Originally Posted by mr.wiggles
Scott Christensen was mentioned in regards to the use of a limited palette.
His palette posted below is hardly limited.
By his own admission it is...and note his only few colors (therefore the limited palette), he used to mix his own grays and from those colors...but he adds commercial grays to save time only. I have one of his painting dvds, and he proves he mixes grays easily enough without black...but again, its a time saver for him.
I am not sure were the anti-black thing comes from but you can't mix neutrals without it.
The anti-black thing comes from outdoor painters mainly...stepping outside the studio and most having been accustomed to using black, but then not seeing it happen in the light of nature. The realization that black tends to suck the life out of color and the painting. It surprises us, we compare notes with others that paint outdoors and discover we have the same experience in common.
I have been playing with black again after 14 years not using it, but in a limited way, in studio...and always adding color into it. It just reads dead to me otherwise...
As for mixing neutrals...I won't argue with you on this, for it is quite obvious we both come from two different sides of the conceptual world. I'll admit to surprise at your insistence of "CAN'T"...for my understanding is a world apart from yours. I'll explain my position...but tell you up front I see no need to argue it.
I do not need black to create neutrals...and most outdoor painters I know do not use a black and yet think in terms of neutrals, and mix neutrals all the time. Study my paintings outdoors...and you might well detect them.
In fact, this one I posted appearing last page. You detect no presence of neutrals nor neutrals used to gray color down??? I assure you, I used NO BLACK.
I'll help support your position by sharing a traditional model. Isn't that nice of me???
It is a model I call a tonewheel...it represents a tradiational way of thinking that would necessarily believe black is necessary. The model identifies TONE
but I would argue not neutrals.
If you think of all neutrals as grays in the traditional sense, then this model would support your thinking.
However...I argue that another traditional way of thinking of neutrals is the basic RYB colorwheel...where opposites meet, and at the point where each color loses its specific identity it becomes a neutral. Thus many RYB colorwheel models will show gray as its center...but note, no black is in the model...
Lets see the model...the tone wheel...
From the History of Color in Painting by Faber Birren, 1965...and borrowing from my own painting book, comes this model on the tone wheel-
Note the first two artist models...the first Turner, the second Rembrandt..
My own work the first 17 years mirrored more that of the tonalists, but after taking the easel outdoors painting nature directly, it evolved. I had little to no need of the use of black. Mine appears more thus...
We obviously must define neutrals differently...and I have no problem with that...
I believe the model supports the traditional way of thinking, but in actual experience, I believe my painting above shows the existence of neutrals and color affected and controlled by neutrals.
Let me elaborate further going back to what I said above...thinking in terms of the simple RYB colorwheel...
White and black are opposites. Because they are opposites they neutralize each other. They de-power or gray. As I teach my youngest students...gray made from white and black is just one form of gray. The problem is many think of gray in terms of just black and white.
However...if you use the simple logic further...there are colors opposite and will thereby have the same effect. To de-power and de-emphasize the presence of each hue's nature. They neutralize and become ANOTHER form of gray.
I mix grays or neutrals all the time, on the fly...with n'er hardly a thought, control color effectively thinking along the lines I have spelled out, and again with no black.
So, I think while the model is interesting to study the works of painters and see where they fit on the model. I would have to question the full power of this model to represent "gray"...
Perhaps if a color isolated in and of itself from other colors were to have white or black added to it, we'd see this model play out. But where the model struggles to explain is if two or three colors are mixed prior to white being added, the black and the combination of all three.
In other words...I can mix colors to behave as does black and when white is added arrive at my neutrals and grays. This thus aptly bypasses the need for black on my palette....