be a better choice, mixed with appropriate warm/cool colors to suit your preferred technique for light and shadow.

Just a thought.

Also, as Einion indicated, there is trememdous variation of hue in these umbers, especially the Burnt Umber, which can produce nearly neutral greys or nearly skin tones. Raw Umber can be "greenish" from some makers, others look close to some Burnt Umber!

sidbledsoe
11-13-2009, 01:02 PM
Related thread:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32439
and example of use:
http://www.dace.co.uk/plet.htm
you can google "raw burnt umber cool warm" and most every related hit will give the opinion that burnt is a warm orange brown and raw is a cooler yellow even green brown, individual brands will vary but for a generic guideline that is the concensus of opinion.
http://www.gamblincolors.com/navigating.color.space/color.temperature.color.html

Doug Nykoe
11-13-2009, 05:31 PM
I'm sure this question has been asked several times on this board, but here goes....Which is a "cooler" color: Raw Umber, or Burnt Umber?

Thanks for the help!

Raw Umber is cooler than Burnt Umber because the majority of artists will openly admit or perceive that a red orange is without a doubt the warmest area on the colour wheel. So burnt Umber being closer to this target area it would then be perceived as warmer. But I agree isolating the colour and looking at it for what it is I would say Burnt Umber is a dark red brown and Raw Umber is a dark yellow brown. But as soon as it is let loose into the painting then a lot of us look to warm and cool for guidance.

griffster
11-13-2009, 06:19 PM
So, I guess the question is, which is "technically" warmer: red, or yellow?

gunzorro
11-13-2009, 07:16 PM
According to the references I know, Yellow-Red (orange) is considered the warmest color, so these umbers sort of straddle that line. Burnt Umber will be closest to orange though.

sidbledsoe
11-13-2009, 09:53 PM
So, I guess the question is, which is "technically" warmer: red, or yellow?
Technically implies that there is some defined measurable parameter. I don't think there is one, if someone does then please share exactly what it is. I just embrace the ambiguity.

gunzorro
11-13-2009, 10:49 PM
I've shown these examples before, so I hope no one minds.

griffster -- Here is a comparison of various brands of Burnt Umber, and three other types of similar color on the right side. Notice how much variation there is, and why it would be hard to determine "warmth". The ones that look the most grey, are actually about the same Hue, or color, or warmth, but because they lack chroma, they might be classified (erroneously) as "cool". Warm/cool are so loose in definition, they can be applied this way, and that's part of my objection to the terms on a more finite scale.

The test was designed to show the effects of various types of paint and "sinking" or dulling of umbers, including coats of varnish here.

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c80/gunzorro/IMG_3915web.jpg

Here are several Raw Umbers, in various forms of "distress". :) Some are smeared with palette knife to show their transparency and tinting strength, some effects show the tints with white. Again, a significant range of chroma within the same general Hue.

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c80/gunzorro/Raw-Umber-web.jpg

If your hope was to say: "I'll use Burnt Umber in the lit parts, and use Raw Umber in the shadows", I'm afraid it won't work out that way, at least in a believeable visual.

I still recommend shifting to different pigments for glazing.

artc
11-14-2009, 07:07 AM
Jim...regarding your post about sunken areas...how about using
brown madder??

gunzorro
11-14-2009, 09:41 AM
Art -- I don't have brown madder, or know what pigments are in it (can you list the pigments?). Perhaps it would work to eliminate sinking associated with umbers.

sidbledsoe
11-14-2009, 11:05 PM
My raw umbers vary quite a bit. Here are the three I have and my opinion of their relative temperatures; first tint on left is Utrecht the warmest, then Holbein in between, then Williamsburg on the right coolest:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Nov-2009/112587-IMG_0050.JPG
In practice I consider the Williamsburg a black, that is how it behaves.
I have two burnt umbers, Williamsburg and Winsor Newton and they are more orange and warmer. imo of course.

Einion
11-16-2009, 12:51 PM
...the majority of artists will openly admit or perceive that a red orange is without a doubt the warmest area on the colour wheel.
Since we have unofficially taken the poll results for this here I can say that you should revise that view downwards a little.


So, I guess the question is, which is "technically" warmer: red, or yellow?
There is no answer to that question if you're asking about the artists' notion of 'temperature'. In terms of actual temperature it's yellow.

Real temperature and 'temperature' have no correlation, since blue, cyan, green, violet are all hotter than red.


