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llawrence
09-10-2010, 12:25 AM
Mod Note: Discussion on this point split off from the thread Show us your palette colors and tell us why: 2006-present


Black will kill your colors.I've seen this statement before, and I have to say I don't really understand it. What do you mean when you write that black will "kill your colors"?

sidbledsoe
09-10-2010, 07:27 AM
I think it is simply saying that it lowers chroma, in as unsavory term as can be used to explain why some avoid it. One man's "killed" color is another's lovely muted and beautiful green, perfect for foliage, etc. One artists' killed color is another's lovely tone made correct rather than overly chromatic and gaudy. Colorists that want vibrant saturated highly chromatic colors avoid black like the plague, but make it with mixes. Tonalists tend to embrace it's unmatched attributes. Monet was one of the first to avoid black (later in career) and I believe it has become widespread since that point in art history. Using black elicits much controversy and contention (much ado about nothing), witness the many threads so far throughout WC.
But in reality, it is the artist who is responsible for the "killing", not the paint.

Gigalot
09-10-2010, 08:53 AM
You are absolutely right, Sid! Monet avoid it but Renoir and Cezanne increased.

I had thought that all artists have switched their palettes to using only 3 colors:

UMB PB29
Lemon Yellow PY35 or PY74 or even Yellow Ochre:wave:
Quin Magenta PR122 or even Alizarin Crimson PR83

I was very very wrong!:D :D

Gardavkra
09-10-2010, 02:48 PM
It's better to lower the intensity of a color my adding it's complement rather than adding black. Black will muddy the color and it will lose some of it's life, energy, vibrancy, whatever term you wish to use which, is why I used the term kill. If you are doing a value study, then black is fine. If you take a good look at shadows, you'll see that they aren't really black. They are affected by local and reflected color. However, it is a personal choice. I teach my students to not use black for the reasons above.

sidbledsoe
09-10-2010, 04:31 PM
I think anyone should use whatever they prefer, for plein air I don't like black, it is superfulous, I can make it with crimson and green or blue and umber.
I find that chromatic blacks, pigment blacks, and complements can all kill and muddy, here is an example of where I mixed a deader, energy sapped, less vibrant color with a complement than I did with ivory black.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Sep-2010/112587-IMG_0001.JPG
"Don't use black, it is death to color"
Many beginning artists take these kind of generalized axioms to heart.
This is why I think it is most important to give credit where it is due. Too often artists promote their colors and their palettes as the better way to paint (and the no black thing is a huge one) when I believe it gives too much power, too much importance to the color in the tube itself rather than where it should reside, which is in the artists' hands. It doesn't seem right to me that Zorn, Rembrandt, Sargent, Bougereau, and many other artists should have not used black so that their paintings would be less muddy.
It is what Monet, the greatest non-black user of all time, was saying in this quote " As for the paints I use, is it really as interesting as all that? I don't think so, considering that one could do something even more luminous and better with other palettes. The point is to know how to use the colours, of which is, when all said and done, a matter of habit"

Gigalot
09-10-2010, 05:56 PM
I think we can find many Monet `s paintings with such a color I call Black.

sidbledsoe
09-10-2010, 06:02 PM
In one of my books on impressionists, they say that Monet did use black sometimes, even after he quit!
At times you may want a color dead, muddy, and killed and other times you may just want plain old black.

Gigalot
09-10-2010, 06:04 PM
And Bouguereau too:

Bouguereau never mentions a specific palette, but Moreau-Vauthier is again helpful in this regard; he gives it as:
Naples Yellow (lead antimonate)
Yellow-Ochre
Chrome Yellow, dark
Viridian
Cobalt Blue
White Lead
Light Vermilion
Chinese Vermilion
Mars Brown (iron oxide); this available from Lefranc & Bourgeois Van Dyck Brown
Burnt Sienna
Ivory Black
Bitumen
Genuine Rose Madder, dark

And I agree with Sid - color+black is more colorful than color+compliment .

Gardavkra
09-10-2010, 06:27 PM
As others have said, this is a debate that has been going on for years. I teach my students not to use black because, of personal experience. After all this is art and it's about creating and expressing ourselves freely. As I said in my previous post, it's a personal choice. If it works for you, use it.

As for your demonstration, well it really proves nothing. That same green that you have can be mixed without using black. It's also apparent that the black which, I'm assuming is right out of a tube, has a lot of blue in it. So, is it really black? I would call it a low intensity dark blue. The result also depends of what type of red and blue were mixed to make the violet.

My whole point here is that if an artist understands color theory and knows how to mix colors, then the results are going to be more natural and livelier, in my experience so, that's what I teach and that's how I paint and draw. I'm certainly not saying that you do not know color theory, by the way. This is like two martial arts masters arguing over who's style is the best. It's not the style that matters but, the artist.

So again, if an artist wants to use black, fine. It not, that's fine too. These are two different schools of thought. I completely understand what you are saying, I just don't agree.

sidbledsoe
09-10-2010, 11:45 PM
I agree, no problem, just interesting discussion. We woke up a thread that was dead for months!

Gigalot
09-11-2010, 05:56 AM
Two different schools? Why only 2?

sidbledsoe
09-11-2010, 08:57 AM
That's the gray area.:D

Gigalot
09-11-2010, 01:22 PM
Modern offset printing 4-color system using CMYK is based on scientific color theory and not on the false and fabricated last century prejudices.

Most of the pictures contain a significant amount of black offset ink which only enhances the excellent quality of modern printing.

No one will stop to use of black pigment only on the basis of questionable emotional comments like "Black is deadly color" :evil:

NancyMP
09-11-2010, 10:08 PM
One of the trouble I have with Photoshop is that CMY seems to be the only three colors you can adjust in a photo. I wish they would add the K, because some photos need black, rather than causing us to fuss around with sliders and all the combinations that can create black.

llawrence
09-11-2010, 10:45 PM
I've never seen that problem, Nancy. When I switch to CMYK sliders in the color palette I see four sliders:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Sep-2010/132386-CMYKsliders.gif

Gardavkra, thank you for your explanation.

NancyMP
09-11-2010, 11:37 PM
llawrence, of course! I've been trying to adjust photos with a pre-setting of RGB! Please excuse my carelessness! I'll need to re-set to CMYK to adjust.:)

Gardavkra
09-13-2010, 12:11 PM
Gardavkra, thank you for your explanation.

Your welcome llawrence. The next time I answer a question I'll try to be a little more detailed in my explanation and perhaps I should avoid the "kill". :angel:

Einion
10-02-2010, 03:36 PM
Gardavkra, thank you for your explanation.
Your welcome llawrence. The next time I answer a question I'll try to be a little more detailed in my explanation and perhaps I should avoid the "kill". :angel:
Yes that would be best.

It would also be a good idea to express anything like "Black will kill your colours" as your opinion, as we ask in the Starting Tips (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=477605) thread. Like it says there, this is intended to "forestall unnecessary argument; if you make a statement as if it is not an opinion do not be surprised if you're asked for evidence to support it."

Einion

Doug Nykoe
10-02-2010, 05:16 PM
I think it’s good to realize what Black does to colour with your own testing and to see what complements do as well. But it’s not an opinion that black yields different results than complementary work. It’s right there in the painting process for anyone to find out for themselves. But if painting really makes sense to you using black then you’re probably hardwired that way, just as it’s very interesting for someone to take on the complications of complementary work and will do so.

Now in saying that, a lot of these artists back when didn’t stop using black because they suddenly developed a strange mental disease or something they dropped it for a reason and had the chops or wherewithal to do so because they were after all very familiar with the use black in their previous methods of painting. But now they had two resources to draw from to create some of the greatest paintings of colour ever.

Like everyone has said...its a choice.

Doug Nykoe
10-03-2010, 12:32 AM
This guy sure made some powerful and creative paintings by pushing black to the extremes at times. I think he was a very interesting painter.

George Wesley Bellows (http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/by_artist.php?&sort=&id=97&p=1)

Einion
10-03-2010, 02:06 AM
I think it’s good to realize what Black does to colour with your own testing and to see what complements do as well.
No question there, best way to know about a lot of things colour-wise is to spend time at the palette for yourself.

Doesn't always have the desired outcome however....

But it’s not an opinion that black yields different results than complementary work. It’s right there in the painting process for anyone to find out for themselves.
By itself, yes. But it's also vitally important for people (especially those who'd preach against its use) to realise that black can be used to yield exactly the same result as complements... perhaps without realising it this was acknowledged above by Gardavkra.

Einion

Mathieu1980
10-03-2010, 09:26 AM
Okay, this time I have to ask this: When people say black kills color, do they mean it desaturates color (perhaps to a too high degree) or do they mean it also kills the surrounding colors? Like, if you use black, you're dragging all your other colors in your painting down with it.

Personally, I don't like the statement "Black kills color", I would prefer to say black CAN kill color. Which is only a bad thing if that is not what you want.
In the same token, I could say Phtalo pigments screw up your palet (and everything else that touches it), but this is not true. It CAN do that if not handled in a correct way.

As I learned, black neutralizes color much sooner than it darkens color significantly. So if you use it to only darken a color, the result is that it killed your color too. If you use it to neutralize a color, but you say it killed it, doesn't that just mean you used to much of it? Like a phtalo 'killing' your color when used to much?

I never used black (yet), so this is all speculation on my part. So I would like to know what is meant with "black kills color".

sidbledsoe
10-03-2010, 09:31 AM
Sap green (tint) is the mother color above, below are two mixes, one with black and one with a complement red:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Oct-2010/112587-IMG_0001.JPG
Both are usable color mixes for myself.

sidbledsoe
10-03-2010, 11:58 AM
The one that looks muddy above is made with the complement, on the bottom right. The one that looks like a fresh spring green is made with black, the one on the left. But these are opinions based upon feelings.

Here they are again mixed out and tinted out. One looks cooler, more full of color, cleaner, less muddy, and is made with Black. The other looks warmer, muddier, dirtier, deader color, and it is made with a complement. Again those are descriptors based upon feeling and opinion. Thus I think it is an opinion that black "kills" color. It is almost like saying that guns kill but omitting the part about the person shooting. The mixer has the control.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Oct-2010/112587-IMG_0002.JPG

lovin art
10-03-2010, 04:48 PM
Hia Sid , I like both colours you have mixed here, meaning the Black and colour , it appeals to me more as a painter to use then the less muddier version...the compliement colour just doesnt seem to measure up for me !!

I guess too your taught and learnered to stay away from the dreaded Black but to me, it does have a place on my palette, for the most part I tend to mix it with ultra blue and umber , but their are times you can see the benifits of using it straight up !!

and as much as I love Monet and his work was beautiful soft and very beholding , I also love the Bold Liveliness of Renior's works !! :D

Doug Nykoe
10-03-2010, 06:37 PM
The one that looks muddy above is made with the complement, on the bottom right. The one that looks like a fresh spring green is made with black, the one on the left. But these are opinions based upon feelings.

Here they are again mixed out and tinted out. One looks cooler, more full of color, cleaner, less muddy, and is made with Black. The other looks warmer, muddier, dirtier, deader color, and it is made with a complement. Again those are descriptors based upon feeling and opinion. Thus I think it is an opinion that black "kills" color. It is almost like saying that guns kill but omitting the part about the person shooting. The mixer has the control.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Oct-2010/112587-IMG_0002.JPG

Not sure what this has to do with complementary mixing??? Or what your point was or intended to be. From what I see here you are mixing both mixing procedures in the traditional method. That would be wrong but maybe you intended something else here and I missed it.

sidbledsoe
10-03-2010, 07:01 PM
That would be wrong I must not have read that rule.
Are you asking me what point was and what I intended or just expressing your thoughts?
Here is what I intended:
The thread topic is about black killing colors. It is an opinion and I also have the opinion that other colors and mixes kill.
I am showing here that a complement can kill color. There is no discernible green left in the complementary mix, it is dead. A chromatic black made from chromatic colors can also kill a color. At one time or another I use all of them to muddy and kill colors among other things, I also use palette scraping mud to kill colors.

lovin art
10-03-2010, 07:07 PM
Not sure what this has to do with complementary mixing??? Or what your point was or intended to be. From what I see here you are mixing both mixing procedures in the traditional method. That would be wrong but maybe you intended something else here and I missed it.


Whats to not understand and Miss !! - Huh !

Doug Nykoe
10-03-2010, 11:16 PM
Oh, okay Sid and Lovin art, you were demonstrating the kill or potential operator error… Okay I see.

