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MikeN
11-29-2010, 12:36 AM
A discussion in the color theory forum may be of interest to some of you. I wondered if the deadening effect of black is something specific to media as I have noticed it in pastel.

I've never really tested it though and was curious what the pastel forum members experiences and tests have shown.

here is the link to the thread:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=11477821#post11477821

allydoodle
11-29-2010, 09:12 AM
I use it to my advantage, especially in still life, mostly in "crevices" and to sit things down, occassionaly in backgrounds. I always put dark colors into it to keep it lively. My intent is for it not to look like black, just dark.

I have used it in portraits, often in extremely dark hair and sometimes clothing and backgrounds, but I always put color into it and use it sparingly. Using it alone is definitely a "dead" look, not good.

I have used black in line work, and I think that is very effective. I like the look very much.

I don't use it much in landscapes. I can usually get my darks plenty dark enough using color. When painting a landscape on dark paper or black paper, you can get a neat result and can use the paper value for your darks. When I paint on a lighter value paper I don't use black in my landscapes.

Because pastels use layering as the "mixing tool", the color lays on top of the black, so the darkness is there, but the color is what shows. I find that if you don't blend, just layer, the color remains vibrant. I have found that if the media is wet, mixing black directly into your colors immediately deadens the color, sort of kills it. The color doesn't show anymore, again, not good.

Regarding the comment made in the thread you've linked about mixing black with medium to light pastels, it would work only if you work dark to light. There are many artists that paint pastels on black paper, with excellent results. Similar to the dark to light approach, the ground being your dark value, and the pastels being your lighter values. The colors are vibrant, not at all dead. If anything, the colors are much brighter using black paper. It's a very dramatic and beautiful result. I've seen this black paper work wonderfully in all subject matter (landscapes, portraits, still life, florals, figures).

Dry media and wet media do handle very differently, what works with one doesn't always work with the other, IMHO.

*Deirdre*
11-29-2010, 10:40 AM
As this is also a discussion thread I've moved it to our Talk section.:)

mollerman
11-29-2010, 11:13 AM
Yeah...what AllyDoodle said. I rarely use black and usually only as part of a background usually mixed with another color and for hitting very dark shadowed areas but usually with other colors. I do use heavy greys to mute some of my colors, especially since I have a very limited palette. I am not afraid to use a little black and I think it sometimes help to get some of my images to lift off the canvas or pop.

Colorix
11-29-2010, 11:40 AM
Ah, that eternal 'religious' question... seriously, people seem to regard it as 'creeds', which is quite mystifying...

It depends on the method you use. In my method, I avoid black and grey, as they look dead in the context of prismatic colours, they are dischords. Greying down with the help of a complementary is more efficient, in my method. ("My"... I didn't invent it, it is 'my' as in 'I use it'.)

On the other hand, blacks and greys work well in tonalist painting.

Kathryn Wilson
11-29-2010, 12:42 PM
Wow, this is timely for me ... I've been learning about color mixing using alkyd oils.

I do think the discussion is more biased towards oils and mixing than it is for pastels - I paint pastels on black paper every so often and let the black show through to pose in dark areas and it does jazz up pastel colors. I don't mix black with other colors (as in blending) as it will dull the color and quite often make mud.

If I do use a black paper, I will push some very dark pastels into it to liven it up - Ludwig's eggplant for instance, or a deep blue.

Paula Ford
11-29-2010, 02:13 PM
Every once in a while I use black, but most of the time instead of using black, I use Terry Ludwig's very dark eggplant.

Deborah Secor
11-29-2010, 04:22 PM
Essentially black is not a color but a value. In nature (not pigments) it's the lack of all light, so when we're painting we really don't often bump into natural black. Lack of light precludes much painting...

I keep a stick of black in my palette, but I rarely find much use for it. However, remember that we pastelists all probably have plenty of black pigment mixed into the already-made sticks in our palettes!