I've shown these examples before, so I hope no one minds.
Not at all, shows the variation perfectly.

...

BTW, since the subject came up about warm light, cool shadows this has been discussed here a number of times in the past. Anyone who believes this is the way things commonly are (as distinct from just choosing to work this way because they like how it looks in paintings) would do well to have a rummage though the archives.

Einion

sidbledsoe
11-16-2009, 12:59 PM
BTW, since the subject came up about warm light, cool shadows this has been discussed here a number of times in the past. Anyone who believes this is the way things commonly are (as distinct from just choosing to work this way because they like how it looks in paintings) would do well to have a rummage though the archives.
Einion
I can understand the point that it may not be in reality what is always the case. But you can also find it's use taught and referred to quite often, such as this blog from one of our partners,
http://artofpaintingblog.blogspot.com/
For Sahli, it is 2/3'ds of the only rules for painting that there are!
I am not saying that it is how things are or should be in paintings, just acknowledging it's use and the need to differentiate between what is warm and what is cool if you do choose to use it. If you can't discriminate between them then it is futile to try and use it in practice.

griffster
11-16-2009, 01:36 PM
I should have originally stated my question like this: "If I define the warmest spot on the color wheel as the middle area between red and yellow, which is closer to that area, burnt, or raw umber?"

From what I understand, it may be both are at the same place on the color wheel, yet one is more saturated than the other. So, if that's the case, I'll change my question:

Which is more saturated: burnt or raw umber?

btw, Thanks for you help everyone!

sidbledsoe
11-16-2009, 02:03 PM
I don't know, I would guess most burnt umbers but not every single one, but that can be measured.

Doug Nykoe
11-16-2009, 03:34 PM
Since we have unofficially taken the poll results for this here I can say that you should revise that view downwards a little.





Einion I guess what I meant is--- in general terms it’s in the ball park as the hottest colour area for me and others. There’s no this is it because we feel this area individually but in general terms this is the hottest colour area for most. But if you disagree then so be it.:D


~

dcorc
11-16-2009, 04:29 PM
I can understand the point that it may not be in reality what is always the case. But you can also find it's use taught and referred to quite often, such as this blog from one of our partners,
http://artofpaintingblog.blogspot.com/
For Sahli, it is 2/3'ds of the only rules for painting that there are!
I am not saying that it is how things are or should be in paintings, just acknowledging it's use and the need to differentiate between what is warm and what is cool if you do choose to use it. If you can't discriminate between them then it is futile to try and use it in practice.

Just because something's taught and referred to quite often doesn't mean that its necessarily correct. I'd suggest art is more bedevilled by the persistence of outdated information which continues to be taught even though its demonstrably incorrect or simplistic, than any other field I can think of outside of religion.

Dave

dcorc
11-16-2009, 04:33 PM
...Which is more saturated: burnt or raw umber?



Usually, burnt umbers tend to be more chromatic ("saturated") than raw umbers, though there can be quite a range of variation in both. I'd certainly expect that from a given manufacturer, their burnt umber will be more chromatic than their raw umber.


Dave

sidbledsoe
11-16-2009, 05:26 PM
When oil painting, I use the glazing/classical/indirect method. Generally, with warmer light I prefer to paint "cool" shadows, and vice-versa.
I didn't say I agreed or that it should be taught and it may be incorrect and outdated but the thread bearer asked about this technique specifically and if you cannot determine which umber is cooler and which is warmer then it simply can't be done. I didn't say it could be done either.
If it is believed by the experts here that you cannot determine which is warmer or cooler then I would express that opinion and advise griffster to paint the color you see and forget trying to use this technique.

sidbledsoe
11-16-2009, 06:37 PM
I say that because I am actually curious myself. I have done this warm light/ cool shadow and vice versa thing. But we can't even talk about it much less try to paint it if there isn't really a warm and a cool sensation in human beings that is elicited by color, is that what I am hearing?

Einion
11-17-2009, 07:32 AM
I should have originally stated my question like this: "If I define the warmest spot on the color wheel as the middle area between red and yellow, which is closer to that area, burnt, or raw umber?"
Okay, well that's a better question since it takes the subjectivity out of it. Burnt Umber will very often be the one then.

Which is more saturated: burnt or raw umber?
Also a much better question, since that can be answered definitively. Burnt Umber is usually more saturated than Raw Umber.

It's also a good question since 'temperature' is not just about hue - for those who see colour this way higher saturation is generally perceived as warmer, for colours on this side of the wheel.