It’s just that your demonstration at least to me, doesn’t seem somehow relevant to the discussion of why black is dropped for complimentary methods…. the Black is used primarily within the traditional methods and an acceptable method at that. The Complementary method was primarily adopted for optical mixing. Two different methods here and the reason blacks were dropped in favor of luminosity rather than the pigments being FULLY mixed together which of course made Black very helpful in traditional methods but not so much so to achieve luminosity where pigments were placed side by side to create this luminosity.

I am assuming you heard the Impressionist, neo and so on were tackling issues of light to mention one and basically a more luminous painting was what they were trying to achieve. Optical mixing yielded a much more intense luminosities than the traditionalists could ever hope for,,, so that’s why the term killing of colour came from.

So your comparison Sid seemed to have little to do with the issue. But I now see where you were going with that.

P.S. Thanks for your response Einion.

~

sidbledsoe
10-04-2010, 06:41 AM
As for your demonstration, well it really proves nothing
Gardavkra, It demonstrated a practical example of your statement:
It's better to lower the intensity of a color my adding it's complement rather than adding black
But it didn't show whether it is better or not, just that a complement is more effective in lowering the chroma of a color, or as some may say, killing it.
I would ignore my post rather than dismissing the value of it, others may be interested in examples.
you were demonstrating the kill or potential operator error
Doug, I was demonstrating the kill or desaturation in color that mixing complements achieves vs the effect that mixing with black achieves while retaining the mother color.
The effect of mixing complements is what they do to each other. They neutralize or kill each other. Artists are responsible for errors, therein lies the potential, not the paint. Any color has the potential to be misused.
I can expand upon this later and show practical examples of strings with complements at opposite ends. Each complement is neutralized from each end until the middle where neither color is alive, they kill each other.
A string of any color at one end and with black at the other will yeild a full color at one end and each step will show that same original color (or somewhat shifted by the black), progressively darkened with black until pure black is reached at the other end. The color is not neutralized or killed until pure black is reached.
So your comparison Sid seemed to have little to do with the issue
I would say that color attributes are specifically pertinent to this thread topic here in a forum dedicated to color theory and mixing. I didn't address various types of mixing, historical genre trends, nor methods of achieving perceived luminosity in paintings, the latter of which is more pertinent to other forums.
If you feel that this example isn't related to your particular issues then I would just ignore my post rather than dismissing it's value, others may be interested in color and mixing attributes.

John H
10-04-2010, 06:51 AM
Mod Note: Discussion on this point split off from the thread Show us your palette colors and tell us why: 2006-present


I've seen this statement before, and I have to say I don't really understand it. What do you mean when you write that black will "kill your colors"?

warm vs. cool, light vs. dark, dead vs. alive
The way I see it is that a "dead" color will make the color next to it appear more alive by way of contrast.

llawrence
10-04-2010, 12:02 PM
I am assuming you heard the Impressionist, neo and so on were tackling issues of light to mention one and basically a more luminous painting was what they were trying to achieve. Optical mixing yielded a much more intense luminosities than the traditionalists could ever hope for,,, so that’s why the term killing of colour came from.I think a larger difference is that the impressionists were quicker to jump into using the new synthetic colors available in the nineteenth century, as well as a general great restoration of the idea of colore over disegno. By the nineteenth century, most of the old master paintings had become quite dark and dulled by the effect of time on the final varnishes, so many nineteenth century painters were fooled into the idea of "brown painting" with little in the way of bright color - or, at least, that was part of their aesthetic at the time. (When some of the older paintings began to have those original varnishes removed, the restorers were shocked by the original bright colors - and in some cases, unfortunately, originals were actually painted over in browns and blacks to make them fit with the nineteenth-century aesthetic! It may be worth noting that the impressionists largely rejected the use of varnishes altogether.) So some academic painters were slow to adopt the new riot of colors made from chromium, cobalt, and cadmium. The impressionists jumped on them. I'm not sure it had as much to do with not using black. Many of the impressionists (most?) did use black - but they used the new brighter colors as well. Optical mixing and the use of black are not mutually exclusive - at least until you get to the pointillists, who were specifically trying to mix grays optically.

Doug Nykoe
10-04-2010, 01:49 PM
Hi llawrence and Sid I will just add this as a response.

No I like your posts Sid and don’t want to ignore them I just think we build on each other’s posts to find some truth so as someone might get a spark where there was none before….its happened to me many times but hopefully not to offend anyone.

So my thinking is complement building is not so strategic in its mixing as black is. This showing how alizarin and Viridian mixes to black and then comparing it to black is not what this method is about. A lot of the time it’s downright frustrating as Monet would say. At times he would compare this method to children misbehaving but he had his little secrets to regain control once again and yes llawrence they did use black but not in their mixes of colour. But yes there were times before when they did use black before the change and remember this was new, not what we now know today so it was experimental but they finally got there and I think this is where the confusion comes from in their use of black. But yes there were definite uses for black but not in the mix per say in the end.

Two colours that are mixed have their capacity to reflect light diminished because they are combined and subtracting so if we understand that then we will avoid it in a sense but that depends as you probably know but black is already fully diminished in its ability to reflect light so it doesn’t make much sense to use it in this method. It takes a different type of artists to use this method over the more traditional methods.

Llawrence, Pissarro who invented the optical method gave rise to the pointille that Seurat mastered but it sure was an exciting time and a mixed bag of ideas as they tried different ways to achieve the ideal so there are and will be confusions whether black was used or not. Also there was a lot of cryptic talk in those times like Cézanne saying to never use lines, “there are no lines in nature” but in his work, staring at you, were the lines surrounding many parts of his work which were added for control but only after what he said was exhausted so we see a lot of their learning and progressions and warts which add to the confusion but as time passed the ideal was …no black to achieve luminance. So today artists are still trying to minimize black so as to create more colorful responses but there are many ways to achieve this as you can imagine without black.

~

Colorix
10-04-2010, 02:38 PM
Complicated topic, and I'd say it all has to do with the context in which the black is used, or not used. Or, put differently, do you paint objects, or do you paint light?

When striving to paint the *effect* of light, the effort of many impressionists is to cause colour vibrations imitating the effect of light. As you all know, light shone through a prism gives the rainbow hues of coloured light. In the developed impressionism, the rainbow colours (if I may call them that) are used, together with a bit of white if needed, and then applied as broken colour which creates a vibration giving the illusion of light. In that context, black is the absence of light -- as the reasoning is that as long as you can see anything, there is light, albeit weak in dark areas. It could be argued that impressionists paint the light vibrating in the air, and not the local colour of objects.

In that context, the unity, the 'envelope' of the light of a painting, is disturbed by the use of paint that represents no light at all, i.e. black. It becomes a dischord, a jarring note that is quite clearly perceived as 'dead' by a painter of light. (Yes, Renoir's black bits do jarr, in the eyes of a painter of light.) This goes for colours greyed down with black, too.

Not all colours in nature are bright and clear right out of the tube, so painters in the impressionist tradition tend to view coloured neutrals as better representations of the light-vibration of dull objects, or grey days.

For the illusion of the shimmering of light to be reasonably convincing, an area on the canvas is rarely a solid colour, but broken in some manner.

Now, I'd like to argue that in a painting where black is used to tone down colour and for creating shadows, an area of impressionistic style would be out of place and jarring, as it would disturb the harmony of the painting. It is another song, with another harmony, just as an off key note in music is immediately noticeable.

So, my personal opinion, as stated above, is that the method and contexts makes the whole difference, not black paint in itself. What is right in your context isn't good practice in my context, and vice versa!

All painting is fakery, illusion, artificial, deceipt when all is said and done -- two dimensional representations of a 3D reality.

sidbledsoe
10-04-2010, 03:21 PM
Here is an example of using black to make a typical green that I may use in paintings such as copies of Monet or Van Gogh, or originals of my own. It was made with cad lemon yellow, ivory black, and white:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Oct-2010/112587-rsz_1112587-imgp2372.jpg
I have used many greens such as this and various other mixes with other colors such as pthalo blue, quin. red, etc. with black. The resulting mixes are quite chromatic and not dead and can be used in many contexts or with various methods of application, from luminous glazing techniques to broken color and alla prima styles.

lovin art
10-04-2010, 06:37 PM
Heres some of mine Sid , I dont know how helpful these are to anyone as the morjority of you live in the states and Im on some little lsland on the other side of nowhere !!:lol: these are using Art spectrum Paints ...these are all colours I would of course use with out hesitation...:D


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Oct-2010/186639-038.JPG

sidbledsoe
10-04-2010, 07:35 PM
I think it’s good to realize what Black does to colour with your own testing and to see what complements do as well.

Yes Sandra, that is the idea, as suggested earlier, I think it is the best way to really get a handle on what your colors do.
Here are a couple of strings as I spoke of earlier, top row is cyan mixed with black in a string and white is added. Bottom row is cyan and a complement orange/vermillion. Notice the reduction in chroma for black but it isn't fully neutralized until I reach black itself. But the complimentary mixed roughly half and half has neutralized the blue and then you get a orange brown as it approaches the complement. When I really want to knock back chroma I opt for the complement first, not black. Any mix in these two strings has a place in practice:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Oct-2010/112587-IMG_0003.JPG

lovin art
10-04-2010, 08:11 PM
Yes Sid I see by looking at your strings and the complimentary does knock it down rather quick too,... way quicker than the Black ....I do love the intensity of the two as to very different chroma's though , and like both of these sets of colours !!:thumbsup:

I highly agree with you Sid, mixing your own is the only way to go !! of course I have metal blocks when mixing sometimes and I will then refer to my colour and theory journal with of course I think every good artist should have !!:D

Gardavkra
10-04-2010, 09:20 PM
Let me use this analogy to help explain where I'm coming from. It's like visiting a wax museum. How do you know that the statues aren't alive? Can't you feel it? Isn't there something that just doesn't look right or feel right? Well, that's how it is for me.

So, when I say that black renders a color lifeless, I mean than it sucks the energy out of it. To me it's not moving, it's not flowing, it looks artificial. It's like artificial turf compared to real grass. Sure, you can use black and there is nothing wrong with it. It just depends on your own experience and what you can relate to. Some people prefer acrylics to oil or watercolor. There's no right or wrong answer. It's all about personal preference, in my opinion.

Using complements works better for me because, of what I just stated. That's how I do my art and that's how I teach. :thumbsup:

Einion
10-05-2010, 04:17 AM
Sid and Sandra, thanks muchly for taking the time to make and post those swatches.

We've strayed into a few related (and not so much) areas here but I'm going to focus entirely on the black v. complements thing since it's the core subject and it's an important topic to tackle (again :rolleyes:).


Personally, I don't like the statement "Black kills color", I would prefer to say black CAN kill color. Which is only a bad thing if that is not what you want.
In the same token, I could say Phtalo pigments screw up your palet (and everything else that touches it), but this is not true. It CAN do that if not handled in a correct way.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif

As I learned, black neutralizes color much sooner than it darkens color significantly.
It's worth looking at that in detail actually - particularly because we should be concerned with paint mixtures, not colour in the abstract, and different paints react different in mixtures with higher- or lower-chroma results and other similar colours.

Good examples to try might be both Mars Black and Lamp Black mixed into Cad Red Medium and a similar naphthol or quinacridone red, one of the arylide yellows compared to a similar cad yellow.


I would say that color attributes are specifically pertinent to this thread topic here in a forum dedicated to color theory and mixing.
Agreed!


So, when I say that black renders a color lifeless, I mean than it sucks the energy out of it. To me it's not moving, it's not flowing, it looks artificial. It's like artificial turf compared to real grass.
Okay, how do you reconcile this with your previous statement?
That same green that you have can be mixed without using black.

The same works in both directions ;)

Sure, you can use black and there is nothing wrong with it. It just depends on your own experience and what you can relate to. Some people prefer acrylics to oil or watercolor. There's no right or wrong answer. It's all about personal preference, in my opinion.
That's absolutely right, but there is a problem in statements about a specific method being better or worse for the same application when it can be easily seen that they can be used for identical results. And further, when specific things are attributed to one method that are shown to not actually be correct.

Example: adding black will muddy a colour and cause it to loose vibrancy. Well yeah, that can certainly be true... but not always, so already a problem. It's also not as bad (i.e. it doesn't happen as quickly as implied/stated) so a second problem.