I agree with you, Charlie. This question often elicits dogmatic statements. My take is firmly in the gray area. "Will black kill your color?" No--not always. Can it? Of course, or the question wouldn't have been asked. Does it have to? No, not always. And on we go... :D

Colorix
11-29-2010, 06:19 PM
When working with a limited palette of 20 colours, I've used black *under* (mid-dark) colours, the black sprayed with fixative (thoroughly), dried, and then the colours are applied. Works well, doesn't 'kill' or 'deaden'.

Amazing, really, how dogmatic people get. Black has its uses. I too prefer a really deep dark, or, for that matter, a piece of charcoal.

The sticks mixed with black are... 'deadened'. Can't help it, that's how I perceive them.

Potoma
11-29-2010, 07:19 PM
I wish manufacturers would realize how few of use use black with any routine. I was looking at a Schmincke set of 15 that was on sale at the local art supply store. It had one white and one black. If I were getting 15 actual colors, I would have considered it.

robertsloan2
11-29-2010, 09:47 PM
I'm with allydoodle on it. I like using black in the deepest dark accents, depending on the value range of the painting. If I need to push the darks, sometimes nothing else will do. But like Charlie, sometimes I like using charcoal for it. I'll sometimes put it under a pure color to get a dark I don't have, but the bigger my collection of darks is, the less I need it.

I treat black as a cold dark and like having the deepest brown as a warm dark, very near black. I've got to try that Terry Ludwig eggplant purple sometime, someone said it's included in the Maggie Price values set.

allydoodle
11-29-2010, 10:04 PM
Robert,

You can buy that Ludwig pastel as open stock from Dakota. The number is V100. The next time you buy something from them, just add it to the order, it's $2.95 for one stick. Definitely worth giving it a try. It is in the Maggie Price Value Set, as well as one of the Dark sets, but they're quite a bit more pricey, especially if you just want that one color. It is an intense dark, probably even stronger than straight black. It has punch!

Sonni
12-01-2010, 10:45 PM
I never use black unless I'm playing around with a notan or doing a quick figure study. I do believe, in most cases, it reveals itself as a dead color. Also, in plein air paintng, I've noticed time and time again there doesn't seem to be either black or white in nature. Darks, yes, very light tints, yes, but most of the values I see are mid values.

Sennelier makes a great dark green #178 (or 179 which is almost black). They also make a good red/brown black and a dark blue, which I think is Indigo. Terry Ludwig's eggplant is to die for and he also has a very dark green. Who needs black?:confused:

MikeN
12-02-2010, 04:45 AM
Says I don't have access to the thread I linked to. Is that the case for everyone?

Colorix
12-02-2010, 06:45 AM
Seems that thread no longer exists, it has been removed. I so wonder why.

robertsloan2
12-03-2010, 01:31 PM
Chris, thanks for the color number on the Terry Ludwig Eggplant. I'll probably get it once I order anything from anywhere they've got open stock Ludwigs, though I do still get tempted to the set. There are several sets that interest me so if I change my mind on the Maggie Price set I can still get something else - and if I did get it later on, I wouldn't mind having an extra of such a useful color!

MikeN
12-04-2010, 06:07 PM
Seems that thread no longer exists, it has been removed. I so wonder why.


It's back now. Seems a few posts have been edited; one was mine. From what I can tell, what was cut was one member's unsubstantiated dismissal of your comments and my defense of your contributions. Half of what I wrote in a post has disappeared without notice, explanation, or consent. As a point of principle, we should at least be notified and be granted the right to remove our name from the altered post as it is no longer our original message.

I haven't decided if I disagree with the mod's cuts yet, but censorship is a slippery slope and all parties should be involved, especially since the only copy of the post has vanished. For the record, this has happened to me before in that forum and I'm guessing I'm not the only one who feels there are some control issues over there. I'll just take my experience elsewhere.


M

*Deirdre*
12-04-2010, 08:02 PM
Please do not refer to moderated posts here....it is against the user-agreement. 24 g. No Reviving Closed Topics: If a post is edited or a topic closed by a moderator, do not repost the edited material or restart the closed discussion in another thread. Similarly, do not post messages asking why a particular message was edited or a topic closed.