Note: some of the hue definitions given above in the thread are in Munsell terms, which are not as people commonly think in a few areas - and this is one of them as Munsell doesn't use the word orange. Hence it can be an issue to get across the correct meaning to people who don't use the system, so in common terminology Burnt Umber is generally red-orange while Raw Umber is often orange-yellow in hue. But as with many earth pigments they do vary quite a bit unfortunately, as we can see in the swatches posted.


If it is believed by the experts here that you cannot determine which is warmer or cooler...
You can but people generally can't Sid.. that's the reason I touched on this in my very first reply to the thread:
The problem with the question... is that it's often not realised that one is essentially asking for opinions, since there's no impartial standard for 'cool' or 'warm' in colour often people who do think this way will disagree!

But we can't even talk about it much less try to paint it if there isn't really a warm and a cool sensation in human beings that is elicited by color, is that what I am hearing?
I've posted something along these lines in a thread in Oil Painting too that revolved around the same topic: let's assume that warm light/cool shadows is the way things are, just for the sake of discussion. As should now be clear, 'cooler' can be a change in hue or a change in chroma (with a consequent change in value at the same time). So which does one use?

Obviously in painting we should be doing this visually, but it's still valuable to be able to describe the colour changes verbally with the subject in front of you, since this intellectualises the identification of colour and takes it out of the "seat of the pants" arena. So, if instead of 'cooler' one describes the actual changes, in terms that aren't subjective - e.g. the halftone is the same hue as the lit plane, about two values darker and with a chroma below one - then it's perfectly feasible to use words to accurately describe a colour change, with a greater assurance of being correctly understood by others.

With post-Impressionist colour being popular today, fidelity to the colours in a scene is not necessarily the goal of course. But many learners do strive to improve the colour accuracy in their work and where that's the case knowing what the actual colour changes are will help them a great deal, particularly with tricky colour determinations like shadows in fleshtones. These are very often described as 'cooler' and because they can appear bluer they are often painted erroneously that way when in reality they are only greyer.

Einion

sidbledsoe
11-17-2009, 08:40 AM
Thanks, I see your points, good discussion about this aspect I think. At least I am getting the message that there really is a warmth and coolness color perception (as I was beginning to worry).
Right now, many teach and use the warm light/cool shadows rule. I posted just one example, I could list hundreds, many are right here on this site such as in the articles index: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/1805/264/
scroll down and there it is bottom of page one, it is truly ubiquitous.
To me this is one of those general, most of the time but not always, things to keep in mind. How often do we see it in nature? a lot of blue and greyed shadows are out there.
Now understanding and given the iffy nature of determining subtle differences in temperature such as this one between umbers and if it is in fact outdated, simplistic, and incorrect, is it recommended here to not consider knowing and sometimes using this as a guideline?

oddman99
11-17-2009, 09:53 AM
Warm light, cool shadows and vice versa is only a "rule of thumb." It is not universally true but often works out to be correct. In the case of shadows outdoors, they are illuminated by sky light and reflected light. There is also a perceptual phenomenon of simultaneous contrast, at play. The effect of this is to add to our vision of the shadow the appearance of the complementary colour of the direct illumination. Thus, if in yellow sunlight, shadows in a snow scene, for example, will appear to contain some complementary violet, in addition to skylight and reflections. Here, the rule of thumb is found to hold i.e., warm light cool shadows. However, in the case of shadows indoors the rule may not neccessarily hold. Here, under artificial light which may be warm, shadows will also be cooled by simultaneous contrast, but reflected light may play an overriding role. If the reflected light is itself warm and of sufficient intensity it overcomes the simultaneous contrast and lends its warmth to the shadow colours. contrary to the rule of thumb.

That, at least, is how I see it. The rule of thumb, therefore, is right in most circumstance, but not neccessarily in all. Despite its potential for error the rule has prevailed for centuries. This, I believe, is because, after all is said and done, it gives a generally pleasing and interesting effect to the shadows in the painting even when it is misapplied.

gunzorro
11-17-2009, 10:30 AM
I agree with oddman99. This is not a "rule", and is subject to the prevailing lighting conditions, somewhat modifidied by simultaneous contrast. Outdoor shadows are cool, only if they are predominantly lit by open blue sky. If they are lit by sandstone or grass or a red barn, then the shadows will embrace those colors, not cool sky. Indoors, lighting is generally consisten, or if mixed, oddly mixed tungsten/fluorescent, for example (no one want's green shadows, so the rule would pretty well be obsolete here as well). ;)