Let's look at the colour change; the point of using a mixing complement is to lower chroma, and lower chroma = duller. Duller colour is often referred to as deader, lifeless and other emotive terms. Regardless, in many cases using black will do this less than a mixing complement will. This is a key point and one I see we'll probably have to return to :)

If the goal is to mix a specific low-chroma colour then it often doesn't matter how that mix was achieved - the target colour is the target colour and if you hit the mark you hit it, regardless of method. There are some other issues related to how that mix interacts with other things, but for now just focussing on masstone colour.

The problem with using black I think boils down to if it looks like you've used black, for example if the mixtures are blackened. We've all seen this I'm sure. But this isn't an issue with simply making use of black, it's about misusing black. But there's just as much of a problem with adding too much of a mixing complement...

Want to close with a very relevant observation someone else made in a 2006 thread:
Even though he is creating mud with his complimetary hues intentionally, he considers them acceptable and the use of black not.
This is pretty much the issue in a nutshell.

Einion

P.S. Sorry just have to add a quip about this:
Llawrence, Pissarro who invented the optical method gave rise to the pointille that Seurat mastered...
Even Seurat cheated!

Einion
10-05-2010, 04:18 AM
I've posted these before and I was thinking over the weekend of posted 'em again for the same reason and I can see there's a good reason to. Do either of these paintings look dead or lifeless to anyone:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2002/Sloane_Ex.JPG

Why these as an example? We'll have to guess at the palette used but just about every colour that's not at full intensity will have some black in it. Not black by itself though! Sloane was an early user of neutral greys to lower chroma. And here's the thing about someone preaching against the use of black, they fail to take into account careful use of it, modest additions as part of a considered mixing strategy - not simply whacking some black into a tube colour to make a shadow mix :D

Einion

lovin art
10-05-2010, 06:27 AM
Thankyou Einion, and for posting those vibrant Paintings also...

Let's look at the colour change; the point of using a mixing complement is to lower chroma, and lower chroma = duller. Duller colour is often referred to as deader, lifeless and other emotive terms. Regardless, in many cases using black will do this less than a mixing complement will. This is a key point and one I see we'll probably have to return to


Im very interested in this Einion , this is a key point in this discussion I agree , and am very couious as to how this comes about , one would think that black is just that black the so called dead colour we have came to know as just that , but its not really just that is it, there are lots of different blacks that will and do have different pigments or chemical compounds to them !! so there for that in turn leads to the thought of it then changing the subsequent colour or chorma that will be made from them also , then there is the effect of optical mixing which is a hole other ball game !! ....effect and change !!

I love it, and it has a place on my palette when called for ...:D

sidbledsoe
10-05-2010, 09:37 AM
Good points from all, I know what Gardavkra is talking about very well for I have done the same thing myself, (those particular dirty paintings are no longer with me :D ) I have also botched things with greens, pthalos etc. But the thing was, I knew so many great artists though history and today, whose paintings I adore, that looked anything but dirty, who used that dreaded black. So I took a step back and really took a look at this stuff (and the same thing happened to me with pthalos). I decided that maybe it wasn't the color's fault, it could be the way I was using it. Now yes, dropping it altogether would solve the problem, but I was determined to sort of beat this black and pthalo thing. Truth is, I don't use very much black at all. I don't use it in plein air, a little bit in landscapes (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8318730&postcount=1), still life (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8909365&postcount=409), and portraits (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8109593&postcount=10), and then only here and there. I am aware of it getting out of hand and exercise caution.
I do like the muted greens one can get. BTW I have gotten the comment that these black made greens look like they have some blue in them.
Well they do, sort of, first I use the most lemony yellow I can get, hansa or cad, and a very "blue" black, Rembrandt, and a very "blue" white, Gamblin or Lukas Titanium. Remember, we are talking and using real world pigments and paints, not theoretical blacks and yellows, this combo will make a nice green everyday.

Gardavkra
10-05-2010, 09:40 AM
Originally Posted by Gardavkra
So, when I say that black renders a color lifeless, I mean than it sucks the energy out of it. To me it's not moving, it's not flowing, it looks artificial. It's like artificial turf compared to real grass.
Okay, how do you reconcile this with your previous statement?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardavkra
That same green that you have can be mixed without using black.

Easily. The demonstration that this statement made reference too was flawed. Black was mixed with yellow which created green. Black and yellow do not create green. The black obviously had blue as it's base. It probably was created using a synthetic dye. The quality of the paint is important if someone is going to demonstrate. It would also help if we knew what paint was being used.

So, like I said, that green can easily be mixed using complements. Also if you want a dead color, you are correct, you can do it with complements also. However, the subject is about killing colors with black not with complements. As you said, straying from the original topic.

sidbledsoe
10-05-2010, 10:00 AM
However, the subject is about killing colors with black not with complements. As you said, straying from the original topic.

It's better to lower the intensity of a color my adding it's complement rather than adding black. Black will muddy the color and it will lose some of it's life, energy, vibrancy, whatever term you wish to use which, is why I used the term kill. If you are doing a value study, then black is fine. If you take a good look at shadows, you'll see that they aren't really black. They are affected by local and reflected color. However, it is a personal choice. I teach my students to not use black for the reasons above.

Gardavkra, the topic was begun by asking your reasons for stating that black killed colors, this was your first response and it specifically mentions the superiority of using complements. I would say that makes it part of the topic.
I think Einion is just steering us back from getting deeply into historical French trends in optical mixing and such.

Gardavkra
10-05-2010, 10:14 AM
Sorry, sidbledsoe, you are correct. This thread has gone on for so long that I can't remember exactly what I said.:lol:

sidbledsoe
10-05-2010, 10:37 AM
No problemo, that happens to me too! (uh,.. more often these days:o )
Some threads go off on such wild goose chases and we lose the continuity of thought both now and for future searchers on the topics that they are interested in researching about. Mentioning it is not so much about wanting to correct you but more about using the opportunity to get members in that frame of mind henceforth, if you know what I mean.:angel:

Gardavkra
10-05-2010, 10:59 AM
I've posted these before and I was thinking over the weekend of posted 'em again for the same reason and I can see there's a good reason to. Do either of these paintings look dead or lifeless to anyone:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Dec-2002/Sloane_Ex.JPG

Why these as an example? We'll have to guess at the palette used but just about every colour that's not at full intensity will have some black in it. Not black by itself though! Sloane was an early user of neutral greys to lower chroma. And here's the thing about someone preaching against the use of black, they fail to take into account careful use of it, modest additions as part of a considered mixing strategy - not simply whacking some black into a tube colour to make a shadow mix :D

Einion
Thanks for posting the paintings Einion. They help to prove my point. Yes, the colors look dead or flat. :eek: This isn't a bad thing though. I see the artist using colors of this type in contrast with the scene which is full of life. It's in the jungle and mostly in shade so there isn't a lot of reflected light. In this case it works very well. Personally, I wouldn't use those colors but, hey, I'm an artist and that's what art is about.

"And here's the thing about someone preaching against the use of black, they fail to take into account careful use of it, modest additions as part of a considered mixing strategy - not simply whacking some black into a tube colour to make a shadow mix" :D

Really! Wow, that's rather harsh and presumptuous don't you think? Look, the feel that I'm getting from some of you here is that you are just too structured in your approach. This is ART not SCIENCE. I don't mean that as an insult in any way. It's just that you guys need to loosen up.:wave:

gunzorro
10-05-2010, 11:09 AM
Gardavaka -- I'm sorry, but you are making some erroneous judgements from some of your observations. In particular, "The black obviously had blue as it's base."

The natural tendency of most familiar yellow pigments as they are darkened is to turn toward what we consider is a "green". This is not a characteristic of only black, and doesn't indicate that the black pigment is derived from a blue based pigment.

And your assessment of the paintings Einion posted is in direct contradition of the point he is demonstrating. That's fine, but you need to be aware that you are stating your opinion, and it doesn't necessarily have any basis in fact or color theory.

Gardavkra
10-05-2010, 01:07 PM
Gardavaka -- I'm sorry, but you are making some erroneous judgements from some of your observations. In particular, "The black obviously had blue as it's base."

The natural tendency of most familiar yellow pigments as they are darkened is to turn toward what we consider is a "green". This is not a characteristic of only black, and doesn't indicate that the black pigment is derived from a blue based pigment.

And your assessment of the paintings Einion posted is in direct contradition of the point he is demonstrating. That's fine, but you need to be aware that you are stating your opinion, and it doesn't necessarily have any basis in fact or color theory.
I agree with what you are saying gunzorro. The color change can also be caused by a chemical reaction. This is another reason why I prefer not to use black. Paints are going to react differently depending on who manufactures them and what there chemical makeup is. I think lovin art pointed this out. I'm not a chemist and I don't pretend to be so I make certain assumptions base on my own experience. Since I use complements I don't have this kind of issue.

I don't agree that it has no basis in color theory. That's exactly what we are talking about here.

As far as my opinion goes. Well, I see others here expressing their opinions and I just assume they are their opinions. I guess I just keep forgetting that I'm not in an academic environment anymore and that I have to be careful about what I say. :thumbsup: We are dealing with amateur to professional here and there should be a certain amount of respect no matter what level an artist is at. I have repeatedly said that using black is fine, that there is nothing wrong with it if you choose to use it. I have nothing against using black other than the reasons that I have listed and that I prefer not to use it. There have been some very good points for using black. We all have our reasons and opinions. If you read other posts that I have made in other forums, you will see that I constantly say "in my opinion." The reason is because, art is subjective. It's not so cut and dried as math and science. I keep forgetting that many here are educated in other fields other than art. I know, I look at the profiles. ;) A lot of us really need to fill out your profiles, by the way. :wink2:

Two paintings were posted and he asked our opinion. I gave my opinion. He didn't use the word opinion and I take it that it's understood. I understand what he was saying and I agree but, it also made my point.

Again, I think that everyone just needs to loosen up. Words are a hard way to express ourselves, especially on a forum like this. You can't see the person's body language or hear the inflections in their speech. So, I admit that after reading some of my posts that they do come across sometimes as sounding rather stern or authoritative. I'm sorry if anyone takes it that way because, that isn't my intention. I would never put another artist down.

lovin art
10-05-2010, 03:09 PM
Two paintings were posted and he asked our opinion. I gave my opinion. He didn't use the word opinion and I take it that it's understood. I understand what he was saying and I agree but, it also made my point.


I think the point Einion was trying to make was the complete opposite to what you said about them...Those paintings are not lifeless or dull in anyway...Gees Louise!! Im here to learn about colour lots of different views dont make it wrong or right , but staying focused about said subject is a vaild thing !!

Gardavkra
10-05-2010, 05:13 PM
Exactly Sandra. He is saying that the paintings are not lifeless or dull and that's his opinion and apparently it's yours too, although you didn't say so.:wink2: I can respect that but, I don't agree. My point is that black makes colors look lifeless. So, in my opinion, he made my point by posting the two examples that actually support what I'm saying even though he doesn't think so. I didn't say the paintings as a whole are lifeless and flat, only the color but, that it works, in my opinion. Yes, as a whole they are beautiful paintings except for the color, in my opinion.

Please don't be confused. There is more than one way to mix colors and you will find many different perspectives when it comes to art in general. Just pick the one that works for you and go with it.

This will be my last post on this. I probably should have quit when Doug and some of the others did. But I guess I'm a gluten for punishment. :D

Cheerio,
Gary

lovin art
10-05-2010, 05:32 PM
Gary , Im not saying you dont have the right to think that , its your view point thats up to you , I was simply stating a truth!! ...and I think if you read my post I did comment to Einion the paintings were Vibrant , so I was agreeing with him , other wise would have said the complete opposite to that !!

Im not confused in the slightest bty ...!!

and as for being a gluten for punishment , well we all sometimes have to battle that demon!!;)

Doug Nykoe
10-05-2010, 07:19 PM
This will be my last post on this. I probably should have quit when Doug and some of the others did. But I guess I'm a gluten for punishment. :D

Cheerio,
Gary

I tried to help the OP by getting into some of the root causes why black was dropped as in optical mixing and its many variations we see today. But ummmm which I thought had everything to do with this thread but see now many didn’t like the idea so ….so be it. But at least we both agree complements are great and lead to many, many more advantages by default.:wave:

~

dcorc
10-05-2010, 07:39 PM
Read about pigment mixing paths and related issues at:

http://www.huevaluechroma.com/061.php
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/062.php
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/063.php

Dave

lovin art
10-05-2010, 08:04 PM
Well I for one will be reading these , thankyou for posting the links Dave !!