MikeN
12-04-2010, 11:36 PM
Please do not refer to moderated posts here....it is against the user-agreement. 24 g. No Reviving Closed Topics: If a post is edited or a topic closed by a moderator, do not repost the edited material or restart the closed discussion in another thread. Similarly, do not post messages asking why a particular message was edited or a topic closed.


apologies

m

*Deirdre*
12-05-2010, 02:35 AM
No explanation because no posts removed here, on this occasion. ....now please return to the topic Black kills color? in this forum!!!


N.B. There was indication as to the reason on my previous message...before the quoted rule!

*Deirdre*
12-05-2010, 03:04 AM
Robert,

You can buy that Ludwig pastel as open stock from Dakota. The number is V100. The next time you buy something from them, just add it to the order, it's $2.95 for one stick. Definitely worth giving it a try. It is in the Maggie Price Value Set, as well as one of the Dark sets, but they're quite a bit more pricey, especially if you just want that one color. It is an intense dark, probably even stronger than straight black. It has punch!
I was at a Dianna Ponting workshop in the UK, when I won that eggplant colour...I was soooo pleased! (They do sell single colours so order just that one if you want!)
I then saved up to get the Dark set sent over, and then the Dark ll set. I hope, one day, they'll be available over here.
Before that, if I needed a really dark area, I would use light touches of my General CharcoaL pencil, as it darkens more efficiently than vine charcoal, then blend with my colour shapers.

allydoodle
12-05-2010, 04:45 PM
Deirdre,

Happy you were able to aquire V100! I have the Dark II Ludwig set, and I love it. It's all I ever will need for darks, really. I cannot imagine that set not being enough. :D

Dea
12-06-2010, 01:05 AM
This is an interesting thread,
I was told once never to use true black and I don't very often, I use a dark violet art spectrum colour but I have seen artist that do. I have a DVD of Australian artist Maxwell Wilks, he paints on black paper and uses black in his demo to touch up the darks and there is nothing dead about his paintings. Also in Lesley Harrisons book she uses black in her demos,
Deanna

allydoodle
12-06-2010, 08:23 AM
This is an interesting thread,
I was told once never to use true black and I don't very often, I use a dark violet art spectrum colour but I have seen artist that do. I have a DVD of Australian artist Maxwell Wilks, he paints on black paper and uses black in his demo to touch up the darks and there is nothing dead about his paintings. Also in Lesley Harrisons book she uses black in her demos,
Deanna

For me, I don't believe in rules, I believe in what works. If it works for you, do it, if it doesn't, then don't. The results speak for themselves. It's so very interesting to hear how each artist approaches this, and what they believe works for them. Very neat information.

ponting
12-09-2010, 03:36 AM
And I, on the otherhand...use black a great deal. Sometimes alone and sometimes as a base to be covered by....tada...Terry Ludwig's intense darks.:clap: :clap: :clap:

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

Dcam
12-09-2010, 09:39 AM
I had a professor at NYU: Idelle Weber. She is one of the leading woman photorealists. She paints in oils and taught us that the best way to darken the color red is to use blacks and that any other color changes the red too much. I put it to the test in oils and it works. I tried it in pastels and it works best with pans or using a crosshatch of the black and red and then blending.
I also learned (somewhere) that black is fine as long as you add another color. Lets say you have a deep shadow between some rocks. Lay in your black and them push in a little blue etc.
If you leave areas of black on black paper when you paint, these areas can make the color really sing.

Black is Back! Derek

sketchZ1ol
12-10-2010, 04:55 PM
hello
some makers offer two different blacks
believe it or not, a warm and cool black
- comes from the pigment source.
it will influence a mix with colours/inherent colour temp
and then there is mixing across brands
i certainly agree with all the other comments/posts
think of it, perhaps, as a parallel with very high-key accents
- does well with a predominantly mid-value pallete

:} Ed