I advise to portray what you see, and learn to see accurately. That usually involves some form of independent measurement to establish the real colors.

llawrence
11-17-2009, 11:00 AM
I've found the opposite to be true, at least at times, and at least in skin tones: on a sunlit day outdoor shadows can be quite warm, while the areas in light will be much cooler. Of course, trying to paint skin tones outdoors is an exercise in bafflement - the entire warmth range can seem to change completely from one glance to the next!

sidbledsoe
11-17-2009, 11:10 AM
It doesn't really matter to me whether in particular instances you may have warm light and warm reflections in a shadow cast by warm light, I can see that and paint it. What is important to me at least is that we all are on the same page, there is clearly a warm and a cool aspect in color sensing that artists perceive and use on a regular basis no matter what the light or shadow. You are all telling me there is a warm and cool relationship between the colors in light and shadow.
This goes back to the original conundrum that bothered me in the first place, I (we) were told that one should not think in terms of warm and cool but just in terms of what color is it. To recognise or indeed to use any scheme be it warm light/ cool shadows or warm light/ warm shadows you must discriminate between what is warm and what is cool or else discard the warm and cool aspect altogether and paint what you see.
I can post a ref pic later that is clearly nothing but orange and darks along with the painting I did from it. In my mind I considered it nice but too warm. So I introduced cool passages in the water and cloud shadows. It gave what I would call relief, more interesting color, pretty complimentary color passages. I liked what I did, other people liked it better, should I have not done that and slavishly painted what I saw using an independent measurement to establish the real colors?

sidbledsoe
11-17-2009, 01:47 PM
Here it is the original inspirational reference photo, but it could have been in plein air just as easily:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Nov-2009/112587-rsz_1112587-insp.jpg
And the picture I painted using my minds eye way of seeing it that incorporated cool shadows, drawing upon the old saw of "warm light/cool shadows" in particular in the sky area which I felt as too flat colorwise:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Nov-2009/112587-Getting_late1.JPG
I was thinking of the unique mood I have gotten from Ryder's paintings.
I moved the sun down and gave relief above in the top part of the sky with cool violets. Lowered the chroma in oranges, lowered the value of the ship, lighter horizon, painted the sun more yellow on purpose, the sails got some wind in them. I also moved the ship closer to the third position rather than leaving the scene of the crime. The thirds rule, there is another rule or principle of compostition, knowing general rules of thumb though doesn't mean you have to follow them slavishly any more than knowing how to duplicate color dead on accurate means you must paint it that way always. I could have painted exactly what I saw and used a reference for color identification but then I would not have the painting I did, (which I don't think is a masterpiece, just one done the way I wanted to do it) :wave:

Einion
11-17-2009, 02:41 PM
You are all telling me there is a warm and cool relationship between the colors in light and shadow.
That's not really the case Sid: there's a difference in accepting terminology for the purposes of discussion and agreeing outright that a given something is the case. It's like if I'm talking to non-specialists, I won't necessarily describe colours in terms I would normally use here - if I think the word bright will be understood correctly I'll use it, even though it's a little too vague for discussions at a higher level (unless either its meaning has been agreed upon previously in the conversation or it's clear from the context).

With regard to shadow colouration, for me there's an insurmountable objection to its use for describing the relative colour, on the basis that 'cooler' can be any combination of hue change, value and/or chroma change.

To recognise or indeed to use any scheme be it warm light/ cool shadows or warm light/ warm shadows you must discriminate between what is warm and what is cool or else discard the warm and cool aspect altogether and paint what you see.
One can paint something any given way and viewers will use their preferred terms to describe the colour; those who think in 'temperature' would describe the colours that way, irrespective of whether the painter themselves thought that way when they painted it.