Richard Saylor
10-05-2010, 09:46 PM
Read about pigment mixing paths and related issues at:

http://www.huevaluechroma.com/061.php
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/062.php
http://www.huevaluechroma.com/063.php

Dave

That site is a great introduction to color. Not too technical, but not too simplistic either.

sonshine
10-05-2010, 11:20 PM
Most elequently put. Ray

NancyMP
10-06-2010, 02:04 AM
The one that looks muddy above is made with the complement, on the bottom right. The one that looks like a fresh spring green is made with black, the one on the left. But these are opinions based upon feelings.

Here they are again mixed out and tinted out. One looks cooler, more full of color, cleaner, less muddy, and is made with Black. The other looks warmer, muddier, dirtier, deader color, and it is made with a complement. Again those are descriptors based upon feeling and opinion. Thus I think it is an opinion that black "kills" color. It is almost like saying that guns kill but omitting the part about the person shooting. The mixer has the control.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Oct-2010/112587-IMG_0002.JPG

Sandra said that Dave had given us some great links, so I checked back in here --- and could hardly believe that the discussion had gone 4 pages!

I stopped before I got to Dave's links because I found this post a little hinky. My comment is a wee bit off the yes and no subject, but Sid, on this you have used the red that is not complementary to the dark green you're using. That looks like cad red light, and the green looks like viridian.

Black is on my full, non-plein air palette, but if I have a large area of that needs to be black, I mix two transparent complements, alizarin crimson and sap green, and add a little dioxazine purple (another transparent, for verve. Most pre-mixed blacks do look dead when used alone. Transparents solve that problem and also help keep the blacks thin so that they don't dominate. that may be the kind of mixing Gary is talking about.

Local color, unless reflections are present, as in most plein-air painting, some still-lifes and many portraits, can be achieved with mixes, and with a touch of black.

I just don't see why this thread has lasted four pages! The argument has people in both camps agreeing with their advocates! I agree with Einon, there's merit in all the viewpoints, as long as they don't exclude individual experimentation.

And you know you're going to keep experimenting on your own, anyhow!:lol:

gunzorro
10-06-2010, 02:53 AM
Gardavkra -- Here's a point that I disagree with promoting as fact: "The reason is because, art is subjective. It's not so cut and dried as math and science."

While the act of creating may be subjective, the technique of painting and color mixing is not -- it requires math, chemistry and other optical sciences that are sound to develop and use proper color theory.

You may not have been intending to make the point in that way, but we have been subjected from time to time by "free thinkers" who espouse that there are no rules to colors, or the most outlandish combinations are real (to the way they see the world!).

I advocate a strong basis in predictive mixing and understanding of pigments.

With that in mind, it is really uncontestable that black, white and neutral greys are the most efficient means to neutralize chroma without introducing hue shifts. (Some degree of hue shifting is always likely to occur, but I am referring to the order of magnitude being much less with these neutral "colors".)

No one is saying complements can't be used to lower chroma, but we need to ask ourselves whether they are the most predictable or reliable method for a broad range of hues.

Einion
10-06-2010, 03:21 AM
Thanks for posting the paintings Einion. They help to prove my point. Yes, the colors look dead or flat. :eek:
Including the feathers? In case it's not obvious, it's not just the low-chroma mixtures that'll have some black in them ;)

Easily. The demonstration that this statement made reference too was flawed. Black was mixed with yellow which created green. Black and yellow do not create green.
Er, it's actually quite well known that virtually all black pigments do make greens when mixed with yellows (in contrast to the theoretical where +black just makes darker yellows which can look greenish, this is a true shift in hue toward green).

It's easy to see the effect firsthand if you have an old tube of black hiding in a drawer, but I can point you to proof in a number of places if needed. Edit: the HueValueChroma link that Dave posted is one of those.

The black obviously had blue as it's base. It probably was created using a synthetic dye. The quality of the paint is important if someone is going to demonstrate. It would also help if we knew what paint was being used.
It would help if we knew for sure, but FWIW the black pigments of the day are well known - true Ivory Black, Bone Black, Lamp Black and Vine Black probably covers what would be used most commonly. And any of those would mix a green with yellow I can assure you (this even works with something like Yellow Ochre incidentally, so there's quite a profound effect).

We had a related thread only a couple of weeks ago come to think of it and as it covers some of the above ground I'll just give the link now, Black acting like blue in mixtures (split off) (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671201).

Also if you want a dead color, you are correct, you can do it with complements also.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif

However, the subject is about killing colors with black not with complements. As you said, straying from the original topic.
We have to look at the validity of the statement and compare to alternatives for the discussion to have meaning - can't just disagree and leave it at that :) That wouldn't get us anywhere; and complements were specifically given as the better alternative so their superiority, or not, is completely on topic.

And here's the thing about someone preaching against the use of black, they fail to take into account careful use of it, modest additions as part of a considered mixing strategy - not simply whacking some black into a tube colour to make a shadow mix :D
Really! Wow, that's rather harsh and presumptuous don't you think?
Not in the least!! I've been involved in discussion on this very topic in three or four forums dozens of times over the years and the statements from the anti-black camp are invariably wrong* or misleading**.

*Much of this is based on unfounded beliefs about what black does. It's understandable perhaps that if someone doesn't use something they don't know well what it does or does not do, but no less frustrating that we see the same misunderstandings get propagated again and again.

**One of the general problems is things get stated as absolutes - it will happen, not, in can happen.

As far as this thread goes, you've acknowledged that complements can make very dull colours too, so there's actually no real need to debate this further. We'd all agree that it can happen with black (used poorly - too much, used where it's not appropriate, used by itself).

Einion

Einion
10-06-2010, 03:29 AM
Sandra said that Dave had given us some great links, so I checked back in here --- and could hardly believe that the discussion had gone 4 pages!
I think it's because any time a forum becomes an abbatoir for a sacred cow it spawns a long, needlessly drawn-out discussion.

Einion

sidbledsoe
10-06-2010, 06:41 AM
I checked back in here --- and could hardly believe that the discussion had gone 4 pages!
We are trying to beat the oily rag record so keep on checking :D

I stopped before I got to Dave's links because I found this post a little hinky. My comment is a wee bit off the yes and no subject, but Sid, on this you have used the red that is not complementary to the dark green you're using. That looks like cad red light, and the green looks like viridian.
Nance, the red is a napthol/quin. crimson Daler Rowney, and the green is sap green Grumbacher. Viridian being very blue would give a mauve mix. They do neutralize each other to a mud and that is all I wanted, a near complement and a little hinky I admit.

I used Winsor Newton ivory black PBk9 for the black mixes, and Rembrandt ivory black for one. I wasn't diligent about identifications because of the lack of specificity in the claim.
I have no problems with black now, rather, I like it, but then I grew up with black and white tv, black leather jackets, and black hairdos like Elvis, held firmly in place with something like liquin. (I wish)
BTW, my mom was a cosmetologist and she observed the black and yellow makes a green thing from dyeing and bleaching black and blond hair, but that was an unbecoming muted green.

Gardavkra
10-06-2010, 01:33 PM
Including the feathers? In case it's not obvious, it's not just the low-chroma mixtures that'll have some black in them ;)

So you are saying that all colors of the highest intensity have black in them or are you saying that only the high intensity colors in these paintings have black in them?

As far as the feathers go, I was speaking of the colors in general. I'm not going to go through every color in the painting with a fine tooth comb just to prove my point.


Er, it's actually quite well known that virtually all black pigments do make greens when mixed with yellows (in contrast to the theoretical where +black just makes darker yellows which can look greenish, this is a true shift in hue toward green).

I'm coming from the theoretical and I have been since I entered this forum.

It's easy to see the effect firsthand if you have an old tube of black hiding in a drawer, but I can point you to proof in a number of places if needed. Edit: the HueValueChroma link that Dave posted is one of those.


It would help if we knew for sure, but FWIW the black pigments of the day are well known - true Ivory Black, Bone Black, Lamp Black and Vine Black probably covers what would be used most commonly. And any of those would mix a green with yellow I can assure you (this even works with something like Yellow Ochre incidentally, so there's quite a profound effect).

We had a related thread only a couple of weeks ago come to think of it and as it covers some of the above ground I'll just give the link now, Black acting like blue in mixtures (split off) (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671201).


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif


We have to look at the validity of the statement and compare to alternatives for the discussion to have meaning - can't just disagree and leave it at that :) That wouldn't get us anywhere; and complements were specifically given as the better alternative so their superiority, or not, is completely on topic.

I've acknowledged that in a previous post.


Not in the least!! I've been involved in discussion on this very topic in three or four forums dozens of times over the years and the statements from the anti-black camp are invariably wrong* or misleading**.

In your opinion?

*Much of this is based on unfounded beliefs about what black does. It's understandable perhaps that if someone doesn't use something they don't know well what it does or does not do, but no less frustrating that we see the same misunderstandings get propagated again and again.

Then it needs to be established as to whether we are talking theory or the practical application of pigments.

**One of the general problems is things get stated as absolutes - it willcan happen happen, not, in .


As far as this thread goes, you've acknowledged that complements can make very dull colours too, so there's actually no real need to debate this further. We'd all agree that it can happen with black (used poorly - too much, used where it's not appropriate, used by itself).

Yes, we can all agree that it's the "quick and dirty approach." :D

Einion
So, I'm coming from a theoretical point of view and many others are coming from the practical application of paint. I could care less if black turns yellow to green and what blacks are on the market, what they are called and who manufactures what. It's not an issue for me. In fact that goes for any color. I don't make charts, take notes use color tables, (did all that in college:D) and I don't need to. However, I do understand that there are many beginners here that do need to and that's good.

I would also add that we should never assume that just because, someone doesn't use black automatically means that they don't know how or that they have never used it. I realize that there are beginners here and that we are talking to a general audience. That's why I think it's important that people fill out their profiles so that we can get a better idea of who they are and where they are in their understanding.

Einion
10-06-2010, 04:01 PM
I'm coming from the theoretical and I have been since I entered this forum.
I'm sorry, say what now?

I think you should review what you've written and how it would be read! It was quite clear from the outset you were speaking about paints, given the comment was within a post about palette choices ;) The entire discussion about black v. complements to lower chroma is obviously about mixtures. And within the thread we've talked about the use of black in paintings, and you've specifically referred to mixes more than once; so no question, not speaking of colour in the abstract or theoretical in those cases.

Einion

gunzorro
10-06-2010, 04:26 PM
Gardavkra -- "Then it needs to be established as to whether we are talking theory or the practical application of pigments."

When we talk about color theory here, we are addressing scientific or repeatable principles of pigments and pigment mixing. So, all color theory cited should have a basis in fact and results, not opinion or the hypothetical. So, it's not an either/or situaton: we are talking observable facts, or we are talking personal opinion.

To address the topic title: black does not "kill" colors. As with mixing complements, black (or grey, or white -- all genuine neutrals) reduces the chroma of all colors it is mixed into. Black also darkens colors (shades). White lightens colors as well as reducing their chroma (tints). Suitable value greys do not darken or lighten colors appreciably (generally called "tones"). So, the answer to the implied question is that, no, black does not kill colors any more than other methods, except that it might be the lowest value and often higher tinting strength, and hence have a drastic effect if overmuch is added to the mixture.

Gigalot
10-06-2010, 04:59 PM
Actually, we have a few very different black paints which must be used properly:

1 Mars Black, an opaque with medium tinting strength

2 Lamp Black with very high tinting strength

3 Ivory Black - semiopaque, with medium tinting strength (most useful)

4 Pitch or Vine Black - Bluish, semitransparent with a very low tinting strength which is become rare. Gardavkra, sure it is a pure carbon without any blue impurities :)

Einion
10-06-2010, 05:01 PM
Just a quick point here, it IS perfectly okay to talk only about theory here - colour planning and colour schemes, visual complements, colour appearance (as a subject in its own right, separated from any thoughts of pigment mixtures) we've talked about all of those in the forum before and will do again. But obviously have to make it clear when this is the case.

If someone asks about complements for example, whether it's mixing complements (pigments only) or visual complements (can be entirely theoretical) is usually clear from the context but if in doubt we ask. The two areas are interrelated of course, so it's very often that you need to talk about a bit of both - as in this thread.

Einion

gunzorro
10-06-2010, 07:05 PM
Einion -- Thanks for clarifying that! I don't mean to scare off discussion or make it ultra-technical. :)

lovin art
10-06-2010, 08:14 PM
Einion -- Thanks for clarifying that! I don't mean to scare off discussion or make it ultra-technical. :)


I actully find it highly exciting reading thanks Guys ..:thumbsup: ..Im in the middle of reading those links ...Im learning...:D

Einion
10-07-2010, 09:06 AM
No probs Jim! Doesn't really relate to this thread as we can see, but needed to clarify for the future in case there were any doubt.

BTW, I don't think this thread went too technical at all; there is a need to get down to some nitty-gritty if looking to show that something isn't a matter of opinion. It would be so much easier if we could show things on the palette as if we were all in the same room - many things that go back and forth for days could be settled in just a couple of minutes and there'd be no doubts! But hey, we work with what we have.

Im in the middle of reading those links ...Im learning...:D
In that case, one bit on this (http://www.huevaluechroma.com/063.php) page I want to highlight that I touched on in a thread a few months back:
For example, all yellow pigments shift towards green when white and especially when black are added, although the magnitude of the effect varies between different yellows.
This is incorrect re. the addition of white, as some yellows don't shift toward green. Also, for the yellows where this does occur (and it does appear to be the great majority) the effect is often so slight that it may be irrelevant to most people; changes in hue this small are often not noticeable, particularly at extremes like at high value and more so if coupled with low or lowish chroma.

Einion

Gardavkra
10-07-2010, 09:39 AM
Gardavkra -- "Then it needs to be established as to whether we are talking theory or the practical application of pigments."

When we talk about color theory here, we are addressing scientific or repeatable principles of pigments and pigment mixing. So, all color theory cited should have a basis in fact and results, not opinion or the hypothetical. So, it's not an either/or situaton: we are talking observable facts, or we are talking personal opinion.

To address the topic title: black does not "kill" colors. As with mixing complements, black (or grey, or white -- all genuine neutrals) reduces the chroma of all colors it is mixed into. Black also darkens colors (shades). White lightens colors as well as reducing their chroma (tints). Suitable value greys do not darken or lighten colors appreciably (generally called "tones"). So, the answer to the implied question is that, no, black does not kill colors any more than other methods, except that it might be the lowest value and often higher tinting strength, and hence have a drastic effect if overmuch is added to the mixture.

Okay, look at it this way. Lets say we want to lower the intensity of red to a medium intensity medium red. We can mix red and black or we could mix red and it's complement, green. We all know that in painting we are dealing with reflected light.

With the red black combination, red is reflecting the red wavelength of light. Black is reflecting nothing. It absorbs all visible frequencies. The red and green combination are both reflecting red and green wavelengths. From the start the complementary combination is reflecting more visible light. So, it stands to reason that the black-red combination reflects less light since the black absorbs all visible wavelengths of light. This is one of the reasons why I say that black kills a color. It adds nothing to the combination. The complements are more vibrant because, they reflect more light even at a lower intensity.

Again, my preference in complementary colors. I'm not at all saying that black is bad. It just depends on your own preference. In this case I am talking theory and practical application. I would encourage everyone who hasn't done so, to try both methods. I have and this is my preference. Guys, this isn't complicated.

I admit that my thought process may be a little scattered and I don't have time to look back at my previous posts. But, when I have several responses then I have several things running through my mind at the same time. I'm not a multitasker :D

Gardavkra
10-07-2010, 10:04 AM
I tried to help the OP by getting into some of the root causes why black was dropped as in optical mixing and its many variations we see today. But ummmm which I thought had everything to do with this thread but see now many didn’t like the idea so ….so be it. But at least we both agree complements are great and lead to many, many more advantages by default.:wave:

~

LOL! You said it!

Gardavkra
10-07-2010, 10:22 AM
I'm sorry, say what now?

I think you should review what you've written and how it would be read! It was quite clear from the outset you were speaking about paints, given the comment was within a post about palette choices ;) The entire discussion about black v. complements to lower chroma is obviously about mixtures. And within the thread we've talked about the use of black in paintings, and you've specifically referred to mixes more than once; so no question, not speaking of colour in the abstract or theoretical in those cases.

Einion

Good point Einion. As I said in another post, I don't have time to review everything that I write. The discussion is about mixing colors but, you really can't separate mixing from color theory. It helps to increase an understanding and explain "why" if the colors don't turn out as predicted in practical application.

sidbledsoe
10-07-2010, 10:53 AM
I tried to help the OP by getting into some of the root causes why black was dropped as in optical mixing and its many variations we see today. But ummmm which I thought had everything to do with this thread but see now many didn’t like the idea
Good point Einion. As I said in another post, I don't have time to review everything that I write.
This speaks to the issue of continuity of thought in threads like this. It is obviously quite a burden for all to not only recall exactly what they said and what the topic is and is about, but to further agree on the terminology employed.
Focusing helps ito communicate effectively as you pointed out earlier. Veering off into a new realm regarding optical mixing strategies is a excellent topic for discussion, as is black and yellow mixing to yeild a green, why the impressionists dropped using black, or the nature of color in shadows. They may all be mentioned, no problem, but it is when many posts begin lengthy debates and generate more confusion. It is my understanding that is why Einion mentioned it and advised steering the discussion back to the original points.
It isn't the case that anyone was banned from expressing these views, or that some didn't like the ideas expressed. It is the herky jerky nature of the lengthy detours generated that sometimes need to be controlled.
Here is an example:
If you take a good look at shadows, you'll see that they aren't really black
No problem, this is a well known topic worthy of examination too, but not so much in this thread if we go off for pages debating the issue.
Anyone with a real interest in closely related topics can post a relevant thread, be it about optical mixing, or why a genre dropped a color, or do a search for similar threads and post to them, many are already here. I have certainly done it in the past, many others do it also. In fact, I am interested in those topics about the impressionists and their methods, I just bought a book about it. Recall that this thread was split from another to keep the continuity in the parent thread intact.

Gardavkra
10-07-2010, 11:39 AM
This speaks to the issue of continuity of thought in threads like this. It is obviously quite a burden for all to not only recall exactly what they said and what the topic is and is about, but to further agree on the terminology employed. Focusing helps ito communicate effectively as you pointed out earlier. Veering off into a new realm regarding optical mixing strategies is a excellent topic for discussion, as is black and yellow mixing to yeild a green, why the impressionists dropped using black, or the nature of color in shadows. They may all be mentioned, no problem, but it is when many posts begin lengthy debates. It is my understanding that is why Einion mentioned it and advised steering the discussion back to the original points. It isn't the case that anyone was banned from expressing these views, it is the herky jerky nature of the lengthy detours it entails. Anyone with a real interest in related topics can post a relevant thread, be it about optical mixing, or why a genre dropped a color, or do a search for similar threads and post to them, many are already here. I have certainly done it in the past, many others do it also.
Hey remember, the topic was about mixing black with colors and when I did it in real life and posted examples, several thought that they were either of no value or not even relevant! :confused:

Sorry about that. Without going back and reading that post I'm thinking that my train of thought was more about theory than application. I'm usually in both modes and for me they are pretty seamless.

Anyway, I apologize again sidbledsoe. :wave: Your demonstration did show what black can do to yellow. So let me ask you a question. When you mix black with yellow and it turns green or greenish, how would you personally correct it?

sidbledsoe
10-07-2010, 12:07 PM
So let me ask you a question. When you mix black with yellow and it turns green or greenish, how would you personally correct it?
No apologies needed, glad you stuck around. If I didn't like it or want to use that green I would either de-green it with the complement or just start another mix and ditch that one.
But if you meant correct it by making it greener then I would add a more vibrant green, yellow and/or blue, or again just start over. Whatever tweaking I thought best. My palette for the lions in this post (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8227685&postcount=25)was yellow ochre, ivory black, and venetian red, something like the zorn palette. The greens were made with you know what and variations. But my avatar is a plein air using pthalo green variations and yellow and blue mixes, no black, darks with umber/blue mostly.
One might think I use black by the ton from the posts I've made but I use very little in practice, none for plein air (I like that palette simple as can be) and that is what I am doing mostly right now.

Gardavkra
10-07-2010, 01:50 PM
That's probably what I would do also but, the reason I asked is that if red is used to lower the green then I'm really not dealing with yellow anymore. I would use the complement also but, I would ditch the black and just use violet and yellow instead. It would probably save a step and save paint.:) I should add that I'm really not in the anti-black camp. I just choose not to use it.

Anyway, I think this was a pretty good discussion over all. I'm not sure its over though.:wink2: I don't usually like to discuss things like this in a forum because, I never know who I'm really talking with. If I'm talking with someone who I think is a beginner and they turn out to be advanced, then I may end up insulting them which is the last thing I want to do.:o That's one of the things that I've notice in other forums. I'm sure it's not intentional but, I think that some are so eager to help that they may forget there are people of different levels. I'm just rambling now.:lol: Time to go paint.:thumbsup:

lovin art
10-07-2010, 05:05 PM
Thankyou Einion for the link:D , Wow hes from Sydney town !! I love this site its very informative , the interactive colour ball on the home page is a buzz too....I have so much more to learn and I thought it was just a simple case of stand there and mix colours of course it is to some degree but practical and theory do go hand in hand ....my teacher in oils was like,- just Mix (she was very old fashioned) and learn,... but much more is needed I think .....

and I think to some degree too that to a real beginner starting out would be scared to go to black and not wish to use it on their palette, we cant define just any black because why? well there are so many different versions (brands) of it for a start , your right Einion would be great if we could all be in the same room and seeing it as one, but thats just not the case here is it:( ....so if a beginner is reading this title some care is needed in how we word things for sure !! ...:)

Einion
10-08-2010, 09:06 AM
We're going around in circles here, covering the same ground that was first tackled on page 2, and multiple times since then, yet again we've been presented with an unrealistic example of how black would be employed, which forces anyone who wants to plump for black to correct that bit first and then go on to the real topic. Remember, it's not simply about whacking some black into a tube colour to make a shadow mix?

When weighing mixing strategies of any kind we need to be looking at realistic side-by-side comparisons as much as possible.

The last comparison provided by Gardavkra - lowering the chroma of a red to medium by adding a mixing complement or adding black - is not fair. The proper comparison would be with an analogous use of black (i.e. for the same purpose, to lower chroma). That analogous use would be within a grey of some kind, as amply covered already in the thread.

Let's briefly look at what's happening within a simple two-colour complementary mix. The essence of complementary mixing behaviour is that the amount of reflected light is reduced, in simple terms this means light reflected from the particles of part A and part B are absorbed by their opposite number. This is why the mixes get darker as well as becoming greyer.

So, if there is a target colour, a given red at a specific value and chroma, let's say this http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a252/Einion/Swatch_Red_Desat.png and you were starting from this http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a252/Einion/Swatch_Red_Sat.png and you get this colour by both methods, then it's simply not the case that the one mixed using complementaries is reflecting more light; the results are essentially identical (again, just considering the masstone colour for simplicity here).

Einion

Einion
10-08-2010, 09:09 AM
As I said in another post, I don't have time to review everything that I write.
...
I admit that my thought process may be a little scattered and I don't have time to look back at my previous posts.
Have to comment on this. I see what you're saying but if you're having a discussion like this it is important to stay with a train of thought. It's understandable that you might not remember your original post to the palettes thread since you posted your own thoughts and it wasn't intended to be part of a discussion, totally get that. But once you're having a discussion like this about a topic it is expected that you either remember what you've said or check back if needed.

The discussion is about mixing colors but, you really can't separate mixing from color theory. It helps to increase an understanding and explain "why" if the colors don't turn out as predicted in practical application.
Actually you have to! Because often they don't coincide. This is shown by the black + yellow thing as already touched on above, theoretically added black does one thing, in practice something else for whatever reason. Same deal with mixing complements, which are frequently not of opposite hues; theory suggests/states that they would be, but it's different with paints.

This is an important topic in its own right so I'm actually going to start a new thread on it.

Einion

gunzorro
10-08-2010, 03:07 PM
I'd like to address some points having to do with values, shadow detail, and color progressions.

******

The fact that mixing complements never fully arrive at as low a value as genuine black does, shouldn't be touted as a positive necessarily, and it definitely shouldn't be used to justify a supposed superiority in reflectance of certain colors. Just because pigments were originally very reflective and high in chroma, doesn't mean that when they become subject to subtractive mixing, that they will be more vibrant than any other mixture or neutral of the same value. It's just not the case, even though we might think it logical, and seems the complementary mixes would be more "electric". Not so in real-world terms of reflectance.