I can post a ref pic later that is clearly nothing but orange and darks along with the painting I did from it. In my mind I considered it nice but too warm. So I introduced cool passages in the water and cloud shadows. It gave what I would call relief, more interesting color, pretty complimentary color passages. I liked what I did, other people liked it better, should I have not done that and slavishly painted what I saw using an independent measurement to establish the real colors?
No, one should paint the way one wants. Just as long as you're doing it knowingly, or deliberately, rather than because the colour was perceived incorrectly or mixed wrongly :)

Einion

sidbledsoe
11-17-2009, 06:32 PM
Thanks for your thoughts on that Einion, I sometimes feel like I am being a pest when something comes up that really interests me and I want to discuss it and short posts leave something to be desired so it goes on and on at times. I think sometime since 2002 you must have revised your take on this temperature thing because this is a quote from you in that raw umber thread I linked way back, "yes, it's technically a warm colour".
Now I am not up on all the discussions about temperature that have transpired since then but I suspect that somewhere during the course of it you have become somewhat fed up with the ambiguity and have soured on the concept of using it? But you know, it is really out there and used to communicate virtually all the time, I mean big time, and then there is the whole realm of color psychology and it's practical usage.
BTW do you have a favorite color and if so why is it your fave?:D

sidbledsoe
11-18-2009, 09:06 AM
I feel like I have hijacked this thread because of my obsession with this temperature concept and I apologise to griffster but I don't want to start another because there is so much established here now.
Except for right here, it seems that everywhere I turn there is the warm/cool concept being accepted and communicated. Here is what I just read from Harold Speed's book. I know it is old but is it now considered outdated and incorrect?
"Painting from the life in two colours.- I have selected a head as a demonstration, because this is an exercise in which one can learn all one wants about the system of paint here advocated as a means of learning the craft. The difference between painting a head and painting a figure or anything else, is not in the method of painting, but in the drawing (form expression).
Before commencing to paint in full colour from the life, I advise students to commence with two colours only - a warm and a cool colour. A great deal that is of great importance with regard to colour, can be more directly learned by this means than by stumbling in with a full palette. And this position of the warm and cool colours in flesh painting, is one of the most important considerations in colouring; as it is on the opposition of the warm and cool colours, that the vitality of colouring largely depends. Painting with red for your warm and black for your cold, and a mixture of both for your neutral tones, a surprising amount of colour vitality can be obtained, by the right placing of the warm and cold colours. And as very little effect can be obtained if this opposition is not attended to, once is forced by using this very limited means to concentrate the attention on this new consideration. Having, it is to be assumed, already mastered tone, you have now the opportunity of overcoming singly this new and most important difficulty in the province of colour."

Now with the understanding we now have of the color attributes as they really are, could this be rewritten and corrected that is omitting the terms warm and cool and substituting the correct terms? If so could someone do that. (thanks in advance for your attention to my persistence)

gunzorro
11-18-2009, 10:59 AM
Sid -- Keep in mind, Speed is talking about using red for warm and black for cool for simple portrait exercises. Adding white (or painting thin on white support) will produce relatively believeable impressions, moreso than black and white (which is basically what this is -- monochrome) with red added to help colorize the main subject hue.

This is quite different than using a orangey flesh tone and a purple in shadow areas! Or red/cyan for portraits.

Black may be called "cool", and in some cases it acts as a bluish pigment, but the subject of warm/cool is usually discussed in far more nebulous terms.

If you are interested, many subjects can be portrayed well with just UMB and Burnt Sienna, adding white (some people prefer Raw Sienna to Burnt, depending on subject matter).

I don't have a problem using the terms warm/cool to discuss the broad color comparions. I do have a problem when it is used to describe a warm/cool distinction within a hue, or as Einion said, is confused with low chroma (grey seeming cool, even in a "warm" hue like red).

sidbledsoe
11-18-2009, 11:49 AM
If you are interested, many subjects can be portrayed well with just UMB and Burnt Sienna, adding white (some people prefer Raw Sienna to Burnt, depending on subject matter).

I don't have a problem using the terms warm/cool to discuss the broad color comparions. I do have a problem when it is used to describe a warm/cool distinction within a hue, or as Einion said, is confused with low chroma (grey seeming cool, even in a "warm" hue like red).

Thanks Jim, yes I have used the UMB/BS combo and know what you mean
That you don't have a problem using it in those terms is what I wanted to hear. (Don't tell anyone but I can sense the diff in light tints of PB15:1 and PB15:3, PB15:1 is way cooler!):smug:

Einion
11-18-2009, 03:46 PM
Thanks for your thoughts on that Einion, I sometimes feel like I am being a pest when something comes up that really interests me and I want to discuss it and short posts leave something to be desired so it goes on and on at times.
Don't worry about it, that's what discussion forums are for. People can always choose not to respond if they aren't interested in talking further about specific points.

I think sometime since 2002 you must have revised your take on this temperature thing because this is a quote from you in that raw umber thread I linked way back, "yes, it's technically a warm colour".
Well I have come a ways in the last six or seven years, that's for sure. I still use it in the right contexts - in Pantone inks for example there are Warm Greys and Cool Greys, and as I think I've commented previously most people will immediately accept them as being as their names suggest. Further, the basic warm/cool divide with regard to colour generally seems fairly easy for the majority to appreciate so as far as that goes it's fine.

But as a means for hue differentiation 'temperature' is not great and for colour differentiation it's much worse; a hindrance even, rather than a help.

Now I am not up on all the discussions about temperature that have transpired since then but I suspect that somewhere during the course of it you have become somewhat fed up with the ambiguity and have soured on the concept of using it?
Yes, see post #33 for a good example of why. Once you get into discussions where there's some need of accuracy - rather than just getting to the right ballpark - one has need of something more precise, simple as that.

Let's go back to the Pantone inks for an illustration. Say you had to mix equivalents using paint*, which hue do you go for? That's where greater precision shows its importance since the Warm Greys could theoretically be any hue from yellow through to red.

It wouldn't actually be too difficult for many experienced colour mixers to identify the right hue for these and mix accordingly, but it's actually a lot more difficult to accurately identify the shade of blue for the Cool Greys; I'm pretty sure without something like Munsell to use for comparison I would have to do a bit of trial-and-error mixing. It would be luck more than skill if I got it right first time.

*Incidentally this is a prime example of where using neutral greys as a starting point would be the best approach. It would be much trickier to try to do this using mixing complements, for a couple of reasons. If anyone is curious as to why I would encourage them to try both methods for themselves and compare directly.

But you know, it is really out there and used to communicate virtually all the time, I mean big time...
Yes, aware of that :) Many things in art and art instruction hang around past their best-before date, like RYB primaries, warm colours advance/cool colours recede, warm light = cool shadows and numerous others!

BTW do you have a favorite color and if so why is it your fave?:D
From childhood it used to be blues but now I can't really say I have one; I just like colour more generally now.

Einion

Doug Nykoe
11-18-2009, 04:42 PM
From what I am hearing I guess there are two or more camps. One is let us say a still life and there is a red bottle there on the table, then a colour picker is used, then a Munsell notation is found, then colour is applied, is this correct? The other camp is the same red bottle and in Morandi’s examples it will be changed to fit a feel for the overall painting. In Morandi example there would be no need for any Munsell notation… is that correct? If correct than one is a copy and the other is invention.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Nov-2009/2442-morandi_14.L.jpg

This is probably why we get into so much trouble here talking about these entirely different aspects. I can certainly see where Munsell would be beneficial in copying the colour before you and the need to be more accurate in describing the colour but next to useless when one aspires to invention. Boy... there sure are a lot of gaps in our understanding of each other because of this diversity in art.

~

llawrence
11-18-2009, 06:52 PM
With regard to shadow colouration, for me there's an insurmountable objection to its use for describing the relative colour, on the basis that 'cooler' can be any combination of hue change, value and/or chroma change. Any combination? I don't understand this statement - would you elaborate please?

I may be biting off more than I can chew here - but it does seem to me that we're taking the fact that some disagree about what is the warmest and coolest color, and using that as a reason to take what I think is a fairly simple psychological concept - warm and cool color contrast - and make it unnecessarily complex. Quite a bit of my training in color is currently focused around building compositions by controlling warm and cool colors, including advancement of warm and recession of cool colors, the relationship of warm light to cooler shadows and vice versa, and so on. I'm no good at it yet, but I see how my instructors do it, and they're using these concepts practically, with success. In practice they are valid, and IMHO shouldn't be dismissed too quickly.

rltromble
11-18-2009, 11:58 PM
That's not really the case Sid: there's a difference in accepting terminology for the purposes of discussion and agreeing outright that a given something is the case. It's like if I'm talking to non-specialists, I won't necessarily describe colours in terms I would normally use here - if I think the word bright will be understood correctly I'll use it, even though it's a little too vague for discussions at a higher level (unless either its meaning has been agreed upon previously in the conversation or it's clear from the context).


Well one thing to think about is that just every book I have read about color theory seems to use these terms. Even Munsell. The only real exception I can think about is BYDMG. Does that make its right. Not necessarily, but I don't think it is going anywhere anytime soon. When I first started painting I kept reading this cool vs warm stuff and I had no clue what the hell they where talking about. I think the first time around I translated it as dark vs light. Truth be told if they had said split primary or red or blue bias it would have made more sense.