******

The fact that darkened complementary mixes never acheive true black in value (and usually hard to determine true neutrality, until possibly too late after mixed into lighter colors and color shifts become evident), has always been a disincentive to me -- you can only get so dark, and that's it, and you can only be so close to actual neutral before tipping toward one direction or the other of the complements. Rarely are true complements found, that maintain a relatively wide range of values without a color shift being evident.

******

The idea that there is always data hidden in shadows is true. But within the scope of human vision (fairly broad dynamic range), photography (reduced dynamic range) and pigments (extremely restricted dynamic range), we have to ask ourselves when is the actual scene/subject best represented by a the restricted contrast range of pigments. For most sunlit subjects, the range of brightness greatly exceeds anything we can do with pigments, and even is difficult for the human eye to discern data in shadows (we've all had the experience of walking into a dark room after being outdoors in the sun!). So, why try to represent data that is really "not there"? For added punch, very low values, including black can be useful.

******

The big advantage of many complementary "black" mixes seems to be reduced tinting strength when added to lighter colors. But this seems to mainly be an advantage when the artist is mixing without knowing the exact target color he is trying to hit. As Einion mentions above, there are numerous ways to hit a target color. We usually look for the shortest, surest path, with a view to further mixing into that mix with following adjacent areas of the painting. For that reason, we usually try to work with a neutral to assure as little unpredictable color shift as possible.

But if one doesn't really have a firm grasp of the target color, yes, adding black directly to a mix is a great way to "kill" the color! :)

******

Whether using black, a complement mixture, or a similarly valued adjacent hue, when mixing in, it is best to be slow and steady in the add proportions, not rush in enthusiasitically.

******

One other conjecture brought up was if you want a dark yellow, but adding black pushes the color toward green, how do you keep the color within the yellow hue? On the surface, this sounds sensible. But it fails to take into account that yellow pigments, as it darkens by any method, turns toward green. If we fight that tendency, and want a more yellow-yellow, we are going against the reality of color and trying to impose our own fixed ideas of what we think of as a logical color progression.

A quick look through the Munsell Big Book of color chips will show this very quickly! The yellows graduate into olive greens. With this book, if I have a sort of nebulous idea of a yellow that doesn't seem to exist, or can't be reached from the hue/pigment I started with, I can look through the adjacent pages of hue variations to find the exact target color I have in mind. Noting the new hue-value-chroma target color, I can easily estimate the basic paint I will need to start with to mix into this color (and the progression of blending I'll need from the original color I was working with), rather than continuing with the "wrong" paint and trying to fix it into the one I want with more and more additive pigments -- leading to "mud".

Richard Saylor
10-09-2010, 12:18 AM
gunzorro wrote: '....yellow pigments, as it darkens by any method, turns toward green....'

Very true. For example, here is a darkened yellow, obtained additively (RGB 125, 125, 0):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Oct-2010/31398-darkyellow.jpg

Therefore the common assumption that black pigments must somehow be bluish, whether true or not, does not account for the 'black + yellow makes green' phenomenon. Somehow the M cones are just being stimulated more than the L cones when yellow is darkened. Of course, if the red component of the additive mixture is increased enough, the green goes away. This is about RGB 160, 125, 0:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Oct-2010/31398-example.jpg

Back on topic. I use black very seldom. I enjoy a limited palette, and it's a snap to mix darks with my preferred medium, gouache. However, for the life of me, I can't see that the use of black has any more deadening effect on a painting than mixing together complementary colors. Or maybe it's just because gouache is inherently dead from the get-go. :rolleyes:

However, a firm belief that something is true tends to make it true for the person holding that belief, whether in religion, politics, painting, or whatever. The great English poet William Blake addressed this issue somewhere or other, perhaps in his strange poetic essay: 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell'.

Richard

LarrySeiler
10-09-2010, 11:43 AM
so much is relative to what an individual is doing, isn't it?

The greens to painters in Hawaii, seen with the sun so high and near overhead appear one way...but the greens of nature seen say here in northern midwest US appear another way.

When I see black used with yellow to mix green, resolving one way of doing it for some...it is a green that appears dirty and lifeless to my eye and not useful for my needs. Its so easy of course living in my bubble of the world to believe then my greens here should define everyone's I suppose.

Also...I am slowly rethinking some possible place for black on my palette NOT as representing what I'm seeing painting outdoors. And before I get any further, I'm not suggesting all must paint outdoors or that is the only way to paint.
If I use it...it would be for a strategic intent to push values with an interpretive ends in mind, not literal.

I used black quite a bit the first 17 years painting in-studio. The results spoke for themselves I suppose in the competitive wildlife art world back in those years so I can't bemoan...but I must confess I was very much persuaded by photo references I shot with my 35mm that reduced shadows to such darks. and never thought the more about it.

Again...not saying plein air defines good painting for everyone, but my testimony was that it was not until about 16-17 years ago that I first took a makeshift easel outdoors and tried painting from life that it occurred to me the option to see into the shadows allowed me to note reflected and indirect light. Something my quick snap of a photo in the past had no awareness of.

I was allowed to see the play of the canopy of sky color above influence the shadow bouncing into it.

So revolutionary and awakening was this experience for myself that the use of black struck me as a particular injustice.

I guess I needed to work thru that for a good number of years, mixing my own darks and reclaiming control over shadows as "my" shadows...and not Kodak or Fuji's...and in discussions about that over the years I know I came off over-zealous and offended more than a few artists. Was never my intent...but it is difficult talking about why something became so pinnacle without coming off dogmatic...and my apologies to old friends here over that.

My playing with my version of what a number (myself included) have called the "Zorn" palette slowly gave myself permission to consider its use.

I limited its use for myself perhaps not so much because of the "evil" of black...but because of the way I yielded and allowed too much trust in its convenience without thought.

In this end...I think it becomes good for some to go thru a period of bias against a thing if it puts one thru a school of examining alternatives and broadens the understanding.

Abandoning black put me thru a good tutelage of learning to make darks, tweak them, lean them toward temps to increase contrasts and so forth...(and I know color temperature is a whole other argument I'm not letting myself to venture into)...

When I play with the "Zorn" palette (for lack of a better name for it)..I add 1/3rd by volume of Fr Ultra Blue to the ivory black...but, I am finding myself intrigued by a few painters works online whose darks appear as though some black must have been used.

But then...just as you think there is some truth to that, I find myself corrected by someone that has actually seen that artist's work in person and says the images online are not calibrated right, and they are not so dark afterall...

Not sure where I and black will sit in relationship down the road, but I'm trying to make some peace with it...

Larry

Trond
10-11-2010, 08:34 PM
This may already have been mentioned, but I think that black went out of fashion with the impressionists. Many landscape painters feel that they don't need that particular color, and I sometimes omit it myself. However, some of the best painters ever used black quite extensively. Velazquez could build harmonies around it. And it IS black pigment, according to chemical analyses. He may have used both lamp black and bone/ivory black.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Oct-2010/192352-Velazquez_Montanes.jpg

GhettoDaveyHavok
10-13-2010, 11:43 PM
I don't entirely agree with the title. Well for me, it depends what I'm painting and what color I need. Sometimes, I do mix a bit of black with something and it comes out to what I want. Sometimes, I mix complimentary colors. It all just depends, but I don't mind the mixture of black with something if it turns out to be the color I want.

Onewithwings
10-15-2010, 07:02 AM
ghettodaveyhavok, love the screen name! (Sorry for going off topic) I am a big AFI fan. I saw them when I was in high school and touched Davey Havok's leg. :smug: :lol:

MichaelR
10-16-2010, 05:16 AM
This is enough to make anyone think twice about having black in the box!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj84tfS7ag4&feature=related

Neil1971
10-16-2010, 10:08 AM
That's so funny Michael and well done for finding it

Gigalot
10-16-2010, 10:23 AM
If black colour is bad and black + yellow mixture is green, it is better to drop green color too. :D

Gardavkra
11-24-2010, 01:38 PM
This is enough to make anyone think twice about having black in the box!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj84tfS7ag4&feature=related

I couldn't help but laugh at that. :lol: Using black could get rather expensive.

MikeN
11-28-2010, 11:31 PM
Just an observation that I wanted to throw out for dissection.

Black is part of my regular painting palette, which I use to darken or even lower intensity through mixtures of grey in most of the value range. I enjoy the colors that come as a result of using black and ultimately - if the color were wrong for me on my panel- I would correct it using whatever means necessary.

Here is the kicker and i wonder if it has any relation to this argument. When I draw with pastel, I use black cautiously. I use it to darken only when no other colors will get to that value range, but I refrain from MIXING with in medium to light tones as it seems to (forgive me) kill the color. As I have mentioned in the first paragraph, I believe the artist ultimately decides the final product, but can't help but wonder if certain media may have a tendency to deaden when black is incorporated.

Anyone have any tests or experiences that shed light on this?

I'll post it in the pastel forum as well.

Thanks,

Mike

Steve Orin
11-29-2010, 06:09 AM
Tests? No... Just 40+ years of experience. Black can be usefull and sometimes necessary but it does leach the colors. I've found such to be true in all paints I've used which are many & varied. All waterbases, oils, automotives, epoxies, polyesters. I try to use colors purely but if black is required - usually due to having a black background - its included only to tie in.

Einion
11-29-2010, 01:42 PM
Here is the kicker and i wonder if it has any relation to this argument. When I draw with pastel, I use black cautiously. I use it to darken only when no other colors will get to that value range, but I refrain from MIXING with in medium to light tones as it seems to (forgive me) kill the color.
Presumably this is black by itself Mike?

...can't help but wonder if certain media may have a tendency to deaden when black is incorporated.
It is an inherent thing. Not sure how much it was already mentioned within this thread that many of the colour changes (desirable or not) aren't related to black pigment, but to black-coloured paint.

Part of the problem is of course simply to do with the very dark value; regardless of what other changes occur when black is added the mix goes dark fast. It's often how quickly it darkens that's a lot of the issue with black, which is why it tends to work well with dark-valued paints.

Einion

Einion
11-29-2010, 01:53 PM
We're already on page 7 of a thread which, frankly, shouldn't have needed to go on this long. Since it looks like it might continue usefully I'd like to keep further discussion as focused as possible.

So, how about instead of using words like "kill" and "deaden" etc. we talk about the characteristic changes that adding black tends to do in terms of the actual colour changes, as much as we can? (Deader for example not being a specific colour shift ;)) This would be helped if we all had some common frame of reference - and the means to measure/comparatively asses the same colours within that framework - but since we don't have that luxury we'll have to do the best we can, but if we can keep the emotive language out of it from this point on please.

Einion

MikeN
11-29-2010, 03:00 PM
Enion,
Yes. Specifically a black rembrandt pastel.

I wonder if it has to do with the surface of a pastel drawing being continually open and mixed into?

In other words, once black has been used, subsequent colors will ultimately be mixed (contaminated?) into the surface. Intensity could be hard to resurrect (pun intended :P ) in some situations depending on the potency of the colors that are interacting and the nature of the style and work. Rembrandt black is fairly potent imo. For example adding a light yellow object into a previously darkened background would be avoided if possible. To rid the yellow of black would take grinding and many layers of efforts and still it may not be as brilliantly clean as a having nothing between (underlayer) the correct color and the paper.

Maybe unexpected graying is what folks are experiencing? Not so much black deadening a color inherently; rather, harder to control the mixing process, which leads to the desired color. Painters who paint into wet under layers may have the same issue as many are already aware when they strive to simplify their color mixes to just a few.

Alla prima aside, paint also has the ability to dry, which can be painted on, rather then into and possibly easier for some folks to control.

Einion
11-29-2010, 04:24 PM
I wonder if it has to do with the surface of a pastel drawing being continually open and mixed into?
Well I can't speak to the specifics of the medium but assuming it's basically an analogue of what occurs in paint the black sure sounds like it's doing what it's known for.

Maybe unexpected graying is what folks are experiencing? Not so much black deadening a color inherently; rather, harder to control the mixing process, which leads to the desired color.
Too grey a result is definitely one of the common problems that are reported, but there's more to it and it'll vary from case to case - when added to yellows for example the primary issue is not that the result is too dull.

As for "deadening" we could do with being more precise than this - if we take a light red for example, adding black, blue, green and even the right earth could all be said to deaden the colour, but with some differences of course. What we really need to try to hone in on is the specifics of what's actually happened to the colour - what chroma and value changes have occurred, and hue changes if any.

Einion

MikeN
11-29-2010, 05:00 PM
Well I can't speak to the specifics of the medium but assuming it's basically an analogue of what occurs in paint the black sure sounds like it's doing what it's known for. Einion

I'm not willing to say it's apples to apples as the processes are different. One is mixing black into a color on a palette then placing it into the correct pictorial space, the other is mixing colors directly on the surface of the drawing.


Too grey a result is definitely one of the common problems that are reported, but there's more to it and it'll vary from case to case - when added to yellows for example the primary issue is not that the result is too dull.

Einion

I'm of the opinion that what people describe as deadening is just their perception and explanation to a wrong color choice. However, in pastel, which is mixed directly on the surface, black may difficult to control if it were put in the wrong space as it may contaminate subsequent layers.

Colorix
11-29-2010, 05:13 PM
Put black pastel on the paper, then fixate it thoroughly, let dry, and anything you paint over it will appear darker, but still high chroma.

'Deaden' and 'kill' -- poetic descriptions of perceptions. We're artists, not scientists. A spectrograph or whatever it is called would give a scientific answer, but not a descriptive one of the horrible deadening and wholesale slaughter of colours that black *may* cause. Poetically meant, of course, and I hope poetically taken, with a big smile at the jest.

Einion
11-30-2010, 03:19 AM
I'm of the opinion that what people describe as deadening is just their perception and explanation to a wrong color choice.
Yes, but in what way(s)? Like it says in my sig...


'Deaden' and 'kill' -- poetic descriptions of perceptions. We're artists, not scientists. A spectrograph or whatever it is called would give a scientific answer, but not a descriptive one of the horrible deadening and wholesale slaughter of colours that black *may* cause. Poetically meant, of course, and I hope poetically taken, with a big smile at the jest.
Yes, we're artists. Not poets ;)

It's not about being an artist or a scientist anyway, it's about effective communication. And besides, what exactly is un-artistic about talking in terms of hue, value and chroma?

Einion

sidbledsoe
11-30-2010, 08:07 AM
I must agree (I think I did in post 2)
I think it is simply saying that it lowers chroma, in as usavory term as can be used to explain why some avoid it.

Artists don't have to be scientists such as myself or Leonardo da Vinci was, but we should be capable of dispensing with the histrionics (killer, deadener, destroyer, now wholesale slaughter) and use mutually understood terms for color.
However, in pastel, which is mixed directly on the surface, black may difficult to control if it were put in the wrong space as it may contaminate subsequent layers.
I, along with countless others, pick up oil paint from our palette, apply it to our canvas and mix it right there with other colors. Putting any color in the wrong space my contaminate further paint application.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Nov-2010/112587-IMG_0027.JPG

here is an example of Black being mixed with yellow. You can see the Black and gray tints made with it on the top. Below you will find a pure yellow mixed in gradation respective with the above Black and Grays.
Now it is clear what is going on right? I could use the most unsavory of terms to describe it or I could use accepted terms that describe the dimensions of colors.
The yellow is being reduced in chroma and value and changed in hue.
No Black pigment is being used whatsoever.
The Black above is made from the same pure yellow plus magenta (perm rose) and cyan (thalo blue). Start with the yellow in the lower right corner and you can proceed through each subsequent color all the way to the black. That yellow is present in each and every mix shown in this example.
I did just that with just these three primaries, a red, yellow, and a blue, or in more precise terms, a magenta, yellow, and cyan.
When one one does not paint with a pigment black but uses primaries only, they still paint with all the makin's of a black.
Combined in the right combination, they make a chromatic black that does the same thing that a pigment black does. If you are using only these primaries then you can paint a virtual monochromatic "black" painting or any number of lower chroma paintings in between.
Those are the only colors (along with titanium white) used in this example.
from post 2 also:
in reality, it is the artist who is responsible for the "killing", not the paint

MikeN
11-30-2010, 08:18 AM
Yes, but in what way(s)? Like it says in my sig...
Einion

Sorry, seemed an obvious one to me. Any of the three but probably intensity. I think most of us understand that colors can only appear different in three ways.

So, I guess my earlier posts were building on that fact with a question. Is not being able to control color due to a particular mixing process?


Yes, we're artists. Not poets ;)

It's not about being an artist or a scientist anyway, it's about effective communication. And besides, what exactly is un-artistic about talking in terms of hue, value and chroma?

Einion

Since when are poets not artists? We are visual poets for sure.

Colorix
11-30-2010, 08:36 AM
Lucky the artist who recognises the playful poetry in the visual arts, he's close to true art even if his hands lags behind his vision.

Have fun, and take your *art* seriously!

Colorix
11-30-2010, 05:07 PM
Black reduces chroma more rapidly than it reduces value. Hence, chroma is ki-- dea-- loses its vivacity.

WFMartin
11-30-2010, 06:42 PM
Black reduces chroma more rapidly than it reduces value. Hence, chroma is ki-- dea-- loses its vivacity.

Actually, both Black and the complement of a given hue reduce the chroma of that hue to a certain point (almost identically), as is shown in the paint mixture below. However, beyond that point, of neutrality or near-neutrality, the further addition of the complement begins to bias the color toward the complement, while further addition of Black simply causes the original hue to become darker, until enough Black has been added that it finally becomes Black.

This is Cadmium Red darkened with Cerulean Blue at the top, and Ivory Black at the bottom.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Nov-2010/13079-Cad_Red_Darkening.jpg

Both can be very useful, depending upon what it is you wish to accomplish. When I'm interested in doing just a bit of darkening of a color, I will use either the complement or Black. However, when I'm trying to achieve deep, dark versions of the original color, I nearly always mix Black with it. And, I'm not very particular; any tubed black seems to work for that purpose.

And, to be very honest, I find that the darkening of a secondary color such as Red, Green, and Blue can be accomplished much better by using Black as the "darkening agent", than by using the complementary color. I use such an approach on my flower paintings routinely.

However, when Black is mixed with a primary, it usually results in a hue shift, such as the green that is created with black and Yellow are combined. Nearly the same phenomenon (but a bit less obvious one) occurs when one mixes black with Magenta, in which case the hue shift is toward Blue. And, I make use of this phenomenon quite often, as well, when painting my flowers.

Below is a link to two florals that I painted, in which I made effective use of Ivory Black for both the darkening of a secondary (the blue/violet in the first flower), and for the hue shift that is caused in the Magenta, for the pink flower below it (the light, front petal).

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=533956&highlight=Pretty+Pink

I would not enjoy having my florals "killed" by the addition of black to my colors, but I will leave it up to others to judge accordingly, if that, indeed, has occurred in these paintings. I try to use Black paint in mixtures to its best advantage.

The addition of black to a mixture can be useful, but it seems that it must be used in ways that it will serve to enhance, rather than to degrade the painting.

Patrick1
11-30-2010, 07:16 PM
Thanks for sharing your florals Bill...really exquisite! Next time someone says 'black kills colors', I'll ask them if they've seen your work, or ask if they can tell - just by looking - if black was used or not.

About adding black to primaries vs. secondaries...adding black (or grey) to most (all?) orange-red paints will result in an apparent hue shift towards purple. So I'm not so sure that this effect is exclusive to magenta, yellow and cyan paint colors. I'd have to sample to see for sure.

WFMartin
11-30-2010, 07:57 PM
Thanks for sharing your florals Bill...really exquisite! Next time someone says 'black kills colors', I'll ask them if they've seen your work, or ask if they can tell - just by looking - if black was used or not.

About adding black to primaries vs. secondaries...adding black (or grey) to most (all?) orange-red paints will result in an apparent hue shift towards purple. So I'm not so sure that this effect is exclusive to magenta, yellow and cyan paint colors. I'd have to sample to see for sure.

Like many other phenomena regarding color, I think it depends upon how close to primary colors those actual secondary colors are. For example, a given "orange", may be biased quite greatly toward primary yellow, in which case the "green phenomenon" (with the addition of Black) will also occur. Colors do not occur in those neat little blocks of individual, segregated colors as is so often presented on the usual color wheel, but are, instead, composed of smooth gradients, and subtle transitions between colors.

It is mighty difficult to determine at just what point a yellow ceases to be primary Yellow, and takes on the attributes of orange, or red.

One thing is often quite noticeable, however--the closer a color is to plotting at the "primary color" location on the color wheel, the greater this hue shift will be noticed, when it is darkened with black. But, as you say, there are also adjacent colors that will certainly exhibit at least some evidence of the effect, as well.

Einion
12-01-2010, 04:13 AM
I think most of us understand that colors can only appear different in three ways.
I wish that were more apparent when artists write or speak about this sort of thing ;)

Have to be blunt here, very often when painters - including many really excellent accomplished artists - talk about colour they use out-of-date, woolly or misleading terminology*. Now primarily this is because their teachers used the same or similar terms, but there's no reason we have to collectively continue to be that vague; it needs to be realised that it's not helpful to the student or learner.

I've made the same observation with regard to the common use of 'warmer' or 'cooler': if a teacher just called a mix of something and black as "deader" and a student asks for specifics because they genuinely can't see quite how the colour is off (which wouldn't be uncommon) if a description of the actual colour changes is forthcoming that's okay, but why not simply say it that way in the first place?

*Once you get used to looking for it you won't be able to help but notice how common it is.

So, I guess my earlier posts were building on that fact with a question. Is not being able to control color due to a particular mixing process?
Certainly some mixing routines are more likely to be controllable than others.

Interestingly is this context mixtures containing some black (i.e. within a grey) can sometimes be more easily controlled than if using complements, although that method is not as universally applicable as some form of complementary mixing.


Black reduces chroma more rapidly than it reduces value. Hence, chroma is ki-- dea-- loses its vivacity.
Yes, that appears to be the case, particularly for high-chroma colours of lighter value. I'm not certain it's universal however.


Actually, both Black and the complement of a given hue reduce the chroma of that hue to a certain point (almost identically), as is shown in the paint mixture below.
...
Both can be very useful, depending upon what it is you wish to accomplish.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif

And, to be very honest, I find that the darkening of a secondary color such as Red, Green, and Blue can be accomplished much better by using Black as the "darkening agent", than by using the complementary color. I use such an approach on my flower paintings routinely.

However, when Black is mixed with a primary, it usually results in a hue shift, such as the green that is created with black and Yellow are combined. Nearly the same phenomenon (but a bit less obvious one) occurs when one mixes black with Magenta, in which case the hue shift is toward Blue.
This is not to do with the 'primariness' of colours; it is a pigment-interaction thing. Apparent hue shifts with lower value may be particularly evident with primaries and those close in colour, but the colour change that occurs when black is used in mixing unfortunately doesn't follow neat rules (hence the variability of outcome).

Similar to the Abney effect when lightening blues v. pigment-related colour shifts, the colour changes inherent to a mixture of black paint and a coloured paint are likely to swamp purely visual/perceptual changes. We don't need to look further than yellows for an example - when black is mixed in we get actual greens, not just darker yellows that appear greener.

Einion

Colorix
12-01-2010, 08:30 AM
Actually, both Black and the complement of a given hue reduce the chroma of that hue --

The addition of black to a mixture can be useful, but it seems that it must be used in ways that it will serve to enhance, rather than to degrade the painting.

Certainly, and agree.

What I'm trying to get across in this discussion (and not aimed at anybody particular) is that dogmatic stances are not necessary, as what is right for one method (and with some hues) and works well within that context may not be what works well in another method and context. I work with partitive colour mixing, aiming for luminous darks (and both lights and darks can be with low chroma, or not) and in that context, black and unbiased greys have a tendency to stand out as a 'dead' spot, while a coloured neutral -- a biased grey -- will work fine. Depending on the context, I might use a Perm rose or a magenta to darken a cad red medium, in order to keep up the chroma. When I use other methods, I use black happily = my stance isn't dogmatic. The point is simply: in some contexts, some methods, black can appear to 'kill' colour (mainly the chroma aspect). So, it is partially true to say 'black kills colour', but it is definitely not The Truth.

sidbledsoe
12-01-2010, 09:15 AM
The point is simply: in some contexts, some methods, black can appear to 'kill' colour (mainly the chroma aspect).

From post #2:
I think it is simply saying that it lowers chroma

After going around and around again, this is the point to which it will always return, chroma is diminished, lowered, or reduced, speaking in mutually understood, accepted color descriptive terms.

cherryart
12-01-2010, 03:09 PM
I feel that nearly all darks are better mixed with a rich color - to give color temperature to the dark values. Whether it is black or burnt umber or whatever dark...it has to have the correct color temperature. I personally really like the deppest black green and the deepest black-blue that Unison makes, and Terry Ludwig has some great darks, but I will use intense black mixed with a deep rich color as well when I need it.