-Raw umber is cool and burnt is warm by the way, at least in my paints. :D

gunzorro
11-19-2009, 01:33 AM
lawrence -- Yes, people do get results, but they misinterpret them and decide to use the results as a basis for Rules, and the foundation is weak or incomplete. For example: the warm advances, cool recedes rule -- not true, or I should say partially true but incomplete. The same effect can be accomplished with bright "cool" colors raised to high chroma and above middle value, against dark warm color of lower chroma -- the cool color will pop out and advance. Most commonly, we are attracted to versions of high chroma "warm" colors (most cool ones have lower chroma and are quite a bit darker), so we have more prevalent examples protrayed from the "warm" side. It's not a rule of warm/cool, but a rule of chroma/value. There are a number of other inherent faulty premises in these other concepts of this type, and examined superficially, they seem attactive and plausible. So they get passed on and develop new devotees, despite detailed proofs to the contrary (or wider reaching explanations).

Einion
11-19-2009, 04:10 AM
(Don't tell anyone but I can sense the diff in light tints of PB15:1 and PB15:3, PB15:1 is way cooler!):smug:
Excellent example of the variability of this Sid - for many people it would be the PB15:3!

Here's a thread from earlier in the year that you might remember, Cool and warm blues (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=545540). Some interesting parallels to this one!

Einion

sidbledsoe
11-19-2009, 08:16 AM
I agree with that E, blue is right in the coldest zone where subtle diffs are below the detection limit, and the closer they are the harder it is, no doubt.
I was kind of bragging a little but I have never gotten that warm advance/cool receding at all, I just ignore it when they talk about that.

griffster
11-19-2009, 09:00 AM
There are paramenters when it comes to color and our interaction with them. Our freedom can only exist within those boundaries of hue, chroma, an value. And yet it is a real freedom! To try to move outside is to enter into nihlism or absurdity. What do you think?

"Art is limitation; the essence of every picture is the frame. If you draw a giraffe you must draw him with a long neck. If in your bold creative way you hold yourself free to draw a giraffe with a short neck you will really find that you are not free to draw a giraffe." -G.K. Chesterton Orthodoxy Pg. 71

oddman99
11-19-2009, 09:36 AM
If there is some uniformly agreed definition of warm and cool colours? If so, then what is it? Psychologically, of course, we may have our ideas as to what the warm and cool colours are. For example, we may associate red with fire and hence call it warm. Similarly, we may feel that blue relates to cold water and so call it cool. That may be fine as a rough and ready explanation, but where, precisely, on a colour wheel is the coolest cool and the warmest warm? Also, whare along an arc of this wheel ranging from warm to cool would the neutral point be, where the colour is neither warm nor cool? Where would the corresponding point be on the other arc of the wheel?

Are there any proponents out there of a warm/cool colour grouping ready to answer the above questions? If so, I fear their answers will vary all over the place, not, of course, in the generality of the terms but in their particulars.

Einion
11-19-2009, 10:42 AM
From what I am hearing I guess there are two or more camps. One is let us say a still life and there is a red bottle there on the table, then a colour picker is used, then a Munsell notation is found, then colour is applied, is this correct?
I doubt anyone but a digital artist would commonly make use of a colour picker directly while painting. If one is looking for a matched colour you don't need to go through other means, especially not two of them in sequence, simply mix and match directly to the subject. It's not rocket science, just that most painters don't do this.

Where using a colour picker or looking for matching Munsell chips might be useful is in examining colour changes in an image or in the scene in front of you, to see what the relative colour is like - that is to say, to determine what the actual colour changes are, irrespective of how they appear. It's this sort of thing that for example allows some people to state with certainty whether there are hue changes in the shadows of something... despite how simple this might appear to do it is not something that the majority of artists can do merely by eye* and many painters, even very experienced ones, can actually be poor at it.

*I'll come back to this point later on.

This is probably why we get into so much trouble here talking about these entirely different aspects.
I think that the main difficulty is simply entrenched views. New or old, an established position tends to make the holder resistant to another (competing or just incompatible) outlook.

I can certainly see where Munsell would be beneficial in copying the colour before you and the need to be more accurate in describing the colour but next to useless when one aspires to invention.
Bearing in mind I don't use Munsell I can still give, off the top of my head, maybe three or four ways in which using it would in no way hamper invention. This really doesn't have to have anything to do with copying or not copying, it's merely a colour-mapping system.


With regard to shadow colouration, for me there's an insurmountable objection to its use for describing the relative colour, on the basis that 'cooler' can be any combination of hue change, value and/or chroma change.
Any combination? I don't understand this statement - would you elaborate please?
A 'temperature' change could be:
a hue change only;
a value change only;
a chroma change only;
a hue and chroma change, with the value remaining the same;
a chroma and value change with the hue unaltered;
and rarely, a hue and value change, with the chroma unchanged.

So which one is meant? That's the key issue.

I don't want to overstate this but it would appear that not only is it rare that more detail is given, sometimes it can't be given because seat-of-the-pants mixing tends to be done unconsciously; we've seen examples here on WC of people who are unable to say what hue something is that they mixed themselves.

But it's actually not that uncommon for people to be mistaken about the hue of mixtures because preconceived ideas can throw you off (e.g. add white and the hue remains the same, or, white cools - hold to either of those and you can make invalid assumptions about what you're seeing), because saturated and unsaturated versions of something can appear surprisingly different, because there are common colour illusions like dull yellows and cyans appearing greenish, dull reds appearing more rose or magenta, tints of violet-blues appearing to be more violet than they are, and others.

I may be biting off more than I can chew here - but it does seem to me that we're taking the fact that some disagree about what is the warmest and coolest color, and using that as a reason to take what I think is a fairly simple psychological concept - warm and cool color contrast - and make it unnecessarily complex.
Not really. Speaking for myself I'm using the opportunity to express an alternative view and discuss its advantages.

Quite a bit of my training in color is currently focused around building compositions by controlling warm and cool colors, including advancement of warm and recession of cool colors, the relationship of warm light to cooler shadows and vice versa, and so on. I'm no good at it yet, but I see how my instructors do it, and they're using these concepts practically, with success. In practice they are valid, and IMHO shouldn't be dismissed too quickly.
Related to what I said above, the same colour changes they are using in their work could simply be described differently. This wouldn't change the nature of the work, obviously, or one's appreciation of it, but in terms of teaching exactly what is going on there's little comparison.

Even though they're both intended to describe the same thing I'd hope it's clear that "mix that shadow cooler" and "for the shadow, keep the hue the same but darken it and drop the chroma" are very different in how useful they are to a learner.

Einion

Nosaj
11-19-2009, 05:31 PM
it does seem to me that we're taking the fact that some disagree about what is the warmest and coolest color, and using that as a reason to take what I think is a fairly simple psychological concept - warm and cool color contrast - and make it unnecessarily complex.

Took the words right out of my.....keyboard...



Also..while there may be various reasons as to why a shadow for example is appearing cooler or warmer(change in Chroma, Value, Hue)..the simple idea is..its appearing cooler. The "Why's" are a seperate issue. When teaching the "cooler vs. warmer" method...the purpose is to understand the degree of difference..not the reason for the degree of difference.

And..as stated repeatedly, this method is usually taught, to be regarded as a guide..not a hard and fast rule.:rolleyes:

llawrence
11-19-2009, 10:02 PM
lawrence -- Yes, people do get results, but they misinterpret them and decide to use the results as a basis for Rules, and the foundation is weak or incomplete. For example: the warm advances, cool recedes rule -- not true, or I should say partially true but incomplete. The same effect can be accomplished with bright "cool" colors raised to high chroma and above middle value, against dark warm color of lower chroma -- the cool color will pop out and advance. I understand, but that just means to me that warmth is not the only thing that tends to advance. As you note, higher saturation advances too - as do harder edges, greater value contrast, etc. These aspects all interact with each other in complex ways in a composition, and more than one can be in play in a painting at the same time. I don't see that nullifying any one of them. The principle that warmth advances simply means to me that, all else being equal (saturation etc.), a warmer color surrounded by cooler colors will command attention, to a degree that a cooler color surrounded by warmer colors will not - and I think that is largely true.

llawrence
11-19-2009, 10:08 PM
A 'temperature' change could be: ... Now I understand what you meant, thanks. I agree.
Even though they're both intended to describe the same thing I'd hope it's clear that "mix that shadow cooler" and "for the shadow, keep the hue the same but darken it and drop the chroma" are very different in how useful they are to a learner. Yes, they are different - but frankly, I would find the former more generally useful in discussions of composition or ways of approaching a painting. The latter is more of a mixing lesson. Both important in different ways and in different discussions, IMHO.