Sometimes, I notice as well that my students add the darks, and then think it has leached color, but in essence, they hadn't gotten the intensity they needed to begin with, and the addition of the dark just makes it that much more obvious. Just another thought.

Einion
12-01-2010, 03:18 PM
What I'm trying to get across in this discussion (and not aimed at anybody particular) is that dogmatic stances are not necessary...
I'm a bit confused here because it should be evident that this was exactly why this topic was split off for discussion and a number of people have been trying to get across from the outset that a particular dogmatic stance (hint's in the thread title ;)) is wrong on a number of levels.

...what is right for one method (and with some hues) and works well within that context may not be what works well in another method and context.
Absolutely. This point has been raised already within the discussion.

I work with partitive colour mixing, aiming for luminous darks (and both lights and darks can be with low chroma, or not) and in that context, black and unbiased greys have a tendency to stand out as a 'dead' spot, while a coloured neutral -- a biased grey -- will work fine.
I'm not sure what this is a response to?

...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/images/icons/icon4.gif Mod note
Now all jokey references to "killing" and "deader" etc. aside, I'd like us to talk about actual colour changes folks if we're going to go on; it's tedious and pointless to be continuing a discussion that's all about the specifics without being specific.

And after all that was the point raised that became the first post in the thread. To paraphrase:
What is meant by black will "kill your colours"?

Einion

Gardavkra
12-01-2010, 03:21 PM
Actually, both Black and the complement of a given hue reduce the chroma of that hue to a certain point (almost identically), as is shown in the paint mixture below. However, beyond that point, of neutrality or near-neutrality, the further addition of the complement begins to bias the color toward the complement, while further addition of Black simply causes the original hue to become darker, until enough Black has been added that it finally becomes Black.

This is Cadmium Red darkened with Cerulean Blue at the top, and Ivory Black at the bottom.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Nov-2010/13079-Cad_Red_Darkening.jpg

Both can be very useful, depending upon what it is you wish to accomplish. When I'm interested in doing just a bit of darkening of a color, I will use either the complement or Black. However, when I'm trying to achieve deep, dark versions of the original color, I nearly always mix Black with it. And, I'm not very particular; any tubed black seems to work for that purpose.

And, to be very honest, I find that the darkening of a secondary color such as Red, Green, and Blue can be accomplished much better by using Black as the "darkening agent", than by using the complementary color. I use such an approach on my flower paintings routinely.

However, when Black is mixed with a primary, it usually results in a hue shift, such as the green that is created with black and Yellow are combined. Nearly the same phenomenon (but a bit less obvious one) occurs when one mixes black with Magenta, in which case the hue shift is toward Blue. And, I make use of this phenomenon quite often, as well, when painting my flowers.

Below is a link to two florals that I painted, in which I made effective use of Ivory Black for both the darkening of a secondary (the blue/violet in the first flower), and for the hue shift that is caused in the Magenta, for the pink flower below it (the light, front petal).

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=533956&highlight=Pretty+Pink

I would not enjoy having my florals "killed" by the addition of black to my colors, but I will leave it up to others to judge accordingly, if that, indeed, has occurred in these paintings. I try to use Black paint in mixtures to its best advantage.

The addition of black to a mixture can be useful, but it seems that it must be used in ways that it will serve to enhance, rather than to degrade the painting.

Very nice work, Bill.:clap: It really helps to illustrate what is being discussed.

sidbledsoe
12-01-2010, 04:34 PM
From page 3, post #37:
Yes Sandra, that is the idea, as suggested earlier, I think it is the best way to really get a handle on what your colors do.
Here are a couple of strings as I spoke of earlier, top row is cyan mixed with black in a string and white is added. Bottom row is cyan and a complement orange/vermillion. Notice the reduction in chroma for black but it isn't fully neutralized until I reach black itself. But the complimentary mixed roughly half and half has neutralized the blue and then you get a orange brown as it approaches the complement. When I really want to knock back chroma I opt for the complement first, not black. Any mix in these two strings has a place in practice:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Oct-2010/112587-IMG_0003.JPG

Gary, Though I did not receive a handclap for it, you can see that this much earlier post by me is the same example Bill has posted, mine was directly derived from his (he is one of my few mentors) except rather than copy his, I produced the same thing with cyan paint where Bill used cad red, but the example, the effect, and the principle at work here is the very same thing.
As Einion said more than once, we have been going around in circles.
My last two posts have shown this recurring cycle.

gunzorro
12-01-2010, 06:18 PM
I think Colorix has her own color theory agenda underlying her comments.

I can see from her use of color and a few references, that she steers away from the use of any true neutrals in search of a hyper-realistic vibrancy and intensity in her paintings and methods (mostly through use of juxtaposed complements).

For the record, there is no such thing as "coloured neutral -- a biased grey". A colored neutral is an impossibility (although I understand what your are implying). If we have hit a neutral, it doesn't have color, chroma or tint, other than neutral (white, grey, black). Same for "biased grey" -- no such thing. There are low chroma colors that approach grey, but they remain true to their hue, not neutral.

Patrick1
12-02-2010, 01:42 AM
I want to see if I understand the difference between darkening & greying by adding the mixing complement vs. adding black. I took Bill's mixing swatches and re-lined them up with approximately equal chroma in the vertical dimension.

So adding black brings a color more or less towards black, whereas adding the mixing complement can reduce the chroma to the exact same level, but it will almost always be at a lighter value...as though there is white in the complement (even if there isn't). Is this about right? If yes, then adding black to darken can result in higher saturation than using the mixing complement.

MikeN
12-02-2010, 01:48 AM
The thread needs to recognize that everyone is not confusing "dead color" with a magical fourth property of color. The effect we are describing might be a control issue with the pigment or media, which leads to the wrong color, or something more specific and illusive similar to what Colorix stated. Neutral grays and pure black doesn't always harmonize with some folks' palettes.

For the record, there is no such thing as "coloured neutral -- a biased grey". A colored neutral is an impossibility (although I understand what your are implying). If we have hit a neutral, it doesn't have color, chroma or tint, other than neutral (white, grey, black). Same for "biased grey" -- no such thing. There are low chroma colors that approach grey, but they remain true to their hue, not neutral.
What is unclear or incorrect about the term "a biased grey" or an "an unbiased grey" for that matter? It seems like a perfectly accurate description to me.

I appreciate accuracy as much as the next person, but we should be careful not to miss the forest for the trees.

MikeN
12-02-2010, 02:00 AM
I want to see if I understand the difference between darkening & greying by adding the mixing complement vs. adding black. I took Bill's mixing swatches and re-lined them up with approximately equal chroma in the vertical dimension.

So adding black brings a color more or less towards black, whereas adding the mixing complement can reduce the chroma to the exact same level, but it will almost always be at a lighter value...as though there is white in the complement (even if there isn't). Is this about right? If yes, then adding black to darken can result in higher saturation than using the mixing complement.


Nice test. Out of curiosity, are you mixing the blue and black into the orange in equal amounts? In other words, is either the blue or black more potent then the other?

Einion
12-03-2010, 12:17 PM
I think Colorix has her own color theory agenda underlying her comments.
Jim, I think it's fair to say that nearly anyone has their own colour theory underlying their comments, but that's not necessarily an agenda.

For the record, there is no such thing as "coloured neutral -- a biased grey".
Let's not get bogged down in semantics. Coloured neutral/near-neutral or coloured grey/near-grey are used commonly enough; their meaning is pretty clear, which is what counts.

And after all, we wouldn't have to specify neutral grey instead of just saying grey if there were only one interpretation of the word grey by itself :)


I want to see if I understand the difference between darkening & greying by adding the mixing complement vs. adding black. I took Bill's mixing swatches and re-lined them up with approximately equal chroma in the vertical dimension.
Thanks for that, good to see this sort of comparison to get a better handle on the colour changes.

So adding black brings a color more or less towards black, whereas adding the mixing complement can reduce the chroma to the exact same level, but it will almost always be at a lighter value...as though there is white in the complement (even if there isn't). Is this about right?
Bear in mind that'll depend on the value of the mixing complement.

In the cases that Phthalo Blue GS works as a mixing complement to Cadmium Red Light, obviously the neutral point between them will be much darker in value than when a tint of the blue is used.

If yes, then adding black to darken can result in higher saturation than using the mixing complement.
Yep.

Not exactly in those terms but this has been raised before - that the use of black actually tends to produce results that are less dull than when a complement is used... despite its reputation to the contrary :cool:


The thread needs to recognize that everyone is not confusing "dead color" with a magical fourth property of color.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that Mike, what I'm hoping is if we continue this it'll help those who aren't clear about what exactly is going on to talk about it in concrete, unambiguous, terms.

Einion

Patrick1
12-03-2010, 01:02 PM
Yep.

Not exactly in those terms but this has been raised before - that the use of black actually tends to produce results that are less dull than when a complement is used... despite its reputation to the contrary :cool:

Thank you for confirming that.:thumbsup: Goes to show that just because a belief is commonly held, doesn't make it true!

And I suspect that if the option is there, darkening by applying some highly transparent paint colors thickly results in even less loss of saturation than adding black.

sidbledsoe
12-03-2010, 01:12 PM
the use of black actually tends to produce results that are less dull than when a complement is used... despite its reputation to the contrary. Einion
Patrick continued the explanation that was exactly what the example I posted in post 37 page 3 (and Bill subsequently posted the example from which I derived mine)was all about.
From that original post:
Notice the reduction in chroma for black but it isn't fully neutralized until I reach black itself. But the complimentary mixed roughly half and half has neutralized the blue and then you get an orange brown as it approaches the complement. When I really want to knock back chroma I opt for the complement first, not black.
...now giving self a :clap:

WFMartin
12-03-2010, 07:03 PM
I think that we are discussing a term here—the “Can Black kill your colors?” term—that may be quite akin to someone asking for a brown color to be made, “less brown”, for example. What does the term, “less brown” mean in practical, and correctible terms? Well, it usually means different things to different people.

“Less brown” could mean any of the following: darken it, lighten it, make it yellower, make it more neutral, make it less neutral, add red, or subtract red, and the list goes on and on. Like the “kill your colors” term, it is quite vague. And, how does one monitor just when a brown color has achieved the status of being “less brown”? I surely wouldn’t know. How does one know just when a color has been effectively “killed”? Sometimes, I wish I knew.

In simple fact, the term, “kill” has very little meaning, and when used with descriptions of color, often can take on quite a negative meaning.
When I operated a high end color scanner, we usually had to interpret such subjective descriptions from a client who wanted particular changes, but used terms that did not mean very much to the workers in our color department.

A typical color scanner has hundreds of buttons and dials for controlling color, and there really were times when I wished that I could have had a, “Brighten” button. Other buttons that I wished the scanner had were such things as a “Punch” button, a “Pizazz” button, a “Zing” button, a "Pop" button, or an “Impact” adjustment button It may also have been nice to have had a “kill” button. However, those things just don’t exist on a technical, color scanner, simply because they are all pseudo-descriptive terms, at best, used more by art directors, than by technicians who have an understanding of the 3 dimensions of color.

I don’t believe that using black in mixtures truly “kills your colors”. However, I do believe that an artist can “kill” his own colors, by using black (or any other color) inappropriately for the effect he is trying to achieve. Low chroma colors have not been “killed”; they simply exhibit the characteristic of being lower in chroma, and when used where they belong in a subject, can be quite useful, actually.

Richard Saylor
12-05-2010, 03:33 AM
It's high time the notion that 'black kills color' is recognized for what it is. The point has clearly been made that there are many ways to lower the chroma of a color, the addition of black being one of them, which is often not as effective as adding the complement. In connection with this topic, the word 'superstition' comes to mind. There is no reason for artists to cling to non-rational concepts. People should just paint the way they want without imposing their demonstrably false ideas on the artistic community.

Just for the record, I use black only occasionally, but it is because of my painting technique, not because of the ludicrous notion that black kills anything.

Einion
12-09-2010, 07:53 AM
I think these last two posts from Bill and Richard are as good a summation to the discussion as we could hope for so I've pruned off the last couple of days of pointless debate and we'll close the thread at this point.

Thanks to everyone for your positive contributions.

Einion